What is Occupational Therapy?
The main goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in meaningful activities of everyday living, for example, self-care, work and leisure activities. By enabling people to engage in activities that hold meaning for them, occupational therapists aim to enable people to improve their day-to-day quality of life.
Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, including community, hospitals, rehabilitation units, schools, universities and reform centres. Examples of what occupational therapists do include:
- Adapting the home of an elderly person to make it easier and safer for him/her to use.
- Working with people with depression and schizophrenia using activities such as cooking a meal to foster a sense of achievement, develop personal skills and facilitate successful experiences.
- Using play activities to improve the play and movement skills of children with cerebral palsy.
- Running life-skills programmes that enable people with intellectual disabilities to develop skills such as budgeting so that they can live more independently in the community.
- Enabling people to select and effectively use equipment and appliances, including wheelchairs, dressing aids, computers and other assistive technology, to increase their independence.
- Assessing the ability of someone with acquired brain injury to return to work and then modify that person’s work (the job itself and the workplace) to enable this, where possible, to happen.
Occupational therapy interventions consider:
- The individual person – improving or maintaining their level of physical, cognitive (thinking), affective (emotional) and social ability.
- The occupation – examining the selfcare, leisure and work-related activities that people value in their daily lives and making changes to these activities so that they better meet the individual’s abilities.
- The environment – manipulating or adapting the physical environment so that it does not impede but, if possible, enhances performance; and influencing the social, cultural and institutional environment in ways that enable people to live as independent a life as possible and reach their full potential.
Occupational Therapy: The course for you?
This is the right course for you if you are a creative thinker who is open to finding solutions to a multitude of problems and if working with people with diverse abilities is something you enjoy and find stimulating. The course requires a high level of independent self-directed learning across a variety of academic modules as well as the completion of the mandatory practice education placements. Visiting an occupational therapy department will give you more understanding of what is involved in this profession.
Occupational Therapy at Trinity
The course is the longest established university-based occupational therapy course in Ireland. It uses many innovative teaching methodologies, including peer education, problem-based learning, online learning, as well as more traditional methods. Students and staff collaborate on projects that involve both research and service delivery, in existing and new areas of practice.
Occupational Therapy is based in the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences in a purpose-built complex in the grounds of St. James’s Hospital. The Trinity Centre for Health Sciences is located approximately 3 kilometres from the main campus, beside the Luas line running between Tallaght and the city centre. There are state of the art teaching facilities at the Discipline of Occupational Therapy, including a capacity for teleconferencing. The Trinity Centre houses other health sciences disciplines including Medicine, Physiotherapy, Radiation Therapy, and Nursing. This gives a multidisciplinary dimension to studying and working with other health professionals. A small number of modules on the course may take place on the main campus and offer opportunity for interaction with students from other undergraduate courses. Additionally, there will be an opportunity for students to engage in inter-professional learning with other health science students during the four-year undergraduate programme.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
As a qualified occupational therapist from Trinity, you will be well equipped to pursue a very rewarding career working with people of all age groups in a wide range of service settings. The course is regulated by CORU, the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, and upon successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to apply for registration to practice as an Occupational Therapist in Ireland. In addition, the course has professional validation from the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland (AOTI) on behalf of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (www.wfot.org), meaning the qualification has international recognition that may enable you to work as an occupational therapist abroad. Many graduates from the programme are working in all parts of the world. Most occupational therapists, over time, develop specialised expertise in areas such as physical rehabilitation, mental health, hand therapy, intellectual disability, paediatrics, services for the elderly and community occupational therapy.
Practice areas and the focus of practice are expanding, particularly in primary care and community practice areas, as well as some opportunities in private practice. The focus of practice is also evolving to include non-traditional client groups such as homeless, refugees, school-based services, and working with ‘well’ populations using health promotion and self-management based approaches to facilitate living well and prevention of occupational dysfunction. There are also opportunities for occupational therapists to move into management – managing occupational therapy departments or other health/social care related services. Additionally, the course offers many opportunities for further postgraduate study and research.
Your degree and what you’ll study
This four-year degree course incorporates a practical approach to solving problems and fosters a research-oriented and reflective attitude. It embraces evidence-based practice.
First and second years
The subjects studied in the first and second years include the study of occupation, occupational therapy theories and interventions with people from children to older adults, anatomy, psychology, disability studies, research methods and statistics. You will be required to be an active participant in your learning and to engage in both theoretical learning as well as practical based learning as required for modules covering professional behaviour and technical skills of the profession, for example professional communication, assistive technology and splinting. You will be required to engage in service learning through voluntary work and will use experiential learning and group work to develop knowledge and skills fundamental to the development of professional behaviour and practice. During the first two years, there are a total of 10 weeks in supervised practice education placement in a variety of health and community care facilities around the country. Assessment includes written examinations, essays, project work, presentations, and competency-based assessment while on supervised practice education.
Third and fourth years
During third and fourth year you will further develop your knowledge of the theories, principles and practice of occupational therapy; gain an understanding of health/social care systems and policies and of the importance of practising in an evidenced-based manner.
Additionally, you will complete a group research project. You will have opportunities to develop important self-directed learning and research skills, which are key areas for practice and continuing life-long learning. Over the course of the final two years, you will spend a total of 22 weeks in supervised practice education.
Assessment includes written examinations, essays, project work, presentations, a research project, and competency based assessment while on supervised practice education.
Click here for further information on modules/subject.
AwardsB.Sc. (Cur. Occ.)
CAO InformationCAO Points 577 (2021) CAO Code TR054
Number of Places40 Places
Special entry requirements
- Leaving Certificate H4 in one of: physics, chemistry, biology, physics/chemistry or agricultural science
- Advanced GCE (A Level) Grade C In one of: physics, chemistry or biology
- International Baccalaureate HL Grade 5 in one of physics, chemistry or biology
Students will be required to undergo a health screening.
Students will be required to undergo Garda vetting.
Note: There is an additional cost for a uniform for practice education of approximately €120.
Practice Education placements are a mandatory component of the programme, some of these placements may be located out-side of the greater Dublin area which may incur additional travel and accommodation costs that need to be borne by the student.
Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees.
To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below
Advanced Entry Applications
Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.