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.

Be professionally qualified in just 3.5 years

Accredited by OCANZ

Gain work experience through clinical placements

Key facts


Waurn Ponds:
Lowest selection rank


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

Current Deakin Students

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

Course information

With Deakin’s Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry, you can graduate with a professional qualification in optometry in just three and a half years. Gain the knowledge and skills to be work-ready and be eligible to apply for registration to practise as an optometrist in Australia and New Zealand. We emphasise understanding the visual health issues that impact regional and rural Australia, particularly those contributing to the health gap that exists between members of these communities and those living in urban centres.

Gain a holistic understanding of the practice of optometry, with strong foundations in evidence-based and reflective practice, inter-professional collaborative practice and practice management. Clinical placements are a big focus of this program and you will spend the final six months of the course as a student resident. You will also gain crucial skills in the clinical assessment, treatment and management of eye and vision disorders.

Want to graduate job ready as a qualified optometrist?

Deakin offers Australia’s first accelerated optometry course, which means you can graduate and begin your career sooner.

You will investigate the structure and function of the visual system while learning about various visual health issues and their wider impact on the local and international community. Gain crucial skills in the clinical assessment, treatment and management of eye and vision disorders, as well as forming a strong understanding of the ethical, legal and professional standards of practice. You’ll cover a broad spectrum of industry-relevant study areas that prepare you for work as a professional optometrist, including:

  • the key principles of optics
  • clinical optics and treating eye and vision disorders
  • ocular function and structure
  • the science of vision
  • the business of optometry.

Your clinical placement rotations take place in both metropolitan and regional or rural settings, where you'll consolidate your knowledge and skills under the supervision of qualified optometrists. As a student resident you will learn in one of a range of clinical optometric and medical settings.

As well as equipping you to diagnose and manage ocular conditions, this unique combined degree has a strong emphasis on the underlying social and environmental factors that contribute to the health gap between regional communities and urban populations, ensuring you graduate with a well-rounded understanding of the field of optometry. On successful completion of this accredited course, you can apply for registration to practise as an optometrist in Australia.

Read More

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


    2020 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

    Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. All students study in all three trimesters.

    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.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

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

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements

    We also offer an Indigenous Entry Stream for this course which provides a direct entry pathway for Indigenous Australian applicants. Find out more.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    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 or


    • 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

    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 ComparED website.

    Special entry access schemes (SEAS) enables Deakin to consider disadvantageous circumstances you may have experienced and their impact upon your studies. SEAS also allows us to identify if you're from under-represented groups when making selection decisions for some courses. SEAS does not exempt you from meeting any of the course entry requirements.

    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 2020 students (PDF, 581.6KB) - 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)?
    $15,144 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.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together 12 credit points of a typical combination of units for this course. Twelve credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year in this course.

    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.

    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.

    Alternative exits

    • Bachelor of Vision Science (H310)

    Contact information

    Prospective Student Enquiry Centre
    1800 693 888

    Why choose Deakin

    Want a degree that’s more than just a qualification? Our industry connections, world-class facilities and practical approach to learning are just some of the reasons why Deakin students graduate confident and ready to thrive in the jobs of tomorrow.

    Gain practical skills working in our state-of-the-art labs

    Ranked in the top 200 worldwide for public health*

    Join Australia’s first accelerated optometry course

    Become eligible for registration with AHPRA

    Career outcomes

    Deakin optometry graduates are well prepared for employment in a diverse range of work settings, including:

    • clinics
    • corporate and community settings
    • health services
    • hospitals
    • non-government organisations
    • private practice
    • research institutes
    • state and local governments
    • tertiary education institutions.

    Career opportunities for qualified optometrists include:

    • practice ownership
    • private and public eye care
    • research and education
    • recognised specialties within optometry such as:
      • myopia control
      • dry eye management
      • low vision
      • paediatric vision.

    As well as pursuing a career in optometry, this course could lead you towards a number of other rewarding careers, including:

    • ophthalmic practice business owner
    • spectacle retailer
    • not-for-profit campaigner
    • visual simulator designer.

    Professional recognition

    On successfully completing this course, you can apply for registration to practise as an optometrist in Australia. Deakin optometry has been awarded accreditations by the Optometry Board of Australia, following assessment by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ). You will also be eligible to apply for registration to practise as an optometrist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and to Medicare as a service provider. This will enable you to pursue employment opportunities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    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.

    *ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2019

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