BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash University

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash University

Occupational Therapy Monash - Fact Sheet

So, you’re interested in studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash?

Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out everything there is to know about the degree including the core units, assessments, placements, types of classes and career opportunities! 

Let’s get started! 

What is a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash?

A Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours) at Monash combines theoretical knowledge and practical experience to provide you with the skills needed to promote health and wellbeing so you can help people carry out important everyday activities. You’ll cover theories and content from occupational science, biomedical, behavioural and social sciences.

You’ll also have to complete 1000 hours of placement throughout the degree so you can get that practical experience in the real-world. In your final year, you have the choice to either complete a research project or a participatory community practice project. 

Occupational Therapy Monash - Quote

Honours/Postgrad Studies

So, Honours is actually built into this 4-year degree! Upon successfully completing the course, you’re able to continue your studies if you wish to with a Masters of Occupation Therapy which adds on two years. 

Career Paths 

A degree in Occupational Therapy can lead to a number of different career possibilities. Of course, the most obvious, an occupational therapist!  

These are just a few other examples: 

  • Care manager
  • Health improvement practitioner 
  • High intensity therapist
  • Life coach
  • Psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Social worker
  • Special educational needs teacher
  • Researcher 

Core Units for this Degree

The course is made of four different areas which include:

  • Foundation occupation and health studies 
  • Enabling occupation studies
  • Evidence, research and practice studies
  • Professional practice 

Now the subjects which come under these different areas are mixed and matched throughout the course of the degree, so you’re getting theoretical knowledge while at the same time developing your skills from the very start. 

Foundation Occupation and Health Studies 

These core units are all about the different frameworks and theories to do with occupation and health. Human Structure and Function 1 & 2 are introductory subjects which cover human anatomy and physiology so you’ll get a really thorough understanding of the human body and its functions.

In Human Occupation and Development, you’ll have to complete 45 hours of community based experience which you’ll have to find yourself. You’ll learn about how people across their lifespan relate to their environment and occupations and how this influences their health.

In Health Promotion in Occupational Therapy, students learn about different health promotion strategies and how to play out in clinical and community environments. 

Enabling Occupation Studies

In this area, you’ll learn more about the practical side of occupational therapy, developing those skills that you will need to work with patients. So, this means developing your research skills alongside your clinical knowledge and assessments.

You’ll look at case studies and how to apply them within various settings and you’ll also complete a community-based project work placement.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy Professional Practice teaches you the practical side of occupational therapy where you’ll undertake eight days of simulated clinical placement. This is where you’ll put the theory into practice — you’ll learn how to gather client information, how to communicate with the client and work in a team, how to write progress notes, and client goals.

In Occupational Performance, Capabilities and Components, you’ll learn how to assess patients and evaluate their performance. So, you’ll also learn about how different problems can affect people performing everyday activities. 

Evidence, Research and Practice Studies

For this area, you have to complete Skills for Evidence Based Practice 1 & 2 (how to best integrate qualitative and quantitative research into your practice as an Occupational Therapist).

You then have the choice to either complete the Research option or the Community Practice option.

For Research, you’ll be taking Occupational Therapy Honours Research Project 1 & 2 which involves writing a research paper (you still have to continue placement).

If you choose Community Practice, you’ll be taking Participation Community Practice 1: Development & Participation Community Practice 2: Implementation which involves developing and implementing a project to address an issue or need within an agency (so it’s more practical). 

Professional Practice 

This is all about getting you industry-ready so putting everything you’ve learnt into practice and refining your skills. In Transition to Practice 1, you’ll cover the industry standards, preparation for employment, professional identity and the changing practices.

Transition  to Practice 2 encourages you to think about your place within the allied health world and at the end of the subject, there’s a conference where all the students in your cohort will share their research papers and project work.

Now Advanced Professional Practice is when you’ll complete your final placement (exciting!) — you’ll undertake nine weeks of placement so by the end of it, you’re expected to be managing some of your clients. You’ll have to keep a written portfolio (8000 words) where you reflect on the process and the skills you’ve acquired. 

These are just a few of the subjects that you’ll undertake under each area mentioned above. Have a look right here to learn more about the other subjects! 

Placement

As part of your course, you must complete 1000 hours of fieldwork education (it’s a requirement of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists  this degree is accredited by them).

You’ll complete one rural placement either during your second, third or fourth year so it’s good to keep in mind that you’ll have to spend some time away from campus. You also have to cover all costs — travel, food and accomodation by yourself.

During your placement, you’ll get to work with patients under the supervision of qualified occupational therapists so it’s a great chance to ask questions and put what you’ve learnt into practice. 

