Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics

Course 281-AA (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Postgraduate Coordinator
Faculty of Science
Old Geology Building
The University of Melbourne VIC 3010

Tel: +61 3 8344 6404
Fax: +61 3 8344 5803

Course Overview:

The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne is the first optometry school to offer a postgraduate certificate, enabling current optometrists the opportunity to obtain therapeutic endorsement and was also the first to offer an upgraded Bachelor of Optometry course incorporating ocular therapeutics.

The Postgraduate Certificate draws on the Department's access to a unique combination of expertise in the fields of optometry, ophthalmology and medical sciences. As well as its own clinical expertise the Department draws on a range of international and local expertise. An international specialist in the field of ocular therapeutics and anterior eye disease management, and a range of leading ophthalmologists and clinical educators from the University of Melbourne and Melbourne's teaching hospital network, including the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH), also contribute in the delivery of the didactic component of the course. The clinical placements are also based at the RVEEH, the state's specialist eye hospital, where students have the opportunity to participate in the accident & emergency clinic, and the specialist cornea and glaucoma clinics.


To train currently registered optometrists in Australia to meet the necessary level of expertise for endorsement to therapeutically treat ocular disease. This is in response to legislation introduced by the Victorian State Goverment in 1996.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics requires the completion of two 25 point subjects.

655-811 Ocular Therapeutics A

655-812 Ocular Therapeutics B

The course is only available on a part-time basis. The didactic subject is offered in February/March each year and is delivered in an intensive block format on Friday afternoons (after 3pm) and weekends at the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences in Carlton.

The clinical placement subject involves students attending rostered clinics in private practices and/or a hospital setting under the supervision of a qualified Ophthalmologist. Placements will usually occur in the latter half of the year, June-December. On occasion, due to the availability of the placements, the placement period may extend into the following year.

Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer
Entry Requirements: A four-year Australian bachelor degree in Optometry or equivalent.

In selection, consideration may be given to each applicant’s clinical practice experience. The Selection Committee may call for referee reports and employer references to assist in the selection process.

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

On satisfactory completion of both the didactic and clinical components and the successful completion of the examinations and case reports, the student will be permited to apply to the Optometrists Registration Board for endorsement to use the approved S4 theraputic agents.

Links to further information:


Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics may choose to articulate to the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry. This provides students with the opportunity to advance their clinical skills in selected fields, and to re-examine the basic sciences of optometry with the benefit of the latest information and an emphasis on understanding and dealing with clinical problems. Students will be eligible to apply for up to 25 points credit towards the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry and will be required to complete another three 25 point subjects. For further information, please contact the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences or visit the website.


Subjects completed within the Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics can be credited towards the continuing education requirements for optometrists. Graduates should contact the Optometrist's Association of Australia (OAA) for information on how to apply for credit.

Download PDF version.