The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy (Honours) is a four-year full-time course. The course is divided into four primary components: basic and human sciences; clinical sciences; occupational therapy studies; and fieldwork. Academic and fieldwork hours are in keeping with the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) guidelines for professional qualification in occupational therapy.
The course is designed to provide an educational experience which helps students develop robust skills for clinical practice. Integration of academic studies and practice education is facilitated by close liaison between practice and college staff. Importantly, the course emphasises a research-oriented approach to practice where students learn how to critically evaluate practice.
First and Second Year (Fresher)
The first and second years of the course are focussed in part on the study of occupation and on occupational therapy theories and interventions for practice. Basic and human sciences are covered in-depth, including anatomy, physiology, biology (underpinning health) and psychology. You will be encouraged to ‘learn by doing’ in subjects related to personal development (e.g. communications) and in modules that focus on the technical skills of practice (e.g. splinting, assistive technology). You will be required to engage in service learning and you will use experiential learning to develop knowledge and skills for practice. You will learn about different research methodologies and statistical procedures and begin to develop the analytical skills to apply research to practice. During the first two years of the course, there are a total of 10 weeks in supervised professional practice.
Third and Fourth Year (Sophister)
During the Sophister years, you will develop further your knowledge of theories and principles for occupational therapy practice and how to apply theory and principles to practice. You will learn more about specific occupational therapy interventions in clinical practice. You will gain an understanding of the health and social care systems and policies that impact on practice. You will have the opportunity to learn about how ethics and clinical governance impacts on and drives practice. Service learning is continued and incorporates a peer-education methodology. You will continue to learn about research evidence for practice and develop the skills to evaluate research for practice. You will undertake an individual occupation-centred capstone project. Over the course of the Sophister years, you will spend a total of 23 weeks in supervised practice education.
Junior Fresh modules
The modules of the Junior Fresh year are: Study of Occupation (10 credits); Professional Skills Development 1 (10 credits); Introduction to Psychology (5 credits); Developmental Psychology (5 credits); Applied Anatomy for Occupational Therapy (10 credits); Anatomy of Upper Limb and Back (5 credits); Biological Sciences underpinning Health and Wellness (10 credits); and Junior Fresh Practice Education (5 credits).
Senior Fresh modules
The modules of the Senior Fresh year are: Study of Occupation Practice and Review (5 credits); Disability and Intellectual Disability Studies (10 credits); Professional Skills Development 2 (5 credits); Social and Personality Psychology (5 credits); Conditions in Occupational Therapy - Adult Physical and Children (5 credits); Occupational Therapy and Adult Mental Health 1 (5 credits); Occupational Therapy Theory and Interventions for Adults - Physical (1) (5 credits); Occupational Therapy with Older Adults (1) (5 credits); Research Methods and Statistics (5 credits); and Senior Fresh Practice Education (10 credits).
Junior Sophister modules
The modules of the Junior Sophister year are: Study of Occupation (5 credits); Social Policy Concepts (5 credits); Occupational Therapy Theory and Interventions for Adults - Physical (2) (5 credits); Occupational Therapy with Older Adults (2) (5 credits); Occupational Therapy and Adult Mental Health 2 (5 credits); Occupational Therapy for Children (5 credits); Professional Development: Group Theory and Facilitation (10 credits); Research Methods (5 credits); Health Psychology (5 credits); Junior Sophister Practice Education (10 credits); and Inter Professional Learning
Senior Sophister modules
The modules of the Senior Sophister year are: Research Project (10 credits); Professional Identity and Cultural Competence in Occupational Therapy (10 credits); Leadership and Governance in Practice (10 credits); Career Planning (no credits); Occupation-centred Practice: Capstone Project (20 credits); and Senior Sophister Practice Education (10 credits).
A variety of assessment methods are used across the 4-year undergraduate programme including: Written examinations; viva voce examinations; individual and group-based assignments; project work; and presentations. Assessment on practice education is competency based.
For mature students who wish to apply to the Occupational Therapy undergraduate course, please contact the Mature Students Office in TCD for admission details.
As general advice for those applying, please consider the following:
- Your understanding and knowledge of the occupational therapy profession
- Your work experience in the healthcare sector
- Your engagement with professional and practice-based courses
- Your volunteer work in occupational therapy and/or occupational therapy related services
- Your preparedness to meet the demands of university-based fulltime education
The Discipline of Occupational Therapy will shortlist candidates based on the quality of their application and then interview candidates for the allocated places. Consideration is given by assessors to the following:
- The applicant’s work experience in areas related to occupational therapy. Where work experience is unrelated, evidence of voluntary-based work in occupational therapy or of shadowing occupational therapists in the clinical setting, is desirable.
- The applicant’s perspective on the transferability of his/her core skills to occupational therapy.
- The applicant’s preparedness to meet the academic demands of a full-time degree course (e.g. courses undertaken in order to prepare for the academic demands of third-level education).