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Fast track your career in occupational therapy

Hear from alumni of our 2 year graduate entry masters degrees on why they decided to undertake postgraduate study.

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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in 2021 and 2022.

Students commencing this course in 2021 and 2022 are required to commence their studies in-person on campus. Remote study is not available for this course. Applicants will be eligible for admission only if they are able to demonstrate they are physically present in Australia on the date specified in the offer made to them by the University.

About this course

Provide high-quality healthcare and change lives. Through practical learning and extensive clinical placements, you will learn to work with clients to help them participate more fully in life by focusing on their strengths.

Why study this course?

  • Students will learn to help people with disabilities, recovering from injury or with ongoing conditions to overcome barriers, teaching alternative techniques to achieve a given task and facilitating skill improvement.
  • Learn in our purpose-built laboratories, on-site health clinics and use high-calibre equipment across our dedicated health facilities.
  • Recognised by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), this course allows graduates to work in any Australian state or territory in both the public and private sector.

What will you learn?

Students will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • theories of what people do in daily life and why
  • activity and environmental analysis
  • theories and techniques for promoting participation in daily life.
  • knowledge of the development of human capabilities (e.g. cognitive, motor, psychosocial) and the ways in which injury and illness typically disrupt them

How will you learn?

The Master of Occupational Therapy is offered on-campus and is available as a two-year full-time program or four years part-time.

Students will complete over 1,000 hours of clinical placements, providing the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain hands-on experience with real clients.

In 2021, we will move to the purpose-built Health Precinct at Camperdown campus, which will for the first time bring multiple health disciplines together in a facility that translates research into education and clinical services.

Learn more about studying health sciences at Sydney. 

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your admission criteria

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Applying for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)

There is no separate application required to apply for a CSP. Once you apply for admission, if you are successful in securing a CSP, you will receive notification via an offer of admission.

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is not guaranteed as there are a limited number of CSPs available for postgraduate courses. The number of available CSPs for a course can change each semester/year.  CSPs are also not automatically awarded for course transfers and upgrades.

CSPs are awarded for the duration of a course based on academic merit determined by the University and eligibility criteria specified by the Australian Government. Learn more about CSPs. If you do not qualify for a CSP you may be offered a domestic fee-paying place.

Application dates

Applications open - 1 July of the preceding year

Application close - 31 October of the preceding year

Early offers:  A small number of rolling offers released to applicants with high academic merit

Offers released: December - January

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Application dates

Applications open - 15 March of the preceding year

Application close - 31 October of the preceding year

Offers released: Offers are made throughout the year based on academic merit and subject to availability in the program

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

What you'll study

You will follow a prescribed course of study with a total 96 credit points (cp) incorporating  core units (90cp) and one elective unit (6cp).

Year 1

  • Assessing Evidence for OT Practice
  • OT Assessment and Planning
  • Introduction to OT Theory and Practice
  • Biomechanical and Sensorimotor Strategies
  • OT in Home and Community Environments
  • OT in School and Work Environments
  • Developing OT Prof. Skills in Practice

and choose one of the following units

  • Clin. Oriented Musculoskeletal Anatomy A
  • Psychology for Graduate Students
  • Clinically Based Neuroscience
  • e-Health for Health Professionals

Year 2

  • Psychosocial and Cognitive Strategies
  • Enabling Occupation with Communities
  • Community Based OT Fieldwork
  • Implementing Skills in OT Prof Practice
  • Reflexivity and OT Professional Practice

Choose one research elective:

  • Research Project Elective

or choose one elective from Occupational Therapy table (refer to faculty handbook for elective choices)

and either

  • Evaluation of OT Practice

or select Research Stream

  • Research Elective Dissertation

Please note: in the first semester of the course, students may have classes at both Cumberland and Camperdown campuses (depending on the core elective chosen). Classes will be timetabled to allow students with a standard enrolment pattern to come to a single campus each day.

Units of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 1,000 hours.

This translates to 40 hours per week.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course.

Progression rules

The Master of Occupational Therapy requires the completion of 96 credit points (cp) of units of study, including 90cp of core units; and 6cp of elective units, chosen from the list of elective units in the Table as set out in the Faculty handbook.

Capstone experience

A number of clinical and professional fieldwork opportunities are scheduled as part of the course. Fieldwork provides hands on experience with real clients in a supervised environment allowing students to combine academic study with the practical abilities required of the occupational therapy profession.

As part of this course eligible students also have the opportunity to take part in the ‘FHS Abroad' program which involves academic study and a 4-6 week placement with non-government organisations and other development agencies in one of a small number of countries in South and South East Asia. This experience (valued at 6 credit points) enables students to gain a real understanding of global health and make a lasting difference to communities worldwide.

Admission criteria

To be eligible to apply you will need to fulfill the following criteria;

  1. A bachelor's degree, master's degree or PhD from an Australian institution or equivalent.
  2. A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.5 over 7 (credit average). This does not guarantee an offer as the places are limited and offers are made based on academic merit.

Admission process

Download the graduate entry masters admissions guide (pdf, 180KB) for more information on the admissions process for domestic and international applicants.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the essential tasks and activities necessary to be able to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course. They are specific to a particular course or discipline. To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the inherent requirements for this course.

The academic criteria that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Professional accreditation

Master of Occupational Therapy graduates can apply for membership to Occupational Therapy Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. The course is recognised by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which allows graduates to work in any Australian state or territory in both the public and private sector.

Future study options

Eligible graduates may consider an additional three years of study with us as a research candidate for the higher research degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The PhD is designed to provide you with the opportunity to undertake in-depth study in a specialised area under the supervision of an academic staff member with expertise in your field of research.

The award of the degree in the health sciences will enhance your profile as a genuine researcher and expert in your chosen field, afford opportunities as a published researcher, and may lead to an academic appointment, or to a research appointment with a government or industrial research and development organisation.

Career pathways

Occupational therapists frequently work in teams with other health professionals in a variety of settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centres, private practices, occupational health providers, community centres, schools, nursing homes and private homes.

Within these settings they contribute in a variety of ways such as through early intervention, health promotion, education, consultancy, industry, primary health, environmental design and accessibility, advocacy services, non-government agencies, housing services and palliative care.  

Learn more

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.