Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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18 points, SCA Band 2, 0.375 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Occupational Therapy
OfferedPeninsula Term 4 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)A/Pro Louise Farnworth


This unit focuses on the relationship between occupation health and well-being that supports occupational therapy practice from a lifespan perspective, and will explore experiences of engaging in occupation from psychological and occupational processes inherent in development. It will examine the progressive cognitive, behavioural, emotional, psychosocial and occupational changes occurring with age and when people's occupations are disrupted through disability, illness or occupational deprivation. Students will engage in experiential activities, self-reflection and interactive teaching and experiential learning and teaching to develop skills in occupational analysis, critical appraisal of literature and research, teamwork, client centered practice and culturally sensitive intentional communication. Case scenarios will be used throughout and students will undertake practice- based learning throughout the semester.


On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe and explain classifications of human occupation and human use of time.
  2. Describe further how the interaction of person-environment-occupation relates to peoples' health and wellbeing.
  3. Apply skills of self critique and self reflection to group learning tasks;
  4. Articulate and contrast contemporary developmental lifespan concepts, theories and research;
  5. Identify and discuss the physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social and occupational aspects inherent in development across the lifespan, as well as some of the key inherent and external influences on development
  6. Explain challenges common to adolescence and other lifespan transition points that may impact on occupational functioning and psychosocial wellbeing;
  7. Identify and discuss the cognitive and emotional changes that can occur in early and middle adulthood and consider how these impact on occupational functioning and psychosocial wellbeing
  8. Identify and discuss the effects of physiological change and life experience on older adults' cognitive, emotional and occupational functioning and psychosocial wellbeing; and,
  9. Describe and critique literature related to the physical, social, cultural, economic, political and institutional environments of individuals and groups and comment on the validity of this information for occupation-based practices
  10. Observe, describe and analyse typical childhood occupations in relationship to developmental theories;
  11. Demonstrate effective (verbal, non-verbal and written) communication and interview skills for practice and professional behaviours;
  12. Describe and apply the clinical reasoning process to the occupational therapy process in a practice situation;
  13. Identify how key theoretical models of human occupation relate to client-centred occupational therapy practice;
  14. Identify data collection methods, collect and analyse data on the occupational performance of self and others.
  15. Locate, retrieve, analyse and critique resources that inform understanding about health and key occupational issues and concepts for practice.
  16. Identify and describe types of research frameworks and approaches to data analysis applied in contemporary developmental lifespan research.


1. Hurdle - Attendance at least 80% of the PBLs and practical sessions including class data collection exercises
2. Hurdle - Self evaluation and reflective group participation in PBLs including class data collection exercise
3. Hurdle - Successful completion of fieldwork including attendance at fieldwork briefing; submission of (i) standard signed fieldwork education forms (ii) Timesheet and (iii) Student review of placement (iv) reflective journal
4. In class presentations 3 x 10 minutes: 5%
5. Essay on the relationship between development, and functioning at specific life stages, 1500 words: 15%
6. Report from observation of a child, 1000 words: 10%
7. Report on a data set that examines the relationship between age and psychosocial functioning and wellbeing, 1500 words: 15%
8. Written examination, 2 hours: 3 0%
9. Triple Jump Part 1 (written exam) and Part 2 (oral exam) 1.5 hours: 20%
10. Oral peer examiner,10 minutes: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

9 weeks of academic/fieldwork (accelerated program). PBL tutorials (5 hours per week on campus), lectures (4-6 hours per week on-line), practicals (4-6 hours per week on campus), fieldwork placement weeks 1-9 (up to 14 hours per week).

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Available only to Master of Occupational Therapy Practice students