Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry

Undergraduate degree

This course will see you graduate as a qualified optometrist, as you learn about visual health issues and their impact on local and international levels.

Key facts


Waurn Ponds:
Lowest selection rank


3.5 years accelerated full time program delivered over ten consecutive trimesters commencing in Trimester 1

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 1 2019 have closed

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course information

In this specialised combined degree, you will learn about visual health issues and their impact on communities. You will investigate the structure and function of the visual system, gain skills in clinical assessment, and gain an understanding of management approaches, and ethical, legal, and professional standards of practice. The course will train you in the detection, treatment, and management of eye and vision disorders, and you will graduate with a recognised qualification in optometry.

Optometrists are primary eye care practitioners who are involved in assessing the health and function of the eyes and visual system and the diagnosis and management of a wide range of ocular conditions. Deakin’s combined Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry aims to provide you with the discipline-specific knowledge required to practise as an optometrist throughout Australia and New Zealand.

As you learn about visual health issues and their local and international impact, emphasis is placed on the underlying social and environmental factors that contribute to the health gap between these regional communities and well-served urban population centres.

Clinical placements are an integral part of the program. You will undertake a variety of short-term industry placements and spend the final six months of the course as a ‘student resident’ in one of a range of clinical optometric and medical settings. These extensive rotations take place in both metropolitan and regional or rural settings, and will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and skills in supported environments under the supervision of qualified optometrists.

As a graduate of this course, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and to Medicare as a service provider. Related careers include ophthalmic practice business owner, spectacle retailer, not-for-profit campaigner, and visual simulator designer.

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Course structure

To complete the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry students must attain 40 credit points. This is an accelerated three and a half year course delivered over ten consecutive trimesters commencing in Trimester 1. All the units in the course are core (these are compulsory).

Students must pass all first year units, or be granted Recognition of Prior Learning for these units, before proceeding to second year.

Due to the integrated nature of the curriculum and assessment, and the requirements of the external accrediting body, from Year 2 onwards, students must pass all units in a given trimester prior to proceeding to the next trimester. Any student who fails to meet this requirement will need to intermit until the next offering of the unit, which will usually be in a period of two trimesters.

To support student reintegration to the course after a period of intermission, students will be required to demonstrate that they have maintained skills and knowledge at a level required to practice safely. To support students in doing this, non-award units will be offered in the trimester preceding re-entry to the course. Please contact your course advisor for assistance.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.


Course structure applies to students who commenced in 2015 onwards. Students who commenced prior to 2015 should refer to previous online Handbooks or consult your course enrolment officer.

Students must enrol in the Waurn Ponds (Geelong) offering of all units

Year 1 - Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity HAI010 (0 credit points)
  • Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program SLE010 (0 credit points)
  • Understanding Health HBS107
  • Health Information and Data HBS108
  • Principles of Optics HMO101
  • Cells and Genes SLE111
  • Year 1 - Trimester 2

  • Science of Vision 1 HMO102
  • Clinical Optics HMO103
  • Ocular Structure HMO104
  • And

  • Chemistry for the Professional Sciences SLE155 (if Chemistry completed in Year 12)
  • OR

  • Chemistry in Our World SLE133 (if Chemistry not completed in Year 12 - offered in Trimester 1 and Trimester 3)
  • Year 1 - Trimester 3

  • The Business of Optometry HMO105
  • Science of Vision 2 HMO201
  • Ocular Function HMO202
  • Accounting for Decision Making MAA103
  • Year 2 - Trimester 1

  • Health and Vision Sciences 1 HMO203
  • Principles and Practice of Optometry 1 HMO204
  • Year 2 - Trimester 2

  • Health and Vision Sciences 2 HMO303
  • Principles and Practice of Optometry 2 HMO304
  • Year 2 - Trimester 3

  • Health and Vision Sciences 3 HMO305
  • Principles and Practice of Optometry 3 HMO306
  • Year 3 - Trimester 1

  • Advanced Optometric Studies 1 HMO701
  • Year 3 - Trimester 2

  • Advanced Optometric Studies 2 HMO702
  • Year 3 - Trimester 3

  • Community Optometry 1 HMO703
  • Year 4 - Trimester 1

  • Community Optometry 2 HMO704
  • Key information

    Award granted

    Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry

    2019 course information
    VTAC code

    1400315541 - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    1400310261 - Optometry (Regional and Remote) - Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)

    Deakin code
    CRICOS code?
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7/9.

