Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are health professionals who assist people to overcome limitations caused by injury or illness, psychological or emotional difficulties, developmental delay or the effects of ageing.

Campus
Townsville
Start dates
February
Duration
4 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus
Prerequisites
English; plus one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Education or Health Education
OP/Rank
14/69

Career opportunities

Occupational therapists are in demand in Australia. Graduates are equipped for rewarding careers in: public and private health services, and in promoting well-being in rural and urban communities. Occupational Therapists are employed to work in a range of clinical and consultative roles with people who have physical and or mental disabilities across the lifespan (children, adults and the elderly).

Work settings include: public and private hospitals, medical rehabilitation units, community health centres, occupational health centres, aged care facilities, vocational rehabilitation units, independent living centres, private practice, schools, pharmacies and industry.

The World Federation of Occupational Therapists accredits this program.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy graduates from JCU are eligible to register for practice in Australia as occupational therapists through the Occupational Therapists Board of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and are eligible to become members of OT Australia – The Australian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Graduates are also eligible to register for practice in New Zealand and by application internationally.

Course highlights

Occupational therapy is a client centred health profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. Occupational therapists work with people and communities to enable people to engage in the occupations as they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation of the environment to better support their occupational engagement.

Our Bachelor of Occupational Therapy gives you work-ready knowledge and skills in:

  • assessment and enabling human occupation
  • applying professional theory, practice and management
  • health promotion and primary health care
  • industry research and evaluation
  • social and cultural impacts of functional impairment
  • community developments to promote health and wellbeing
  • biological and behavioural sciences.

You’ll also enjoy career-building benefits with:

  • practical urban and rural work experience
  • clinical experience at our on-campus occupational therapy clinic
  • international exchange opportunities.

Course overview

Would you gain great satisfaction from enhancing quality of life for others? As an occupational therapist you can help people of all ages improve their health and wellbeing in everyday activities and occupations.

Barriers to engagement in important and meaningful occupation can arise at any life stage due to:

  • injury or illness
  • psychological or emotional difficulties
  • developmental delay
  • aging
  • environment and contextual issues.

Our Bachelor of Occupational Therapy will prepare you to work across locations within the tropics including rural and remote communities, which face unique challenges due to inequities in health and other services.

You’ll gain distinctive experience working with Indigenous and remote communities that you won’t find anywhere else.

Successful applicants require Hepatitis B immunisation, current Queensland First Aid and CPR certificates plus a Suitability to Work with Children (Blue Card) and an Australian Federal Police check before undertaking placement. It is recommended that these requirements be completed by the end of your first semester/teaching period.

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (316101) - Apply now

Subjects

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

BM1031:03 Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Therapy 1

BM1032:03 Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Therapy 2

HS1003:03 Lifespan Development for Health A

HS1401:03 Health and Health Care in Australia

OT1011:03 Introduction to Occupation and Occupational Therapy

OT1012:03 Enabling Occupation through Partnerships

RH1002:03 Communication Skills for Health Professionals

RH1004:03 Foundations of Allied Health Professional Practice

Level 2

HS2401:03 Rural and Remote Primary and Public Health Care

HS2402:03 Health Professional Research 1

HS2403:03 Health Promotion for Health Professionals

OT2013:03 Psycho-emotional Determinants of Occupation

OT2014:03 Contextual Determinants of Occupation

OT2015:06 Physical and Cognitive-neurological Determinants of Occupation

RH2002:03 Clinical Medicine for Therapy

Level 3

HS3401:03 Health Professional Research 2

OT3001:03 Occupational Therapy Independent Study

OT3011:03 Enhancing Practice Capabilities

OT3012:03 Professional Practice Preparation

OT3004:06 Rural and Urban Practice 1 

OT3005:06 Rural and Urban Practice 2 

Level 4

OT4001:12 Advanced Rural or Urban Practice 

OT4002:03 Contemporary Issues for Health Professionals

OT4003:03 Health Law and Ethics, Reflective Practice

OT4004:03 Advanced Professional Practice

TM4401:03 Health, Policy and Planning

Pathway into course

On successful completion of the Diploma of Higher Education you may be eligible to continue into this degree, and you may be able to receive some credit for successfully completed subjects.

Students are encouraged to undertake the Tertiary Access Course if they have not studied recently and/or want assistance making the transition to University studies.

Get prepared - Bridging subjects

Bridging subjects are designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge. We offer maths and chemistry bridging subjects that can be studied on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. You may need to enrol in a bridging subject if you have not achieved the grade of ‘Sound Achievement or better’ in Queensland Year 12 maths or chemistry.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

If you identify as Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, JCU can assist you in your pursuit of a health career through the Indigenous Health Careers Access Program (IHCAP).

Handbook

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (External)

Course Code

70510

70510E

Professional accreditation status

This course is accredited by Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd (OTC).

Students enrolled in this degree will be registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for the duration of their program of study or until they are no longer enrolled. Graduates will be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)

Division

Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

English, plus one of: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Health Education or Physical Education.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 3a Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Students also need to take note that in accordance with the National Registration Board’s requirement, they must hold a valid IELTS minimum score of 7.0 in all components within 2 years prior to applying for registration upon Graduation as Occupational Therapists in Australia.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

Clinical placement/professional practice:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements).

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students.

Post admission requirements

Immunisations:

Students must provide evidence of being immune to hepatitis B and that they have been vaccinated or evidence that they are not susceptible for the vaccine preventable diseases (VPD) of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR); Varicella and Pertussis. Professional experience placement is a requirement of this course and students may be engaged in roles where there is contact that would allow transmission of a VPD. Students are required to comply with the above requirement prior to commencing their first Professional Experience Placement or by the end of the first teaching period of their studies, otherwise their enrolment will be terminated.

