Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Practice

Suitable if you are, or have been, a registered occupational therapist. You will complete two courses of your choice for this qualification. You will be able to apply for opportunities that require clinical expertise or pursue a career in academia or policy development. This qualification also leads into our advanced programmes.  

Domestic

Duration
6 Months Full-time
Level
8
Credits
60
Fees
$4,415*
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
Delivery
Online
Intakes
February
July

International

Duration
6 Months Full-time
Level
8
Credits
60
Fees
$16,250*
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
Delivery
Online
Intakes
February
July

What You Study

Courses

This Postgraduate Certificate consists of two courses of your own choice. Plan your own progress through the programme choosing which courses you prefer to take first.

All courses are at Level 8 of the National Qualifications Framework. Course electives change from year to year. You will be advised as to which elective courses are available. when you study. 

Course name

 Level

 Credit

Research for Practice

Learning outcomes

The nature of this course is to ensure that students are able to justify the selection and use of appropriate research methods for practice within the New Zealand bicultural context.

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critique published research related to one area of practice
  • Justify the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore a research topic
  • Analyse ethics relevant to a research  topic including issues of bicultural and sustainable practice in New Zealand

Content

  • Different approaches to and assumptions implicit in research related to practice
  • Methodologies (Quantitative and Qualitative), methods and their consistency with different world views
  • Strategies such as reliability, validity, trustworthiness and rigour and their uses to enhance/ensure the quality of research
  • Assess published research

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70% 

 

30

Adventure Therapy

Learning outcomes

This course will provide students with theory and frameworks that will enable use of adventure therapy approaches in their practice in mental health, justice, education and wellbeing fields of practice.

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse theories related to the use of adventurous activities, natural environments and experiential learning in health, wellbeing and education practice environments
  • Evaluate the use of and effectiveness of adventure therapy interventions within the New Zealand bicultural context
  • Develop intervention strategies based on adventure therapy principles for a specific practice environment

Content

  • Critical reflection of engagement in or observation of an adventure-based learning experience
  • Application of the theories and strategies learned in the course within your own professional discipline
  • Use of experimental learning in activity-based therapy, utilising adventurous and non-adventurous activities
  • Exploring Māori perspectives within adventure therapy programming Māori

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70%

 

8

 

30

Vocational Rehabilitation

Learning outcomes

Assisting an individual to return to work is a complex task requiring an in-depth and broad understanding of not only rehabilitation, but also the broader context of the workplace. This course aims to assist students to be evidence-based in their planning and delivery of return-to-work programmes within the New Zealand bicultural context.

Please note: PC/PD434001 meets the 30 credits of postgraduate study as required by ACC and documented in Section 3.4 of the ACC document "Skills and Competencies Requirement for Vocational Rehabilitation Services".

At the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Design and evaluate individual vocational rehabilitation programmes relevant for the New Zealand bicultural context
  • Critically appraise the influences that can impact on the individual’s reintegration into the workforce
  • Evaluate own strengths and areas for growth in the provision of return to work programmes

Indicative content

  • Ethics issues relevant to vocational rehabilitation
  • Influences of external drivers, for example, legislation and labour market issues
  • Vocational assessments
  • Strategies to enable successful progressive return to work
  • Career employment counselling and career transition management
  • Intervention strategies to facilitate a return to work, to obtain new employment
  • Negotiation and mediation skills
  • Post reintroduction support/guidance
  • Vocational services management.

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70%

 

8

 

30

Trauma Informed Practice

Learning outcomes

The nature of this course is to ensure that students are provided with the theories and frameworks to be able to enhance an individual's capacity to manage the effects of trauma. 

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the theories relating to developmental trauma disorder and it's ongoing impact on the stress response and on body function
  • Evaluate the application of trauma informed practice at each stage of a recognised service delivery model from your practice setting
  • Critically evaluate the use of and effectiveness of intervention strategies used by the individual

Content

  • Theories and strategies to implement when working with affected individuals
  • Neuroscience
  • Environmental factors
  • Personal factors such as resilience and social networks
  • Cultural perspectives within trauma informed practice

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70%

 

8

 

30

Motivation & Behavioural Change

Learning outcomes

Occupational therapy uses engagement in activity to assist people to change behaviours. While for some people change is essential to enable living with an acquired illness or disability, for others, change is desirable to improve health and wellness; for example, increasing amount of exercise, increasing socialisation, decreasing drug use (alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs) or changing eating behaviours.

The aim of this course is to provide postgraduate students with frameworks that will enhance their interventions when working with people presenting with issues related to motivation and behavioural change within the New Zealand bi-cultural context.

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically review theories related to motivation and behavioural change drawn from a range of differing health professionals' literature including positive psychology and addictions.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of interventions drawing on theories introduced in this course within the New Zealand bi-cultural context.

