Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Undergraduate degree

Study a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy course at Deakin and get to work with real people in real communities. View the course outline and apply today.

Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0, with no individual band score less than 7.0. More information is available at www.ielts.org

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Employment in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector is projected to grow by 301,000 (or 15.8%) by 2026^. Deakin's accredited Bachelor of Occupational Therapy gives you a cutting-edge, practical education; preparing you to identify people's strengths and limitations, environmental and social supports and barriers, and the role these play in people's ability to participate in occupations meaningful to them.

You will gain the expertise to develop personalised, evidence-based intervention plans with people whose health and wellbeing is affected by issues including injury, illness, disability or environmental barriers. You will learn 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.  You will have the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues from other disciplines, preparing you to become an active member of interdisciplinary teams.

Passionate about promoting good health and wellbeing and improving people's quality of life?

Occupation is more than jobs or paid employment. Occupation refers to all meaningful activities that people engage in throughout their life. As a qualified occupational therapist, you will be able to work collaboratively with people of all ages to enable them to successfully engage in the occupations that they need and want to do. 

The knowledge and skills you develop throughout your study will enable you to enhance people’s quality of life at home, work and in the community. You will be qualified to work with children, adolescents, adults, and older people who are experiencing difficulty completing their daily activities. This might be due to physical or mental illness, disability, injury, or environmental barriers.  .

Occupational therapy has experienced strong growth over the past five years and is expected to grow steadily into the future. As a qualified occupational therapist, you can find employment in areas as diverse as: 

  • acute, psychiatric or rehabilitation hospitals
  • community health organisations
  • government departments or agencies
  • mental health services
  • private practices
  • rehabilitation services 
  • primary and secondary schools
  • universities and research institutes 
  • workplace wellbeing, occupational health and safety, and rehabilitation services.

These are just a few of the organisations our high-achieving graduates have gone on to work in:

  • Alfred Health
  • Barwon Health
  • Bellarine Community Health
  • Department of Education
  • genU
  • Western District Health.
  • Western Health 

Starting in your first year, you will complete eight different placements totalling over 1000 hours in a range of occupational therapy practice areas.  This invaluable real-world work experience, combined with practical learning in our on-campus state-of-the-art occupational therapy learning spaces, will ensure you graduate confident and career-ready. As international borders reopen, you will also have the option to complete an overseas study tour to countries including Denmark, India, Sri Lanka and Sweden, putting your acquired skills into practice and learning about the occupational therapy profession from different perspectives.    

^2021 Employment Outlook – for the five years to November 2026, Australian Government National Skills Commission 

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Year

2023 course information

VTAC code
1400415353 - Waterfront (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
Deakin code
H355
CRICOS code?
055178G Waterfront (Geelong)
Level
Undergraduate
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7.

Course structure

The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Pass stream comprises 32 credit points, including 30 credit points of core units and 2 credit points of elective units.

Some students also have the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) in their fourth year of the course. Entry into the Occupational Therapy Honours program is by invitation. To receive an invitation, a student must:

  • achieve at least a distinction average upon completion of level 3 studies
  • successfully complete HSO302 Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Practice

To be awarded H455 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) a student must successfully complete:

  • three honours units at level 4 (listed under course structure H455 below)
  • two trimester one level 4 units HSO403 and HSO405.

Failure of a fieldwork component in the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy may lead to exclusion from the course. 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.

30

Core units

2

Elective units

32

Total

Core units

Level 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity (0 credit points)
  • Exercise and Sport Laboratory Safety (0 credit points)
  • Understanding Health
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • Communication and Diversity
  • Foundations of Occupational Science and Therapy A
  • Level 1 - Trimester 2

  • Functional Human Anatomy
  • Integrated Human Physiology
  • Foundations of Occupational Science and Therapy B
  • Introduction to Aboriginal Studies
  • Level 2 - Trimester 1

  • Impact of Health Conditions On Occupational Performance
  • Occupations in Childhood Development
  • Neurological Structure, Function and Plasticity
  • plus one elective unit

    Level 2 - Trimester 2

  • Health Information and Data
  • Occupation Across the Lifespan
  • Analysis of Occupational Performance
  • plus one elective unit

    Level 3 - Trimester 1

  • Collaborative Practice in Healthcare
  • Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Occupational Performance: Evaluation and Intervention 1
  • Psychosocial Influences on Occupational Performance 1
  • Level 3 - Trimester 2

