Occupational Therapy

The Degree Programme in Occupational Therapy provides the student with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to deal with people of different ages and life situations in order to encourage them to take advantage of their resouces to live a meaningful life. Scientific knowledge and practical experience, ethical rules and a holistic view of the individual guide the performance of duties. The basic premise is that it is important for people to be active and independent.

The activities of the occupational therapist are based on an understanding of the nature of human occupation and of how people use their resourses to take control of their life situation.The occupational therapist works with people who have a reduced capacity to manage in everyday life. In each case, the client's needs and goals guide the occupational therapist?s assessment, treatment and counselling. The creative processes involved in everyday occupations are used as means of therapy. The occupational therapist is part of a rehabilitation team and is active in the rehabilitation of children, adults and elderly with physical or psyciatic dysfunctions at hospitals, in the community care and vocational rehabilitation.

Occupational therapy competences

Knowledge of Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • explain the theoretical concepts underpinning occupational therapy, specifically the occupational nature of human beings and their performance of occupations
  • explain the relationship between occupational performance, health and well-being
  • synthesize and apply relevant knowledge from biological, medical, human, psychological, social, technological and occupational sciences, together with theories of occupation and participation
  • analyze the complexities of applying theories and research evidence related to occupation in the context of a changing society 
  • engage in rational and reasoned debate in relation to occupation and occupational therapy.

Occupational Therapy Process and Professional Reasoning

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • work in partnership with individuals and groups, using occupation in prevention, rehabilitation, and treatment in order to promote participation, health and well-being
  • select, modify and apply appropriate theories, models of practice and methods to meet the occupational and health needs of individuals/populations 
  • use professional and ethical reasoning effectively throughout the occupational therapy process
  • utilize the therapeutic potential of occupation through the use of activity and occupational analysis and synthesis
  • adapt and apply the occupational therapy process in close collaboration with individuals/ populations
  • work to facilitate accessible and adaptable environments and to promote occupational justice
  • collaborate with communities to promote and develop the health and well-being of their members through their participation in occupation
  • actively seek, critically evaluate and apply a range of information and evidence to ensure that occupational therapy practice is up-to-date and relevant to the client
  • critically appraise occupational therapy practice to ensure that the focus is on occupation and occupational performance.

Professional Relationships and Partnerships

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • work according to the principles of client centered practice
  • build a therapeutic relationship/partnership as the foundation of the occupational therapy process
  • establish and maintain collaborative partnerships, consult and advise with clients, careers, team members and other stakeholders on enabling occupation and participation in a wide range of contexts
  • collaborate with clients to advocate for the right to have their occupational needs met
  • appreciate and respect diversity, individual differences, cultural beliefs, customs and their influence on occupation and participation

Professional Autonomy and Accountability

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • prepare, maintain and review documentation of the occupational therapy process
  • comply with local/regional/national/European policies and procedures, professional standards and employers' regulations
  • demonstrate continuing lifelong learning to enhance occupational therapy
  • practice in an ethical manner, respecting clients and taking account of professional codes of conduct for occupational therapists
  • demonstrate confidence in self-management, self-awareness and knowledge of own limitations as an occupational therapist

Research and Development in Occupational Therapy/Science

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • identify the need for research on issues related to occupation, occupational therapy and/or occupational science and formulate relevant research questions
  • search independently, critically examine and synthesize scientific literature and other information relevant to occupational therapy
  • understand, select and defend designs and methods appropriate to research in occupation and occupational therapy, considering ethical aspects 
  • interpret, analyze, synthesize and critique research findings relevant to occupational therapy
  • develop new knowledge of occupation and occupational therapy practice, particularly in relation to local and/ or emerging health and social challenges 
  • disseminate research findings to relevant stakeholders.

Management and Promotion of Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapist is able to:

  • determine and prioritize occupational therapy services
  • understand and apply principles of management to occupational therapy services, including cost-effectiveness, administration of resources and equipment, and establishing occupational therapy protocols
  • engage in a continuous process of evaluation and improvement of the quality of occupational therapy services, involve clients where appropriate and communicate the results to relevant stakeholders
  • take a pro-active role in the development, improvement and promotion of occupational therapy
  • consider developments and influence policies in health and social care, society and legislation at international, national and local levels that affect occupational therapy services.
Qualification awarded: 
Ergoterapeut (YH); equivalent to Bachelor of Health Care and Social Services, Occupational Therapist
Extent (cr): 
Duration (years): 
Contact person: 
Denice Haldin

Contact information