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The School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University


The School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University is committed to leading and inspiring positive changes that transform lives through rehabilitation research, education and practice. As part of this commitment, our core mission is to educate occupational therapists, physiotherapists and rehabilitation scientists who contribute to health and well-being globally through collaboration, creativity, and the discovery of new knowledge.

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy offers a 24 month program in Occupational Therapy leading to a professional Master of Science, Occupational Therapy (MSc(OT)) degree. Students who have completed a four-year honours Baccalaureate Degree at a recognized university are eligible to apply.

Our mission is to prepare OT professionals who continually strive for the highest standards of professional practice in their roles as experts in enabling occupation, and who demonstrate strong clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice, innovative leadership and commitment to community development.

Our goals are to:

  • Educate students for the many roles as experts in enabling occupational that exist within the professional domain. Students are introduced to knowledge and practice related to the roles outlined in the Profile of Occupational Therapy Practice in Canada (CAOT, 2007): communicator, professional, scholarly practitioner, collaborator, change agent, practice manager and expert in enabling occupation.
  • Prepare students to pursue advanced education and training that will further enable and support them to move to proficient practice.
  • Educate students as innovative leaders who strive for the highest practice standards; students are encouraged to demonstrate professional behaviours that express integrity, curiosity, innovation, critical thinking, a strong professional identity, and a commitment to social justice.
  • Coach students to provide leadership in a collaborative manner within complex and ever-changing health care and practice environments. Attention is specifically paid to the education of professionals for community practice.
  • Offer an innovative curriculum and learning environment that contributes to shaping the practice environment and future roles of occupational therapists.

Our program is designed to ensure that each graduate has acquire the essential competencies required to become a practicing occupational therapist as well as the ability to provide leadership within a complex, ever-changing practice environment. The program offers a dynamic curriculum that meets and exceeds professional practice standards. The MSc(OT) program at Queen's University prepares students with graduate level knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required for practice and leadership in the contemporary health care arena.

Our objectives

Consistent with our mission, we expect that graduates of the Occupational Therapy Program will demonstrate knowledge, skills and competencies that are grounded in the ability to interpret, apply, critique, and show empathy and self-knowledge related to the following areas:

  • Occupational therapy and related theory
  • Disability studies and experience
  • Occupation across the lifespan
  • Cultural competence and respect for diversity and inclusion
  • The interdependence of the determinants of occupation
  • The individual and enablement of occupation within the context of physical, social, cultural and institutional environments
  • Assessment of occupational performance strengths and problems
  • The contribution of published literature to evidence-based practice in occupational therapy
  • Enabling interventions aimed to facilitate client autonomy and improve transactions between person, occupation, and environment
  • Occupational justice
  • The development of occupationally just communities
  • Advanced communication skills that promote collaboration at the individual, team, group, and systems levels
  • Critical thinking and clinical reasoning
  • Leadership, including the ability to initiate, respond to and adapt to change

Domain of Concern - Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is a rehabilitation discipline that promotes health through enabling occupation. Occupation consists of a balance between the three spheres of self-care, productivity and leisure. Occupational therapists work primarily with people with disabilities.

We prepare students for the many roles that occupational therapists choose. Our students are prepared for roles in direct service delivery. Some may also pursue graduate education, allowing them to assume clinical specialist, researcher, educator, administrator, advocate and consultant roles.

