OCC1021 - Psychology for occupational therapy - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Ted Brown


Dr Nikos Thomacos

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)




This unit explores psychological theory and research relevant to the practice of occupational therapy, including psychological perspectives on stress, illness, and functioning. Grounded in a biopsychosocial model of health and wellbeing, this introductory unit provides students with an overview of the major psychological 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 will be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss key psychological theories, concepts, and perspectives applicable to a biopsychosocial model of health and wellbeing;
  2. Identify and discuss the differences among the various psychological approaches (i.e. psychodynamic, developmental cognitive, behavioural, social, personality, etc.), and how each is related to occupational therapy thinking and practice;
  3. Articulate the relevance of psychology to practice including the role of biopsychosocial forces in shaping more approaches to daily life
  4. Explain how psychological theory and research can be applied to issues such as stress, illness, and functioning;
  5. Critically evaluate information 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%)

Essay (2,500 words) (35%)

Examination (2 hours) (45%) (hurdle)

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

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