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The University of Southampton

OCCT1032 Design for Occupation 1

Module Overview

In this introductory module, you will discover how to investigate design features that impact upon occupation, health and wellbeing for individuals and populations. You will have the opportunity to develop and apply existing skills from other level 4 modules. You will utilise acquired knowledge of other appropriate disciplines to understand their contribution to design, plus the subsequent impact or design on occupational engagement and performance for individuals and populations You will use a variety of tools to analyse design to enable you to make recommendations for change to increase potential for occupational engagement and performance for individuals and populations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise and describe the impact of design on occupational performance by reflecting on personal experience of an environment system or artefact.
  • Understand and use language from different disciplines in order to describe design features and their impact on occupational engagement for individuals and populations
  • Use ergonomic and design principles/tools to analyse systems/environments/artefacts for accessibility and usability
  • Engage with outside statutory and voluntary agencies in order to understand a variety of perceptions of design enablers and barriers for different user groups
  • Discuss the importance of design to support occupational performance within your own professional practice
  • Complete a summative analysis on a piece of equipment to demonstrate how a given design influences occupational performance


- Introduction to design and ergonomics/human factors principles with application to occupational therapy practice - Engagement with outside agencies to explore design of systems and their impacts on human engagement and performance - Practical analysis of environments/systems/artefacts to identify enablers and barriers to engagement and performance for a) The general population b) People with specified conditions/pathologies - Group based tasks to enable development of team working in preparation for year 2 design projects

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will encompass a range of teaching and learning methods, including: - classroom based lectures - workshops - directed independent learning - group tasks - external visits

Independent Study154.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Journals available in library and on line. The Journal of Occupational Therapy Ergonomics Applied Ergonomics

Design Council Inclusive Design.

W Karwowski, MM Soares, NA Stanton (Eds) (2011). Human Factors and Ergonomics in Consumer Product Design. 

KHE Kromer (2008). Fitting the Task to the Human. 

T Sumsion (2006). Client Centred Practice in Occupational Therapy: a guide to implementation. 

K Jacobs (2008). Ergonomics for Therapists. 

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design: Royal College of Art.

G Salvendy (Ed) (2012). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics. 

Principles of Inclusive Design.

S Pheasant (2006). Bodyspace: anthropometry, ergonomics and the design of work. 

F Stein (2006). Occupational Therapy and Ergonomics: applying ergonomic principles to everyday occupation in the home and at work. 



Essay proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (1500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  (1500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Field Trips

There will be some minimal travel costs attributed to arranged visits. You will be encouraged to car share or use public transport in this case.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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