    Campuses by intake

    Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

    Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).

    Additional course information

    Course duration - additional information

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    The course includes an extensive practical placement component (cost incurred by the student) including a Clinical Residential Placement in the last six months of the course. Students will also need to purchase personal optometric diagnostic (costing approximately $3500) in Year 2 of the program.

    Mandatory student checks

    All students are required to undertake a Police and a Working with Children Check at the commencement of their course. Students who fail to do so prior to the commencement of clinical placement will not be able to undertake clinical placement and this will impede progress in the course.


    Students are also be required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health organisations where they will be undertaking their clinical learning experience. A health organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the health organisation


    As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and on-line interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Participation requirements

    The course has been developed to provide students with opportunities to practice optometry (under supervision) in a variety of contexts. In keeping the Deakin Optometry’s commitment to improving rural eyecare delivery, students will spend at least three months of their extended residential placement in a regional, rural or remote location to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by these communities when attempting to access eye care.

    Placement can occur at any time, including during the standard holiday breaks listed here:

    Students are required to complete units in Trimester 3.

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.


    Work experience

    Clinical placements are an integral part of the program. You will undertake a variety of short-term industry placements and spend the final six months of the course as a ‘student resident’ in one of a range of clinical optometric and medical settings. These extensive rotations take place in both metropolitan and regional or rural settings, and will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and skills in supported environments under the supervision of qualified optometrists.

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    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.

    In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

    Entry for applicants with previous Tertiary, VET, life or work experience will be based on their performance in:

    • a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with ATAR of at least 50 or equivalent (including Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or at least 25 in English other than EAL).


    • a Certificate IV in a related discipline


    • a Diploma in any discipline


    • Successful completion of relevant study at an accredited higher education institution equivalent to at least two Deakin University units


    • Other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent including, for example, successful completion of a Foundation program approved by Faculty Board and/or relevant work or life experience

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.

    Current year 12 students from regional and remote areas may be eligible for bonus aggregate points through Deakin's Regional and Remote Entry Scheme. Learn more about this scheme, eligibility and how to apply.

    Inherent requirements

    Applications are accepted from students who possess the skills and prerequisites required to complete the course, gain professional certification and practise safely. The inherent requirements of the course are listed in the document, BVisSci and MOptom Inherent Requirements (pdf).

    Admissions information

    Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the QILT website.

    Learn more about Deakin's special entry access scheme (SEAS - a way to help boost your ATAR in some circumstances).

    You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.

    Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our first intake of 2018 students (PDF, 783.5KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    Not applicable
    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    $14,964 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    Learn more about fees.

    The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning you have.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Apply now

    How to apply

    Apply through VTAC
    Applications through VTAC have now closed.

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through the Course and Scholarship Applicant Portal.

    Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin
    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.

    How to apply

    Register your interest to study at Deakin

    Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

    Entry pathways

    View pathways into the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry with our pathways finder.

    This course provides a pathway to higher degree by research courses and other postgraduate coursework programs.

