Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Course information for - 2024 entry

Offered at 4 locations


4 years full-time or 8 years part-time

VTAC code
80.00 for Ballarat
Fees (first year)*


Start dates
Semester 1 intake: Beginning February 2025
Applications open August 2024
Midyear (Semester 2) intake: Not available


Occupational therapists play an important role in the lives of individuals and communities enabling participation in occupations of self-care, productivity and leisure. To do this, occupational therapists need to know how humans function, and need the skills to practice competently and safely. You will learn how to analyse and assess occupational performance; apply and evaluate interventions to enable occupational performance; and collaborate and communicate effectively with clients and their families and colleagues.

High achieving Bachelor of Occupational Therapy students can undertake honours in the third and fourth years, provided they meet admission requirements.

There has never been a better time to study Health Sciences, with State and Territory governments and other external bodies offering various scholarships and support at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Check out these initiatives and others , and don’t forget to look at ACU’s own scholarships.

Professional experience

You will undertake a minimum of 1,000 hours of professional experience as part of your degree. Each semester, starting in Semester 1 of your first year, you will undertake industry placements. These supervised placements are designed to help you apply and contextualise theoretical knowledge gained in your course work, into professional practice.

Work placement

Fieldwork and clinical placements are undertaken throughout the course, working with people across the life-span to help them overcome physical, cognitive or societal barriers to participation.

ACU has strong industry ties with a range of health and community services for placements and significant stakeholder engagement with many health partners. We endeavour to place students in a variety of different locations to give students experience in various settings. Students should expect to benefit by a rural/remote placement during their course. Locations and settings of placements include:

• a range of private hospitals

• community health

• private sector and private practices

• non-government and charitable organisations

• aged care sector

• disability sector

Your placements start in first year:

• Year 1: Semester 1: ½ day placement;

• Year 1: Semester 2: 2-week full-time block (80 hours)

• Year 2: Semester 2: 40 hours simulated placement (one week).

• Year 3: 2 x 5-week blocks. These are scheduled after the end of traditional semesters in the inter-semester break,  so you’ll need to check placement dates before making other commitments.

• Year 4: Semester 1: a 9-week block;

Year 4: Semester 2: 2 weeks (1 day per week for 10 weeks).

As part of your course, you will be placed in a range of organisations to integrate the theory you learn with practical workplace experiences (placements). As part of your enrolment, you must complete the Faculty of Health Sciences pre-placement requirements. To ensure you meet these requirements you need to start as soon as possible. Visit ACU’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) website to view your Pre-Placement Requirements checklist.

Community engagement

Year 2: Semester 1: 25 hours

Year 2: Semester 2 – 25 hours

Year 4: Semester 2: 30 hours

Professional recognition

The ACU Bachelor of Occupational Therapy has been developed to ensure new graduates will meet the competency standards of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) and Occupational Therapy Council (OTC). ACU is adhering to accreditation requirements of WFOT and OTC in the implementation of the program. Established programs in Melbourne, North Sydney and Brisbane are fully accredited with Occupational Therapy Council (OTC); new programs in Ballarat and Canberra are under accreditation approval processes. Graduates will be eligible for registration as practicing Occupational Therapists with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) and for membership of Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA). Please refer to the Registration Standards for Occupational Therapy on the AHPRA website.


Course details

Course structure

Course map

Open all

Please note: Course maps are subject to change.

Commencing Semester 1

  • Specified UnitsALHT106Psychology for Allied Health10 cp
  • Specified UnitsBIOL121Human Biological Science 110 cp
  • Specified UnitsOTHY100Foundations of Occupational Therapy10 cp
  • Specified UnitsOTHY101Health and Occupation10 cp
  • Specified UnitsOTHY102Musculoskeletal Structure and Function for Occupational Therapy

    (Pre: BIOL121)

    10 cp
  • Core Curriculum UnitsCore Curriculum Unit 1See the ACU Core Curriculum page for details10 cp
  • Specified UnitsOTHY107Infants and Children

    (Pre: ALHT106 & OTHY101)

    10 cp
  • Specified UnitsOTHY108Evidence-Based Practice and Health Conditions

    (Pre: BIOL121 & OTHY100)

    10 cp

Prerequisites (Pre:) are other units that you must have passed before enrolling in the unit. 

