Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)

Study the Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy) and develop the skills to become an occupational therapist, and promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities.

Occupational therapists help people participate in everyday activities including learning, communication, interpersonal interaction and relationships, mobility, self-care, domestic life, and social life. Occupational therapists can also modify people’s environment – or the activity itself – to help them participate in the activity. The occupational therapy degree is intensive and involves learning in an interprofessional environment, in the classroom and in clinical practice settings.

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Minimum entry requirements

  • University Entrance or equivalent
  • Must be capable of meeting Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCA Act) and Children’s Act 2014 requirements, including police clearance

Applicants with English as a second or other language who have not completed at least three years of secondary schooling in NZ will be required to meet IELTS requirements.

International student entry requirements

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0 overall with all bands 6.5 or higher

English language requirements

Year 1

Semester 1 courses

You develop an in-depth understanding of general healthcare, learning alongside other health science students.

Semester 2 courses

You may also have the opportunity to work with an occupational therapist and begin to better understand and apply your knowledge.

Year 2

You explore how illness or injury impacts on people performing their occupations and typical occupational therapy intervention. You can experience practice education in both semesters. Throughout the year students will need to complete fieldwork hours, alongside coursework, in community settings.

Complete the following courses

And choose one of

Or any other bachelor's degree courses with the approval of the programme leader.

Year 3

You learn about working with communities, organisations or groups of people, and how to change systems to enable participation. You also develop decision-making skills around assessment and intervention.

Complete the following courses

Practice education (workplace experience)

Throughout your study you complete block placements (at least 1,000 hours) in a number of practice settings to prepare you for professional registration.

In your final year, you spend a 15-week block placement (either within Auckland or in a region outside of Auckland) in the second half of the year. You apply your learning in a range of practice settings under the supervision of an occupational therapist ahead of completing your degree.

During your programme you’ll be required to travel both within and outside the Auckland region for clinical/practical experience. Please note that travel, accommodation and other expenses will be an additional cost to you.

Recent placements included:

  • Spectrum Care
  • QRS
  • Mahi Tahi

Te Ara Hauora Māori courses

If you're interested in a career with a Māori development perspective select the following courses as electives or as an alternative course of study

We will help you form relationships with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

When you graduate you can apply to register as an occupational therapist in New Zealand and other countries.

Occupational therapists work with all age groups in:

  • Primary Health Organisations (PHOs)
  • Community development
  • Health centres and hospitals
  • Research
  • Schools
  • Residential care facilities
  • Private practice
  • Rehabilitation and ACC

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Occupational Therapy Careers

Fahima Muse
Natalie Kane
Cathryn Voyce
Quick facts
Programme code:
3 years full-time
North Campus
26 Feb 2024
$8,165 - $8,355 (for 120 points)
($7,091 - $7,281 tuition fees + $1074 student services levy)
$36,974 (for 120 points)
($35,900 tuition fees + $1074 student services levy)
  • Fees shown are based on a full-time workload for the points indicated next to the fee. The exact fee charged will depend on which courses you select at the time of enrolment.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for study beyond the current year, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay.
  • International students' tuition fees reflect the full cost of tuition. Domestic students' tuition fees are less due to a proportion of the tuition fees being funded by the New Zealand Government.
  • Fees-free study may be available for domestic students

Scholarships at AUT

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

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