Master of Occupational Therapy

This qualification focuses on research and practice to gain a more profound knowledge of your field. Pursue an academic career in occupational therapy education or apply for enrolment into PhD programmes to take you to the top of your area. You can choose to complete your qualification through coursework with a smaller project or a research thesis.

About the programme

Are you keen to develop your professional practice and research skills to a very high level? Do you want to gain an in-depth understanding of a specific aspect of occupational therapy knowledge?

The Master of Occupational Therapy is a qualification of excellence which will provide you with the knowledge and skills that are relevant for international practice. With appropriate experience, you may enter higher positions of responsibility in occupational therapy or become involved in areas of policy or research. Alternatively, you could pursue an academic career in occupational therapy education or apply for enrolment into PhD programmes to take you to the top of your field. 

With a strong practice and research focus, this programme will enable you to build a broad range of knowledge to justify your practice. Gain the confidence to not only share current research in your practice area with other members of health teams, but to systematically plan and carry out detailed research to internationally-recognised standards. Choose to complete your qualification through coursework and a smaller project or by the research thesis option.

Both domestic and international students will study online and have the opportunity to interact regularly through a weekly online group forum. This gives everyone the chance to fit their study around other commitments. Domestic and international students will also enjoy the chance to interact with each other at the compulsory Masters School held in Dunedin in February and July.

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. You can also study this programme part-time over eight years. 

You will study

Domestic students

This programme has a strong practice and research focus. Draw on advanced knowledge to critically evaluate current professional trends in occupational therapy and critique service delivery from a sound theoretical basis. Your involvement in research and scholarship should contribute to a broad understanding of occupational therapy practice in New Zealand.

There are two options for completing this Master. If you are enrolling from a bachelor’s degree, you are required to complete either two Level 8 courses offered in the Postgraduate Certificate programme followed by Masters by research thesis level 9; or four Level 8 courses offered in the Postgraduate Diploma programme followed by the Masters by project level 9.

Year one

Complete 60 credits of Level 8 courses. This may be within the structure of a Postgraduate Certificate offered by Otago Polytechnic or another university.

OR

Complete 120 credits of Level 8 courses. This may be within the structure of a Postgraduate Diploma offered by Otago Polytechnic or another university.

Year two

Masters by project - includes two courses (Level 8) of 30 credits each and one 60 credit project (Level 9)

OR

Masters by thesis - one course equivalent to 120 credits (Level 9).

International students

If you are an international student interested in studying with us, please contact the School of Occupational Therapy by emailing info@op.ac.nz

Courses (for domestic students)

Year one

Please consult the Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Practice or Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy Practice information sheet.

Elective programmes

(Coursework option= select 180 credits/ Thesis option= select 120 credits)

Find out more about each course below here

SMS Code

Course Name

Level

OP Credits

 MO438001

Reasoning in Fast Paced Environments

30 

MO435001 

Research for Practice

30 

MO408004

Negotiated Study

8

30

MO408005

Negotiated Study

8

30

MO421002

Supervision for Helping Professions

8

30

MO440001

Cognitive Approaches Across the Life Span

8

30

MO424003

Motivation and Behavioural Change

8

30

MO439001

Therapeutic Use of Self

8

30

MO429002

Using Sensory Processing Principles with Diverse Populations

8

30

MO431002

Specialty Practice

8

30

MO434002

Vocational Rehabilitation

8

30

MO437001

Low Vision Rehabilitation

8

30

MO441001

Adventure Therapy

8

30

MO442001

Trauma Informed Care

8

30

Year Two

You are required to complete a Level 8 research course (of at least 30 credits) before embarking on the second year of this qualification. This research course provides you with the theoretical knowledge required to complete a research project or research thesis.

Depending on your choice of pathway, you will then complete the research thesis OR the research project (both at Level 9).

Project examples 

Examples of thesis titles 
  • Should I stay or should I go? Factors influencing retention of occupational therapists working in mental health services New Zealand
  • Occupational therapists understanding of autonomy for people with dementia when making placement decisions
Examples of Masters' projects 
  • Changing the delivery of chronic pain management education: an action research study
  • Social Media and Mental Health: A Narrative Literature Review
  • Occupational Therapy in Primary Palliative Care; Understanding the here and now
  • Self-regulation, scooters and low vision: The practice of self-regulation by older adults with low vision when they use a mobility scooter

A change for 2023 enrolments

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic in 2023, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. Enrolling in programmes that start in 2023, means that you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.