OCC4010 - Foundations of occupational therapy - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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


Associate Professor Louise Farnworth

Unit guides



  • Term 3 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces students to the profession of occupational therapy and key knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for professional practice. Theoretical foundations of occupational therapy will include: theoretical concepts and models underpinning health and occupational therapy practice; principles and mechanisms underlying the relationship between the person, their environment and occupations, and how this relates to human health and wellbeing, and the occupational therapist within the interdisciplinary team. Legal, cultural and ethical issues relevant to professional practice will be explored. Students will learn beginning communication and interviewing skills together with other pre-clinical skills, such as safe practice. Students will develop beginning skills in occupational therapy problem solving and clinical reasoning processes. Case scenarios will be used throughout. Students will undertake simulated and practice based learning throughout the semester 2 days per week.


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

  1. Describe and explain the role of an occupational therapist, in relation to the historical origins of the profession, current practice, and similarities and differences from other health professionals within an interdisciplinary team.
  2. Explain, apply and differentiate the principles of client centred care and clinical reasoning used in occupational therapy practice situations.
  3. Apply, compare and contrast key features of occupation-focussed - models of practice with the World Health Organisation International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework.
  4. Identify the socio-cultural, economic and physical determinants of health and describe how these affect care provision in practice situations.
  5. Understand concepts related to the lived experience of a person with disability and identify challenges and barriers likely to confront a person with a disability and how these affect participation in the community.
  6. Describe ethical and legal issues pertinent to a practising occupational therapist, identify best practice professional conduct and safety issues in the workplace.
  7. Prepare for, participate in interviews and communicate in a manner that reflects the professional behaviour of an occupational therapist.
  8. Describe client handling principles and how assistive technology equipment is prescribed and used.
  9. Reflect on individual and group learning, and their application to working in teams.
  10. Locate, retrieve, evaluate and use resources that inform understanding about health and occupational issues.


Fieldwork placement: 2 days per week.


  • Completion of disability experience: (1) record and barriers and (2) reflective journal summary (1,000 words) (10%)
  • One x Class presentation (10 minutes) (5%)
  • Fieldwork reflective journal (1,000 words) (5%)
  • Group assignment: Comparison of three models of practice (in groups of three) (2,000 words each person) (25%)
  • Written examination: Consisting of 3 invigilated online examinations of 40 minutes duration in weeks 3, 6 and 9 (10% each = 30%)
  • Triple jump examination, including written examination, oral examination and peer review (25%)


  • Attendance at least 80% PBLs and practice sessions.
  • Successful completion of simulated and other practice sessions, including (1) timesheet and (2) reflective journal, including values exchange exercises.

Workload requirements

10 hours on-campus per week, 2 days fieldwork per week, and 6 hours online lecture material.

Please note: The teaching dates for this unit vary from the standard teaching datesstandard teaching dates (http://www.monash.edu/enrolments/dates/census) for this teaching period.

Unit discontinuation and penalty dates for these units are different to other units taught in the same teaching period.

Please refer to the information available on the Faculty's non-standard teaching datesFaculty's non-standard teaching dates (http://www.med.monash.edu.au/enrolments/non-standard-dates.html) page to avoid academic and financial penaltiesacademic and financial penalties (http://www.monash.edu/enrolments/processes/change/add-or-discontinue-units#penalties).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Must be enrolled in course 4515.