OCC1021 - Psychology for occupational therapy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Occupational Therapy


Dr Nikos Thomacos

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit explores psychological theory and research relevant to the practice of occupational therapy, including psychological perspectives on stress, illness, disability and functioning. Grounded in a biopsychosocial model of health and wellbeing, this introductory unit provides students with an overview of the major psychological traditions and approaches e.g. psychodynamic, developmental, cognitive, social psychology, etc., and examines how each provides insight into the challenges and issues experienced by individuals, carers, families and communities. This unit also introduces students to the methods of inquiry and assumptions of theory associated with the science of psychology. The relevance of the discipline of psychology to occupational therapy thinking and practice is emphasised.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss key contemporary theories, concepts, and perspectives that underpin a biopsychosocial model of health and wellbeing;
  2. Identify and discuss the differences among the various psychological traditions (i.e. psychodynamic, developmental cognitive, behavioural, social, personality, etc.), and how each is related to activity and occupational therapy thinking and practice;
  3. Articulate the personal relevance of unit's content, including an understanding of the role of biopsychosocial forces in their lives and the lives of others, and an appreciation of the practical value of psychology;
  4. Explain how psychological theory and research can be applied to issues such as stress, illness, disability and functioning;
  5. Critically evaluate information concerning psychological phenomena obtained from research, the broader community and the media; and
  6. Identify, evaluate and integrate psychological knowledge in the preparation of assessment tasks set, including the correct use of APA 6th edition referencing.


  • 5 x In-class tests (4% each) (20%)
  • Examines the relationship among psychology, behaviour and health and well-being (2,500 words) (35%)
  • Short and long answer exam (Multiple choice) (2 1/2 hours) (45%)


Attendance at 80% of unit tutorials, practical skills sessions and seminars is required to pass this unit.

Workload requirements

2 hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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