Becoming an occupational therapist
Studying Occupational Therapy
There are three undergraduate Occupational Therapy training programmes in the Republic of Ireland. These courses can be accessed through the CAO process. Each college also has an entry route for mature students which you can look up on their website.
These four year courses and are available at:
The National University of Ireland Galway. http://www.nuigalway.ie/occupational_therapy/
Trinity College Dublin. https://www.tcd.ie/medicine/occupational-therapy/
University College Cork. https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck704/
There is also an accelerated postgraduate training programme in the University of Limerick which is a 2-year course. https://www.ul.ie/graduateschool/course/occupational-therapy-professional-qualification-msc
The courses offer a broad education in health, social and occupational sciences and students take part in supervised clinical placements with qualified therapists during their college education.
Who can call themselves an occupational therapist?
In Ireland each person with an Occupational Therapy qualification needs to register with CORU in order to be able to call themselves an occupational therapist and practice Occupational Therapy. This is because the title “Occupational Therapist” is protected under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005. In order to use the title of Occupational Therapist a person must hold a valid qualification from an accredited Occupational Therapy programme and this person must register with CORU. In Ireland there are currently 3 university degree programmes and one master’s programme. These programmes are accredited by AOTI on behalf of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). This means that the professional qualification you receive will be recognised internationally and the standard of education meets the WFOT Minimum Standards for Education. In Ireland each university programme is also approved by CORU. This is important as it ensures that standards of education for occupational therapists also meet strict criteria to ensure the protection of the public.
Other Occupational Therapy studies courses
There are other courses in Ireland that offer both online and face to face teaching in Occupational Therapy studies. These courses do not qualify you to become an occupational therapist as they do not meet the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Minimum standards for Education nor do they meet the qualification standards required to register with CORU. Some people do these courses as they would like to work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant.