Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting people's health and wellbeing through occupation aimed at enabling people to participate in their activities of everyday life. As the World Federation of Occupational Therapists explains, this is achieved by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement.
This internationally-recognised course uses a combination of traditional and scenario-based learning methods and teaching techniques. You will develop expertise in working cooperatively to seek out information and apply your learning to situations relevant to occupational therapy practice. Your studies will draw from the disciplines of occupational science (the study of humans as occupational beings), as well as the biomedical, behavioural and social sciences.
You will begin your study with foundation units in occupational science, anatomy, physiology, psychology, inter-professional education, understanding health and occupational therapy practice. You will then develop and apply this knowledge to the assessment and intervention processes used by occupational therapists when working with clients, families and groups. Fieldwork education in various practice settings will provide further opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills, while appreciating the relevance of ongoing learning in the context of supervised health service delivery.
You will also undertake fieldwork placements in second, third and fourth year of the course, and some inter-professional education during the course. The latter involves working with students enrolled in other health science courses around structured academic content focused on mutual understanding, collaboration and teamwork. In the final years of the course you will undertake either an honours research project or an honours participatory community practice project.
The course is located on the Monash Peninsula campus where the teaching, research and community focus of the campus is on health and well being. Your clinical and professional skills will be further developed through time spent working with students enrolled in other health science courses (i.e. medical imaging, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, paramedic, physiotherapy, social work) enabling you to experience interdisciplinary service delivery and inter-professional education.
The Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) is accredited by the Occupational Therapy Council (Australia and New Zealand) Ltd (OTC) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. This enables graduates to work worldwide subject to registration requirements of that country. International students should note that an IELTS of 7 is required to register to practice in Australia.
These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 8 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://monash.edu/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).
Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to:
- demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attributes appropriate for a competent entry level occupational therapy practitioner
- develop strategies to enable individuals, groups and communities to participate in everyday occupations that they want and need to do
- appraise barriers to people's participation and devise strategies to overcome these
- articulate the unique professional contribution of occupational therapy
- demonstrate a client-centred approach to occupational therapy practice
- critically appraise the nature and meaning of occupation, the occupational nature of human beings and the theories and basic principles related to enabling occupation and occupational performance
- explain biomedical and social sciences concepts underpinning occupational therapy practice
- demonstrate a proactive approach in prevention-oriented and health promotion practice, demonstrating commitment to the health of populations as well as individuals
- describe different research approaches and be skilled at applying the best available evidence to everyday practice
- demonstrate occupational therapy practice that is ethical, respectful and collaborative, and assume leadership, supervisory and management roles as appropriate
- create personal strategies to maintain high standards in professional life and contribute to the professional occupational therapy community and engage in lifelong learning
- recognise the intrinsic value of people irrespective of culture, values, beliefs and socio-economic status.
Credit for prior studies
Applicants applying for credit must clearly demonstrate that the content of their previous studies is at least equivalent to the Monash Bachelor of Occupational Therapy course components for which they are seeking credit.
You must refer to the information available on the special requirements outlined below. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation.
You must have a current Police check regarding your suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's police checkspolice checks (http://www.med.monash.edu.au/current/police-checks.html) webpage.
Working with Children checks
You must have a current Working with Children check regarding your suitability to undertake placements. Refer to the faculty's Working with Children checksWorking with Children checks (http://www.med.monash.edu.au/current/wwc-check.html) webpage.
Immunisation and infection requirements
In accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations, this course requires that you comply with the faculty's Immunisation and vaccination policy and proceduresImmunisation and vaccination policy and procedures (http://www.med.monash.edu.au/current/immunisation/). These are designed to provide maximum protection against the increased risk of some vaccine preventable diseases for students, patients and workers in a health care setting.
This policy, and the associated procedures require that you have certain specified vaccinations, and have their blood borne virus status determined, before they commence a clinical placement. If you have not complied with this policy you may not be able to undertake clinical placement, with the attendant academic consequences.
Prospective students are provided detailed information on the effect of blood borne virus infection on the scope of practice of health care workers. If you test positive to a blood borne virus (including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C) you will be required to consult a specialist medical practitioner approved by the faculty to provide advice on any necessary restrictions on work practices to protect patients and others from infection.
You are required to undertake a Level 1 first aid course (HLTAID002/HLTAID003) before undertaking clinical placements.
This course requires you to complete a total of 1000 hours of fieldwork education, as required by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). Participation in fieldwork education is integral to learning and is a requirement of the program in all years. Off-campus placements are completed in a mix of metropolitan and rural health services. In practice settings, you will have an opportunity to apply theory to practice under the supervision of qualified occupational therapy staff. Attendance is mandatory for the practice education component. You will undertake one rural fieldwork education placement sometime during the second, third or fourth year of your bachelor's course. You should take these matters into consideration when considering casual employment.
The practice education component of this course may require you to travel to a variety of health services and community agencies, including a rural placement. You are required to be flexible, as hours of work and attendance days may vary.
You are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during clinical placement. Uniforms and accessories may be required for clinical placements and you will be notified regarding purchase arrangements upon commencement.
