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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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Postgraduate Certificate in Occupational Therapy Practice

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


6 months

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


Otago Polytechnic


Are you seeking a way to improve your theoretical knowledge and develop expertise in a particular area of your occupational therapy practice? Look no further!

Develop confidence in your ability to articulate your clinical reasoning and increase your knowledge in various aspects of your practice. Become equipped with the academic skills relevant to the 'art' and 'science' of occupational therapy practice and confidently demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Critically evaluate ideas in professional literature, analyse practice problems and develop creative solutions. Taught via extensive online resources, benefit from the flexible delivery allowing you to fit study around other work commitments.

Available if you have been, or are currently registered as an occupational therapist, the skills you gain during this postgraduate programme will enable you to apply for employment positions that may require clinical expertise, both within New Zealand and overseas. Alternatively, you may choose to pursue a career in academia or policy development and this qualification enables you to staircase into the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy Practice or Master of Occupational Therapy (academic entry criteria applies for entry into the Masters programme).

You will study

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 you can take.

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.

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 criteria

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 postgraduate study.
You must provide evidence of registration as an occupational therapist (Annual Practicing 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:

New Zealand University Entrance OR

Overall Academic IELTS 6.5 with no individual band score lower than 6.5 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR

OET: Minimum of Grade C+ or 300 in all sub tests

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 79 (with a writing score of 21)

Cambridge English Qualifications: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 176. No less than 169 in each skill;

PTE (Academic) score of 58 with no band score lower than 50

Language Certificate: C1 Expert IESOL (LRW) with HIGH PASS and no less than 25/50 in each skill or C2 Mastery IESOL (LRW) with PASS and no less than 25/50 Pass in each skill

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