General information


In the degree programme in Occupational Therapy, the students complete the degree of Bachelor of Health Care in health and social studies.

Occupational therapy involves, for example, supporting life balance, practising the skills needed in everyday life or designing accessible environments. Occupational therapists support their clients' occupational  performance and coping with everyday life. The studies focus on enabling the occupational participation of families and clients of different ages and supporting independent coping in life. The studies focus on e.g. creating therapeutic relationship, the use of goal-oriented activity, assessing environments, subject-centered processes, advice and counselling.

Studying is practically-oriented, with almost one-third of studies taking place as practical training. Part of studies is implemented in a multidisciplinary fashion with other students in Lab environments. The studies can be completed flexibly by taking advantage of team, online and project learning. The student's previous competence may speed up graduation.

The studies enable the creation of an individual career path, for example, by focusing on the entrepreneurship and internationalisation readiness. All students complete a part of their studies in English (at least 20 cr), and student exchange abroad is also recommended.

​Degree level

Bachelor's degree (EQF 6)

Starting group code


Degree-related qualifications

Occupational therapists are independently responsible for the planning, implementation, assessment and development of their work, taking ethical and legal points of view into account along with the requirements of effectiveness, efficiency and economy. The occupational title of occupational therapist can only be used and the profession practised by a graduated licensed occupational therapist. The activities are monitored by the Regional State Administrative Agencies as well as Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.


Targeted competence

The goal of the studies is to ensure that the occupational therapists who have graduated from JAMK University of Applied Sciences are experts of occupational wellbeing related to the different phases of human life. They can assess and support the clients' wellbeing, occupational performance, their ability to cope with everyday life and their participation in society in the different areas of life, such as play and everyday life, work and leisure time activities. Occupational therapists who have completed their degree are familiar with different kinds of subject-centered methods of influencing people and taking advantage of group activities in therapy work. They can analyse activities, and they possess counselling and teaching competence as well as methods of therapeutic interaction. They are familiar with the theoretical, philosophical, ethical and legal knowledge base of occupational therapy. They have the practical professional skills required in the work as an occupational therapist, which they have practised during training.

Occupational therapists who have completed their degree have mastered the different competence areas of occupational therapy, and they have the capabilities to apply their competence by responding to the challenges posed by the society on the individual, group and community level. Occupational therapists who have completed their degree are capable of continuous development of their own competence and field, and they are able to act independently as experts in their field in an internationally changing world. Occupational therapists have the capabilities for research as well as entrepreneurship, and they can identify opportunities for occupational therapy in preventative multi-professional activity that maintains well-being.

Degree profile

The profile of the degree programme in Occupational Therapy includes:

INTERNATIONALISATION competence is realised systematically and in a goal-oriented manner based on the student's career plan. The students learn internationalisation at home through language and culture studies, studies in a foreign language as well as studying together with exchange students. During international student exchange, students have the opportunity to complete theoretical studies or practical training.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP. At different stages of the studies, inner entrepreneurship is supported in particular. During the studies, the students become familiar with entrepreneurship in their own field, and they practise productising and marketing their own competence.

OCCUPATION-CENTRED ASSESSMENT COMPETENCE refers to the assessment of occupations and possibilities for being active linked to both individuals and families as well as the operating environment. During the studies, the students acquire capabilities for assessing the accessibility of the environment and the use of interview and observation methods, among other things.

TEAM AND GROUP ACTIVITY COMPETENCE. The studies take advantage of team learning, which makes it possible for the students to have their own experiences in being a member of a team, and coaches them for acting in a multidisciplinary team. During the studies, the students gain experience in counselling clients in a group context, which allows them to deepen their understanding of the importance of group phenomena.

Structure of studies in Peppi

Individual courses (full-time studies)

Individual courses (part-time studies)


Prior learning recognition procedures are described in the Degree Regulations and in the Study Guide.

Degree programme application and admission

Structure and completion of studies

During the first study year, the focus is on the common studies in health care and social services as well as transferable skills. Studies in the subject of Occupational Therapy itself are highlighted during the second and third year of studies. Practical training, elective studies and the thesis can be completed flexibly during different study years.

Further information is available in the Study Guide:

​Assessment and learning guidance

Forms of study

In full-time studies the students form multi-professional teams at the start of their studies. Students from different degree programmes in health care and social services study in your team.  The teams operate independently and responsibly in different kinds of learning situations, such as projects. The students' common basic skills in health care and social services, which form a basis for the work, are constructed with the help of team dialogue. After the first study year, the teamwork continues with students in one's own field.

People in the team learn by doing together, and the importance of dialogue in learning is highlighted. The team's coach supports learning. Team study includes dialogue practice, lectures, learning tasks both together with the team and individually, exams, online studies and practical training that promotes vocational skills, as well as participation in working life projects. The full-time studies require participation in studies on weekdays.

Part-time studies combine online learning, independent studies, group work and classroom learning. Working methods include e.g. learning tasks, lectures, small group work and counselling. The studies require you to have an active approach to studying, motivation, and the desire to take responsibility for your own learning. Online learning requires basic IT skills. During the first year, the students meet on approximately two days per month to study in multidisciplinary teams.  In addition, the studies may include some theme weeks. During the following years, the studies include classroom learning and practical training periods. Part-time studies will suit you if you have previous experience in the field or if you want more flexibility due to your life situation regarding the time or place of completing your studies.


To be awarded a Bachelor’s degree certificate, the student must complete the studies of the degree programme within his/her study period in accordance with his/her Personal Learning Plan. Further information in the Degree Regulations.

Employment and further studies

​Professional profiles of graduates with examples

Occupational therapists can work in the public or private sector or in non-governmental organisations. They can work in hospitals, health centres, rehabilitation centres, schools, day care centres, special welfare districts, or at the offices of social services and health care departments. Occupational therapists also have an increasing number or opportunities for employment in organisations and projects in the well-being sector as well as workplaces in
non-governmental organisations.
Students of occupational therapy who have learnt about entrepreneurship during their studies via e.g. theoretical studies, practical training and/or cooperative activity may find employment in a company after graduation, or they may establish their own company.
For example, a development assignment done for a particular work community may also support the students in finding employment. Similarly, further specialisation in family competence or international activities during the studies may also positively affect employment in positions that require the specific competence in question.


Further studies

The students may, after graduation and a work career of at least three years, continue their studies in a Master’s degree programme. A Master’s degree from a university of applied sciences is a higher post-secondary degree. Studies can also be continued by applying for a university Master’s degree programme or similar programmes. After a Bachelor’s degree from a university of applied sciences, it is also possible to continue studies at higher education institutes abroad in Master’s degree level programmes.

In addition, the University of Applied Sciences offers continuing education possibilities in specialisation studies and in working life-based continuing education. A student who completes an upper post-secondary degree may receive an opportunity for further studies in science or arts at universities (Section 37/558/2009). All further studies must be applied for separately.

​Other information


The planning of education is based on an extensive literature review and an analysis of the future of the operating environment in health care and social services as well as interviews with experts on future competence.
In addition to the teachers, representatives of the students as well as representatives of the field of health care and social services from public, private and non-governmental organisations have participated in the planning by participating in the events that have been arranged and discussing the common competence in health care and social services and profession-specific competence in the future.

Contact information

Mirja Immonen, Head of Department, +358 40 547 8949
Piippukatu 2
FI-40100 Jyväskylä