Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry

Course summary for current students

Year2016 course information
Award granted

Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry

CampusOffered at Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Cloud (online)No

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

Deakin course codeD302

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.

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The combined course of Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry aims to produce graduates who have the attributes, discipline-specific knowledge, professional behaviours and standards required to practise as an optometrist within Australia and New Zealand.  

Throughout this course you will develop knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of the visual system; optometric clinical assessment and management approaches; ethical, legal and professional standards of practice; and acquire high level inter-personal and inter-professional communication, relationship management and commercial awareness skills. You will acquire life-long independent learning skills and a commitment to both patient-centred care and evidence-based practice that will enable you to practise as a professional in this field. The course equips graduates with transferable academic skills that enable them to conduct research, undertake self-guided learning. It also provides graduates with an understanding of visual health issues and their impact, particularly on communities in regional and rural Australia as well as globally, emphasising how underlying social and environmental factors contribute to the health gap between these communities and well-served urban population centres.

Work-Integrated Learning

Clinical placements are an integral part of Deakin’s optometry program. You will undertake a variety of short-term industry placements during the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry 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 clinical rotations will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and skills in supported environments under the supervision of qualified optometrists. These clinical rotations will include time in both metropolitan and regional or rural settings.

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Alternative exits

Bachelor of Vision Science (H310)

Requirements for Clinical Placements and Registration

In accordance with Department of Human Services policy*, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check prior to clinical placements in each calendar year of their course. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check prior to the commencement of clinical placements will not be able to undertake any placements. Students are also required to undertake a Working with Children Check at the commencement of the course, andare required to read, understand and comply with the School of Medicine Infectious Diseases and Immunisation Policy. Failure to comply with this policy, or obtain a Working with Children Check, may also prevent students from undertaking clinical placements.

Several clinical placement agencies require that students are vaccinated / blood tested before undertaking clinical placement and / or graduate employment. Deakin University Medical Centres provides detailed advice, blood testing and administer all necessary vaccinations prior to commencement of clinical placements and/or employment.

* Department of Human Services Policy on Working with Children Check and Police Records Checks can be found at:

Additional costs associated with the course

Students will be expected to purchase some specialist equipment during their course, and there may be some additional costs associated with your clinical placements. Further details will be provided during your enrolment. Students should expect to spend around $5,000 ($1,500 and $4,000) on equipment. Life expectancy of the equipment is around 15 years.

Fees and charges

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Your course tuition fees are calculated based on the units you study. Please refer to the Pre 2016 Unit Fee Cost in the Unit Search.

2016 commencing International and full fee paying postgraduate domestic students

Your course tuition fees are calculated based on the course you study. The following rates apply:

Commonwealth Supported Place (indicative)*Domestic Fee PayingInternational Fee Paying
$14,065Not applicable$48,000

The rates shown are based on 1.5 Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL) or 12 credit points. If your study load for the year is less than or more than 1.5 EFTSL your fees will be adjusted accordingly. Each unit you study has an EFTSL value. You can multiple the course price by the EFSTL value of all units you are enrolled in to determine the unit price.

* The Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) course rates shown are indicative course fees. CSP fees are indicative because they are calculated based on your unit selection. They should be used as a guide only. The 2016 CSP course fees may change if the Commonwealth Government's proposed fee deregulation and reforms legislation is passed.

Course rules

The Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry is an accelerated three and a half year, 40 credit point course delivered over ten consecutive trimesters commencing in Trimester 1. All the units in the course are prescribed. The course rules are listed at BVisSci/MOptom Course Rules. Students must pass all first year units, or be granted credit for prior learning for these units, before proceeding to second year.

Course structure

Students must enrol in the Waurn Ponds offering of all units

Year 1

Trimester 1

HBS107Understanding Health

HBS108Health Information and Data

HMO101Principles of Optics

SLE111Cells and Genes

SLE010Laboratory and Fieldwork Safety Induction Program (0 cp)

Trimester 2

HMO102Science of Vision 1

HMO103Clinical Optics

HMO104Ocular Structure

SLE155Chemistry for the Professional Sciences (if Chemistry completed in Year 12)

SLE133Chemistry in Our World (if Chemistry not completed in Year 12)

Trimester 3

HMO105The Business of Optometry

HMO201Science of Vision 2

HMO202Ocular Function

MAA103Accounting for Decision Making

Year 2 

Trimester 1

HMO203Health and Vision Sciences 1

HMO204Principles and Practice of Optometry 1

Trimester 2

HMO303Health and Vision Sciences 2

HMO304Principles and Practice of Optometry 2

Trimester 3

HMO305Health and Vision Sciences 3

HMO306Principles and Practice of Optometry 3

Year 3

Trimester 1

HMO701Advanced Optometric Studies 1

Trimester 2

HMO702Advanced Optometric Studies 2

Trimester 3

HMO703Community Optometry 1

Year 4

Trimester 1

HMO704Community Optometry 2