You can study occupational therapy in most states and territories in Australia. Depending on which pathway you take, it takes a minimum of 4 to 5 years to become an occupational therapist. Both undergraduate (Bachelor) degrees and postgraduate (Masters) degrees are available.
As well as the academic requirements to gain entry into the course, you may need to meet a number of requirements before going on clinical placement. These include:
- A National Police Check
- A Working with Children Check (Blue Card)
- Cultural sensitivity training to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients
Undergraduate entry into occupational therapy
For entry into an undergraduate occupational therapy course commencing in 2019, the ATARs published by universities ranged from the mid-60s to the mid-90s.
Following is a guide to the ATAR scores for every occupational therapy course in Australia in 2019:
Please note that this is a rough guide only for future years as it changes from year to year depending on the applications each university receives, and that some universities will also have additional selection criteria to gain entry.
If you don’t gain entry directly following high school, some universities will allow you to transfer into their undergraduate occupational therapy degree following a year in one of their other undergraduate degrees – for example a science degree. This will be dependent on your Grade Point Average in your first-year subjects and could also involve other admission requirements. You ATAR / OP may also be considered. Please speak with an admissions officer at the universities you are considering applying for to see if this pathway may be available to you.
Postgraduate entry into occupational therapy
There is also a formal postgraduate pathway that is available at 10 universities around Australia. They require an undergraduate degree, some with some universities having specific pre-requisite subject requirements which they publish on their website.
A list of postgraduate occupational therapy masters programs is in the table below:
Pathways into Occupational Therapy
Following is an infographic which provides an overview of the pathways to becoming qualified as an occupational therapist in Australia. For simplicity, it does not include the possibility of transferring into occupational therapy from another course. For more detailed pathways information, go to our become an occupational therapist page.
More resources on My Health Career:
- What you really need to know before starting an occupational therapy course
- Videos about a career in occupational therapy
- Mental health OTs overlooked in mental health management
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances. My Health Career accepts no responsibility for ensuring that you enrol in a course that is right for you. Please do your own research to ensure that you enrol in the correct course, especially if you are considering an undergraduate biomedicine, health science or biomedical science degree as a pathway to a postgraduate course. This may include speaking with a careers advisor, guidance officer, career development practitioner, representatives of Occupational Therapy Australia, and admissions officers from the university or universities you are looking at applying to.
The information presented in this article was correct at the time of publishing. Please check with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for an up to date list of approved programs of study to become an occupational therapist in Australia. Please check with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia for the most up to date information: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Education/Approved-Programs-of-Study.aspx?ref=Occupational%20Therapist