Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Occupational Therapy
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Louise Farnworth & Dr Primrose Lentin


This unit offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge related to contemporary occupational therapy theory and practice that will provide advanced revision of material that may have been covered in an undergraduate curriculum, but also will introduce new developments as well as critique theoretical perspectives and practices in human occupation focused services often undertaken by occupational therapists. The unit will overview and critique literature related to historical and current conceptual understandings of human activity and occupation, and occupation-based, culturally sensitive practices including: definitions and classifications of occupation, time use, occupational balance, person-environment-occupation models of practice, occupational identity and occupational adaptation. It will take a lifespan approach and is relevant to all areas of occupational therapy practice in building healthy communities. Literature will be primarily sourced from occupational therapy and occupational science. In this unit students will also develop the skills required for evidence-based, reflective, client/person-centred practice, critical evaluation of literature and professional verbal and written forms of communication of occupation-based practice concepts.


At the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe current theories on human activity and occupation from occupational science and occupational therapy literature.
  • Explain perspectives on defining and classifying human activity/occupation.
  • Demonstrate use of concepts related to time use, occupational balance, habit and routine, occupational adaptation and its relationship to a person's health and well-being in case study activities.
  • Explain dimensions of meaning related to occupation, occupational potential, occupational identity and occupational justice.
  • Describe person-environment-occupation interactions models of practice and their relationship to a person's health and well-being, and ethical and culturally sensitive practice
  • Demonstrate competence in searching, describing, critiquing, summarising, and presenting (verbally and in written communication) the evidence from research literature on a specific topic related to occupational-based practice.


Participation at 80% of all classes
Self-directed learning
Presentation (15%)
Essay (4,000 words)(70%)
Critique (1000 words)(15%)

Chief examiner(s)