    Course pathways to obtain Bachelor’s degree include: 1. Through Deakin – start the same course at a difference campus or start a related course then meet the requirements and apply to transfer, or complete and associate degree then apply for your coal course; 2. Through Deakin College – Complete one-year diploma then enter Deakin as 2nd year student; 3. Through Tafe or a private provider (RTOS)  – Complete one-year diploma, then apply for recognition of prior learning and your Deakin course; 4. Through the workforce – Experience in a related field?  Get credit for prior learning

    Tap image to expand

    Through Deakin College and TAFE: Completion of diploma and minimum academic requirements apply to enter Deakin University.
    Through Deakin: Transfers within Deakin  are subject to availability and meeting minimum academic requirements.

    Alternative exits

    • Bachelor of Vision Science (H310)
    • Diploma of Health (H200)

    Faculty contact information

    Prospective Student Enquiry Centre
    1800 693 888

    Why choose Deakin

    Career outcomes

    Optometrists are primary eye care practitioners who are involved in assessing the health and function of the eyes and visual system and the diagnosis and management of a wide range of ocular conditions, Optometrists work in a variety of health care settings, with the great majority working in a private practice environment – which itself can be very diverse.  On a given day, an Australian optometrist may perform a primary visual assessment, manage a newly identified eye disease, prescribe a prescription medicine, or prescribe, fit and dispense optical aids. At the same time, many optometrists are business owners and retailers.
    Some optometrists use their qualification to engage in other employment opportunities, such as research, other para-medical practice and work within vision-related non-government organisations.
    Following successful completion of the Deakin Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry, Deakin graduates are well prepared for employment in a diverse range of work settings including, but not limited to: hospitals, clinics, health services, state and local governments, non-government organisations, research institutes, tertiary education institutions, private practice, and corporate and community settings. Career and employment opportunities for qualified optometrists include private and public eye care, practice ownership, research and teaching, other ophthalmic practices, and recognised specialties within optometry such as low vision, paediatric vision, and behavioural optometry.

    Professional recognition

    Students who successfully complete D302 Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry can apply for registration to practise as an optometrist in Australia. Deakin Optometry has been awarded ‘accreditation with conditions’ by the Optometry Board of Australia, following assessment by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ). Graduates of D302 Bachelor of Vision Science/ Master of Optometry will therefore be eligible to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and to Medicare as service providers, making them able to pursue employment opportunities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    Note: This course is currently accredited (with conditions) as at the date of publishing.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities

    Apply advanced integrated optometric knowledge to evaluate clinical information, utilising expert skills and judgement to independently perform optometric examinations, establish diagnoses and design appropriate management plans within a robust practice management system.


    Employ a range of communication strategies to interpret theoretical positions, methodologies and conclusions, and explain and justify professional and clinical decisions to other health professionals, peers and colleagues (specialist and non-specialist audiences).

    Employ a range of communication strategies that take into account individual diversity to effectively communicate information regarding informed consent, diagnoses and management plans to patients, carers and other health-care professionals.

    Digital Literacy

    Choose appropriate technologies to effectively find, use and disseminate clinical and research findings; demonstrate skills in applying new technologies in clinical settings to implement examination plans and manage patient records.

    Critical thinking

    Apply expert knowledge to critically analyse and synthesise complex optometric information and theories to address research questions and new situations in professional practice.

    Problem Solving

    Apply an advanced body of knowledge in order to define and frame clinical optometric problems and apply evidence based strategies to solve such problems.

    Apply business and practice management skills to identify areas of optometric business in need of improvement and strategies to improve and maintain a safe and efficient/compliant optometric practice.


    Operate in a professional, reflective and ethical manner, being cognisant of the accountability and responsibilities that come with professional optometric practice, thereby employing a structured and efficient approach to professional practice.


    Operate as an independent optometric professional, capable of demonstrating leadership in practice management and collaboration with other health professionals in providing high quality optometric care for patients.

    Global Citizenship

    Model behaviour consistent with professional and ethical standards of the profession, being sensitive to cultural and social diversity and the issues impacting on eye and vision care in regional and rural communities, adopting a global perspective to evidence-based practice and advocacy.


    Change the way people see the world. Gain practical experience through placements and graduate work-ready.

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