Occupational Therapy

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Duration:

4 years (8 semesters)

Credit points:

240 ECTS

Type:

Full-time studies

Teaching language:

English

Degree conferred:

Bachelor's Degree in Health Care

Qualification:

Occupational Therapist

Course places:

10

Fees:

See Tuition Fees and Scholarships

Start dates:

September, for more see Academic Calendar

Application procedure:

To apply, click here.

School:

Faculty of Rehabilitation

Overview

Occupational therapy (OT) is an exciting, fascinating and rapidly changing field. It is a specialisation in health care, which is based on the aim of improving an individual’s health and wellness in all aspects of life.

Occupational therapy prevents and treats physical or mental dysfunctions that impair a person's ability to perform their daily activities.

"RSU opens doors to the world, and here you can learn everything you need for your chosen speciality. The creative study process and practical classes helped me to grow, and realise that this is my place."

– Modris Skrastiņš, alumnus of the Occupational Therapy programme

Modris Skrastins

Aims & Structure

Aim of the programme

The aim of the professional programme is to provide students with the knowledge that would allow them to provide clinical services to persons of all ages and with a variety of social, psychological, developmental, or physical disabilities as well as to become an educator, researcher, consultant, administrator or master clinician.

The main objectives of the programme are to:

  • Provide students with knowledge about methods that allow individuals to engage in meaningful life activities and to modify environments that make it possible for the individual to function at home, work and in the community.
  • Help master specific theoretical courses: children’s and adult diseases, pharmacology, first aid and professional specialisation courses: conceptual practice models in OT, OT in paediatrics, and creative activities in OT.
  • Prepare students for practical training, which consists of clinical practice in somatic medicine, psychiatry and in the development of mental retardation.

Course structure

The study programme is comprised of compulsory and elective courses, and over the period of four years students learn theoretical and practical subjects.

In the 1st year students study general subjects from the humanities and social sciences, e.g., psychology and medical ethics as well as subjects that develop their social, communicative and organisational skills, and focus on the basics of Occupational Therapy, e.g., basics of OT, assessment methods in OT, knowledge about disability and environmental accessibility. The theoretical courses include the basic disciplines of medicine, e.g., anatomy, physiology, biology and genetics. 

In the 2nd year students continue with general subjects as well as theoretical subjects in OT - paediatric diseases, first aid, pharmacology, conceptual placement models in OT, OT in paediatrics and creative activities in OT.

In the 3rd year students primarily focus on professional specialisation courses, e.g., OT for grown-ups, geriatrics/gerontology, ergonomics, general rehabilitation, public and environmental health, clinical placement.

In the 4th year, apart from placement, students also have to complete general courses like rhetorics and logic, economics and business, and biometry. Students also have to write and defend their bachelor's thesis.

For more information on Latvian Education System, please see the homepage of Academic Information Centre.

Curriculum

Below you can read examples of courses, which you will study over the course of your degree. 

