OCC5161 - Human occupation and health - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 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

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Louise Farnworth


Professor Ellie Fossey

Unit guides




This unit offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge related to contemporary occupational therapy theory and practice that will provide advanced revision of material that may have been covered in an undergraduate curriculum, but also will introduce new developments as well as critique theoretical perspectives and practices in human occupation focused services often undertaken by occupational therapists. The unit will overview and critique literature related to historical and current conceptual understandings of human activity and occupation, and occupation-based, culturally sensitive practices including: definitions and classifications of occupation, time use, occupational balance, person-environment-occupation models of practice, occupational identity and occupational adaptation. It will take a lifespan approach and is relevant to all areas of occupational therapy practice in building healthy communities. Literature will be primarily sourced from occupational therapy and occupational science. In this unit students will also develop the skills required for evidence-based, reflective, client/person-centred practice, critical evaluation of literature and professional verbal and written forms of communication of occupation-based practice concepts.


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

  1. Describe current theories on human activity and occupation from occupational science and occupational therapy literature.
  2. Explain perspectives on defining and classifying human activity/occupation.
  3. Demonstrate use of concepts related to time use, occupational balance, habit and routine, occupational adaptation and its relationship to a person's health and well-being in case study activities.
  4. Explain dimensions of meaning related to occupation, occupational potential, occupational identity and occupational justice.
  5. Describe person-environment-occupation interactions models of practice and their relationship to a person's health and well-being, and ethical and culturally sensitive practice.
  6. Demonstrate competence in searching, describing, critiquing, summarising, and presenting (verbally and in written communication) the evidence from research literature on a specific topic related to occupational-based practice.


  • Presentation (20 minutes) (20%)
  • Essay (4,000 words) (60%) (hurdle)
  • Critique of an contemporary occupational issue (1,000 words) (20%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Participation in 80% of online classes

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