REHA 1001 Introduction to Occupational Therapy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400160

Coordinator Melissa Jammal Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the profession of occupational therapy, conceptual foundations underpinning the profession, and areas of clinical practice. Students will learn about the important and unique contribution made by occupational therapists in peoples lives to promote health and well-being. The important role of occupation in daily life will be discussed. In particular, this subject presents an overview of how occupational therapy reduces activity limitations people may have, and in doing so enhances the social participation for people of all ages and abilities. The problem solving process used by occupational therapists to assist clients will be introduced.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Occupational Therapy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject


Students must be enrolled in 4663 Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy or 4711 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Define occupational therapy in respect to its purpose, role and national and international contribution to health care
  2. Examine the history of occupational therapy professional development in Australia and overseas
  3. Explore occupational therapy philosophy and theoretical concepts in relation to their application to clients with occupational challenges
  4. Explore the impact of occupation on health and well-being across the lifespan
  5. Explore the concepts of roles, activities and skills to understand the occupational nature of human beings
  6. Identify international and national policies relevant to occupational therapy practice
  7. Describe major occupational therapy practice areas in Australia and overseas
  8. Apply the occupational therapy problem solving process to various client groups
  9. Explain how occupational therapy promotes social participation for clients

Subject Content

1.Definitions of occupational therapy
2.History and philosophy of occupational therapy
3.Role of occupation in promoting health and well-being
4.International and national policies and legislation relevant to occupational therapy eg. World Health Organisation policies, Australian health and welfare policies, anti-discrimination legislation
5.Occupational therapy practice areas
6.Occupational therapy problem solving process
7.Occupational therapy conceptual models
8.Occupational therapy approaches to improve social participation for specific client groups
9.Career options for occupational therapists

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Special Requirements - NSW Health Legislative Prerequisites Pre-requisites

Student Compliance Information for all Health-Related Placements

Prior to enrolling in this subject, students must have submitted a Student Undertaking Form and undertake to apply for a National Police Check, which is required to be submitted before placement, and a Working with Children Check Student Declaration. Use the link to the Special Requirements webpage below for more information.

To be eligible to enrol in this subject and complete any required health-related placements or experiences, students must meet Western Sydney University program requirements as well as any special, legislated, or policy-mandated requirements.

Western Program Requirements

Visit the Special Requirements webpage for details about your program.

Special Requirements

Mandatory NSW Health student placement policy requirements

To be able to undertake placement in any NSW Health facility you must be assessed as compliant with NSW Health student placement policy in the first year of your program, regardless of when you expect to go on your first placement. Access and read the NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet.

NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet

Please ensure that you

  1.  Find your existing National Police Check or apply for one
  2.  Gather documentary evidence of your vaccination history
  3.  Print and compete all relevant NSW Health forms relevant to the campus you are enrolled at or online enrolment requirements
  4.  Follow booklet instructions on how to have your compliance documents assessed by NSW health staff.

International students have additional requirements; the link to the booklet will inform you of these requirements.

School Requirements

Contact your School for further details regarding your School’s requirements, if any, such as

  • If you live outside of NSW or Australia and need to meet your state, territory or country’s compliance requirements
  • If you need to meet different state, territory or country compliance requirements.
  • NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) or other state equivalent, valid for your entire program.
  • Current approved first aid certificate valid for your entire program - approved program providers can be found at the Government Training website
  • Other non-health related requirements.

Student Compliance Resources are also available on the Placements Hub web page (NSW students only)


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Poster 1000 words + images 20 N Group
Short Answer 1500 words 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 40 N Individual
Professional Task 1 x confirmation email from the Placement Hub. There is no specified length for this submission S/U N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Schell, B., & Gillen, G. (Eds.). (2023). Willard and Spackman's occupational therapy (14th ed.). Philadelphia, United States of America: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.  
  • Brown, T., Bourke-Taylor, H. M., Isbel, S., Cordier, R., & Gustafsson, L. (Eds.). (2021). Occupational Therapy in Australia: Professional and practice issues. Routledge.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)



Subject Contact Nikki Tulliani Opens in new window

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