Content and process

Guiding frameworks and theories for practice:

  • Selected theories and frameworks appropriate for use in practice
  • Model of Human Occupation
  • Kawa Model approaches to motivation and change.

Theories of Motivation and Behavioural Change

  • Circle of Change
  • Positive Psychology
  • Exploring what motivates self and others to change their behaviour
  • Exploring Māori perspectives on motivation and change.

Strategies

  • Motivational interviewing as a mechanism for developing and sustaining the motivation for change
  • Working with resistance to change
  • Using occupation/activity to motivate and support change.

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70% 

 

8

 

30

Using Sensory Processing Principles with Diverse Populations

Learning outcomes

This course will enable students to be theoretically up-to-date and equipped to evaluate the need for, and benefits of, applying theories of sensory processing with diverse populations in a range of child, adolescent and adult settings within the New Zealand bicultural context.

At the successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the relationships between neuroscience theory, sensory processing, human behaviour and occupational engagement
  • Justify proposed or existing interventions using sensory processing theories
  • Critically evaluate the research evidence used to justify the application of sensory processing theories to enhance occupational engagement within the New Zealand bicultural context

Indicative content

  • Overview of central nervous system structures and functions
  • Evolution of sensory processing theories
  • Principles of sensory processing theories
  • Evidence to support effectiveness of sensory processing interventions
  • Considerations related to the use of sensory processing theories within the New Zealand bicultural context

Assessment

  • Written Assessment 1 - worth 30%
  • Written Assessment 2 - worth 70%

8

30

Negotiated Study

Learning outcomes

This course enables students to explore both theoretical and practical knowledge in a chosen area of interest.

At the completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Negotiate and complete an investigation on a selected topic relevant to practice in the New Zealand bicultural context
  • Retrieve, interpret, analyse and evaluate information on a selected topic of special interest to your practice

Content and process

The content of this course will vary depending on your area of interest. The process undertaken will be as follows:

  • Negotiate learning contracts
  • Contribution to peer learning
  • Effective use of feedback to enhance academic skills
  • Presenting learning
  • Annotated bibliography

Assessment

  • The content and presentation of the assessment will be clearly documented in the learning contract.

8

10 or 30

Cognitive Approaches Across the Life Span

Learning outcomes

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore in depth current occupational therapy treatment approaches.  In addition, the student will further their understanding of the theories from other disciplines (for example cognitive psychology) that has informed the development of the occupational therapy specific treatment approaches.

At the completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Discuss the contributions of a a range of theories  to the occupational therapists understanding of cognition.
  • Discuss the influence of cognitive skills such as arousal, attention, memory discrimination and insight nd how this influences occupational engagement.
  • Compare and contrast current occupational therapy treatment approaches across the life span.

Content and process

The content of this course will vary depending on your area of interest. The process undertaken will be as follows:

  • Negotiate learning contracts
  • Contribution to peer learning
  • Effective use of feedback to enhance academic skills
  • Presenting learning
  • Annotated bibliography

Assessment

  • The content and presentation of the assessment will be clearly documented in the learning contract. 

8

30

Further study options

You can discuss study pathways at any point with the Postgraduate Programme Coordinator to ensure that you have completed the required academic criteria for the subsequent programme.

Workload

Your workload

Each course is worth 30 credits, equating to approximately 300 study hours. If you are completing one course a semester, you should allocate approximately 18 - 19 hours per week for attendance at fortnightly web-based conferencing sessions, online discussions and reading, as well as research for your assessments.

Entry

Entry requirements

  • You must hold a Diploma OR Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from a World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) approved programme (OR equivalent), OR a Certificate of Registration (New Zealand).
  • If you hold a Diploma or Certificate of Registration, you must also provide evidence of commitment to further education and two confidential referees attesting to your ability to manage the postgraduate study.
  • You must provide evidence of registration as an occupational therapist (Annual Practising Certificate), although this can be waived in certain circumstances.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements.  
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Selection process

If the number of applicants who meet the entry requirements exceed the available places, applicants will be placed on a waiting list in date order.

Want your existing skills recognised?

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, please ask us about our recognition of prior learning process. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification and could achieve it in a shorter timeframe. Please email info@op.ac.nz or call 0800 762 786.

Fees

Domestic fees

Full tuition
Standard
$4,415

International fees

Full tuition
Standard
$16,250

Additional costs

As this programme is taught via extensive online resources, you must budget for internet access as well as for printing of readings/course materials.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees shown above are approximate only. There may be a slight fee increase per year once Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rules and guidelines are applied. These fees also don’t include additional costs or living costs.

Get in touch

0800 762 786
International +64 3 477 3014
Email: info@op.ac.nz