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Undergraduate Handbook

Optometry/Science - 3952

Program Summary

Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Undergraduate
Typical Duration: 5 Years
Typical UOC Per Session: 24
Min UOC Per Session: 3
Max UOC Per Session: 24
Min UOC For Award: 240

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, 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.

The School of Optometry and Vision Science offers a 5 year full-time combined BOptom BSc program. 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 aging population in Australia.

An innovative feature of this program is its alternate entry mechanism. Students who do not achieve direct entry into the Optometry program may be eligible for a transfer position. Students wishing to apply for transfer into the BOptom BSc (3952) program will be expected to have:
  1. Not completed post-secondary studies prior to enrolment in the Bachelor of Science (3970) Vision Science study plan
  2. Completed Stage 1 of the Bachelor of Science (3970) Vision Science study plan;
  3. Completed the UMAT exam held in July during Stage 1 of their BSc program (or have a valid result from the previous year) and;
  4. A UAI or equivalent of at least 90. A lower entry index may be used for students from rural and regional locations.
Students meeting these requirements will be ranked using an algorithm that includes their UAI or equivalent score, their WAM achieved at the end of Stage 1 of their BSc (3970) Vision Science study plan and their UMAT result. As a guide, it is anticipated that you will need to have achieved a minimum WAM of 65 and a superior performance in both VISN1211 - Vision Science 1 and VISN1231 - Optics 1. A superior performance would normally be indicated by a high credit or distinction grade.

Assumed knowledge

UNSW has a policy of Assumed Knowledge. It is assumed that through secondary or equivalent studies a student will have achieved a level of knowledge of the subject area that is considered appropriate for their future University study. The BOptom BSc program assumes that students entering the program have a strong ability in English, Chemistry and HSC Mathematics (does not include General Mathematics; must have a mark of at least 90; HSC Extension Mathematics is highly recommended). Other recommended knowledge is Physics. Bridging Courses are available to students entering UNSW; these courses usually run in January - February, before the start of Semester 1. Students who do not have the appropriate assumed knowledge are strongly advised to undertake the relevant Bridging Course/s, or other appropriate preparation.

Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Please contact the School of Optometry for the Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes.

Program Structure

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4
  • BEES204X Data Analysis for Optometry (3 UOC)

Stage 5

General Education Requirements

6 UOC to be completed in Stage 3, or 12 UOC if transferring down to the BSc 3970 with a Major in Vision Science. See also the General Education Requirements link at left.

Academic Rules

  1. The program is a five year full-time combined program leading to the award of the two degrees of Bachelor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science (BOptom BSc).
  2. The five years of the program include at least 108 units of credit in the Science program (3970) and a minimum of 240 units of credit in total.
  3. The 108 Science program units of credit must include 48 Level 1 units of credit.
  4. The degrees of Bachelor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science are not awarded until the completion of the full five year program.
  5. There will be a testamur for each degree in the combined program.
  6. Progression through the Stages of the BOptom BSc program is subject to academic performance. Students are expected to maintain a CREDIT average (65% WAM) in the program. Students not maintaining this level of performance in Stages 1 and 2 of the program will be referred to School Advisors for counselling and career guidance as required. Students who do not attain the required CREDIT average (65% WAM) at the end of Stage 3 will not be allowed to progress into Stage 4. Students who do not attain the required CREDIT average (65% WAM) at the end of Stage 3 of the program will normally be required to transfer to the Bachelor of Science (3970) program, complete a further 6 units of credit of General Education, and take out the BSc award with a major in Vision Science at a Pass level.
  7. SCIF1021 will be counted in lieu of BIOS1101/PSYC1011 for students who transfer from 3972.


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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.