Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, 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.

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This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Managing facultyMedicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Abbreviated titleBOccTherapy
CRICOS code063700F
Total credit points required192
Standard duration of study (years)4 years FT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Peninsula)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Telephone: +61 3 9904 4466, email: or visit

Course coordinator

Dr Ted Brown and Dr Helen Bourke-Taylor


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Full-time study only
  • This course requires annual fieldwork placements in a metropolitan or regional location.


The course uses a combination of traditional and scenario-based learning and teaching methods. Students develop expertise in working cooperatively to seek out information and applying their learning to situations relevant to occupational therapy practice. The curriculum incorporates knowledge from the disciplines of occupational science (the study of humans as occupational beings), as well as biomedical, behavioural and social sciences.

As part of the Monash Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, students also complete fieldwork education in various practice settings during each year of the course. This provides opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills, and appreciate the relevance of ongoing learning in the context of supervised health service delivery.


Students who obtain a minimum 75 per cent cumulative grade average during years one and two of the BOccTherapy, and who are ranked in the top 10 per cent of the course for their respective year, will be eligible to be admitted into the honours course. No additional period of study is required for the awarding of honours in this degree.


Graduates of occupational therapy will be able to:

  • demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attributes appropriate for a competent entry level 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
  • be client-centred in their approach
  • 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
  • be proactive 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
  • practice ethically, respectfully and collaboratively, and assume leadership, supervisory and management roles as appropriate
  • create personal strategies to maintain high standards in their professional life, contribute to their professional 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.

Applicants can also apply for credit of prior studies for the two six-credit point electives that are part of the Monash Bachelor of Occupational Therapy based on previously completed tertiary level units.

Police checks and Working with Children checks

Organisations that host clinical and community placements require students to have current Police and Working with Children checks regarding their suitability to undertake such placements. All enrolled and prospective students are advised that they will be required to obtain Police these checks prior to undertaking their course. Working with Children checks are valid for five years and are available free. Police checks must be applied and paid for annually, however, in some community partnered programs there may be a requirement to have a police check renewed every six months.

Health requirements

In order to meet health requirements for working in health care facilities and for the protection of other students, and themselves, students may need to comply with certain precautionary procedures. These may consist of confidential tests for immune status (including blood tests and skin tests), receiving vaccines and having x-rays where the evidence indicates that these are appropriate.


The faculty recommends that all students accept responsibility for having up-to-date immunisations before commencing this course. Recommended immunisations include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis and hepatitis B.

Monash University is required to inform placement organisations of the immunisation status of all students. If a student does not satisfy the placement organisation's immunisation requirements, it may refuse to accept the student for a placement. A student who is unable to complete all compulsory placements cannot meet the requirements for successful completion of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy as specified by Monash University.

Food handling certificate

Students will be required to pay for and undertake the relevant study to gain a food handling certificate level one. The certificate is called 'Safe Food Handling' and information can be found at The course usually runs for one day and a TAFE organisation is asked to conduct the course on-campus during Semester One of the first year of study..


Fieldwork placements

This course requires students 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. This course requires students to undertake off-campus fieldwork education placements. A mix of metropolitan and rural health services are utilised for fieldwork education. In practice settings, students 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. All students will undertake one rural fieldwork education placement sometime during second, third or fourth year. Students should take these matters into consideration when considering casual employment.

Fieldwork expenses

Students are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses during clinical placement. Uniforms and accessories may be required for clinical placements and students will be notified regarding purchase arrangements upon commencement.


At the commencement of the course, students study foundation units in occupational science, anatomy, physiology, psychology, health science and occupational therapy practice. This knowledge is then developed and applied to the assessment and intervention processes used by occupational therapists with individuals, groups and communities.

Students also undertake annual fieldwork placements, and an inter-professional education block each semester during the eight semesters of the occupational therapy program. The latter involves working with students enrolled in other health science courses (for example, physiotherapy, radiography and medical imaging, nutrition and dietetics) around structured academic content focused on mutual understanding, collaboration and teamwork.

Units undertaken in the first and second years are common to all students. There are some differences in the units undertaken at third and fourth years depending on whether the student is undertaking the pass or honours level of the degree.


First year

First semester

  • BMA1901 Human structure and function 1
  • IPE1011 Foundations of health
  • OCC1011 Professional issues
  • OCC1021 Psychology for occupational therapy

Second semester

  • BMA1902 Human structure and function 2
  • OCC1012 Occupational science
  • OCC1022 Foundations of occupational therapy practice
  • OCC1032 Development across the lifespan

Second year

First semester

  • OCC2011 Occupational performance, capabilities and components

Second semester

  • OCC2020 Enabling occupation 1A: Performance challenges
  • OCC2022 Skills for evidence-based practice 1
  • 6 Point Elective

Third year

First semester

All students complete:

  • OCC3030 Enabling occupation 1B: Performance challenges
  • OCC3041 Skills for evidence-based practice 2
  • IPE1010 Health promotion in primary clinical care

Second semester

All students complete:

  • OCC3052 Enabling occupation II: Performance challenges in population health

In addition:

  • pass degree students complete OCC3062 Participatory community practice 1: Development
  • honours degrees students complete OCC3072 Occupational therapy honours project 1

Fourth year

First semester

All students complete:

Plus one 6-point elective. Students are able to select from any units available in the University, or one of the following:

  • 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 young children with a disability and their families
  • OCC4142 Occupational therapy for school aged children with disabilities.

* Only offered in alternate years.

In addition:

  • pass degree students complete OCC4071 Participatory community practice 2: Implementation
  • honours degrees students complete OCC4091 Occupational therapy honours project 2

Second semester

All students complete:

  • OCC4082 Advanced professional practice
  • OCC4092 Transition to practice 2

Alternative exit(s)

Students may exit this course with a Bachelor of Human Sciences after successfully completing at least 144 points of study.


Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (with Honours)

Where more than one award is listed the actual award conferred may depend on units/majors/streams/specialisations studied, the level of academic merit achieved, or other factors relevant to the individual student's program of study.