Clinical Management of Low Vision

Subject OPTO90007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, 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

The time spent each week will vary according the tasks that are to be completed in a particular week.

The following is a guide to an approximate breakdown:
Reading (books, articles, on-line material) 4- 5 hrs/wk
Self Reflective Study, including integration of content into clinical practice 6 - 8 hrs/wk
Online Contribution 3 hrs/wk
Assignments and Assessment Preparation 2 - 3 hrs/wk

Estimated total time commitment of around 200 hrs/semester.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Distance Learning
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Expected level of knowledge is that of a 4 year Optometry qualification.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ms Anthea Cochrane



Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6128
Fax: +61 3 8344 3351


Subject Overview:

Topics covered within this subject include the epidemiology and geographic distribution of blindness; the roles and methods within the rehabilitative team for the support and rehabilitation of the visually disabled; the procedures for comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation of the visually disabled; the procedures for comprehensive assessment of visual disability and the management of patients with partial sight; and the principles and performance of optical, non-optical and technological aids for the enhancement of low vision. Emphasis is on clinical set-up, application and support of patients with low vision.


On completion of the subject the enrolled optometrists will:

  • understand the main causes of visual impairment, their prognosis and effects on task performance;
  • understand the epidemiology of vision impairment and how vision impairment impacts on daily life;
  • understand the procedures for the comprehensive assessment of low vision;
  • prescribe optical magnification devices that will enhance low vision;
  • provide instruction on the use of non-optical devices that will be of practical benefit to the vision impaired patient;
  • understand the strategies used by the various professionals in the multidisciplinary low vision rehabilitation team.
  • understand the social and personal impact of vision loss and the patterns of behavioural response;
  • be able to improve their scope of clinical care to include low vision patient management gain.
  • Assessment:

    Case Study Report + Peer review, 2,500 words, due early semester - 30%
    Case Study Report, 2,500 words, due mid semester - 25%
    Case Study Report, 2,500 words, due late semester - 25%
    Portfolio – Low Vision Kit, due end of exam period - 15%
    Ongoing online contribution - 5%

    Prescribed Texts:

    Enrolled optometrists will be directed to research articles, review chapters and articles and case studies, both published and online.

    Breadth Options:

    This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

    On completion of this subject the student should:

    · have improved capacity to evaluate and synthesise a range of professional and scientific literature associated with the knowledge and skills in the area being studied;
    · be able to articulate knowledge and understanding in a written presentation;
    · have developed an understanding of the value of advanced knowledge and improved technology to both a professional and wider community;
    · have an appreciation of the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of research;
    · have developed a high level of analytic and problem solving skill;
    · have developed a flexibility of approach to enable better response to a background of rapidly changing information;
    · have confidence to broaden scope of knowledge by consulting professional and scientific literature from fields that overlap and enhance professional practice;
    · have the confidence to call upon peers to discuss and confer when needed;
    · have developed capacity to manage competing demands on time and enhanced capacity for self-directed work;
    · have and understanding of the area being studied in an international context.

    Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry

    Download PDF version.