Graduate-Entry Master's Degrees: Launchpad for Occupational Therapy in this Millennium?

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Trends in occupational therapy education worldwide are towards the increasing educational preparation of graduates. Initially, entry into the occupational therapy profession was gained via a brief course, followed by a diploma, and then later with a bachelor's degree. Most recently, graduate-entry master's degree programmes have been introduced as an alternative entry into the profession. With the introduction of four graduate-entry master's degree programmes in Canada and Australia and one in the United Kingdom since September 1998, and the planned introduction of other programmes in these countries, it is timely to review the history and context of the graduate-entry programmes.

The imperatives leading to the introduction of graduate-entry master's degree programmes include the increased qualification base of applicants, the need for practitioners to be evidence based and the concurrent so-called qualification creep of other health professions. The data from the first two cohorts of Australian students who commenced the graduate-entry Master of Occupational Therapy Studies programme at the University of Queensland are presented. Some similarities between these Australian students and the Canadian students are noted. The benefit of master's degree entry programmes to the profession is seen as an increased pool of highly skilled practitioners who will contribute to the research base of the profession.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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