Optometry Regional & Remote Entry Scheme

Deakin University offers Australia’s first accelerated optometry program; the combined Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry course. It has now also introduced an Optometry Regional and Remote Entry Scheme that has a separate VTAC code (1400310261) offering an alternative entry pathway into this course.


What is the Optometry Regional and Remote Entry Scheme

Workforce shortages in optometry exist in regional and remote areas of Australia.  The School of Medicine at Deakin University has decided to address these shortages by introducing a Regional and Remote Entry Scheme.

This scheme aims to attract more regional and rural students into the Optometry course in order to achieve the mission of addressing workforce shortages in non-metropolitan areas.

The imbalance of offers to students from major cities compared with regional and rural areas has been exacerbated by a steady rise in the clearly-in ATAR score for the Optometry course: from 91 in 2012 to 96 in 2016.

The high ATAR has resulted in the majority of successful applicants coming from secondary schools in Sydney and Melbourne.

In 2015, approximately 82% of offers were from schools located in major cities of Australia. The introduction of the Regional and Remote Entry Scheme is designed to redress this imbalance.

Global policy recommendations of the World Health Organisation (2010) suggest regional shortages are best addressed through the recruitment and training of students from under-represented regions.

Who is eligible?

Current Year 12 students who are undertaking their final year of schooling at a regional or remote secondary school (as defined by the new ABS categories), that is not located in a major city of Australia.

Students from schools in the Greater City of Geelong will also be eligible to apply.

To check your eligibility please enter the full address of your school on the regional or remote area map.

If your school's address is returned with a classification between RA2 and RA5 (or you are within the City of Greater Geelong) you are eligible to apply for the Regional and Remote Entry Scheme.

How to apply

Deakin Optometry will have an additional VTAC code with selection criteria for the rural entry scheme. It will create a second stream that will join those selected into Optometry via the existing VTAC code.

VTAC Personal Statement: Applicants must include the address of their school and a statement as to why they would like to study optometry on their VTAC Personal Statement when applying for entry into the course. Visit the VTAC website for more information.

In order to accommodate the varying degrees of disadvantage experienced by students in the various ABS areas it is proposed to adopt the following sliding scale of bonus points for school location:

  • 0 for City of Greater Geelong
  • 4 for inner regional
  • 7 for outer regional
  • 10 for remote.

The above proposal, in combination with current Deakin policy, would allow for up to 20 bonus points to be claimed on the basis of:

  • Performance in nominated VCE subjects -  up to 10
  • Location of secondary school (new bonus) - up to 10
  • Disadvantage other than school location - up to 10

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and as Medicare service providers, and will be able to embrace employment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.