Vision Science/Clinical Optom - 3182

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Science

Contact: Optometry and Vision Science

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Typical Duration: 5 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 240

UAC Code: 429750

Domestic Entry Requirements: See Domestic Entry Requirements

International Entry Requirements: See International Entry Requirements

View program information for previous years

Program Description

Optometry combines the theoretical discipline of vision science with the clinical art of primary eye care. Vision science includes the optics of lenses and instruments, the physiology of the eye, the psychophysics of vision and the neuroscience of the brain.

Optometry includes the diagnosis and management of ocular disease, the dispensing of spectacles and contact lenses, the management of people with special needs (children, low vision), sports vision and vision in the workplace. Graduates of this program will be able to register as an optometrist in Australia. The degree is also recognised in New Zealand and in most parts of Asia. Job opportunities in this field are excellent and are expected to remain excellent given the high visual demands in the modern computer-based workplace, and the ageing population in Australia.

Upon completion of the Master of Clinical Optometry degree, students will be allowed to apply for registration with the Optometry Board leading to the practice of Optometry in Australia, New Zealand and most parts of Asia.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

Graduates of the dual award Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry will have specialised knowledge and skills for professional practice and research in Optometry and Vision Science and further learning.

Students who have completed the degree will be able to:
  1. Articulate advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in Vision Science and Optometry, and their areas of professional practice.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of national and international issues within the disciplines of Vision Science and Optometry, and the impact they may have on the delivery of eye care to the community.
  3. Use expert, specialised cognitive and technical skills in Optometry to independently and critically analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories.
  4. Understand the scientific research process and ability to undertake independent research in Vision Science and Optometry.
  5. Apply established theories and concepts to a body of knowledge, and the interpretation and communication of knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  6. Apply knowledge and skills in Optometry to work in ophthalmic industry and or as an autonomous practitioner.
  7. Demonstrate effective and professional skills in communicating information and judgements to patients and other health care providers.
  8. Apply expert knowledge of ocular diseases and ocular therapeutics to the treatment and management of anterior eye diseases, foreign body removal and glaucoma co-management.

Program Structure

Stage 1

Semester 1
* MATH1011 can be taken with permission of the program authority.

Semester 2
Stage 2

Semester 1
Semester 2
  • General Education (6 UOC)
Stage 3

Semester 1
  • General Education (6 UOC)
Semester 2
Master of Clinical Optometry Program Structure - 96UOC

Stage 4

Summer Semester
Semester 1
Semester 2
Stage 5

Semester 1
Semester 2

General Education Requirements

Students must complete 12 UoC of General Education in accordance with the UNSW rules for General Education.

Any course defined as a 'Science' course in Table 1 of the 3970 Bachelor of Science program cannot be taken as General Education. Additionally, GENS courses cannot count as General Education for Science students.

Courses with identifying codes GEN# can only be used to fulfil the General Education requirement of the program.

Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs) or nominee.

Academic Rules

  1. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Vision Science / Master of Clinical Optometry must complete a minimum of 240 UOC for the award of the degree.
  2. Students must follow the program of study as outlined in this Handbook and defined under the Program Structure above.
  3. No student may commence level II courses until 48 UOC of level I courses have been successfully completed.
  4. Students may commence level III courses upon successful completion of 48 units of credit of level II courses.
  5. Study Load: This is an intensive full-time program. Only in exceptional circumstances will students be allowed to enrol in a reduced program for a Stage.
  6. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Vision Science / Master of Clinical Optometry must maintain an overall CREDIT average (65%) at the end of the Bachelor of Vision Science component of the program to progress to the Master of Clinical Optometry. Students who do not meet this requirement are expected to exit the program with a Bachelor of Vision Science degree.
  7. Students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Optometry will be required to complete 60 days of work experience. The cost associated with this work experience will be met by the student.
  8. This program includes placements in Health Facilities in Australia, private practice and the UNSW Optometry Clinic. In order to attend these placements, students will need to complete a criminal record check and comply with Health Facility’s immunisation and blood borne viruses policies.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.

Participation and Enrolment Requirements

Students in this program require a Criminal Record Check (for placement). International students need both the Australian check as well as a police certificate from their home country or any country in which they have been a citizen or permanent resident since turning 16 years of age.

Assumed Knowledge

It is expected that students enrolling in the Bachelor of Vision Science degree will have assumed knowledge in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and advanced English.

Future Pathways

Students who have completed the Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Clinical Optometry (3182) may apply for higher degree research (PhD, Master by Research or M.Phil) in Vision Science or the higher degree coursework Master of Optometry (8073).
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