The course develops through theme studies in foundation occupation and health, enabling occupation and evidence, research and practice, which come together in professional practice and are demonstrated in the final placement and portfolio examination.
Part A. Foundation occupation and health studies
These are related studies that are not unique to occupational therapy but that supplement, define and guide the main elements of occupational therapy practice. You will develop your understanding of this related knowledge, theory and policy supporting the practice of occupational therapy. You will also address the meaning of 'occupation' and the field of occupational science.
Part B. Enabling occupation studies
These studies will develop your competencies for practice as an occupational therapist. You will learn to incorporate the best available research evidence with the clinical reasoning, knowledge and skills of assessment, developing goals, planning intervention or project implementation, evaluation and reporting, in enabling occupation for individuals, groups and communities across the lifespan, and across a range of environments. Case scenarios are used to support and enhance the learning in 1000 hours of fieldwork placements, including community-based project work.
Part C. Evidence, research and practice studies
These studies will provide the knowledge and skills to locate, interpret and critically evaluate research relevant to practice in occupational therapy. You will learn the skills needed for evidence based practice and proceed in your final two years to either an honours research project or a participatory community practice project, both of which contribute to developing practice.
Part D. Professional practice
Occupational therapy fieldwork education provides you with the opportunity to integrate philosophical and theoretical knowledge, values, beliefs, ethics, and skills for broad application in a range of practice settings. The goal of fieldwork education is to progressively develop competent, entry- level practitioners who can function and thrive in a rapidly changing and dynamic health and human service delivery system as well as to meet the minimum entry-level competency standards.
Part E. Free elective study
This will enable you to further develop your knowledge of occupational therapy or to select units from across the University in which you are eligible to enrol.
This course comprises 192 points, of which 162 points are prescribed occupational therapy study, 42 points are an honours research project or a community practice project, and 6 points are available for an elective unit.
The course develops through theme studies in: Part A. Foundation occupation and health studies (42 points), Part B. Enabling occupation studies (66 points), Part C. Evidence, research and practice studies (42 points), and Part D. Professional practice (36 points) and Part E. Free elective study (6 points).
The course progression mapcourse progression map (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2018handbooks/maps/map-m3001.pdf) will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.
Units are 6 credit points unless otherwise stated.
Part A. Foundation occupation and health studies (42 points)
You must complete:
- BMA1901 Human structure and function 1
- BMA1902 Human structure and function 2
- IPE1011 Foundations of health in primary clinical care
- OCC1012 Occupational science
- OCC1021 Psychology for occupational therapy
- OCC1032 Development across the lifespan
- OCC3061 Health promotion in occupational therapy
Part B. Enabling occupation studies (66 points)
You must complete:
- OCC1022 Foundations of occupational therapy practice
- OCC2012 Foundation clinical sciences for occupational therapy
- OCC2013 Introduction to occupational therapy professional practice
- OCC2014 Occupational performance, capabilities and components (12 points)
- OCC2020 Enabling occupation: Performance challenges 1A (12 points)
- OCC3031 Enabling occupation: Performance challenges 1B (12 points)
- OCC3052 Enabling occupation 2: Performance challenges in population health (12 points)
Part C. Evidence, research and practice studies (42 points)
You must complete:
- OCC2022 Skills for evidence-based practice 1 (12 points)
- OCC3041 Skills for evidence-based practice 2
- OCC3072 Occupational therapy honours research project 1* (12 points) or OCC3062 Participatory community practice project 1: Development (12 points)
- OCC4091 Occupational therapy honours research project 2* (12 points) or OCC4071 Participatory community practice project 2: Implementation (12 points)
Part D. Professional practice (36 points)
You must complete:
- OCC1011 Professional issues
- OCC3000 Enabling occupation: Fieldwork experience 1B (0 points)
- OCC4081 Transition to practice 1
- OCC4092 Transition to practice 2 (12 points)
- OCC4082 Advanced professional practice (12 points)
Note: Fieldwork is also integrated with academic studies in OCC2013, OCC3062, OCC3072, OCC4071 and OCC4091.
Part E. Free elective study (6 points)
One unit selected from across the University or from the following:
- OCC4051 Contemporary advances in occupational therapy practice
- OCC4111 Introduction to hand therapy theory, principles and practice
- OCC4121 Adaptive and assistive technology
- OCC4131 Assessment of children: Methods, policy, ethics and issues
- OCC4141 Occupational therapy for children with a disability and their families
You may exit this course early and apply to graduate with the following, provided you have satisfied the award requirements:
- Bachelor of Human Sciences after successful completion of 144 credit points of study (a minimum of 48 credit points must be at level 3 or higher).
Progression to further studies
All graduates of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) are eligible to apply to enrol in M6001 Master of Advanced Health Care Practice specialising in the occupational therapy stream and receive block credit enabling them to complete the qualification in the equivalent of one full time year of study.
Graduates of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) who successfully complete the honours research units OCC3072/OCC4091 are eligible to apply for admission to higher degrees by research.