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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life.

The University of Canberra is committed to building a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and sport industry workforce.
If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person interested in studying a health or sport course, please contact Rachel Harrigan or phone 6201 2608.

Student Awards

Occupational Therapy Australia, ACT Divisional Council Award

Awarded to the master of occupational therapy graduate with the best academic performance.

Past Winners:
2016:  Tulene McCabe
2015:  Amy Coleman
2014:  Tamara Keogh

The occupational therapy course is a graduate entry course. This means that students must have a recognised degree to apply to the course. It is recommended but not essential that students have a science or health background.

Undergraduate degrees recognised by the University of Canberra are appropriate for students who are considering undertaking the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Master of Occupational Therapy

The Master of Occupational Therapy is a graduate entry course that is designed for students who are committed to improving the lives of people by enabling participation in everyday life. The program is designed to meet the competency standards for new graduate occupational therapists (ACSOT 2010).

The course runs for five semesters incorporating university based units as well as 1000 hours of practice education. In the course, students learn how to work with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they need to, want to or are expected to do. Students also learn about modifying the occupation or the environment to better support people's occupational engagement.

Students will work with all people, including those who have an impairment of body structures or function owing to a health condition or who are restricted in their participation or who are socially excluded owing to their membership of social or cultural minority groups.

Upon completion of the course, graduates will have the attitudes, skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with people, individually or in groups or communities.

Graduates will work in a wide variety of public, private and voluntary sector settings, such as the person's home environment, schools, workplaces, health centres, supported accommodation, housing for seniors, rehabilitation centres, hospitals and forensic centres.

The Master of Occupational Therapy at the University of Canberra fulfills the requirements for entry level education of occupational therapists and has been awarded the status of a professionally accredited occupational therapy course by Occupational Therapy Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

For information on requirements relating to registration of health professionals in Australia or recognition of prior qualification from an overseas institution please use the following link:

Occupational therapy research is focused on what people need to do, want to do or are expected to do. This broad focus lends itself to some exciting and varied research opportunities.

At the University of Canberra we are specifically looking at how older people use their time and interact with their environments. We are also interested in how public spaces influence health and well-being. We are also looking into how individuals recover from a stroke and how they cope when they are not able to drive anymore.

There are opportunities for students to progress to higher degrees (such as a Masters of Science or Doctor of Philosophy).


  • Ms Amelia Di Tommaso - Issues of occupational therapy representation, occupation focused practice, occupational therapy theory and philosophy
  • Assoc. Prof. Alison Wicks - Community-based occupation-focused groups, occupation for population health, narratives and life history
  • Asst. Prof. Stephen Isbel - Post stroke rehabilitation, practice education, driver rehabilitation
  • Thomas Bevitt- Community Development and Community Based Rehabilitation, Occupational Engagement for People with a Disability

Select from our staff below for their biographies, qualifications, publications, grants and awards.

Academic Staff

Administrative Support Staff