OT4004 - Occupations Across the Lifespan

What will I learn on this module?

By the end of this module, you will have a foundation understanding of the meaning occupational roles that humans undertake across their lifespan and how they undertake important activities associated with these roles.

You will develop knowledge from physical, behavioural and social sciences to inform your understanding of how humans develop the ability to carry out occupations – for example how humans move, think and emotionally respond.

You will also consider how human development is influenced by engagement in occupations, and how, simultaneously, choice and engagement in activities and roles is influenced by the skills that are developed throughout the human lifespan.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a range of student-centred approaches, designed to help you make the transition to university learning and to help you develop knowledge in relation to important topics. Lectures (and e-lectures where appropriate) will be utilised to introduce you to key module concepts, with practical and seminar sessions utilised to explore these concepts in interactive and experiential ways. In particular, practical sessions will be utilised to encourage engagement in, and reflection on, everyday occupations and to observe the skills, actions, responses and behaviours of others when engaged in occupation. Audio-visual and online material will be used to support observations and discussions.

There will also be a period of fieldwork within this module where you will spend a short time in an environment where you can begin apply theoretical knowledge to observations of how humans perform and engage in occupation. Examples could include a period of time in a school or nursery, a day centre or community facility or a residential environment for older people. This not only assists you to learn about human occupation in the context in which it occurs, but also provides an early, ‘low-stakes’ opportunity to learn about the professionalism required when representing the university and the profession in different workplace environments. This will assist you to develop towards your first period of practice placement later in year 1.

During this fieldwork, although you are not necessarily working with users of health and social care services, this opportunity will help you to think about how you work alongside a range of people in different situations and contexts, and to prepare you for learning from the experience of service users in other areas of the programme.

Student-led directed learning will also be important to help you to develop knowledge about key scientific and theoretical concepts which will be introduced during the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The identified module tutor, alongside the module teaching team, will structure face-to-face and on-line learning opportunities to support your learning within the module and to assist you to work towards the module assessment. The module handbook, the electronic reading list, and information communicated throughout the module within sessions and on the e-learning portal will all signpost you to resources to support your academic development.

A formative assessment opportunity with staff and/or peer feedback will assist you to evaluate your own progress within the module and identify areas for development. Assessment preparation with the module teaching team will also be an integral part of the module.

Part A of the summative assessment will be short answer exam mid-way through the year-long module. This summative assessment at an early stage will give you an indication of your progress on the module and help you to identify areas for development.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Discuss activities and roles performed by individuals across the lifespan
2. Identify how the development of, and change in, physical, cognitive and emotional skills influence participation in occupation
3. Identify risks associated with engagement in occupation at different stages across the lifespan.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Interpret and communicate knowledge and terminology from base sciences to an understanding of human occupation
5. Use observation and skills in information gathering to understand how other people enage in occupations

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

6. Develop curiosity to enquire how occupation gives life meaning throughout the lifespan.
7. Reflect on how cultural and societal influences affect occupation across the lifespan
8. Demonstrate professionalism when negotiating to observe or gather information about an individual’s engagement in occupation

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
a) Self tests re subject matter to be covered during summative examination
b) Short presentation on an element of the syllabus giving the opportunity to practice presentation skills and consolidate learning.

Summative assessment:

Part One: Mutiple choice questionnaire covering syllabus so far. (All MLOs)
Part Two: 15 minute Oral Presentation (All MLOs)

You will receive written feedback summarising strengths and areas for development from both parts of your summarive assessment which will be accessible via the eLP module site assessment area.





Module abstract

From birth to the end of life, humans engage in a range of occupations which give their life meaning. This module will start with an exploration of the occupational roles people undertake throughout their life - for example the roles of sibling, student, employee, parent - and the activities associated with these roles which give them meaning. The module will also examine how the development of physical, cognitive (thinking) and emotional skills supports and influences engagement in occupation.

This module will enable students to understand occupations and roles from different perspectives. This will assist students to develop foundation professional skills and attributes to help to prepare for practice placements and future employment – such as respecting diversity and demonstrating a non-judgemental approach. At an early stage, it will also emphasise the potential for using knowledge about occupation when working across a range of settings and with a range of groups and individuals. The module will incorporate time spent in ‘real-world’ settings to learn about human occupation for people of different ages in the context in which it occurs and to develop foundation awareness of the professionalism required when representing the university and the profession in workplace environments.

The module assessment will be in two parts – the first component being an unseen exam to assist students to develop their use and understanding of scientific and professional knowledge and terminology, and the second part being an oral presentation to develop confidence in articulating knowledge and understanding to others.

Course info

UCAS Code B925

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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