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

If you have New Zealand qualifications

  • 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.

If you have qualifications from another country

See entry requirements for students from other countries. Select your country from the dropdown menu.

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

Workplace experience (fieldwork) as part of the occupational therapy degree

You must complete a minimum of 1,000 fieldwork hours across the programme. You'll be placed in various settings where you develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes to meet competencies for professional registration.

This includes:

  • Year 1: a 2-week placement block in your second semester
  • Year 2: longitudinal fieldwork experience one day a week for ten weeks in both semesters
  • Year 3: two 8-week block placements across both semesters

You could experience a wide range of practice areas across Health New Zealand/Te Whatu Ora and other organisations including:

  • Hospitals
  • Community services
  • Kaupapa Māori services
  • Specialist schools
  • Forensic services
  • Private practice

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

Want more info about work integrated learning at AUT?

Read more about workplace experience in AUT programmes, how it works and why it’s so beneficial when you start your career.

Workplace experience in AUT programmes

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

Quick facts
Programme code:
3 years full-time
North Campus
3 Mar 2025

Key semester dates
$8,435 - $8,631 (for 120 points)
($7,289 - $7,485 tuition fees + $1146 student services levy)
$38,146 (for 120 points)
($37,000 tuition fees + $1146 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


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