How to Get into a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash

You’ll need an ATAR of 78 to secure a spot in this course! If you don’t secure a spot to study Occupational Therapy after completing Year 12, you can always apply again the following year.

That means, you can apply for an internal transfer into the course. You’ll need to have completed at least 48 credit points and have maintained a credit average. Check out more info on this right here

Subject Prerequisites and Requirements

You will need to have completed Units 3 & 4 of either English (EAL) with a score of 27 or English (Other) with a score of 25. 

It’s also important to note that you’ll need to have both a Police and Working with Children Check before you start your placement. It is also required by the faculty that you stay up-to-date with your vaccines and immunisations in order to keep you, your colleagues and patients healthy.

Scholarships

There are a ton of different scholarships available at Monash which can be found right here

What’s the Teaching Format?

A Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Monash combines lectures, tutorials and seminars. You’ll complete the degree through semesters and complete 24 credit points each semester.

Now, sometimes that will mean you’ll have four subjects (4 x 6 credit point subjects) and other times, you might have three subjects (2 x 6 credit point subjects and 1 x 12 credit point subjects).

Towards the end of your degree, you’ll complete two subjects each semester (12 credit points each) which means that they’re like a double subject in terms of the amount of time you spend on them. 

Class Structure

Occupational Therapy Monash - Class Structure

Lectures

This is where you learn all the content so get ready to write lots and lots of notes! Lectures usually go for 1-2 hours and have about 100 to 120 people in them.

In the first year, you’ll cover the basics so you’ll go through the theories and techniques of occupational therapy. As you progress through the degree, you’ll look more at case studies and how you apply practical skills.

Seminars 

Seminars are very much like lectures with 100 to 120 people in them and they can go for up to three hours. In the seminars, you’ll go through the content that you’re learning for that week in a more interactive style. 

Tutorials

Tutorials can go for anywhere between 1-3 hours (depending on the subject) and have between 10 to 20 people in them. In the tutorials, you’ll discuss case studies and what those look like from an occupational therapist’s perspective.

This is also the chance for you to clarify anything and ask lots of questions. In your third year, you’ll do scenario based learning where you’ll be given a case study and then have to break that down that case study as if you were an occupational therapist — so how would you handle that case. 

How many hours do you spend at uni?

So, it really depends on the year you’re in and the subjects you’re taking but you can expect to spend around three days a week at uni, ranging anywhere from 1-4 hours a day.

It’s also good to know that you’ve got to complete 1000 hours of placement by the end of the degree, so sometimes you’ll have a 6-week block, other times it might only be 2-weeks and for your final placement, it’s 9-weeks! 

What are the assessments like?

There’s a mix of assessments when it comes to Occupational Therapy at Monash. You’ve got both theoretical and practical exams!

For some subjects, you’ll have weekly quizzes which help keep you up-to-date with all the content, you’ll also have mid-sem and final-sem written exams.

For other subjects, you might have to complete a research essay or a critique of an occupational therapy assessment. You’ll also have to do a few presentations, reflections and group assignments.

Completion of your fieldwork education is mandatory and attendance for a lot of classes is also marked. 

Skills You Refine and Learn

Occupational Therapy Monash - Skills

As an occupational therapist, there’s no doubt you’ll need to be patient and have empathy as you’ll be working with patients who have problems as a result of injury, illness or even ageing. It’s important that the patients feel they can trust you and so developing these soft skills are necessary.

You’ll develop communication skills throughout the degree, both written and oral as you’ll have to write a fair few essays, reflections and you’ll also learn how to write progress notes and evaluate client’s performances. Of course, you’ll also do a few presentations and you’ll learn how to communicate effectively with patients.

You’ll also refine your information-gathering skills as research is a big part of the Evidence, Research and Practice Studies sections where you have the choice to complete a research paper or implement a project to address an issue with a professional setting (both of which involves lots of research!) 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

Faculty

Well, for a start, the cohort is quite small with less than 120 students which means you get to know everyone! All the students are friendly and support each other throughout the degree.

You also get to know your lecturers and tutors really well — they’re always there to help you out, are happy to answer any questions and always reply to your emails. 

Culture

Now, you should definitely join the Occupational Therapy Society (SOOT) because it’s a great chance to meet other students in the years above and below you.

There’s a ton of different, fun events including Pictionary, trivia and pizza nights plus the beloved SOOT Ball where you get to dance the night away with all your buddies! SOOT also posts a lot about job opportunities on their Facebook group so it’s a great way to network and stay connected. 


Tanna Nankivell is a Senior Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films. 

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