A Guide to Studying a Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy in Australia

A Guide to Studying a Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy in Australia

If you love working with people and assisting them in different ways, a career in occupational therapy might be the right thing for you. An occupational therapist focuses on helping patients improve their physical, mental, developmental and emotional well-being and in this short article, we offer details about the bachelor’s degree course in occupational therapy.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a style of healthcare that utilises therapeutic interventions to assist people in everyday life. An occupational therapist employs a range of strategies to enhance, restore or maintain patient motor skills and functional abilities. 

Leading Australian universities that offer degree courses in occupational therapy

The following Australian universities offer degree courses in occupational therapy;

  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Adelaide
  • Deakin University
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Newcastle
  • Western Sydney University
  • Griffith University

These are the main institutions that offer a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, while there are others that you can locate with a Google search.

Admission requirements

In order to enrol to study a degree course in occupational therapy, you should have;

  • High school diploma – The minimum educational requirement.
  • English proficiency – You need an IELTS score of 7.0 to study.
  • Proof of financial support – Evidence that you are able to pay the term fees.

The first thing to do is choose the educational institution that you plan to attend; check out their website for more information about applying to study. Here are a few tips on self-care.

Ability Action Australia

Ability Action Australia is an organisation that provides support to Australian occupational therapists and we recommend contacting them for more detailed information about studying to become an occupational therapist. 

Support includes:

  • A car allowance, smartphone and laptop.
  • Salary packaging.
  • Lease a vehicle with novated leasing.
  • Ongoing professional development.
  • Career progression.
  • Flexible working hours that enable you to balance work and life.

Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science (occupational therapy) course details

This degree course is a 4-year program to prepare you for a career in occupational therapy; you will complete units and minor in disability, participation and health. If you prefer, you can major in disability, participation and health, while selecting other units to make up your quota. 

Mandatory work hours

You are expected to complete 40 hours per week over a total of 25 weeks, which makes up 1000 hours. You have a choice of working on campus or online – each individual institution will have their own requirements – check online for details.

If you are looking for a rewarding and challenging career in healthcare, occupational therapy is growing in popularity, as people shift towards natural healing rather than drug-based treatment.

Once you have graduated, you need to register with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (OTBA) and you can start working in the field. You will likely be mobile and working under supervision for the first 6 months, which gives you the support you need, as you merge theory with practice.

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