Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy offers an academic continuation for professional Bachelors in Occupational Therapy. The study programme’s starting point is the profession’s own finality: ‘occupation’ or human contextual action. The programme has three essential objectives: academic research, quality assurance  and management, and professional development and innovation.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation


The Master of Occupational Therapy Science programme rangers under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The study programme’s starting point is the profession’s own finality: ‘occupation’ or human contextual action. It offers an academic continuation for professional Bachelors in Occupational Therapy with a central focus on critical solution-oriented thinking.

The study programme’s mission is to train you to become a professional who is able to:

  • conduct academic research within the field of occupational science, occupational therapy and occupational topics;

  • to take up leadership based on the principles of management and quality assurance, and to formulate policy advice based on an understanding of health care organization at a regional, national and international level;

  • to play an innovative role in a national and international perspective by adequately implementing research results in the work domain of the occupational therapist.

Academic research makes up the core of the Master’s programme. The study programme focuses on acquiring competencies that enable you to correctly interpret, validate and translate academic knowledge into daily professional practice on the one hand, and to take an active role in the collection, processing and assessing research data on the other. The programme also aims at strengthening management-related competencies and insights, like leadership and motivation. The study programme has a deepening as well as a broadening scope: the former comprising knowledge and knowledge creation in and reflection on the field of occupational therapy. The latter refers to the broader social context in which occupational therapy takes place and the need to be able to respond to a rapidly changing society.




Please note that the academic bridging programme is organized at KU Leuven whereas and the Master’s programme is organized at Ghent University. This means that the programmes’ classes take place in Leuven and Ghent, respectively.

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


This Master’s programme focuses on an influx of professional Bachelors in Occupational Therapy and (non-university) Graduates in Occupational Therapy. The study programme is accessible only after taking the preceding academic bridging programme of 60 ECTS-credits. The programme has been developed in a collaborative effort by most Flemish universities and university colleges. The academic bridging programme is organized at KU Leuven (you also register there) and the Master’s programme at Ghent University.

Taken together, the two-year programme’s course units (i.e. of both the bridging and the Master’s programme) make up three three competency areas:

  • science and researcher

  • manager of quality assurance,

  • professional developer/innovator.

The programme offers a variety of different teaching methods such as lectures, interactive discussion lectures, flipped classroom and blended learning. These didactic methods are used to stimulate critical thinking. The Master’s dissertation is the important final element of the study programme. It is proof of your ability to study an occupational therapy problem in a critical, academic and independent manner, and to disseminate your findings. The classes are grouped together and scheduled on a limited number of days.

The programme puts great store by international networking and cooperation. Every student is given the opportunity to have an international experience, ranging from active participation in international conferences and developing a Master’s dissertation abroad, to collaborating with international partners at home.

Labour Market

Due to the growing consideration for occupational therapists’ competencies by health insurance funds, work reintegration services, home care services, prisons, etc…, an increasing academic basis for occupational therapy is a must. The Master’s programme’s objective is to provide future occupational therapists with the necessary knowledge and skills to take up research and management positions within the different work domains listed above. The study programme delivers graduates with the ability to think innovatively about theory and development of guidelines, and to take up middle management positions in welfare and health care institutions. Furthermore, the programme offers perspectives in the education sector.