Typical Year One
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Introduction into Specialty, Legal Aspects of Professional Activity
  • Introduction into Specialty History of Medicine
  • Legal Aspects of Professional Activity
  • Basics of Occupational Therapy
  • Anatomy
  • Biology and Genetics
  • Physiology
  • Medical Terminology in Foreign Languages
  • Medical Terminology in Latin and Greek
  • Medical Terminology in English
  • Psychology
  • Basics of Psychology
  • Professional Communication
  • Psychology of Development
  • Methodology of Evaluation in Occupational Therapy
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • Philosophy
  • Ethics
  • Research Methods I
  • Assessment and Classification of Functional Ability Limitations
  • Evaluation of Person, Occupation and Environment, Course Paper
  • Knowledge about Disabilities
  • Assistive Technologies and Accessibility of Environment
  • Obesity and its Treatment
  • Sports for Health
  • Group Work for Functional Specialists
  • Universal Design
  • Balancing of Activity for Healthy Lifestyle
  • Protocol Nordic Walking
  • Pilates
  • Health Gymnastics
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Current Issues in Dietotherapy
  • German
  • Russian
  • Diversity of Cultures and Religions
  • Psychosocial Factors of Violence
  • Child's Psychosocial Development
  • Nutrition
  • Allergy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Nutrition for Athletes Training in Professional Sports
  • Identity Development
  • Personality Theories
  • Social Economics
  • Social Communication
  • Family Paedagogy
  • Preparation of Healthy Food
Typical Year Two
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Universal Design
  • Biometry
  • Personality Theories
  • Emergency Medical Care I
  • Medical Terminology in Foreign Languages
  • Medical Terminology in English
  • Conceptual Placement Models
  • Paediatric Diseases
  • Paediatrics
  • Paediatric Traumatology and Orthopaedics
  • Occupational Therapy in Paediatrics
  • Occupation and Cultural Environment
  • Emergency Medical Care I
  • Surgery and Internal Diseases
  • Traumatology and Orthopaedics
  • Internal Diseases
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry
  • Creative Activities in Occupational Therapy
  • Pedagogy
  • Pharmacology
  • General Pharmacology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Obesity and its Treatment
  • Sports for Health
  • Group Work for Functional Specialists
  • Universal Design
  • Balancing of Activity for Healthy Lifestyle
  • Protocol Nordic Walking
  • Pilates
  • Health Gymnastics
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Current Issues in Dietotherapy
  • German
  • Russian
  • Diversity of Cultures and Religions
  • Psychosocial Factors of Violence
  • Child's Psychosocial Development
  • Nutrition
  • Allergy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Nutrition for Athletes Training in Professional Sports
  • Identity Development
  • Personality Theories
  • Social Economics
  • Social Communication
  • Family Paedagogy
  • Preparation of Healthy Food
Typical Year Three
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Occupational Therapy and Mental Health
  • Mental Development Delays
  • Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy
  • General Rehabilitation
  • Ergonomics, Work, Course Paper
  • Occupational Therapy in Adults
  • Somatic Diseases
  • Principles of Hand Orthotics
  • Turnover System of Technical Aids
  • Occupational Therapy: Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Placement in Somatic Medicine I
  • Environment and Health/Course Paper
  • Occupational Therapy in Public Health
  • Environmental Science
  • Research Methods II
  • Sociology
  • Obesity and its Treatment
  • Sports for Health
  • Group Work for Functional Specialists
  • Universal Design
  • Balancing of Activity for Healthy Lifestyle
  • Protocol Nordic Walking
  • Pilates
  • Health Gymnastics
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Current Issues in Dietotherapy
  • German
  • Russian
  • Diversity of Cultures and Religions
  • Psychosocial Factors of Violence
  • Child's Psychosocial Development
  • Nutrition
  • Allergy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Nutrition for Athletes Training in Professional Sports
  • Identity Development
  • Personality Theories
  • Social Economics
  • Social Communication
  • Family Paedagogy
  • Preparation of Healthy Food
Typical Year Four
Compulsory coursesPlus one of the following elective courses
  • Clinical Placement in Psychiatry
  • Clinical Placement in Somatic Medicine II
  • Economics and Entrepreneurship
  • State Examination
  • Development and Defence of Bachelor's Thesis
  • State Examination
  • Clinical Placement: Persons with Mental Retardation
  • Group Work for Functional Specialists
  • Universal Design
  • Balancing of Activity for Healthy Lifestyle
  • Protocol
  • Nordic Walking
  • Pilates
  • Sports for Health
  • Health Gymnastics
  • Gymnastics for Pregnant Women
  • Obesity and its Treatment
  • Healthy Lifestyle
  • Current Issues in Dietotherapy
  • German Language
  • Russian Language
  • Diversity of Cultures and Religions
  • Psychosocial Factors of Violence
  • Massage
  • Nutrition Allergy
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Nutrition for Athletes
  • Training in Professional Identity Development
  • Personality Theories
  • Social Economics
  • Social Communication
  • Family Paedagogy
  • Preparation of Healthy Food

Careers

Upon graduation

Upon the successful completion of the four year programme, you will be conferred the degree of Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences* and the qualification of Occupational Therapist (certificate issued by the Professional Association of Occupational Therapists), which will allow you to start practicing in occupational therapy, as well as continue your education in post-graduate study programmes like Social Work and Nutrition.

