Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy ?How can I choose?

The fields of occupational therapy and physiotherapy are often confused.While both roles provide essential hands-on rehabilitative work to help clients perform everyday tasks as independently as possible. The main difference between occupational therapy and Physiotherapy is that occupational therapy focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and Physiotherapy focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform a movement of the human body.

Occupational Therapy vs Physiotherapy

The Physiotherapist tends to be more focused on evaluating and diagnosing movement dysfunctions as well as treating a person’s injury itself. While an occupational therapist will often also do diagnosis, the physical therapist will be more likely to diagnose and treat the physical source of the problem; the injured tissues and structures.

Occupational therapists often will directly treat injuries, but more even often occupational therapy focuses more on improving life skills and incorporating adaptive tools at times customized by the therapist. In some parts of the world occupational therapists utilize practices such as use of ultrasound in injury rehabilitation, much like a physical therapist does.

Somehow no matter Occupational therapists or Physiotherapy they are both on the MLTSSL List. That means they both could lead you to Permanent Residence.  If you are interested in this 2 occupation, this article is for you.

Physiotherapist 252511
Occupational Therapist 252411

To become a physiotherapist or an Occupational Therapist you usually have to complete an approved course in physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. For Engish normally will request IELTS 7.0. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of mathematics, biology, chemistry, science, and physics are normally required. You may also be required to attend an interview. Universities have different prerequisites and some have a very good pathway for the student who are not reaching the entry requirements.

*Griffith University

CourseIntakeDurationIELTSTotal Fee
Bachelor of PhysiotherapyFeb4 years7.0$168000
Bachelor of Occupational TherapyFeb4 years7.0$168000

There will be a pathway to into this 2 degrees:

A student who completes “Diploma of Health science” and reaches the GPA requirements( 5.5) could directly into Bachelor of Physiotherapy or Bachelor of Occupational Therapy with 40cp.

Griffith Pathway

* Bond University

CourseIntake Duration IELTS Total Fee
 Doctor of Physiotherapy May2 years7.0$133920
Master of Occupational Therapy May/Sep2 years7.0$123940

The Bond University Doctor of Physiotherapy and Master of Occupational Therapy is a graduate entry program, meaning people who have an undergraduate degree in exercise or sports science or similar may be eligible to apply. 

Bond undergraduate pathway program* Graduate entry Total study duration
Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science 
(2 years)

Doctor of Physiotherapy
(2 years)

4 years
Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science(2 years) Master of Occupational Therapy
(2 years)
4 years
Bond New Building for Health & Sport students
Room for Physiotherapy students (class size: 6-8 students)
gym for all Health & Sport students

You may have these questions:

  • Did I choose the right course to study?
  • Is this the right course for me?
  • How to do the registration?
  • Am I eligible to apply for this course?
  • What the English requirement for the course?
  • How is the pathway for me in the future?

If this is what you are wondering or you actually have more questions, please consult with our experienced specialists. Australian education system and migration Law is more than complicated, you need an expert to sure you are under safe processing and lead you the pathway to your Permanent Residence.

Kate LEE

Kate migrated to Australia in 2007, going on to become a qualified education counsellor in 2009. Throughout her career, she has helped hundreds of international students achieve their academic dreams in universities across Australia. Kate helps her clients successfully complete their school enrollments and student visa applications. For clients outside Australia, she is always available for regular contact through Skype or Facebook.

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