Optometry/Science - 3952

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: 3

Max UOC Per Semester: 27

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.

The School of Optometry and Vision Science offers a 5 year full-time dual award 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:
  • Not completed post-secondary studies prior to enrolment in the Vision Science study plan at UNSW;
  • Completed Stage 1 of the Vision Science study plan in the Bachelor of Science (3970) or, Bachelor of Advanced Science (Advanced) (3972), Bachelor of Science and Business (3925), Bachelor of Science (International) (3987), or associated Dual Degree Vision Science study plan;
  • Completed the UMAT exam held in July during Stage 1 of their BSc program (or have a valid result from the previous year) and;
  • An ATAR 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 ATAR or equivalent score, their WAM achieved at the end of Stage 1 of their 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 VISN1101 Seeing the World: Perspectives from Vision Science, VISN1111 Geometrical and Physical Optics and VISN1221 Visual Optics. A superior performance would normally be indicated by a high credit or distinction grade.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

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

Program Structure

Stage 1

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

Semester 2
Stage 2

Semester 1
Semester 2
Stage 3

Semester 1
  • General Education (6 UOC)
Semester 2
Stage 4

Semester 1
  • General Education (6 UOC)
Semester 2
Stage 5

Semester 1
Semester 2

Academic Rules

  1. The program is a five year full-time dual degree program leading to the award of two degrees: a Bachelor of Optometry (BOptom) and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with a major in Vision Science.
  2. The five years of the program includes 96 units of credit in the Science program (3970) and a minimum of 240 units of credit in total.
  3. The 96 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 separate testamur awarded for each degree in this program.
  6. Students must complete 12 UOC of General Education courses taken in Stage 3 and 4 and must comply with the Faculty’s rules on General Education. Students who transfer into program 3970 or 3972 will need to take their second General Education course in Semester 2, Stage 3, or will need to take an additional General Education course to graduate from 3970 or 3972.
  7. All students are required to complete a minimum of 18 days of approved work experience (Stage 5 Preceptorship placement) and to submit satisfactory written reports on this placement before graduation. This placement would usually be undertaken as a single 4 (four) week placement during the final year of the 3952 program. The Stage 5 Preceptorship placement will be assessed as a compulsory part of the course OPTM5211 Clinical Optometry 5B.
  8. 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.


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Area(s) of Specialisation