Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

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.

Start dates
4 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus
English; plus one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Health Education or Physical Education

Career opportunities

JCU Occupational Therapy (Honours) graduates are equipped for rewarding careers throughout Australia and (by application) internationally. You could choose to build a career working in any of a wide range of practice specialties including (but not limited to):

  • Public and private hospitals
  • Acute and community rehabilitation units
  • Hand therapy services
  • Community health centres
  • Aged care facilities
  • Acute and community mental health services
  • Vocational rehabilitation settings
  • Schools (and education settings)
  • Independent living centres
  • Private practice.

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) graduates may also find employment in industry research and evaluation, and education and training.

Professional Recognition/ Accreditation


This course is accredited by Occupational Therapy Council (Australia & New Zealand) Ltd (OTC). Graduates are eligible to register for practice in Australia through the Occupational Therapists Board of Australia Health Professional Registration 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 internationally (by application).

Course highlights

Studying Occupational Therapy (Honours) at JCU brings you many benefits beyond those of making friends and having fun in northern Queensland’s beautiful tropical environment. The program combines the study of health science, health promotion and occupational therapy professional practice. There is a special focus on occupational therapy in rural and remote settings.

You will learn the theory, practice and management skills required to help people improve their health and wellbeing through everyday activities and occupations. You will gain experience working with clients in a range of rural and urban locations, totalling at least 1,000 hours of placements.

The JCU Health Occupational Therapy Clinic, located on-campus in Townsville, is one such facility where you will observe, learn and develop clinical skills under supervision. The opportunity for practice placements in overseas countries has also been a feature of the JCU Occupational Therapy Program in recent years.

Course overview

If you love working with people, JCU's four-year full time Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) course could be an excellent choice for you. Occupational therapy is a client-centred and holistic health profession. Working as an occupational therapist offers enormous satisfaction as you help to promote participation in meaningful occupation and, subsequently, health and wellbeing for people throughout their life.

Subjects you will study within the program include:

  • Introduction to Occupation and Occupational Therapy
  • Enabling Occupation through Partnerships
  • Health Promotion for Health Professionals
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Rehab Science
  • Communication Skills for Therapy
  • Clinical Medicine for Therapy
  • Enhancing Practice Capabilities
  • Rural and Remote Primary and Public Health Care
  • Health Law and Ethics
  • Health Policy and Planning
  • Advancing Professional Practice.

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

OP Score/Rank is representative of 2017 entry requirements and is therefore indicative only. Entry scores for 2018 will be finalised in the major offer round.


Course Structure


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

OT3011:03 Enhancing Practice Capabilities

OT3012:03 Professional Practice Preparation

OT3101:03 Occupational Therapy Independent Study (Honours)

OT3004:06 Rural and Urban Practice 1

OT3005:06 Rural and Urban Practice 2

Level 4

OT4003:03 Health Law and Ethics, Reflective Practice

OT4004:03 Advanced Professional Practice

OT4101:06 Advanced Rural or Urban Practice (Honours)

OT4103:06 Honours Thesis and Presentation Part 1 of 2

OT4104:03 Honours Thesis and Presentation Part 2 of 2

TM4401:03 Health, Policy and Planning

Pathway into course

The Diploma of Higher Education is a one-year course (or two years, part-time) designed to help people who may not meet the academic requirements for entry into a Bachelor degree course. The course is also designed to help students develop the necessary skills to be successful university students.

The Diploma consists of a combination of introductory and first year degree subjects. Successful completion of the Diploma will give you a recognised qualification in its own right.

Graduating with the Diploma will also allow you to enter many JCU Bachelor degree programs and may give you credit, for some of the subjects you successfully complete.

Contact, if you have any questions or call Anne Chatelain (07) 47815740 in Townsville or Gabi Newman (07) 4232 1155 in Cairns.


Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) [Embedded]

Course code


Course type

Bachelor Honours Degree (AQF Level 8)

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).


Tropical Health and Medicine

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

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

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 2 – 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.

Additional selection requirements

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

Special admission requirements

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

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

Hepatitis B immunisation:

Students must provide evidence of being immune to hepatitis B within the first teaching period of their studies. A blood-borne viral disease may result in a student’s inability to obtain a placement in a Queensland Health facility and consequently may result in their inability to complete the requirements of the course as accredited by the relevant professional accrediting body. If a student has not complied with the above requirement by the last day of the first teaching period of their studies, their enrolment will be terminated immediately.

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) before the start of the first placement. 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:

Students must hold a current First Aid Certificate before undertaking professional or clinical placements.  Students are responsible for any costs associated with obtaining this certificate.

Some professional/clinical placement agencies may require that students hold an advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate before undertaking a professional or clinical placement. Students 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 prior to commencement of clinical placement.

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 Bachelors of Occupational Therapy (Hons) degree will prepare graduates for registration as an entry level Occupational Therapist (OT) in Australia and function as a pathway for research and further learning.  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 of the program will be able to:

  • Integrate coherent and advanced theoretical and technical knowledge, in the discipline of occupational therapy, to contribute to the development of an inclusive society in rural, remote, indigenous and tropical contexts

  • Demonstrate appropriate 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 and improve the health status and well-being of individuals and/or populations

  • Critically evaluate and apply evidence in occupational therapy and inter-professional practice and theory building

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

  • Deliver safe and sustainable occupational therapy and, where necessary, formulate, implement and monitor management plans, in collaboration with individuals and/or populations and other professionals, within the accepted professional and personal scope of practice

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to assess professional learning needs and demonstrate autonomy and accountability in planning ongoing professional development

  • Apply knowledge of research principles and methods to plan and execute project work and/or a piece of research and scholarship with some independence.

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.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

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.