Suitability to Work with Children Card (blue card):

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements that may involve contact with children under 18 years of age. Students are required to obtain a Suitability to Work with Children Card (which involves a criminal history check undertaken by the Queensland Police) by the last day of the first teaching period of their course. Students must retain a current Suitability to Work with Children Card for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

For more information, refer to:

Blue Card Services

Current Apply First Aid and CPR Certificate:

Candidates must hold a current First Aid Certificate before undertaking professional or clinical placements.  This must be provided by the last day of the first teaching period of their course. It will be the responsibility of the student to maintain this certificate for the duration of their course, as failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course. Candidates are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Some professional/clinical placement agencies may require that candidates hold an advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate before undertaking a professional or clinical placement. Candidates are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Australian Federal Police check:

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Some placement agencies will require students to produce a current Australian Federal Police check. This is in addition to the requirements for a Blue Card. Students must provide written confirmation of clearance to the Clinical Placement Officer by the last day of the first teaching period of their course. Students will be required to provide an updated Australian Federal Police check if requested by the College, and failure to do so will result in the termination of their admission to the course.

Application documents can be accessed at:

Australian Federal Police

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

96 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

The James Cook University Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degree will prepare graduates for registration as an entry level Occupational Therapist (OT) in Australia. The course is aligned with the Australian Standards for Occupational Therapy, including AHPRA OT code of conduct and OTA Occupational Therapy Competencies.

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • Apply broad and coherent theoretical and technical knowledge that promotes the development of an inclusive society through enabling occupation, with a particular focus on rural, remote, indigenous and tropical contexts

  • Demonstrate appropriate communicative, ethical, legal and professional behaviours, skills and strategies, in the delivery of culturally safe and client-centred care

  • Retrieve, synthesise and evaluate information from multiple sources to assess, formulate, implement and monitor management plans, in order to improve the health status and wellbeing of individuals and/or populations

  • Critically evaluate and apply evidence in occupational therapy and inter-professional practice to support professional judgement and problem solving, consolidation of knowledge and theory building

  • Communicate clearly and coherently through well-developed English language and numeracy proficiency, appropriate for graduate entry into the occupational therapy workforce

  • Apply contemporary skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours to deliver safe and sustainable occupational therapy in collaboration with individuals and/or populations and other professionals, within the accepted professional and personal scope of practice

  • Assess professional learning needs through reflection on current skills, knowledge and attitudes and demonstrate autonomy and accountability in planning ongoing professional development.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the fundamental abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to complete the learning outcomes of a course while preserving the academic integrity of the university’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. Students and prospective students must be able to demonstrate that they have acquired or have the ability to acquire the inherent requirements for their degree. For more information refer to Inherent Requirements page.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments may be made to assist students manage additional circumstances impacting on their studies provided these do not change the academic integrity of a degree. Reasonable adjustments do not alter the need to be able to demonstrate the inherent requirements of the course.

Course Structure

CORE SUBJECTS

Level 1

BM1031:03 Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Therapy 1

BM1032:03 Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Therapy 2

HS1003:03 Lifespan Development for Health A

HS1401:03 Health and Health Care in Australia

OT1011:03 Introduction to Occupation and Occupational Therapy

OT1012:03 Enabling Occupation through Partnerships

RH1002:03 Communication Skills for Health Professionals

RH1004:03 Foundations of Allied Health Professional Practice

Level 2

HS2401:03 Rural and Remote Primary and Public Health Care

HS2402:03 Health Professional Research 1

HS2403:03 Health Promotion for Health Professionals

OT2013:03 Psycho-emotional Determinants of Occupation

OT2014:03 Contextual Determinants of Occupation

OT2015:06 Physical and Cognitive-neurological Determinants of Occupation

RH2002:03 Clinical Medicine for Therapy

Level 3

HS3401:03 Health Professional Research 2

OT3001:03 Occupational Therapy Independent Study

OT3011:03 Enhancing Practice Capabilities

OT3012:03 Professional Practice Preparation

OT3004:06 Rural and Urban Practice 1 

OT3005:06 Rural and Urban Practice 2 

Level 4

OT4001:12 Advanced Rural or Urban Practice 

OT4002:03 Contemporary Issues for Health Professionals

OT4003:03 Health Law and Ethics, Reflective Practice

OT4004:03 Advanced Professional Practice

TM4401:03 Health, Policy and Planning

Campus

COURSE AVAILABLE AT

NOTES

Townsville

 

Candidature

Expected time to complete

4 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

7 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years

Progression

Course progression requisites

Must successfully complete all level 1 subjects before attempting any level 2 OT coded subjects. Must complete all level 2 subjects before attempting any level 3 subjects.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)

This course includes prescribed professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake such placements away from the campus at which they are enrolled, at their own expense. (Note: health professional courses generally involve extensive professional or clinical placements). Currency of post-admission requirements must be maintained throughout the degree.

Further information about placements can be found at Enrolment Policy – Coursework Students

Special assessment requirements

Refer to Review of a Student’s Suitability to Continue a Course Involving Placement policy.

Accreditation requirements

Nil

Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Nil

Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable

Advanced Standing

Eligibility

Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

63 credit points

Currency

Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.

Expiry

Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 17 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the candidate has not completed this course.

Other restrictions

A maximum of 18 credit points of advanced standing may be granted at level 3 or 4.

Award Details

Award title

BACHELOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Approved abbreviation

BOccThy

Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Not applicable

Honours

Honours availability

Embedded honours available

Eligibility

At the start of level 3, the Head of School will invite selected students to enter the honours program.

Eligible candidates must obtain a grade of at least Credit for all subjects from the first two levels.

A quota on entry into the honours program may be applied depending on the availability of supervisors.

Honours

The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees. Please refer to the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.