Optometry at University of Melbourne

You’ve achieved a great score in the GAMSAT which means that a lot of different avenues have now been opened up for you. Perhaps all the physics and focal point questions in Section 3 have really created an interest in you for a more “physics” orientated aspect of medicine, in that case perhaps a degree in Optometry is on the cards.

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

As it nears it’s 160th birthday the University of Melbourne continues to be one of the world’s leading educational institutions. Attached to it is the campus where you will do your Four Year Doctor of Optometry Degree. There are other routes to becoming an optometrist, but if you are already in possession of an undergraduate degree, then just four more years of study could see you helping people to see properly!

What are the Entry Requirements?

If you read the words: “There is no minimum GAMSAT requirement” you’ll initially be delighted, especially if your score has not been up to par. Look a bit further into the statement and you’ll find that you certainly need to do your best at GAMSAT as there are limited places and there is expected to be a lot of competition to gain entry.

  • Undergraduate degree (any discipline) completed maximum 10 years before applying for the Optometry course
  • 3 Level 2/ Level 3/ equivalent subjects from at least one relevant biological science discipline with subjects completed maximum 10 years before applying for the Optometry course
  • GAMSAT/ MCAT/ OAT

The Selection Committee considers the following:

  • Performance in GAMSAT/ MCAT/ OAT
  • Previous academic record

Professional practice or relevant previous academics may secure up to 200 credit points.

What to Expect

Billing itself as a first of its kind course (in the Southern Hemisphere) you’ll be thrown straight into clinical studies in the first year, ramping up to full time in the final year of study. The program is recognised throughout the world and is one of the best that Australian universities have to offer. As the course is high profile expect to be competing against many other graduate students for entry, so make sure that you do well on the upcoming GAMSAT.

Degree Structure & Subjects

This is a four-year program, during which the student must earn 400 credits. The student has to take 6 core compulsory subjects distributed across 4 years, each year totalling to 100 points.

Year 1

Compulsory Subjects

  • Preclinical Optometry: 25 points. Total time commitment is an estimated 290 hours. Semester 1: 3 hours of practical work each week. Semester 2: Practical work averaging at 8 hours each week. Attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference and 4 lectures and/or tutorials, each for 1 hour, all through the year.
  • Integrated Opthalmic Sciences: 75 points. Total time commitment is estimated at 720 hours. First semester: the student needs to attend 6 lectures and four seminar workshops per week, each lasting one hour. Time commitment for practical work is 6 hours each week. Second semester: 3 lectures and 4 seminar workshops each week, each lasting one hour. Attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference.

Subject by Invitation

  • Preclinical Optometry Refresher: 12.5 points. Total time commitment is approximately 144 hours. Students are required to complete 4 hours of clinical and practical work each week.

Year 2

Compulsory Subjects

  • Research Studies in Vision and Optometry: 25 points. Total time commitment is approximately 340 hours. Semester 1: One lecture per week, lasting one hour and attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference.
  • Applied Clinical Training: 75 points. Estimated total time commitment: 720 hours. Semester 1: Each week schedule: 9 lectures and/or seminars (1 hour), computer-assisted tasks, clinicals, tutorials and practicals (10 hours), Attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference. Semester 2: Each week schedule: 10 lectures and/or seminars (1 hour), computer-assisted tasks, clinicals, tutorials and practicals (9 hours), Attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference.

Year 3

Compulsory Subjects

  • Clinical Optometry Practice: 100 points. Estimated total contact hours: 1560 hours over 36 weeks. Semester 1: Each week schedule: lectures (6 hours), clinical work (12 hours), tutorials and/or seminars (4 hours), computer-assisted learning and/or assessment and reflective analysis (4 hours). Semester 2: lectures (5 hours), seminars and/or tutorials (4 hours), clinical work (12 hours), computer-assisted learning and/or assessment and reflective analysis (4 hours), attendance at the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference.

Year 4

Compulsory Subjects

  • Optometry Internship: 100 points. The student needs to complete 27 hours of clinical duty each week, along with 22 one-hour debate sessions and/or tutorials. Attending the Doctor of Optometry Student Conference is also a must. Total time commitment is estimated at 1100 hours over a 40-week period.

image source :nvo.com

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