Class Size, Learning Methods, & Fieldwork


Class Size

A cohort of 56 domestic students and up to eight international students is admitted annually. The overall faculty to student ratio is approximately 1:4. All occupational therapy courses have up to 56 students for seminars and lectures, with a faculty to student ratio of 1:56. Laboratory sessions requiring direction, supervision, and feedback are taught in sections or with teaching assistants to ensure a ratio of 1:28, with selected lab topics at a ratio of 1:14.  Case-based tutorials are small groups with one tutor facilitating group of 7 to 8 students. Interprofessional and integrated curricula are delivered throughout the two-year program. Selected topics are shared with other disciplines, including physical therapy, speech language pathology, nursing, social work, and others health professions at UBC.


Learning Methods

Our MOT program uses an array of teaching and learning methods, which includes lectures, seminars, live and web-based discussions, and collaborative and case-based learning. Case-based learning, exemplified in our small group tutorials that run throughout the MOT curriculum, is a defining feature of the UBC MOT curriculum; it is an effective method for preparing students for the complexities of professional practice by promoting critical pedagogy, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving skills (ACOTRO, 2011). Cases progress from basic to more complex situations and build on students’ prior knowledge, experience, and ways of thinking. Another strength of the UBC MOT program is our emphasis on experiential learning, which is enacted in our program through hands-on skills sessions, including experiences with patient as educators, application of learning in laboratories, community engagement projects, interprofessional student health clinics, practice setting visits, and fieldwork placements. Clinical faculty and people with lived experience contribute to most courses.



Fieldwork is conducted in approved, affiliated health and social service agencies. A total of 30 weeks of fieldwork is incorporated into the curriculum, distributed over five different experiences. These experiences enable students to apply newly acquired knowledge and skills into the work setting, and to develop competencies for practice. Students take responsibility for establishing a balanced mix of fieldwork settings to achieve basic competency and to pursue their own interests.