  • Professional Practice Education A
  • Occupational Performance: Evaluation and Intervention 2
  • Psychosocial Influences On Occupational Performance 2
  • Level 4 - Pass stream

    Trimester 1

  • OT Practice Applying Knowledge and Reasoning
  • Promoting Occupational Engagement Through Assistive Technology
  • Professional Practice Education B
  • Trimester 2

  • Transition to Practice
  • Occupational Therapy Professional Development
  • Innovation and Evaluation in OT Practice
  • Level 4 - H455 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)

    (CRICOS code: 088320A)

    Trimester 1

  • Promoting Occupational Engagement Through Assistive Technology
  • Professional Practice Education B
  • OT Honours Proposal Ethics and Literature
  • Trimester 2

  • OT Honours Analysis and Critique
  • Honours Research Project
  • Elective units

    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.

    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)

    This course structure is for students commencing Trimester 1 2023 onwards. Students who commenced their course before 2023 should refer to previous handbooks or contact a Student Adviser in Student Central.

    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 placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Inherent requirements

    Applications are accepted from students who possess the skills and prerequisites required to complete the course, gain professional certification and practise safely. The inherent requirements of the course are listed here.

    Working with Children Check

    In accordance with the Worker Screening Act 2020, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of the course.  Students who fail to obtain a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of practice education will not be able to undertake practice education impeding their progression in the course. Learn more about the Working with Children Check.

    Police record check

    In accordance with the Department of Health policy, all students are required to undertake a Police Record Check prior to practice education in each calendar year of the course.  Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check prior to the commencement of practice education will not be able to undertake practice education, impeding their progression in the course. Learn more about the National Police Record Check.

    Immunisation Status

    Students are required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health and community organisations where they will be undertaking their practice education. An organisation may refuse to accept a student for practice education if the student’s immunisation status does not align with their requirements, impeding the student’s progression in the course

    NDIS Worker Screening Check

    All students are required to undertake a NDIS Worker Screening Check at the commencement of the course. This is an assessment of whether a person poses risk to NDIS participants. Students who fail to obtain a NDIS Worker Screening Check may not be able to undertake practice education, impeding their progression in the course.

    Workload

    Students are expected to participate in a range of learning activities. This may include classes, seminars, simulations, peer collaboration and online interaction. Refer to unit details on CloudDeakin or the University Handbook for more information.

    Participation requirements

    This course involves compulsory practice education in each trimester of the course.  The requirement of completing a minimum of 1000 hours of practice education during the course is essential for the course to meet national and international accreditation standards.

    Elective units that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning, or collaborative research training may be selected, however, the hours may not be eligible to contribute to assessable OT specific placement hours.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation can be made for students with a health condition or impairment impacting performance. The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) can provide advice and support.

    Work experience

    Practice Education

    Practice education provides students with an opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Practice education is embedded within academic units in each trimester of the 4 year course. In each of these units, practice education is a mandatory hurdle requirement. Successful completion of all practice education is required to maintain progression in the course.

    A minimum of 1000 practice education hours will be gained as per The World Federation of Occupational Therapists’ (WFOT) minimum standards. These practice education hours will occur in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, clinics, community health organisations and private practice. Placements may be in metropolitan, regional, rural and interstate locations and will require you to engage wit diverse client groups. All students are required to participate in at least one regional or rural practice education placement during their degree. Placements may incur additional travel and accommodation costs. Practice education can occur at any time, including in holidays and trimester breaks. A schedule detailing these placements is developed in advance of the commencing academic year. The current Practice Education Schedule can be found here.

    Further details related to practice education can be found on the School Practice Education page.

    Entry requirements

    Senior certificate of education

    If you are currently studying Year 12 or completed Year 12 in the previous two years and have not attempted higher education or VET/Polytechnic study since, your selection is based on the following.

    VCE Prerequisite subjects

    Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL.

    ATAR

    This course uses the ATAR as part of its selection consideration

    Selection is competitive and meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee selection.  Our Admission Criteria and Selection Policy outlines the principles of selection.

    International equivalent requirements

    To view the international academic admission and English language requirements visit the International entry requirements page. If your course or country of origin is not listed please contact study@deakin.edu.au.

    To submit an application please visit the how to apply page.

    Higher education study

    If you have undertaken at least one unit of higher education after secondary schooling, your selection is based on the following.

    Education

    This course uses your entire academic record as part of its selection considerations.

    VCE Senior Secondary prerequisite studies

    Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL or equivalent.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Please read about other ways of satisfying the English language proficiency requirement.

