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Course summary

Do you want a health career that could transform the lives of others by helping them achieve tangible results?

Occupational therapists’ work is diverse. They adapt environments, activities or equipment to enhance participation in everyday tasks, assisting people of all ages and abilities to do what they need and want to do at home, work, school and in the community.

You will develop a range of clinical skills in the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and during your professional placement, preparing you for work in diverse health care environments.

As an occupational therapist you could for example develop inclusive playground experiences and environments for children of all abilities; you could recommend workplace changes that would assist an injured worker to return to work; or you could design home modifications or public transport changes that would ensure access for a person using a power wheelchair. Occupational therapy has been identified as a high job growth area by the Australian Government’s Job Outlook.



4.5 years minimum for students commencing Session 2

Coffs Harbour1, 2, 3
Gold Coast1, 2, 3


Coffs Harbour1
Gold Coast1

Optional major: Indigenous Health.
This major can be studied at Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour campuses and offers students the opportunity to build theoretical and practical capabilities in cultural protocols and Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Embedded placement opportunities equip graduates with the professional skills required to contribute to the improvement of health and social outcomes in Australian communities.

In order to meet the Australian occupational therapy competency standards this course is structured in accordance with professional body recommendations. All students complete studies in the following areas:

Professional Areas: occupational therapy theory and practice; occupational therapy assessments and interventions related to biomechanical, sensorimotor, psychosocial and cognitive performance, activities, engagement and participation at home, at school, at work and in the community; occupational transitions across the lifespan; evaluation of occupational therapy programs; health promotion; and professional experience/fieldwork. 

Social Sciences: psychology and sociology for health sciences, Australian health care system, Indigenous studies, research methods, nutrition in health, and small business and entrepreneurship.

Biological Sciences: anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and neuroscience.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate a commitment to excellence in all scholarly, intellectual and professional activities, including critical analysis, sound judgement and the use of research/evidence to inform clinical/professional practice.

Systematically apply knowledge creation strategies and practices to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable adoption of practice based research.


Analyse and respond innovatively to the systemic, interpersonal and personal factors influencing health and disability across diverse communities

Utilize a sustainable and entrepreneurial approach to professional practice

Demonstrate an occupation focused and client-centred orientation to professional practice

Ethical practice

Address legislative requirements, guidelines and standards affecting professional practice

Understand, articulate and defend the values base of occupational practice and occupational justice

Knowledge of a discipline

Be grounded in an occupational view of health and disability across the lifespan.

Utilise appropriate evidence based occupational therapy assessment and treatment modalities to identify and address the occupational needs of a diverse community.

Develop, evaluate and document occupational intervention strategies for individuals, groups &/or communities.

Lifelong learning

Using reflection to guide continuing professional development.

Contributing to the development of various communities of practice through collaborative lifelong learning initiatives.

Sophisticated use of information technology to ensure communities of practice are inclusive of rural/regional practice settings.

Communication and social skills

Work collaboratively to address occupational needs in a range of health, education and community teams and with an understanding of conventional and complementary therapies.

Provide leadership in identifying, assessing and addressing the occupational needs of individuals, groups and communities.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate cultural safety in professional practice and proactive responses to Indigenous perspectives on health (worldwide).

A variety of assessment methods are used in this course including multiple choice examinations, essay style examinations, scenario based learning studies, tutorial workshop presentations, debates, written assignments, and clinical skills testing. For each unit there are 2 to 5 assessment items.

Teaching methods include regular face-to-face contact with academic staff in lectures, tutorials and clinical settings. A mixture of digitally-based media supports the lectures, seminars and tutorials, with an emphasis on small group work, problem-based learning, reflection and experiential learning integrated with theory and research. The course has a strong practical focus that allows students to develop a range of clinical skills, integrating theory and practice. Students gain clinical experience in a range of health care settings throughout the course where they are supported by clinical teachers and facilitators.

Career opportunities as an occupational therapist exist in hospitals, community health, mental health services, schools, work rehabilitation and occupational health and safety in various industries, private practice, early intervention, aged care and a variety of health, education and disability services, including the provision of occupational therapy services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Professional placements of about 1,000 hours build clinical and practical skills in settings that may include aged care, hospitals, community health, disability and mental health services, primary schools, work environments and private practice.

This course is accredited by Occupational Therapy Australia and the Occupational Therapy Council, and is approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Graduates of accredited occupational therapy programs are eligible for national registration.

Graduates are also eligible for membership of Occupational Therapy Australia. Please note: In order to register to practise, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency standards for English language must be met.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'