Optometry Frequently Asked Questions
What are the selection requirements for entry to the Bachelor of Vision Sciences and Master of Optometry?
Current Year 12 students:
The prerequisite for entry is VCE units 3 and 4 with a study score of 30 in English (ESL) or 25 in any other English.
How to apply
Simply list this course in your VTAC preferences to be eligible for consideration.
Student selection will be based on ATAR score and middle-band criteria weighted towards the Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) where applicable.
A bonus will be added under the SEAS system.
We encourage students from regional and rural areas to apply, and the Selection Committee will add a bonus score.
Non-Year 12 students:
Non-Year 12 applicants who have either
- completed or partially completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree; or
- not previously undertaken a university degree
are eligible to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Vision Sciences and Master of Optometry.
How to apply
You will need to apply through VTAC as a 'non-Year 12'.
Fill out the Personal History form. This is important and can include information on regional location, work experience, and difficult circumstances that have had an impact on their studies.
Some applicants may also need to complete the STAT Multiple Choice. To find out more about the STAT please visit VTAC. The STAT test is only for applicants who have not studied in the past five (5) years.
Student selection will be based on academic performance in your prior studies for which a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) will be determined, as well as information provided on the VTAC Personal History form, and the results of the STAT Multiple Choice (where required).
Bonuses will be applied based upon residence in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Areas 2 to 5, or the City of Greater Geelong.)
Direct entry into the Master of Optometry
Applicants should be aware that the course structure makes it difficult to grant direct entry into the Master of Optometry and it is therefore envisioned that few applicants would be enrolled in this way. Key factors for direct selection into the Master of Optometry will be the completion of a Bachelor of Vision Sciences, or equivalent, with an emphasis given to adequate coverage of both Vision Sciences and clinical skills in prior studies.
There are no Commonwealth supported places for students that enter directly into the Masters of Optometry.
How to apply
You will need to apply directly via the Deakin Portal
Is the UMAT or GAMSAT required for entry?
I am a current Deakin University student. How do I apply?
Students who wish to apply to transfer to another course in the University may do so by completing an Application for Course Transfer form and lodging it via the Deakin portal.
Is there a mid-year intake?
No. Sequential delivery of compulsory units in this degree course cannot facilitate a mid-year intake.
Is it possible to receive Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) for past studies?
Yes. Students will be eligible to apply for credit, which may be awarded on a like-for-like basis.
Places will be offered to international students from 2015. In addition to meeting the same selection requirements specified for domestic students, international students must also achieve a minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7, with minimum scores of 7 in each of the components. International students studying Year 12 in Australia should apply through VTAC. International non-Year 12 students should apply directly to Deakin International .
(Due to the specific language requirements of the Optometry Board of Australia some students may need to retake IELTS tests toward the end of their course in order to be eligible to register in Australia. Further information is available from the OBA website: http://www.optometryboard.gov.au
What will the ATAR be in 2015?
The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is not a score; it is a rank, which shows a student’s achievement in relation to other students who apply for the course. The ATAR cut-off corresponds to the lowest-ranked successful candidate from the previous year.
The clearly-in ATAR in 2012 was 91.7.
The clearly-in ATAR in 2013 was 92.45.
The clearly-in ATAR in 2014 was 92.9.
The Grade Point Average (GPA) required for selection into the course in 2014 was a High Distinction or equivalent.
When will the course be accredited?
The Deakin Optometry curriculum is aligned to the competencies defined by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ), the accrediting body for optometry courses in Australia and New Zealand.
Deakin Optometry has been granted accreditation with conditions, to a scheduled renewal date of July 31, 2016.
Note: This course is currently accredited (with conditions) as at the date of publishing.
Where will I do my clinical training?
During the final six months of the Course, you will undertake a clinical residential placement where you will be placed in an optometry practice. This placement will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and skills in supported environments under the supervision of qualified optometrists. Clinical placements will include time in a regional setting, and, where possible, students from rural and regional backgrounds will be placed near their community of origin.
Why is your course only 3.5 years in length compared to other courses offered in Australia?
By taking advantage of Deakin's trimester system (three trimesters of study each year), Deakin Optometry students are able to fast-track entry into this exciting profession by gaining a professional optometry qualification in just under three and a half years of full-time study.
The Bachelor of Vision Sciences, Master of Optometry requires the completion of 40 credit points of study, comprising 24 units relating to the Bachelor of Vision Sciences and 16 units relating to the Master of Optometry. This on campus course is only available to students on a full-time basis.
When do I graduate?
Students will graduate from the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry at the end of their degree and will receive two testamurs. In the past some students have asked whether they can attend a graduation ceremony for the Bachelor of Vision Science once this component of the course is completed. Whilst this is technically permissible, if you do elect to do this, and want to continue on to the Master of Optometry, you will then need to apply for a full fee paying postgraduate place. Students may elect to exit the program and complete the Bachelor of Vision Science requirements only, however graduates of the Bachelor of Vision Science will not qualify to practise as an optometrist.
How many students are selected for the course?
In 2014, 90 Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) were offered for entry into the Bachelor of Vision Sciences and Master of Optometry. It is anticipated that a similar number of places will be available in 2015.
Are there any Fee-Paying Places available?
Yes, there are a limited number of fee-paying places for the Master of Optometry. Information about tuition fees.
Is it possible to defer my studies if I am offered a place?
Deakin has recently made deferring your studies a whole lot easier. Most courses now allow you to postpone your studies to work or travel, but still retain your University place, for up to two years. You can apply for deferment after you have received a regular offer here. You must lodge this form within five days of receiving your offer. For more information, phone 1300 DEGREE (1300 334 733).
Will classes be held during the day, evening or both?
Classes will generally run during the day; however, some of the clinical placements may require students to attend a placement site during the evening, or in some circumstances even at weekends.
Can I study part time?
Short answer is NO. First year is different in that some students will be given credit for prior studies and will not need to undertake a full first year, thereby taking a part-time load.
No part-time at second, third or fourth year.
Does the course include therapeutics?
Yes, therapeutics is included in the curriculum. The OCANZ terms of accreditation now require all entry level Australasian Optometry courses to provide therapeutic training, thus facilitating the therapeutic endorsement of all newly qualified optometrists.
What are the career outcomes for Optometrists?
Demand for optometrists is high, job opportunities are strong and career outcomes are excellent, particularly in rural and regional areas. Deakin optometry graduates will be 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, associates in eye surgery practice, and recognised specialties within optometry such as low vision, paediatric vision, and behavioural optometry.
Salaries for optometry graduates are among the highest in the country and typically range between $75 000 and $100 000 - with the highest salaries paid to optometrists willing to work in regions of workforce shortage. Optometrists with their own practice generally earn in excess of $100 000 per annum, with incomes often exceeding $150 000.
Are there any Scholarships available?
Deakin University offers scholarships for academic excellence, access and equity, accommodation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, ensuring higher education is accessible for all members of the community. More information on scholarships.
Scholarships are also available through the Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS). For more information about this scheme, please contact Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sarrah.org.au.
Are there any special enrolment requirements for the course?
Enrolment in the course requires current immunisation, police checks and working with children checks, all of which are requirements of the Optometry Board of Australia. Further details can be found at their website: http://www.optometryboard.gov.au/
Are there any additional costs associated with my study?
Yes, you will be expected to purchase some equipment during your 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). Life expectancy of the equipment is around 15 years.