Upon graduation you will have acquired the following skills and knowledge, and you will be able to:

  • apply theoretical knowledge based on scientific findings in occupational therapy, understand the significance of research and apply evidence based practice in professional work,
  • execute preventive and educational work in public in renewal/maintaining of healthy lifestyle and health through occupational therapy,
  • adjust appropriate environment for client/patient depending on functional disturbances and environmental restrictions,
  • independently and critically assess problems of patients/clients representing various age groups by choosing adequate assessment methods of occupational therapy, systematise obtained information, analyse and execute therapy by applying technologies of occupational therapy,
  • ensure adequate communication both in written and oral form,
  • draw up documentation observing the requirements of document management,
  • work in multicultural/international environment,
  • observe principles of professional ethics and legal enactment.

* Diploma is a document that attests that you have fulfilled all the requirements of the programme, and it is issued along with Diploma Supplement, which includes information on the content of your studies as well as your academic performance. You can see Diploma Supplement sample here.

Additional information on accreditation

There is no centralised EU accreditation for Universities in Europe. Universities, including Rīga Stradiņš University, are accredited locally by the Ministry of Education and Science with international experts present. RSU study programmes receive official accreditation every 6 years. In addition, all RSU study programmes in regulated professions, including Occupational Therapy, are developed according to EU directives on regulated professions.

Secondly, given that Latvia has been an EU member state since 2004, The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, usually referred to as the Lisbon Convention, applies also to Latvian universities, including RSU. Besides many others, the main point of the Lisbon Convention is as follows: holders of qualifications issued in one EU member state shall have adequate access to an assessment of these qualifications in another EU member state. 

In short, the Lisbon Convention, and the fact that RSU is an officially accredited state University, ensures that qualifications obtained at Rīga Stradiņš University are recognised in all EU and EEA member states. 

Entry criteria

1. Completed secondary education

To apply, you must have completed secondary education (secondary/high-school diploma). This usually grants university entrance qualification, which qualifies you for university study - this basically means that you have acquired a secondary-school certificate that makes you eligible to continue your studies at a university in your home country or abroad.

We require that you have studied at least two semesters, and acquired a passing grade in Biology. Please note that we accept both - exam grades or final semester grades.

Please see minimum requirements for secondary education (pages 22-26).

2. English language requirements

All applicants, except native English speakers, must demonstrate their English language proficiency by submitting documents that testify their knowledge of English. Preferably you should submit one of the following certificates with a minimum score of:

IELTS 6.0
TOEFL iBT 90
TOEIC 700
TOEFL PBT 550
GCSE (or GCE) C level
Cambridge First Certificate in English Level B2 (CEFR)

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English

Level B2 (CEFR)

NB! International English proficiency certificates and corresponding test results are valid for 2 years.

If none of the above applies, you may submit a substitute certificate or other proof of English language proficiency; e.g., if you have studied English at Secondary School, the grade from the Secondary School Official Transcript may also be accepted, provided that the grade received is very good or excellent; however, in case of any doubts, RSU reserves the rights to ask for an official language certificate as listed above.

3. Age restriction

There is no age restriction to apply for studies at RSU. However, please note medical studies in general, and at RSU in particular, are very demanding and rigorous. The study process will require your full attention at all times, individual studies on everyday basis, excellent memory and determination.

If during the RSU application period and before coming to Riga to start your studies you are under age (you have not turned 18 yet), in accordance with Latvian law you need a legal guardian in Latvia until you come of age, i.e., turn 18.

The guardian can be:

  • a citizen of the Republic of Latvia, who is at least 18 years old,
  • a citizen of an EU/EEA state that can legally reside in Latvia, and who is at least 18 years old,
  • other residents of Latvia with a permanent residence permit or a temporary residence permit that covers full duration of your planned stay in Latvia, and are at least 18 years old.

Your parents need to sign a document prepared and issued by a notary which states that your parents authorise (full name, personal code, passport No. or your guardian’s residence card number and validity period) a certain person to be your legal guardian in Latvia until you come of age. For further details please contact the notary offices of your country.