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Unit of study_

OCCP5237: Introduction to OT Theory and Practice

Semester 1, 2024 [Professional practice] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study will introduce students to the theory and practice of occupational therapy through on campus learning activities and a fieldwork placement. Students will learn about the concepts and philosophies that underpin occupational therapy professional practice (including models of practice based on sociological, psychological and biological theories), specifically the nature of human occupations and the analysis of occupations. They will also apply this to the occupational therapy process and principles of practice as modelled by therapists in practice. As part of the fieldwork experience students will develop an understanding of the occupational therapy process and develop practical skills in communication, interaction and professional behaviour under supervision. Students will also engage in self reflection to identify their personal learning needs, existing strengths and required capabilities of occupational therapists. The placement experience is completed outside of the semesters during semester breaks.

Unit details and rules

Unit code OCCP5237
Academic unit Participation Sciences
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Sanet Du Toit,
Lecturer(s) Sanet Du Toit,
Jo Lewis,
Joanne Hinitt,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Placement hurdle task Evaluation of Foundational Placement Competencies (EFPC) v3
Competency-based evaluation Please note - primary focus on LO1,LO6,LO7
0% Multiple weeks Completed Form
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO1 LO2 LO6
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

Fieldwork evaluation:

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks 2 week clinical placement Placement (80 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Post placement reflection and transition Seminar (2 hr)  
Please select a valid week from the list below Please note: All academic content for this unit can be located in its equivalent unit in the reviewed MOT curriculum OCCP5257. you will be automatically redirected to this site. Only information on the fieldwork education placement will be made available via the OCCP5237 Canvas site. Block teaching (80 hr) LO1 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance requirements

Attendance at some on-campus seminars and placement contribute towards the total of 1000 hours of fieldwork required for graduation from the degree. 

Mandatory pre-placement preparation classes: Time TBC

Mandatory post-placement debriefing class: Time TBC (2 hours).

Self-directed learning: It is expected that students will complete between 2 and 4 hours self-directed learning in preparation for commencing their placement. Guidelines for what is considered acceptable activities for self-directed learning are located in the SHS WIL Canvas site: 

Placement attendance: 40 hours/week for 2 weeks = 80 hours. Students are expected to attend ALL scheduled placement days. Where missed hours occur, the actions to be taken are outlined in the section below.

Attendance records are taken for mandatory classes and attendance at placement is recorded. Students are required to accurately log their attendance for these activities via the timesheet function in Sonia according to the guidelines provided, in support of demonstrating you have met the attendance requirements.

Missed hours

• ALL absences must be notified to the WIL unit of study coordinator and supervisor (placement). Notification must be timely and should include the nature of the leave and the expected return. Students may be required to undertake alternative learning tasks within specific timeframes to demonstrate the attainment of learning outcomes.

• Absences ≤ 8 hours cumulative (including relevant classes and placement) across the duration of the subject must be notified to the WIL unit of study coordinator.

• Absences of greater than 10% (>8hrs) of fieldwork requirements must be notified to the WIL unit of study coordinator AND accompanied by an application for special arrangements (contact the unit of study coordinator for details). Special arrangements will be required to make up the missed hours.

• Absences of greater than 16 hours cumulative (including relevant classes and placement) will require a formal application for special consideration. Applications for special consideration for missed hours must be entered as “In-class assessment; Attendance”. The nature of fieldwork means that such circumstances may require withdrawal from the subject to complete the entire subject or component at another time. Contact the WIL unit of study coordinator for details

Students should also refer to the “Fieldwork Activity and Attendance Guidelines” on the Work Integrated Learning Canvas site (available to all students) on the Occupational Therapy page at

Pre-placement requirements:

See Work Health and Safety Requirements section for more detail regarding pre-placement requirements.


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Please note: All academic content for this unit can be located in its equivalent unit in the reviewed MOT curriculum OCCP5257. You will be automatically redirected to this site.


Only information on the fieldwork education placement will be made available via the OCCP5237 Canvas site.




Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate professional behaviours appropriate to the expectations of the university and fieldwork setting
  • LO2. demonstrate skills for managing learning in a professional context
  • LO3. explain the significance of occupation to human health and well-being, and outline the taxonomy of human occupations
  • LO4. analyse occupations using relevant conceptual models and identify person-environment-occupation aspects of occupational performance
  • LO5. describe how to design and adapt therapeutic occupations
  • LO6. demonstrate communication skills that will achieve professional objectives, and build collegial and therapeutic relationships
  • LO7. demonstrate an understanding of professional communication and how it will impact on your role as a health professional

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Previous student feedback has been considered in the design of this unit in 2024.

Additional costs

Placement-related additional costs: Additional costs may be incurred for accommodation, transport and leave from usual employment. Students should prepare to cover these costs and can refer to the University website for financial assistance opportunities.

Site visit guidelines

You are required to contact your site/supervisor at least two weeks prior to placement, and to exchange important information to assist your supervisor and yourself to prepare for placement.

Work, health and safety

Verification: Students must meet all pre-placement requirements as outlined on the University of Sydney Clinical placements checks and clearances: (This includes all information relating to COVID-19 vaccinations as advised by NSW Health).  It is recommended that students regularly check their verification status.  Failure to meet these requirements in accordance with communicated due dates may prevent you from being allocated to and/or completing a placement or placement unit of study irrespective of your enrolment status.

Declarations: Students must have an up-to-date declaration (in Sonia) that they have read and understood key documents related to privacy and confidentiality, codes of conduct, NSW Health policies and general communication/ email etiquette. Failure to meet these requirements may prevent you from being allocated to and/or completing a placement or placement unit of study irrespective of your enrolment status.

WHS Induction: Consistent with New South Wales WHS legislation, you are required to complete a WHS induction within the first few days of placement, and if relevant, at any time your placement requires you to work in another setting.  This is an essential legal requirement to ensure that all risks are minimised for you, and others for whom you are responsible. The University has a duty of care to you to ensure you have been inducted appropriately.  Similarly, you are responsible for demonstrating that you are aware of and know how to manage risk appropriately. You should complete the WHS Checklist from Sonia.



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