Graduate statement


As an ACU graduate you have personal insight founded on an understanding of who you are as a professional, a citizen and a scholar. You embrace change and growth through critical self-awareness and learning autonomy. You are empowered to seek truth and meaning, drawing on the principles of justice, equity, and the dignity of all human beings.


As an ACU graduate you value human dignity and diversity. This appreciation is founded on deep reflection, and empathy. You have experience of Indigenous Knowings and perspectives and can engage respectfully when working alongside Australia's First Peoples. You can connect with people and cultures and work with community in ways that recognise the dignity of the human person and all cultures


As an ACU graduate you utilise imagination and innovation to solve problems. You critically analyse information from a range of sources to creatively solve practical problems and use critical thinking to make decisions and advance the common good. You appreciate the role of innovation and creative thinking in developing a better future for each person and community.


As an ACU graduate you recognise your responsibility to work for social justice and a sustainable world founded on a commitment to human dignity and the common good. You lead change through respectful collaboration and effective communication of ideas to diverse peoples, groups and communities in local and global contexts. You are empowered to positively impact your profession and the community.

AQF framework

Bachelor - AQF Level 7

Exit Points

A student who has successfully completed 230 cp from units, and 10 cp from Core Curriculum units may exit from the course with following qualification:

  • Bachelor of Allied Health

Additional course information


Class sizes

In 2021 we welcomed 89 new students to our Brisbane campus, 106 to our Melbourne campus, and 112 to our North Sydney campus. You can expect tutorial class sizes of approximately 25 – 30 students.

Contact hours

You can expect to have about 16–20 hours of face-to-face contact each week for 12 weeks of the semester in first, second, third and fourth years (on a full-time load). In addition, you will be required to attend professional practice placements full-time, for example, 40 hours a week for two weeks in first year and two x 5-week placements in third year. See more details under placement.

We understand the need for flexibility when it comes to your studies. For many of our undergraduate programs, lectures and tutorials are delivered face to face. Lectures provide an opportunity to engage with the lecturer and the occasional guest lecturers will provide specialist insights into the course content. Tutorials are where critical exploration of key concepts and development of attributes takes place. This is achieved through activities including group work, debate and role play.

Lectures are recorded and are made available online for students who cannot attend in person. Most tutorials and practical classes are held on campus.

Sample Assessments

Occupational Therapy sample assessment examples: online quiz, written reflective journal, oral presentation, poster, written examination, written assignment.

Sample unit assessment criteria:

OTHY204 Occupational Participation and Disability

• Assessment 1 (20%)

Case-based group presentation: students will, in groups of three, deliver a 15 minute oral presentation to demonstrate skills in gathering and presenting material related to evaluating the impact of the physical, social and technological environment on occupational participation and communication for a client with a disability.

• Assessment 2 (50%): written assignment (2,000 word essay)

Students will write on the National Disability Insurance Scheme to develop skills to synthesise and analyse societal, political, environmental and other factors impacting the community participation and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

• Assessment 3 (30%): post community engagement critical reflection

Students will write a 1,500 word reflection on their preparation for community engagement and the community engagement experience.

Meritorious students may apply to undertake Honours in the third and fourth years of the course, subject to meeting the admission requirements and achieving a grade point average of 5.5 on the ACU seven point scale.

Determination of students who meet the requirements to enrol in the honours program, and will be offered a place, will be the responsibility of the undergraduate course coordinator in collaboration with the Head of School.

Overseas study available

Each year ACU’s Faculty of Health Sciences offers a number of destinations where students can undertake a community engagement unit or professional practice placement abroad as part of their studies. These include in Vietnam, Vanuatu and Timor Leste. These activities are facilitated through our ACU overseas partners. Most of these experiences are offered to students enrolled in their third or final year of study at ACU.

You might also choose to study an Occupational Therapy unit at ACU’s Rome Campus over the June - July or December - January breaks.

