Accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council
Join one of the strongest growth areas within the health sector*
Graduate job ready with access to industry placements
Current Deakin Students
To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook
Through the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, you will receive a cutting-edge and practical education that provides you with over 1000 hours of real-world experience. This course will prepare you to improve people’s quality of life, and to educate them on how best to transition back into the occupations that are meaningful to them. We will give you the expertise to provide personalised strategies to work collaboratively with people who have a range of health limitations including those caused by injury, health conditions, delayed development or the effects of ageing. Take the next step towards a rewarding career helping people from all walks of life.
Want to promote good health and wellbeing and improve people's lives at home and work?
Occupation refers to everything that makes up a person’s life, not just their job. As a qualified occupational therapist, you will work collaboratively with people who have a range of health limitations, including those caused by injury, health conditions, delayed development or the effects of aging.
This course will enable you to assist people of all ages to engage in aspects of daily living. You will help them achieve independence at home, at work and in the community, and help them enhance their quality of life. You could also work with children with physical or intellectual disabilities, with people who have had accidents or are suffering from medical problems, or people in aged care.
Starting in your first year, you will take part in a series of supervised placements, giving you over 1000 hours of practice education placement in a range of occupational therapy practices. You will gain insight into what it means to be an occupational therapist from day one. All-up, you will engage in eight different placement opportunities, more than any other occupational therapy course in Victoria. Deakin’s Bachelor of Occupational Therapy is the only course in Victoria to provide extra placement hours over the 1000 minimum standard.
Make the most of our new world-class facilities, such as our on campus clinical skills laboratory, which simulates real-life settings to prepare you for your work placements and beyond.
You will be learning from our expert occupational therapy staff who are leaders in their fields of research and have extensive experience in a diverse range of occupational therapy specialisations.
During this course, you have the option to complete a study tour to countries including Denmark, India, Sri Lanka and Sweden, to put your acquired skills into practice and learn about the occupational therapy profession from different perspectives.
The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy comprises 32 credit points, including 29 credit points of core units, 1 selective unit and 2 credit points of elective units.
To be awarded H455 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) a person must
- achieve at least a distinction average upon completion of level 3 studies;
- successfully complete HSO302 Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Practice
- complete the five honours units at level 4 (listed under course structure H455 below).
Failure of a fieldwork component in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy will normally lead to exclusion. Students will be required to complete at least one fieldwork component in a regional area of Victoria or adjacent areas.
All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).
Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.
Level 1 - Trimester 1
Level 1 - Trimester 2
Plus select one unit from the following choices:
Level 2 - Trimester 1
plus one elective unit
Level 2 - Trimester 2
plus one elective unit
Level 3 - Trimester 1
Level 3 - Trimester 2
Level 4 - Pass stream
Level 4 - H455 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
(CRICOS code: 088320A)
Elective units may be chosen from any faculty in the University provided that prerequisites are met. A maximum of two elective units may be studied at level 1.
Sociology elective unit:
2020 course information
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Waterfront (Geelong)
Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).
Additional course information
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Mandatory student checks
In accordance with Department of Human Services policy, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check prior to clinical placements in each calendar year of their course.
In accordance with the Department of Justice 2007, Working with Children Act 2005, amended 2017, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of their course. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check and a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of clinical placement will not be able to undertake clinical placement and this will impede progress in the course.
Students may also be required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health organisations where they will be undertaking their clinical learning experience. A health organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the health organisation.
As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals, online interaction and practicum placements. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.
The course involves compulsory professional practice education (clinical placements) in each year of the course. The requirement of at least 1000 hours of professional practice during the course is essential for the course to meet national and international accreditation standards. These placements may require travel to rural areas. Students must meet requirements for police records, working with children regulations and immunisation status.
Placement can occur at any time, including during the standard holiday breaks listed here: https://www.deakin.edu.au/courses/key-dates.
Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.
Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.
Work Integrated Learning
You will undertake a variety of practicum placements throughout the four years of the course, commencing in your first year. Practice Education provides you with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience under the supervision of qualified practitioners, which will enable you to practise confidently as an occupational therapist. You will complete a minimum of 1000 hours of practical experience. Practice Education is conducted in a range of settings including schools, hospitals, clinics, community health organisations and industry, in metropolitan, regional and rural locations. In a host agency, you can play a meaningful role in a variety of activities, including planning programs and events, undertaking needs assessments, developing evaluation tools, counselling, group work, completing literature reviews and producing promotional materials. Placements begin shortly after you commence your first year of study.
Students are required to undertake practice education placements throughout the course of their degree. A schedule detailing these placements is developed in advance of the commencing academic year. Click here to view the 2020 OT Practice Education Schedule
Our Occupational Therapy team welcomes new placement partners. If you are interested in supervising Deakin students on placement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details relating to placement can be found at the School Practice Education page.
Ask a question about studying a at Deakin
Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements
Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library
Entry for applicants with recent secondary education (previous three years) will be based on their performance in a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, with pre-requisite units 3 and 4; a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or 25 in English other than EAL. Applicants will be selected in accordance with the published Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.
Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information www.vtac.edu.au
Entry for applicants with previous Tertiary, VET, life or work experience will be based on their performance in:
- Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with ATAR of at least 50 or equivalent
- Certificate IV in a related discipline or
- Diploma in any discipline or 50% completion of Diploma in a related discipline or
- Successful completion of relevant study – equivalent to at least two Deakin University units – at an accredited higher education institution
- Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent, including Foundation program approved by Faculty Board, or relevant work or life experience.
Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the ComparED website.
Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enables Deakin to consider disadvantageous circumstances you may have experienced and their impact upon your studies. SEAS also allows us to identify if you're from under-represented groups when making selection decisions for some courses. SEAS does not exempt you from meeting any of the course entry requirements.
You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.
Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our first intake of 2019 students (PDF, 746.6KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.
Recognition of prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.
You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees.
The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning you have.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships
How to apply
Applications through VTAC have now closed.
Applications can be made directly to the University through the Course and Scholarship Applicant Portal.
For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.
Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.
View pathways into the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with our pathways finder.This course provides a pathway to higher degree by research courses and other postgraduate coursework programs.
Prospective Student Enquiry Centre
1800 693 888
Frequently asked questions
What are the key study start dates?
Browse all start and finish dates for Deakin’s main study periods. You’ll also find dates relating to applications and prospective student events, plus a list of all public holidays and study breaks.
How much does it cost to study at Deakin?
Your tuition fees will depend on the type of student you are, the course you study and the year you start. Fees are based on an annual amount; they don't cover the entire duration of the course.
Use our fee estimator to gauge what your fees could be per year.
Can I speak to someone in person about my study options?
Yes! We regularly host a range of events including 1:1 consultations and information sessions, to assist you with your study options and career planning. Check out our upcoming events or contact our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre on 1800 693 888 for more information.
Am I eligible for a scholarship with this course?
Scholarships are available for domestic and international students at all study levels. Find a scholarship that works for you.
Can I claim recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?
In some courses, you can reduce your overall study time and tuition cost by getting your work and previous study experience recognised as recognition of prior learning (RPL).
Why choose Deakin
Want a degree that’s more than just a qualification? Our industry connections, world-class facilities and practical approach to learning are just some of the reasons why Deakin students graduate confident and ready to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.
Occupational therapy has experienced one of the strongest growth rates in the health industry over the past 10 years, with available jobs increasing from 8100 in 2007 to 16,700 in 2017.*
Through this course, you could find employment in areas as diverse as:
- acute, psychiatric or rehabilitation hospitals
- community health organisations
- government departments or agencies
- mental health services
- private practices
- research institutes
- primary and secondary schools
- workplace wellbeing, occupational health and safety, and rehabilitation services.
Our graduates have found employment with the following organisations, as well as many more:
- Alfred Health
- Barwon Health
- Bellarine Community Health
- Department of Education
- private occupational therapy practices
- primary and secondary schools
- Western District Health.
*Australian Government Job Outlook 2017
The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy is accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council (Australia and New Zealand Ltd) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, which means you will be able to practise professionally in Australia and overseas.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities
Apply specialised knowledge about occupation and health across the lifespan; and knowledge of research principles and methods, to provide person centred occupational therapy services for individuals, groups, organisations, communities or populations and to conduct an occupationally relevant research project.
Communicate effectively, professionally and respectfully with clients, families, carers, co-workers and colleagues using clear and appropriate language and communication modes. 2.2 Effectively communicate the implication of research findings for occupational therapy practice
Seek out and critically evaluate information located and accessed from digital and other technologies to inform occupational therapy practice, support continuing professional development, research projects and promote participation for people with diverse abilities.
Critically assess, interpret, and evaluate information to plan and implement appropriate, person-centred occupational therapy intervention and to inform research ethics and activity.
Effectively apply problem solving skills using critical thinking, professional reasoning, decision making and reflection to the design, implementation and evaluation of person centred occupational therapy service, research and scholarship.
Demonstrate high professional standards through identification and implementation of independent learning and professional development strategies for the benefit of clients, families and others, colleagues and the profession.
Establish and maintain occupational therapy practice within inter-professional teams that is ethical, evidence based, professional, respectful and collaborative, and assume leadership, supervisory and management roles as appropriate.
Apply ethical, culturally relevant, professional and appropriate decision making which is respectful of the diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts within Australian and global communities. Justify the position of a research project within a national and international context.
Occupational Therapy at Deakin – Tim's Story
Get an insight into studying occupational therapy at Deakin and some of the career pathways available. Learn about Tim's journey to becoming an occupational therapist in a hospital setting, and how Deakin helped to prepare him for his work and research.
*Australian Government Job Outlook 2017
^ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019
#Year on year, our undergraduate students are the most-satisfied students of all Victorian universities. Australian Graduate Survey 2010–2015, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2019 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).