Otago Polytechnic

Occupational Therapy postgraduate courses

Location

Online

Duration
One semester
Delivery

Taught via online resources

Credits
30
Level
8
Start
February or July, see individual courses for more details
Apply
By 31 January or 1 July

These postgraduate courses form the content of the postgraduate qualifications that we offer: Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Practice, Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice in Health (Specialty)Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy Practice and Master of Occupational Therapy.

All courses are at Level 8 and each course is worth 30 credits.

Please note: All courses offered subject to minimum enrolments

Vocational Rehabilitation

Date: July - November 2019 & Feb - June 2020

Delivery: Online

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".

Learning outcomes

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%
  • Writtent Assessment 2 - worth 70%

Lecturer profile

Jenna Collie

MHPrac, PG Cert HSc, BOccTher, NZROT

Lecturer

Jenna.Collie@op.ac.nz

Before gaining employment at the School of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic as a Lecturer and Fieldwork Team member in 2016, Jenna spent the bulk of her practice in mental health addictions.  Jenna has also been employed in vocational rehabilitation.  Jenna is currently working towards a Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education and can appreciate the work - study balance.

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Trauma Informed Practice

Date: July - November 2019

Delivery: Online

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. 

Learning outcomes

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%

Lecturer profile

Ema Tokolahi

PhD, MSc, PGCert, BHSc (hons)

Lecturer

ema.tokolahi@op.ac.nz

Ema has worked in mental health services for children, adolescents and adults, in community and inpatient environments, where trauma-informed care played a significant role. She completed her doctoral research at Auckland University of Technology researching the impact of a preventative occupational therapy intervention on children's wellbeing in the school environment. She currently works as a lecturer with the school of occupational therapy.

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Reasoning for fast paced environments

Date: July - November 2019

Delivery: Online

The aim of this course is to ensure that therapists/health workers in practice areas that have restricted client contact, feel positive about their ability to assess well and contribute effectively to patient outcomes.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Debate the ethical issues in rapid decision-making
  • Evaluate the impact of the practice environment (including the MDT) on assessment and bicultural considerations
  • Justify occupational therapy intervention to managers of the service

Content

  • Occupational therapy reasoning / the place of intuition
  • Being client centered
  • Client education in limited time frames
  • Working in Biomedical / managerial environments
  • Using evidence in daily decisions
  • Ethical issues in fast decision making
  • Managing risk vs patient autonomy
  • Maintaining an occupation focus in clinical reasoning when discharge is imminent
  • Assessments suitable for fast-paced environments
  • The impact of the practice environment (including MDT) on assessment and bicultural considerations
  • Overview of models of discharge / transition
  • Preparing new graduates to work in fast-paced environments and supervision implications

Assessment

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

Lecturer profile

Dr Linda Robertson

NZROT, BA, MEd, PhD education

Associate Professor/Research Coordinator

Linda.robertson@op.ac.nz

I have developed and taught the "Clinical Reasoning" course for a number of years and have been involved in occupational therapy for over 20 years.  Over this period I have become increasingly interested in the ways that occupational therapists make sense of decision making in fast-paced environments where they may have little or not time to form relationships with clients.

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.  

Negotiated Study

Date: July - November 2019

Delivery: Online (10, 20 & 30 credit options available)

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

Learning outcomes

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 learing 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.

Staff

Sian Griffiths

PhD candidate, MSc (Rehabilitation Engineering), Dip COT, NZROT

Principal Lecturer/Honours & Acting Postgraduate Programmes Coordinator

Sian.griffiths@op.ac.nz

For information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Motivation & Behavioural Change

Date: July - November 2019

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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%

Lecturer profile

Penelope Kinney

PhD(Otago), MOccTher, PGDipHealthSc, BOccTher, BSc, GCTLT(level7), NZROT

Principal Lecturer

Penelope.Kinney@op.ac.nz

Penelope has recently returned to teaching this course, following a break whilst she completed her PhD.

Penelope Kinney worked for a  number of years working as the occupational therapist in a medium secure admission ward within a forensic psychiatric service.  Motivation was often a discussion point for why clients weren't engaging n their treatment.

Often in clinical settings service users are identified as 'unmotivated' when perhaps it is more that there hasn't been enough exploration about what is motivating for them in the particular circumstance.  In occupational therapy we subscribe to notions of starting where the person is, working with them to map out a plan for intervention, and taking a wider view of the person, their occupations and environments.  Understanding more about motivation and using skills to develop motivation for change provides an opportunity to practice in a more client centred, client driven way resulting in improved outcomes.  

