University of South Australia

Occupational Therapy

Interested in Occupational Therapy?

Join South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate careers in occupational therapy.1

Start your unstoppable career in occupational therapy, and be at the forefront of helping adults and children alike to actively participate in society, irrespective of limitations. UniSA has more than 50 years’ experience in occupational therapy education, strong industry partnerships and a curriculum informed by above world-class research in occupational therapy.

Our Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) is the only accredited undergraduate four-year occupational therapy degree in South Australia. You'll build strong industry connections through our partnerships and alliances, and get extensive hands-on experience in real-word settings.

Students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and meet entry requirements may be eligible for the Master of Occupational Therapy (Graduate Entry). This intensive master’s degree will qualify you to practise as a registered Occupational Therapist in just two extra years of study.

1ComparED (QILT) Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018-20, Rehabilitation — Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only. 2Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 

Key features

  • Study South Australia’s only accredited four-year honours degree in occupational therapy.
  • Take part in 1,000 hours of real-world practice 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.
  • Study a degree informed by above world-class research in occupational therapy.1
  • Learn from award-winning teaching staff, academics, practicing health professionals and researchers in the field.
  • Develop your ability to independently undertake research.

1Results in Clinical Sciences - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Why UniSA?

As one of the World’s Top Young Universities1, we never rest on our laurels to find you the industry-relevant experience your future profession demands.

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 change.

Occupational Therapists empower people to live full and rewarding lives, every day. With UniSA, you'll learn how to help people overcome constraints caused by injury or illness, as well as emotional, developmental, environmental, societal, age-related and psychological limitations.

You’ll graduate with the skills needed to succeed as an innovative and caring Occupational Therapist. With a strong focus on practical skills, you’ll get over 1,000 hours of real-world experience from field placements in health and rehabilitation centres, community agencies, kindergartens, schools, and aged care facilities. 

We have 50 years’ experience of teaching and research in this field. In fact, UniSA is Australia’s youngest university to receive five-stars in research2, and this excellence shines through in our teaching. We're inspired by challenges and opportunities, and partner with local icons and international organisations to deliver impact and change.

1Ranked #29, 2021 QS Top 50 Universities Aged Under 50. 22019 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.

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Your career

You can gain employment 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 for working overseas, as the qualification is recognised in most countries. You may also choose to pursue a career in research – graduates with honour's 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 had placements and internships with organisations like:

  • Helping Hand Aged Care
  • 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 17.1% by November 2025.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

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To November 2025, healthcare and social assistance is projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth in Australia – an increase of 249,500 jobs.

Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2020

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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 Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2019

Ask UniSA

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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 – Full-time Employment Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.

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A five star university

Five stars for research, teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities, social responsibility and inclusiveness.*
*QS Stars rankings 2017