Specialist Optometry Practice

Subject OPTO50002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 5 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Year Long, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Up to 24 hours of lectures, tutorials and workshops and no less than 200 hours of clinical work and clinical demonstrations. Students are rostered to attend the University of Melbourne EyeCare practice for contact lens, low vision and paediatric practice. Other clinical placements in Melbourne including private paediatric and contact lens practices, school screening and aged care facilities and visits to specialist low vision rehabilitation centres will occur throughout the prescribed clinical year. Students will also be required to attend Saturday Clinics as rostered.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: All of
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Corequisites: Both
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in clinical practice activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit. http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Ms Anthea Cochrane, Prof Neville Mcbrien


Email: antheac@unimelb.edu.au

Email: nmcbrien@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject provides a detailed account of three aspects of specialty optometric practice: contact lenses, paediatrics and low vision. Students will gain experience predominantly by examining patients in these specialist areas.

Students will gain experience in the clinical aspects of examining children and understand how to tailor a consultation to evaluate children. Students will develop a strong understanding of the diagnosis and management of children with accommodative-convergence disorders, strabismus and visual information processing problems. Students will also gain experience in school vision screening.

The third component is low vision, in which students develop their clinical skills in the assessment of low vision patients, the provision of magnification aids and the multidisciplinary issues that effect low vision patients. The emphasis of this subject will be placed on students' ability to understand the practical aspects of providing care in an optometric setting for visually impaired patients. They will practice their technical skills and knowledge of low vision aid prescribing, relating clinical findings with symptoms and consideration of management options and acquire knowledge of broader care and support options available to the low vision and blind community.

Objectives: This subject aims to provide students with a thorough background in the clinical aspects of contact lens practice. Students will gain experience in all aspects of contact lens practice including: fitting of soft and rigid gas permeable lenses, care of contact lenses, and complications associated with contact lens wear. Students will also gain experience in the more advanced aspects of contact lens fitting and care including orthokeratology, presbyopia correction and fitting of lenses for specific eye conditions such as keratoconus and following corneal surgery.

Progressive assessment of clinical work throughout the year (30%); Two written clinical reports (2000 words each) due in week 13 of semester 2 (10%); an oral-station examination in first semester (10%); a 3-hour written examination in the second semester examination period (50%). Satisfactory completion of all assessment components is necessary to pass the subject. Timely attendance at all rostered clinical sessions, both national and international, is compulsory. Specific details relating to this requirement can be found in the Subject Guide.

Prescribed Texts:
Recommended Texts:

Contact Lenses

  • Hom MM. Manual of Contact Lens Prescribing and Fitting. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005.
  • Phillips AJ and Speedwell L (Eds). Contact Lenses. 5th Ed London Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007.

Low Vision

  • Jackson J and Wolffsohn J (Eds). Low Vision Manual. 1st Ed Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.
  • Brilliant R. Essentials of Low Vision Practice, Boston, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.
  • Duckman RH. Visual Development, Diagnosis and Treatment of the Paediatric Patient. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.
  • Scheiman M and Wick B. Clinical Management of Binocular Vision, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2nd Ed 2002.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

This subject is only available to Bachelor of Optometry students.

The 5th year of the Bachelor of Optometry comprises 2 x 16 week clinical semesters.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Optometry

Download PDF version.