Biological Foundations of Clinical Optom

Subject 655-801 (2008)

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

Credit Points: 25.000
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Distance Learning

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject is available by distance learning in both Semesters 1 and 2.
Total Time Commitment: Approximately 10-12 hours per week, incorporating reading, note taking and assignment completion.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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.


Dr Alex Gentle
Subject Overview:

The purpose of this subject is to explore the applications of modern biomedical science to understanding ocular disorders and diseases. It covers the following topics:

  • anatomy and embryology with an emphasis on clinically important structures especially the blood supply to the brain, the cranial nerves relevant to ophthalmic practice, embryology relevant to common congenital conditions.
  • Genetics of eye disease.
  • Biochemistry and metabolism: review of the key biochemical pathways; changes to ocular tissues in disease, metabolic demands of the retina; glucose and oxygen deprivation.
  • Pharmacology: review of basic pharmacological concepts and the action of common drugs in ophthalmic practice.
  • General principles of immunology with particular reference to the eye.
  • General principles of inflammation and wound healing.
  • Microbiology of the eye.

On completion of the subject students should:

  • have refreshed and enhanced their knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences which underlie optometric practice;
  • be familiar with current thinking on the anatomy, embryology, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology, immunology, pathology and microbiology which is relevant to the structure and function of the normal eye;
  • have updated their understanding of the mechanisms which underlie the development and progression of clinical disorders of the eye;
  • have developed an appropriate foundation in basic and clinical science in preparation for future modules of the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry and/or to undertake the Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics.
Assessment: Two 2,000 word assignments on prescribed topics that will include case studies (40%) submitted during the course of the semester; a 3 hour written examination in the examination period (60%). Satisfactory completion of all components of assessment is necessary to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts: The American Academy of Ophthalmology Basic and Clinical Science Course. Section 2 (Fundamental and Principles of Ophthalmology), and Section 5 (Neuro-Ophthalmology) San Francisco, American Academy of Ophthalmology (latest edition). Students will be provided with a comprehensive study guide, which will include key journal articles and a list od prescribed reading.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students should develop certain generic skills, including:

  • being able to critically evaluate and synthesise basic and clinical research literature;
  • understanding the importance of regularly refreshing one's knowledge base through use of the relevant scientific and professional literature;
  • being competent in seeking and retrieving information using a number of resources, such as the world-wide-web;
  • being able to manage competing demands on one's time and being comfortable with the demands of self-directed study;
  • being capable of articulating knowledge and understanding in written presentations;
  • appreciating the ways in which advanced knowledge can equip one with enhanced problem solving skills for application in the work and/or clinical environment.
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry

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