    Personal statement

    Applicants who wish experience to be considered should include this information on their personal statement. Learn more about the personal statement.

    Selection is competitive and meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee selection.  Our Admission Criteria and Selection Policy outlines the principles of selection.

    International equivalent requirements

    To view the international academic admission and English language requirements visit the International entry requirements page. If your course or country of origin is not listed please contact study@deakin.edu.au.

    To submit an application please visit the how to apply page.

    Polytechnic study

    If you have undertaken at least one unit of Vocational Education and Training (VET) study after secondary school, your selection is based on the following.

    Education

    This course uses your secondary education and subsequent academic records as part of its selection considerations.

    VCE Senior Secondary prerequisite studies

    Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL or equivalent.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Please read about other ways of satisfying the English language proficiency requirement.

    Personal statement

    Applicants who wish experience to be considered should include this information on their personal statement. Learn more about the personal statement.

    Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

    All Faculty of Health undergraduate courses require you to sit a STAT Multiple Choice if you have not completed a Year 12 (senior secondary education, or equivalent) in the last 10 years (from commencement date of the course applied for).
    STAT Multiple choice is not required if you have undertaken any tertiary study (minimum Certificate IV or higher).
    Learn more about the STAT Multiple Choice test.

    Selection is competitive and meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee selection.  Our Admission Criteria and Selection Policy outlines the principles of selection.

    International equivalent requirements

    To view the international academic admission and English language requirements visit the International entry requirements page. If your course or country of origin is not listed please contact study@deakin.edu.au.

    To submit an application please visit the how to apply page.

    Work and life experience

    If you finished Year 12 more than three years ago or did not finish Year 12, your selection is based on the following.

    Education

    This course uses your entire academic record as part of its selection considerations.

    VCE Senior Secondary prerequisite studies

    Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or at least 25 in English other than EAL or equivalent.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Please read about other ways of satisfying the English language proficiency requirement.

    Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)

    All Faculty of Health undergraduate courses require you to sit a STAT Multiple Choice if you have not completed a Year 12 (senior secondary education, or equivalent) in the last 10 years (from commencement date of the course applied for).
    STAT Multiple choice is not required if you have undertaken any tertiary study (minimum Certificate IV or higher).
    Learn more about the STAT Multiple Choice test.

    Personal statement

    Applicants who wish experience to be considered should include this information on their personal statement. Learn more about the personal statement.

    Selection is competitive and meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee selection.  Our Admission Criteria and Selection Policy outlines the principles of selection.

    International equivalent requirements

    To view the international academic admission and English language requirements visit the International entry requirements page. If your course or country of origin is not listed please contact study@deakin.edu.au.

    To submit an application please visit the how to apply page.

    Selection adjustments

    Subject adjustment

    A study score of 35 in Biology, Health And Human Development or any Mathematics equals 3 aggregate points per study. A study score of 30 in Biology, Health And Human Development or any Mathematics equals 2 aggregate points per study. Overall maximum of 12 points.

    Access and equity

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enable Deakin to consider disadvantaged circumstances you may have experienced and the 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. Learn more about Deakin’s special entry access schemes.

    Recognition of prior learning

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are determined by the course you are enrolled in.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of 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 eight 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 international student fees.

    Scholarship 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

    Apply now

    Apply through VTAC and Deakin

    International students who are currently completing an Australian Year 12 in Australia or overseas should apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), as well as directly to Deakin through StudyLink Connect – Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Apply through Deakin

    All other international students apply directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    This course provides a pathway to higher degree by research courses and other postgraduate coursework programs.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    Occupational therapy has experienced very strong growth over the past five years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next five years – in 2020 there were 22,700 occupational therapists in Australia and this is likely to reach 26,600 by 2025*.

    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
    • genU
    • private occupational therapy practices
    • primary and secondary schools
    • Western District Health.

    *Australian Government Job Outlook 

    Professional recognition

    The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy is accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council of Australia 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.

    Communication

    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

    Digital literacy

    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.

    Critical thinking

    Critically assess, interpret, and evaluate information to plan and implement appropriate, person-centred occupational therapy intervention and to inform research ethics and activity.

    Problem solving

    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.

    Self-management

    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.

    Teamwork

    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.

    Global citizenship

    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

    Hear from Deakin occupational therapy students and the course director about how Deakin prepares you for a rewarding career in health. You'll be taught by industry experts and gain 1000+ hours of practical experience, ensuring you graduate ready to work as a confident and competent occupational therapist.