About the course
The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy aims to develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical components of occupational therapy, with a focus on both general and specialist knowledge and skills.
This degree will equip you to work collaboratively with people who have an impairment of body structure or function due to a health condition, and who experience barriers to participation in everyday activities. Emphasis is placed on current practice issues, including quality management of services, ethical issues, research and communication skills.
Occupation in rural areas is addressed throughout the course with the intention of encouraging development of skills for those interested in working in rural practice.
Students may elect to exit the course following successful completion of the first two years of study with the award Associate Degree in Health Science.
The Honours stream is embedded within the four-year program and comprises specific Honours research subjects that replace pass degree subjects.
Where it will take you
Established in response to demand from professional industry bodies, the occupational therapy degree prepares you for work in hospitals and community health care settings, rehabilitation units, human resource management, government policy units, private practice and consultative services.
Your course is recognised by industry
The course is accredited by OT Australia, The Australian Association of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). Accreditation by WFOT enables graduates to be employed both in Australia and overseas.
The latest facilities
To make sure you are experienced using the equipment and techniques found in the workplace, our facilities include:
* computer assisted technology
* standardised assessments
You will complete 1,000 hours of fieldwork in a range of settings, primarily in NSW and Victoria. There is the possibility to do placements in other states in Australia as well as overseas.
Practical learning experiences are an important part of the course. Fieldwork placements give you an opportunity to apply knowledge and develop practical skills. Placements are arranged in a variety of organisations, both rural and urban.
Students will need to purchase any required equipment and uniform items. You are also responsible for any travel to and from fieldwork placements and accommodation expenses.
Transfer into the Honours stream
To transfer into the Honours stream at the beginning of year three, students will need to obtain grades of Credit or above in at least 50% of Level 1 and Level 2 subjects.
Studies in basic and clinical sciences provide an understanding of human function. This knowledge is then applied to a range of occupational therapy situations using a problem-solving approach.
Subjects are grouped according to six key learning areas:
* human occupation and performance
* occupational therapy theory and practice
* research and evaluation
* social and cultural perspectives of occupation
* communication and professional responsibilities
* biological and behavioural sciences
Students explore issues of occupational performance at every stage of the human life span through self-directed learning projects. You will use a professional reasoning process to formulate enabling strategies to develop or enhance competence in occupational tasks in self care, work, leisure and learning roles, taking into consideration factors such as environment, lifestyle and culture.
To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 256 points and meet fieldwork placement requirements. Fieldwork experience constitutes approximately one quarter of the course, the majority taking place during third and fourth years. Students will be required to meet the costs associated with fieldwork.
Refer to the Clinical Requirements section following for information on fieldwork placement requirements:
* Senior First Aid Certificate
* Criminal Record Clearance
Frequently asked questions about Occupational Therapy
1. What is the UAI cut-off score for the CSU occupational therapy program?
It usually fluctuates between 73 and 80. However, the cut-off is dependent upon demand, so it is not possible to be certain. There is a five point rural bonus for designated areas.
2. Is the course offered by distance education?
3. Can I enrol mid-year?
4. Are there many job opportunities?
Currently, the employment options are very good – and this is usually the case. However it is not possible to predict this in four years time.
5. Can I work overseas?
Australians are very highly regarded and sought after, particularly in the United Kingdom and USA. Our course is accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, hence you are eligible to practice in any country. However, you must first meet their entrance requirements (which may include an exam).
6. How is the course different from OT courses at other universities?
At CSU, we prepare graduates for a rural and remote practice, although graduates are able to work equally well in metropolitan centres. Our class sizes are smaller than most other OT programs. There is a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork especially as we are placed within the School of Community Health. CSU has excellent internet facilities and students are able to maximise their skills in the use of computer technology.
7. Will I have time for a part-time job?
Yes, many students do work in a part-time job, however you will usually be required to do your fieldwork placements full-time.
8. Can I buy secondhand books?
Sometimes. Check the student forums.
9. Is the course difficult?
This is a demanding course, you will need to study diligently, and manage your time well. Provided you go to all classes and keep up with your study, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
10. What are the criteria for selection?
For school leavers, your UAI score.
For those not coming straight from school, we first consider academic achievement, then relevant work (paid or unpaid) experience and then your demonstrated interest/knowledge in the program.
You are better placed if you have evidence of academic achievement or ability at a university level. However, if you have work based training, for example, you may be able to use this to demonstrate academic competence.
11. How else can I get in if I don’t achieve the UAI to do OT?
Enrol in another course that you would be happy to stay in if you are not able to move to OT, then reapply at the end of your first year of study through VTAC or UAC. You will need to have achieved at least a credit grade average in your university studies in order for your application to be considered. You may be able to obtain credit for subjects in the program. If you enrol in courses at CSU, you will be able to apply for transfer at the end of first year and will not need to go through UAC or VTAC. However, your application will still be considered along with all other CSU and non CSU applicants.
12. Should I try to gain work experience in occupational therapy?
This is always desirable so you have clarity about your career choice. However, it is not necessary to gain entrance. The skills and knowledge that you gain in any work experience - particularly human services - are likely to be relevant to your studies and work in occupational therapy.
13. I haven’t done biology for my HSC or VCE. Is that a problem?
The course assumes some knowledge of biology. However, it is possible to progress successfully without having studied biology formally. We do not have formal prerequisite studies.
“I initially started a business degree and realised it wasn’t what I wanted, so here I am doing something completely different in occupational therapy, and I love it. The course offers a lot of flexibility in employment because the job differs depending on the client. You can work with children, the elderly, or in rehabilitation. The teaching staff are very dedicated: they’re enthusiastic, committed and approachable. They are always trying to make a difference and always have time for you.”
Miranda Coulston - Bachelor of Occupational Therapy