To find out more, visit:    

Please note: overseas travel opportunities are subject to public health restrictions in place at the planned time of travel.

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

To be eligible for admission to the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites at year 12 level, or equivalent:


New South Wales

  • English Standard (Band 4) or English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) (Band 4), plus
  • One of Biology, Chemistry or Physics (Band 2 for all).


  • Any general English (Units 3 & 4, C), plus
  • One of Biology, Chemistry or Physics (Units 3 & 4, C).


  • Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English as an Additional Language (EAL) or at least 25 in English other than EAL, plus
  • Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in one of Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

An applicant must comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy .

 International applicants need to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements as defined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy.

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2024 Admission. Refer to your relevant Tertiary Admission Centre website for future years' entry requirements.

View transparency admission information

Applicants with recent secondary education

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

If your school result was affected by circumstances outside of your control, such as financial hardship, illness, disability or a challenging home environment, you may qualify for an access scheme. You can apply through your TAC as part of your application process.

Learn more about access schemes

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

For current year 12 students

If you’re a current Year 12 applicant you can be given a selection rank separate from, and in addition to, your ATAR if you’ve completed a competency-based and graded AQF Certificate III or above.

For non-school leavers

If you’ve completed, or are completing a competency-based AQF Certificate IV or AQF diploma you will be assigned a selection rank by your local Tertiary Admission Centre (TAC). This is an entry score based on your individual qualifications and achievements.

ACU has partnerships with TAFE and many private education providers. If you have completed a qualification with one of these partners or with ACU College, you may be eligible for guaranteed entry and/or credit into a related ACU degree. Please apply through your local TAC and then submit a credit application for your previous study.

Applicants with work and life experience

You’ll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

If you have no formal education qualifications you may be eligible for a selection rank based on your work, life or service experience.

  • If you’ve been in paid employment, relevant to the course you’re applying for, for a minimum of six months full-time (or equivalent), this work may be assessed for your selection rank.
  • If you’re 21 years or older you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) through your local TAC.
  • You can apply for an ACU bridging course. Our bridging courses allow you to transition back into studying and can give you a head start on the relevant undergraduate degree.
  • If you have served in the defence force, your rank and time in service may contribute to your selection rank.

Find your path into study

English language requirements

Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 7.0 (with a minimum score of 7.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy (see English Language Proficiency).

Adjustment factors

If you’re currently completing Year 12 you may be eligible for adjustment factors that can boost your rank and help you get into your desired course.

Adjustment factors may be applied to your TAC application if you study particular subjects, attend schools geographically close to our campuses or in certain regional areas, apply as an elite athlete or performer or meet certain other criteria.

Learn more about adjustment factors

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Pathways into course for current or recent Year 12 students

Pathways into the Course for current or recent year 12 students

Students need to have completed a Year 12 science subject to be eligible to apply for entry into the B. Occupational Therapy. Some Australian preparatory and bridging studies would satisfy this requirement including:

Satisfactory completion of Biology, Chemistry or Physics in the Certificate IV of Adult Tertiary Preparation;

UNILEARN – Pass in Biology, Chemistry of Physics;

TAFE Tertiary Preparation Certificates

ACU (Health Sciences) programs that have a science unit – most commonly Biology but a few have Chemistry. Students would then apply to transfer course the following year (on the basis of their GPA which is converted to an ATAR). Entry is competitive and is not guaranteed.

Further study

Honours graduates may be eligible to undertake a Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy.

ACU offers a number of postgraduate courses suitable for Bachelor of Occupational Therapy graduates including:

Postgraduate programs in Rehabilitation

Postgraduate programs in Mental Health

You can find out more on postgraduate programs in Health Sciences here –


Course costs

Average first year fee*


All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester;
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support.

Explore your options


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.

Search our scholarships

How to apply

Additional application information

This is a four year course with an embedded honours program.


Deferment is available for one year. Find out more about deferment: Deferment Information.



I like that it is very personable, every tutor knows my name and knows a bit about me, and I know most students within my year and course. I think I enjoyed placement the most though because I love hands-on learning and I'm grateful we get to do it so early in our course. 

Occupational Therapy student

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