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Adventure Therapy - Theory and application to practice

Date: February - June 2020

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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%

Lecturer profile

Helen Jeffery

MOccTher(Merit), PG DipOT, GCTLT(level7), NZROT

Senior Lecturer/Postgraduate Programmes Lead

Helen.jeffery@op.ac.nz

I have been an occupational therapist since 1982 and have maintained strong links with the profession since that time despite having extended periods away from practice for travel and adventuring. Whilst the bulk of my practice has been in the mental health field (community and inpatient, acute and rehabilitation) I have also worked in physical rehab and community settings, and in vocational rehabilitation. My involvement with the occupational therapy school at Otago Polytechnic has been on an occasional and casual basis over many years, and more formal since joining the team here as a lecturer in 2012.

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Research for Practice

Date: February - June 2020

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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%

Lecturer profile

Dr Mary Butler

PhD(Philosophy), MA(Anthro), BScOT, BA(Hons)

Principal Lecturer/Masters Coordinator

Mary.butler@op.ac.nz

My Masters and PhD work was in the area of brain injury, and care ethics. Postdoctoral work was in the area of disability following injury and up skilling in methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative.  Current research interests are in vision impairment; educational mobilities; older people driving; creative research methods; cancer and dance.  As Master's coordinator I have a mission to encourage knowledge transfer and I am particularly interested in getting behind research that can make a difference. 

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.  

Using Sensory Processing Principles with Diverse Populations

Date: February - June 2020

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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 applicaion 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%

Lecturer profile

Rita Robinson

Doctoral Candidate, MOccTher, DipOT, NZROT, GCTLT (L7)

Principal Lecturer

Rita.Robinson@op.ac.nz

I am fascinated how our ability to attend to, make sense of and integrate information from our senses ultimately shapes our behaviour. Before I moved into teaching, my practice experience was predominantly with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, many who experienced sensory modulation and coordination challenges. In working with this population I drew from the principles of sensory integration (according to Ayres) in both direct service delivery and the consultative model in schools. We all have sensory profiles which make us who we are, therefore I currently pull on this knowledge as I strive to optimise the learning environment for the occupational therapy students I teach. In addition, this knowledge informs me on a personal level at home when modifying, accommodating and seeking to understand my own children’s individuality, let alone my own sensory quirks!

While not experienced in working in mental health, I have a strong understanding of using the theory to inform reasoning. A range of guest lecturers who have experience with mental health are used within this course. I am interested in hearing your practice stories which add real life context to this learning experience.

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Negotiated Study

Date: February - June & July - November 2020

Delivery: Online (10, 20 & 30 credit options available)

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

Learning outcomes

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 learing 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.

Staff

Sian Griffiths

PhD candidate, MSc (Rehabilitation Engineering), Dip COT, NZROT

Principal Lecturer/Honours Programmes Coordinator

Sian.griffiths@op.ac.nz

For information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Motivation & Behavioural Change

Date: July - November 2020 (TBC)

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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%

Lecturer profile

Helen Jeffery

MOccTher(Merit), PG DipOT, GCTLT(level7), NZROT

Senior Lecturer/Postgraduate Programme Lead

Helen.jeffery@op.ac.nz

Helen has recently taken over the coordination and teaching of this course. Helen formally joined the School of Occupational Therapy in 2012 after a number of years working as an occupational therapist in the mental health field, physical and vocational rehabilitation and community settings. 

For more information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Cognitive Approaches Across the Life Span

Date:

Delivery: Online

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.

Learning outcomes

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 learing 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.

Staff

Rita Robinson

Doctoral Candidate, MOccTher, DipOT, NZROT, GCTLT (L7)

Principal Lecturer

Rita.Robinson@op.ac.nz

For information about our postgraduate staff, please visit our staff page.

Low Vision Rehabilitation

Date: July - November 2020 (TBC)

This course will cover causes and funtional implication of visual impairment, functional and dynamic screening, assessment and a range of interventions.

Delivery: Online

The aim of this course is to assist students to be evidence-based in their planning and delivery of low vision services within the New Zealand bicultural context.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Critically appraise the issues that can impact on the individual's capacity to use remaining vision effectively.
  • Design and evaluate individual low vision programmes relevant for the New Zealand bicultural context. 
  • Evaluate own strengths and areas for growth in the provision of low vision programmes.

Indicative Content

  • Causes and functional implications of low vision
  • Theories and classification of visual functioning
  • Visual task analysis
  • Psychological and social implications
  • Low vision assessments
  • Low vision devices
  • Strategies to use remaining vision
  • Low vision rehabilitation
  • Effective collaboration

Assessment

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

Lecturer profile

Dr Mary Butler

PhD(Philosophy), MA(Anthro), BScOT, BA(Hons)

Principal Lecturer/Masters Coordinator

Mary.butler@op.ac.nz

Your workload

Each course is the equivalent of 300 study hours.

For more information

To find out more, please email Sian.Griffiths@op.ac.nz (Acting Postgraduate Programme Coordinator), Debbie.Davie@op.ac.nz (Postgraduate Programme Administrator) or phone 0800 762 786.  

To enrol

Please complete the online application form. Click the blue apply button in the top right corner of this page. 

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.

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