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University of South Australia

Occupational Therapy

Interested in Occupational Therapy?

Start your unstoppable career in occupational therapy, and be at the forefront of helping people actively participate in society, regardless of limitations.

Occupational therapists help people of all ages and abilities participate in activities (occupations) they want, need, and are expected to do. Working in healthcare settings across a variety of industries, occupational therapists are innovative and caring professionals who helps people build independence and improve their quality of life.

Our Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) was South Australia’s first fully accredited undergraduate occupational therapy degree.1 Study a curriculum informed by our above world-class research in the field, learning from passionate academics and industry experts.2 Get industry experience with more than 1,000 hours of hands-on experience in real-word settings, and build your professional networks with our strong industry partnerships and alliances to ensure you graduate career ready. 

The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) is also available at our Whyalla campus, allowing you to study the same esteemed program locally and meet the growing demand for allied healthcare in regional and remote settings across Australia.

Graduates of relevant health-related bachelor degrees may be eligible for the Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry), a two-year program designed to meet the registration requirements to practice as a occupational therapist.

You can take your unstoppable career further with postgraduate studies. Upskill to meet mental health challenges with our Graduate Diploma in Mental Health, or confidently step into a leadership and management role with our Master of Health Services Management.

1Accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Ltd (OTC); approved by the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia for the purpose of professional registration as an occupational therapist in Australia; and approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. 2Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Key features

  • Develop the expertise to help people of all ages and abilities maintain and improve their day-to-day activities.
  • Study South Australia’s first fully accredited degree in occupational therapy from a university with more than 50 years of allied health education.
  • Get hands-on experience in UniSA’s student-led occupational therapy clinics, and through 1,000 hours of real-world field placements while you study.
  • Benefit from our strong partnerships and alliances with not-for-profit organisations, aged care facilities and community restorative programs, health and disability, and children’s service providers.
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics, practicing health professionals and researchers in the field.
  • Join a Top 10 university in Australia for graduate careers in occupational therapy.1
  • Study a contemporary and culturally diverse curriculum informed by above world-class research in occupational therapy.2
  • Develop your ability to independently undertake research with honours, and confidently move into further postgraduate study.

1Ranked #10, ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2020-22, Rehabilitation – Overall Employment Indicator (Domestic Undergraduate). Public universities. 2Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 

Why UniSA?

UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,1 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

Our enterprising spirit has made UniSA a renowned centre of innovation in the sectors driving Australia's future forward, including health. This is your chance to position yourself with advanced knowledge and skills in an area of rapid growth and growing industry need.

Occupational therapists are innovative and caring professionals who empower people to live full and rewarding lives. You’ll learn how to help people overcome constraints caused by injury or illness, and help them navigate and manage emotional, developmental, environmental, societal, age-related and psychological limitations.

With a strong focus on practical skills, you’ll get over 1,000 hours of real-world experience from field placements in not-for-profit organisations, aged care facilities and community restorative programs, health and disability, and children’s service providers. You may also participate in UniSA’s student-led occupational therapy clinics, where you can assist clients and learn to be part of an interdisciplinary team with other allied health professionals.

UniSA has over 50 years of experience in teaching and research in allied health education. We’re Australia’s youngest university with a five-star rating for excellence,2 and this excellence shines through in our teaching. You’ll be taught by experienced academics and industry experts, and have the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice under their guidance.


1Ranked #43, 2024 THE Young University Rankings. 22023 QS Stars Rankings.

UniSA offers the following Occupational Therapy degrees

Choose your level of study

Short programs

Are you after a career change or looking to upgrade your existing skills? Or perhaps you just have an interest in a particular subject area and want to further your experience, skills and knowledge. We offer a suite of short programs that will allow you to build your knowledge and skill set.

Designed in collaboration with expert academics, program content is industry-relevant and up-to-date. Short programs include:

World-class partners for a world-class university

We are a globally connected university with over 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement.

SA Health logo

Your career

Working with people of all ages and abilities, occupational therapists can work in a range of health settings including:

  • public and private hospitals
  • private practice
  • community mental health services
  • ambulatory and rehabilitation services
  • aged care facilities and community restorative care services
  • local council services
  • government departments
  • schools
  • not-for-profit and non-government sector

This degree prepares you to work overseas, as the qualification is recognised in most countries.

You may also choose to pursue a career in research. Graduates with honours degrees are highly sought after by prospective employers, particularly within academia and research settings.

Your Career

Global networks

As a globally connected university, our staff and students come from over 90 countries. We have more than 2,500 industry and professional relationships that support student internships, research and community engagement. Our students have completed placements and internships with organisations, including:

  • Royal Adelaide Hospital 
  • Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service
  • Disability SA
  • Department for Education and Child Development
  • Domiciliary Care
  • The Muscular Dystrophy Association SA
  • Repatriation General Hospital

Industry facts

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Employment for occupational therapists in Australia is projected to increase by 7.4 per cent by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

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To November 2026, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 301,000 jobs.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

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Healthcare and social assistance has been the primary provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market since the 1990s.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

 

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What others are saying

Placements provided me with the opportunity to explore different occupational therapy fields such as paediatrics, mental health, and aged care. I also had the opportunity to work with a peer to manage a collaborative, community-oriented project in a local hospital stroke ward.

Lealei Tan

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Lealei Tan

Lealei Tan

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

As the first Aboriginal occupational therapist in South Australia I have a passion to lead and support other Indigenous allied health professionals to follow in my footsteps. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of closing the gap in Aboriginal health inequality but I’m committed to playing my part.

Trevor Ritchie

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Trevor Ritchie

Trevor Ritchie

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

I was interested in helping people maintain or regain their independence at an occupational level. I liked that I would have the ability to work with people at different developmental stages, whether it be children or the elderly community.

Brian Lai

Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry)

Brian Lai

Brian Lai

Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry)

By assisting children to play, learn and become independent we are setting them on the path to adulthood. Creating a clinic shaped to the needs of our clients and their families has been an uplifting and exciting adventure. We speak of foundational building blocks in occupational therapy and studying with UniSA was the first building block for my career.

Rochelle Mutton

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Founder and Director | Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton, Founder and Director of Motivate Kids

Rochelle Mutton

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Founder and Director | Motivate Kids

Why study at UniSA?

As one of the most innovative universities in Australia and Asia, there are many reasons to study with us. Here are just three:

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Accessible, helpful and flexible

We have six campuses, a 24/7 online learning environment, and we offer flexible study options like online and evening courses.

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Graduate success

UniSA is South Australia's number one university for graduate careers.*
*ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019-21 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities.

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A five star university

Five stars for research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalisation, inclusiveness and innovation*
*2022 QS Stars Ratings