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Find out about the Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)

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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

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) will enable you to support people experiencing disability, injury or with ongoing conditions or needs to manage barriers that may be preventing them from participating more fully in life.

As an occupational therapy student, you will combine theoretical and practical learning with extensive work-based learning to provide a rich environment for professional skill development. Occupational therapists work directly with individuals and groups of all ages and needs or as consultants in a variety of settings including community locations, hospitals, aged care, rehabilitation centres, private practices and in industry. They also work in areas such as early intervention, health promotion, education, policy development and accessibility.

Through over 1,000 hours of supervised work-based learning, you will gain hands-on experience with real clients, learning how to put your theoretical knowledge into practice. 

Exciting new changes for 2021

Taking effect Semester 1, 2021, students in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) course will complete their degree requirements including the option of completing a major or minor in Disability, Participation and Health. The Disability, Participation and Health minor and major focuses on consumer directed care, community disability services, complex aged care, and early intervention services.

The University of Sydney is a leader in occupational therapy education and by introducing concepts that underpin the perceptions and experience of disability from both person-centred and citizenship perspectives, this new course structure will better prepare graduates to work in interprofessional disability service roles.

Why study with us?

  • You'll learn in our new state of the art Susan Wakil Health Building, with access to brand new clinical simulation teaching spaces, research facilities, a multi-service clinic and a brand new library.
  • You'll gain real-world, hands-on training through clinical placements within our extensive network of clinical partners.
  • You'll learn from highly respected practitioners, clinicians and researchers, who are at the forefront advancing health sciences.
  • With a multidisciplinary focus, we prepare graduates with generalist and specialist healthcare knowledge and skills.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Admission, fees and 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.

English language proficiency

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

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place . Refer to the UAC website for key dates. Separate scholarship deadlines apply, visit the scholarships website for details.

For other useful information, visit our How to apply page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor's degree must apply through UAC.

Refer to the UAC website for key dates. 

Separate scholarship deadlines apply. Visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

Visit the How to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). If you are a direct applicant, when you are ready to apply select the `Apply’ button on this course page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Application dates

Applications open - 15 March of the preceding year

Applications close - 15 January of the commencing year*

*Offers are made on a first come first serve basis. As places are limited, please note that we will close the online application early when the course is full.

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

UAC Applicants: Refer to the UAC website

Starting date

Semester 1 (February)

What you'll study

You will follow a prescribed course of study which includes completing a major or minor in Disability, Participation and Health.  All students will complete 192 credit points of units of study comprising of: 138 credit points of core units with the option of completing a major (48 credit points) or minor (36 credit points) in Disability, Participation and Health. 

If you choose the Honours pathway you are required to complete the minor in Disability, Participation and Health.  You will then select the remaining credit points to the total value of your course as electives that may be selected from either Table A for the Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) or Table S, selected from the interdisciplinary shared pool of elective units of study.  This allows students to graduate with an embedded major or minor recognising the importance of disability in the future workforce.

You will undertake professional practice during the course of your study. The placements occur during semester time and during recess periods at all level of the course, and are located in both metropolitan, country and, in some cases, overseas facilities.

Refer to faculty handbook for elective choices.

Units of Study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 1,000 hours.

This translates to 25 hours for 40 weeks.

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

Assumed knowledge

Biology is recommended

Admission criteria

Admission to this course is on the basis of the following criteria:

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) course does not have a guaranteed ATAR. The ATAR information provided is an indication only and the actual required ATAR for entry may be higher or lower depending on student demand and availability of places in the course each year. 

Admission pathways are open to domestic applicants on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. For details, visit admission pathways.

Inherent Requirements

The University of Sydney welcomes and encourages applications from students with disabilities, and from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Where there are physical, intellectual, cultural, religious or other factors that impact on a student’s ability to meet the inherent requirements, the University will make reasonable adjustments to assist the student to meet the requirements.

Credit for previous study

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

Course opportunities

Work-based learning (practice education) is an integral part of the Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy). These experiences provide candidates with an opportunity to practice skills and take responsibility commensurate with their background knowledge and level of development acquired during the course. 

In addition, eligible candidates have the opportunity to take part in the Sydney Health Sciences Abroad program which involves academic study and a four to six 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 6 credit point elective unit of study is available to candidates in their senior years and offers a hands-on understanding of global health challenges in an overseas community through work with two well established Australian volunteer agencies.

Professional accreditation

The Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) is an approved program of study that enables students to apply for registration as an occupational therapist with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia. Graduates are also eligible for membership of Occupational Therapy Australia and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Career pathways

  • Disability service providers
  • Community health services
  • Acute hospital settings
  • Rehabilitation hospital settings
  • Mental health services
  • Private Practice
  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Workplace rehabilitation / Work health and safety
  • Education settings
  • Vocational rehabilitation and employment services
  • Home modifications and accessibility services
  • Consultancy
  • Health Promotion
  • Community-based rehabilitation/community development
  • Aged care sector

Graduates also have the option of changing careers a number of times while staying within the same profession. For example, a therapist could commence a career working one-on-one with teens with spinal cord injury, then work with babies in neonatal intensive care.


Honours can broaden your career options and is your pathway to a higher degree by research in the health sciences. Honours study allows you to specialise in an area of personal interest, develop your research skills and make a significant contribution to the development of knowledge within the profession. You will study under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Honours is available in occupational therapy as an integrated pathway through the final three semesters of the degree. Students will receive an invitation from an academic coordinator to express their interest during the second semester of their second year.

Entry into honours is competitive and based on students' past academic performance. For more information about honours, see our honours website.

Future study

Graduates are eligible for postgraduate study in a range of clinical specialty areas in Graduate Certificate and Master-level programs offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Graduates who develop specific interest areas or want to contribute to the evidence base for occupational therapy can take a research pathway and enrol in Master-level or Doctoral higher degree research programs.


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