Programme Information

Overview

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy helps prepare individuals for a vital and dynamic health profession that help people develop, restore and maximize their skills needed to lead independent, productive, satisfying and fully participatory lives. Occupational therapists work with people whose physical, psychological or cognitive impairments related to illness, injury, a health or developmental condition limit their participation in everyday activities of daily living such as self-care, work and leisure.

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) programme at the University of the Southern Caribbean is designed to graduate students who will demonstrate the skills, knowledge and attitudes of competent entry-level occupational therapists as described in the Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists (World Federation of Occupational Therapists [WFOT], 2016). The students, faculty and graduates of this programme will respond to the occupational needs of individuals, groups, communities and local populations of the Caribbean region taking into account their unique contexts while adhering to the highest international standards of the profession.

The students entering the USC MSOT program will have demonstrated an overall readiness to undertake graduate education in the field of occupational therapy that will lead to their success as professional practitioners, scholars and leaders in the profession of occupational therapy.

Graduates of the MSOT programme will be eligible to work in the following traditional and emerging areas:

  • Adult and elderly physical and mental rehabilitation settings from hospital to clinics and community settings;

  • Pediatric OT in school systems, hospital and community settings;

  • Specialist clinics dealing with hand therapy, ergonomics, burns, amputees, return-to-work;

  • Environmental and accessibility modifications

  • Programme Development as Disability policy and advocacy specialists

  • Adult Day Centers, Forensics, Driver Rehabilitation;

  • Disaster Management

  • Researchers and academics

Campus: Main Campus

Total Programme Credits: 67

Programme Duration: 3 years

Programme Delivery: Face-to-face/Blended

Accreditation

The MSOT at USC was approved by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists on March 7, 2016. WFOT approval is granted for five years and will be reviewed in 2021. The MSOT was also approved by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) in December 2015. The Council for Professions Related to Medicine also recognized the program in May 2020 and as such our graduates are eligible to apply for registration to practice in Trinidad & Tobago upon completion of their studies.

Courses

The programme is offered full-time with a combination of face-to-face, blended and distance and block teaching and learning methods. It is comprised of eight semesters of full time study including fieldwork placements. Students have a minimum of 29 months and a maximum of 39 months in which to complete the programme. The programme starts in September of each year.

Objectives
Graduates will possess exiting competencies described in detail in the Minimum Standards for the Education of Occupational Therapists (2016) by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. They will demonstrate the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes in all five of the following areas of professional competence:

  1. The person-occupation-environment relationship and its relationship to health (Law et al., 1996);

  2. Therapeutic and professional relationships;

  3. An occupational therapy process;

  4. Professional reasoning and behaviour;

  5. The context of professional practice (WFOT, 2004).

Year One
Semester 1 – 4 taught courses, Service Learning Seminar
Semester 2 – 5 taught courses, Service Learning I, FW IA (1 week, 40 hours)
Semester 3 – 4 taught courses, Service Learning Check in, FW IB (1 week, 40 hours)

Year Two
Semester 4 – 5 taught courses, Service Learning II,
Semester 5 – Fieldwork Level II A (12-15 weeks full-time, 480 hours)
Semester 6 – 3 taught courses, Service Learning Check -in

Year Three
Semester 7 – Fieldwork Level II B (12-15 weeks full-time, 480 hours),
Semester 8 – 3 taught courses, Service Learning III (3 hours per week x 8 weeks)

 

Entry Requirements

The prospective students’ educational experiences and academic qualification upon entering the program will safeguard their ability to successfully complete the classroom and fieldwork components of the program. The prerequisites are as follows:

Academic Prerequisites

  • A minimum of BA or BS in any undergraduate subject matter from an accredited institution;
  • Pre-requisite courses with a C+ grade or better:
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Introduction to Sociology or Anthropology
    • Introduction to Statistics
    • Human Lifespan Development
    • Medical Terminology;
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • TOEFL score for international applicants from non-English speaking countries

Additional Requirements

Life and Occupational Therapy Experience Prerequisites
Prospective students will be able to demonstrate their readiness through a portfolio including the following admissions requirements:

  • A minimum of 40 hours of exposure to persons different from self or differently-abled via observations of occupational therapy in a minimum of two settings;

  • A minimum 100 hours of paid or volunteer work with local service or health organizations;

  • A Personal Statement of Purpose (Life experiences and understanding of occupational therapy leading to educational and professional goals in occupational therapy);

  • 1-2 page resume;

  • A valid police character reference:

  • An interview with the admissions panel upon invitation.

Matriculation Requirement
Applicants may be considered for matriculation with one (1) co-requisite. If an applicant is able to show a plan for the completion of one outstanding pre-requisite, he or she may be accepted on the condition of successful completion of this pre-requisite during the first semester.

For fieldwork admission students will be required to take routine TB tests and receive a Hepatitis C vaccine in order to participate in fieldwork placements.

The MSOT at USC consists of 30 specific courses (67 credits) which is the only pathway to completion of this graduate programme.

Supporting Documents for Graduate Application
Completed online application with the following uploaded:

  • Passport sized photo

  • Non-refundable application fee as published

  • Statement of Purpose

  • 1-2 page Resume

  • Police Certificate of Character

  • Two recommendations on the recommendation forms A and B

  • Copy of undergraduate degree

  • One official transcript from each tertiary institution previously attended, mailed directly to USC from the issuing institution (accompanied by official English translations if not issued in English). Official MELAB and TOEFL results if English is your second language. Refer to enclosed information.

  • Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificates (If Applicable)

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