OCC4020 - Humans as occupational beings - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Linda Barclay


Professor Ellie Fossey
Dr Alana Hewitt

Unit guides



  • Term 4 2019 (On-campus)




Must be enrolled in course 4515.


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 non standard teaching dates pageFaculty non standard teaching dates page (https://www.monash.edu/medicine/study/student-services/non-standard-dates) to avoid academic and financial penaltiesacademic and financial penalties (https://www.monash.edu/enrolments/change/add-or-discontinue-units).


This unit focuses on the relationship between occupation health and well-being that supports occupational therapy practice from a lifespan perspective, and will explore experiences of engaging in occupation from psychological and occupational processes inherent in development. It will examine the progressive cognitive, behavioural, emotional, psychosocial and occupational changes occurring with age and when people's occupations are disrupted through disability, illness or occupational deprivation. Students will engage in experiential activities, self-reflection and interactive teaching and experiential learning and teaching to develop skills in occupational analysis, critical appraisal of literature and research, teamwork, client centered practice and culturally sensitive intentional communication. Case scenarios will be used throughout and students will undertake practice- based learning throughout the semester.


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

  1. Describe and explain how human occupation is classified and how humans use time;
  2. Examine the influences of person-environment-occupation interactions on peoples' health and wellbeing;
  3. Articulate and contrast contemporary developmental lifespan concepts, theories and research;
  4. Examine, compare and contrast the physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social and occupational aspects of human development across the lifespan, and the influence on development of external factors;
  5. Source and appraise literature related to the physical, social, cultural, economic, political and institutional environments of individuals and groups and comment on the validity of this information for occupation-based practices;
  6. Describe observations and critique these in relationship to developmental theories about typical childhood occupations;
  7. Demonstrate effective communication and interview skills for practice and professional behaviour;
  8. Describe and apply the clinical reasoning process to the occupational therapy process in a practice situation;
  9. Identify data collection methods, collect and analyse data on the occupational performance of self and others that inform understanding about health and key occupational issues and concepts for practice;
  10. Demonstrate basic knowledge related to body functions and structures.


Fieldwork placement: up to 14 hours per week.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 1.5 hours and 10 minutes reading time for part 1 written exam.

  1. Group presentation on self care occupations (10-15 minutes, 4-5 group members) (10%)
  2. Report from observation of a child (1,500 words) (15%)
  3. Essay on the relationship between development, and functioning at specific life stages (in pairs or threes) (2,000 words per person) (20%)
  4. Reflective essay using time budgets to study human occupation (3,000 words) (30%)
  5. Triple Jump examination (1.5 hours) (25%)

    Hurdle requirement:

    • Attendance at least 80% of the scenario-based tutorials, practical skills sessions and seminars including class data collection exercises unless documentary evidence (such as a medical certificate) is provided.
    • Successful completion of Community Based Experience including completion of reflective journal

Workload requirements

9 weeks of academic/fieldwork (accelerated program). PBL tutorials (5 hours per week on campus), lectures (4-6 hours per week on-line), practicals (4-6 hours per week on campus), fieldwork placement weeks 1-9 (up to 14 hours per week).

See also Unit timetable information

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