Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry

Undergraduate degree

Develop knowledge and understanding of the visual system with a Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry. Learn more by enquiring today.

Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with minimum scores of 7.0 in each component. More information is available at


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

The Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry is a specialised combined degree that lets you graduate with a professional qualification in optometry in just three and a half years. You will gain the discipline-specific knowledge and skills to be work-ready and practise as an optometrist in Australia and New Zealand, as well as learn about the broader effects that visual health has on society.

Do you 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. Our optometry program will give you a comprehensive understanding of the practice of optometry, with strong foundations in science, inter-professional health practice, commercial awareness and practice management.

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.

Clinical placements are a big focus of this program. You will take part in a variety of short-term industry placements from your first year, 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, where you'll consolidate your knowledge and skills under the supervision of qualified optometrists.

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.

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

    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)

    The course is only available to students on a full-time basis.

    This is a 3.5 year accelerated full time program delivered over ten consecutive trimesters commencing in Trimester 1.

    Please refer to for English language skills required for AHPRA registration

    Please refer to for English language skills required for AHPRA registration

    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

    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, and are 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:

    Up to 10 international places will be offered in 2017

    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.

    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

    General admission requirements for entry into undergraduate courses for international students at Deakin are summarised in the undergraduate course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    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

    Due to the specific language requirements of the Optometry Board of Australia some international students may need to retake IELTS tests towards the end of their course in order to be eligible to register in Australia. Further information is available from OBA website:

    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 2019 students (PDF, 746.6KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of Prior Learning.

    Your Recognition of Prior Learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

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

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of 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 the Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry.

    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 for study for Trimester 1 must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). For more information refer to VTAC

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Entry pathways

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

    Alternative exits

    • Bachelor of Vision Science (H310)

    Frequently asked questions

    What are the key study start dates?

    Browse all start and finish dates for Deakin’s main study periods. You’ll also find dates relating to applications and prospective student events, plus a list of all public holidays and study breaks.

    How much does it cost to study at Deakin?

    Your tuition fees will depend on the type of student you are, the course you study and the year you start. Fees are based on an annual amount; they don't cover the entire duration of the course.

    Use our fee estimator to gauge what your fees could be per year.

    Can I speak to someone in person about my study options?

    Yes! We regularly host a range of events including 1:1 consultations and information sessions, to assist you with your study options and career planning. Check out our upcoming events or contact our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre on 1800 693 888 for more information.

    Am I eligible for a scholarship with this course?

    Scholarships are available for domestic and international students at all study levels. Find a scholarship that works for you.

    Can I claim recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?

    In some courses, you can reduce your overall study time and tuition cost by getting your work and previous study experience recognised as recognition of prior learning (RPL).

    Why choose Deakin

    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.


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