The development of a new occupational therapy course at the University of Newcastle has proved an exciting challenge to the authors. A common core year with other health professionals introduces students to the concepts of holistic health. Students develop problem solving skills and an attitude to therapy which encourages them to focus on each client as an individual, living and working within their specific environment. The reductionist view of intervention does not seem to be compatible with the self directed, problem based approach to learning. New patterns of fieldwork to support and consolidate theoretical input have been developed. Staff have learnt a new approach to education which is satisfying and rewarding. We believe students will graduate with skills which will allow them to meet the challenge of a new century.