Organizing Framework

The Queen's University Occupational Therapy curriculum is organized according to the following frameworks:

  • The theoretical basis of occupational therapy (McColl, Law, Stewart, Doubt, Pollock and Krupa, 2003)
  • Enabling occupation: An occupational therapy perspective (Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists [CAOT], 2002)
  • Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being and justice through occupation (Townsend and Polatajko, 2007)
  • Profile of occupational therapy practice in Canada (CAOT, 2007) (available at,
  • Framework for interprofessional education (available at,
  • Queen's University Faculty of Health Sciences Mission (available at,


Educational Values- We believe that:

  • the process of becoming an occupational therapist involves life-long learning that begins, rather than ends, with the master's degree;
  • learning occurs best when it is undertaken in an active partnership among students, instructors and community members;
  • the learning of practical skills must be based on a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge and inquiry and evidence-based practice;
  • in order to be effective occupational therapists, individuals need to be independent, critical thinkers and self-directed learners through reflective practice.
  • in order to be effective in the broad, complex and ever-changing practice environments, occupational therapists require strong interprofessional communication skills.
  • occupational therapists need to learn to work effectively with communities in ways that both strengthen communities and create meaningful participation for persons with disabilities.
  • learning is enhanced when undertaken in authentic learning activities and real-world contexts.

Therapeutic Values -We believe that:

  • people with disabilities are entitled to full participation in Canadian society;
  • health is experienced as a balance of meaningful occupation in the areas of self-care, productivity and leisure;
  • a client-centered approach to service delivery is most effective, when clients are acknowledged as being the best sources of information about their function and the goals of therapy;
  • people seeking occupational therapy services are unique individuals who can only be fully understood in the context of their relationships, homes, families and communities;
  • the practice of occupational therapy requires a thorough understanding of the integration and interdependence of the many dimensions of the human being;
  • occupational therapy services are delivered across the spectrum from institutional to community services.

Professional Values- We believe in the value of the broadly trained occupational therapist, who can apply occupational therapy theory and clinical reasoning to a wide variety of situations.

  • We believe it is the responsibility of the occupational therapist to be responsive to change in health care systems and practices.
  • We adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists for guidance about the ethical practice of occupational therapy.
  • We prepare students to be eligible to practice as an O.T. subject to local credentialing requirements.


CAOT (2007). Profile of occupational therapy practice in Canada [2007]. Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE, October 2007.

CAOT (2002). Enabling occupation: An occupational therapy perspective (revised). Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

McColl, M.A., Law, M., Stewart, D., Doubt, L., Pollock, N. and Krupa, T. (2003). Theoretical basis of occupational therapy (2nd Ed.). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.

Townsend, E.A. & Polatajko, H.J. (2007). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being, & justice through occupation. Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy offers a twenty-four month program in Physical Therapy leading to a professional Master of Science (PT) degree.

Our mission is to provide an outstanding learning environment for the education of future physical therapy professionals. With critical enquiry and evidence-based practice as the foundation, the program promotes the acquisition of advanced academic knowledge, skills and behaviours that are essential for a primary health care provider in a complex and continually evolving health care environment.

The overall aim of the program is to ensure that the graduate has the ability to provide leadership within a changing health care environment and acquire the essential competencies of a practicing physical therapist.


The MScPT Program is accredited by Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC).  In October 2012 PEAC Council granted the program Accreditation, Fully Compliant, until November 2017.

Regulation of Practice

All physiotherapists in Canada must be registered with the appropriate provincial or territorial regulatory body. Each jurisdiction has its own registration process. In Ontario successful completion of the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) is required for registration with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

About the Physical Therapy Program

Physical Therapy is a first contact, autonomous, client-focused health profession dedicated to: improving and maintaining functional independence and physical performance; preventing and managing pain, physical impairments, disabilities and limits to participation; and promoting fitness, health and wellness.

This 24 month program prepares students to enter the physical therapy profession. The client-centred curriculum progresses from single system problems in the mid lifespan to more complex problems and situations occurring at the extremes of the lifespan spectrum. Students are exposed to representative conditions and the various contexts in which physical therapists work, from the public system to private and community based settings.

The Mission of the RHBS Program is to educate rehabilitation scientists who contribute to health and well-being globally through collaboration, creativity, and the discovery of knew knowledge. This mission is congruent with that of the School and with the School's strategic direction to "lead and inspire positive changes that transform lives through rehabilitation research, education and practice" and with the School's overall intentions for Advancing knowledge - Inspiring practice - Transforming lives.