Vision Science

Major/Minor/Specialisation !290AA-MAJ+1021 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012


Assoc Prof Andrew Metha




The Postgraduate Diploma in Science (Vision Science) provides advanced training in vision science or optical science and preliminary training in research methods.


The course provides:

  • advanced training in vision science or optical science; and
  • preliminary training in research methods.
Structure & Available Subjects:

The course comprises a research project subject and an advanced coursework subject. These subjects, and their relative weightings in the 100-point course, are as follows:

  • Vision Science Research Project subject (75 points);
  • Vision Science Advanced Coursework subject (25 points).
Subject Options:


Under the supervision of an academic staff member, students conduct research and prepare a report in the form of a thesis not exceeding 15,000 words.

A list of the research interests of the Department is available in the document, Research Areas in Optometry and Vision Sciences, from the Department Office or on the Department's website ( Potential students should approach the Postgraduate Coordinator or specific academic staff in the areas of research interest to discuss possible research projects. Further guidelines for thesis formatting, etc., are provided in the Department's Honours/Postgraduate Diploma manual distributed at the commencement of the course.

The thesis is normally due for submission in the first week of November (for students who commenced at the beginning of the year), or in the first week of May (for students who commenced mid-year). The student's supervisor will provide a mark (10% of the research project mark) that reflects the student's performance in the laboratory. The examiners will normally include the Postgraduate Coordinator and one other member of the Department's academic staff, and they will provide a mark for the thesis (80% of the research project mark). The thesis examiners will also assess student's oral presentation made after the thesis has been submitted (10% of the research project mark).

A 20-minute oral presentation at each of two Honours/Postgraduate Diploma mini-symposia during the course is also a hurdle requirement: (i) a presentation during the first 2 months of commencement outlining the planned research project; (ii) a presentation following the submission of the written research project presenting the key outcomes.

Information about departmental research areas is available on the Department's website (


Advanced Coursework

In addition, students enrolled in the program are required to attend and participate in Departmental seminars, including the Vision Science Seminar Series and Journal Club.
Students are required to undertake the compulsory Advanced Research Methods subject plus one other elective module (each component contributes 50% to the total coursework mark):


Advanced Research Methods: a directed learning module which runs in conjunction with the Department's Journal Club. Students will be required to participate in web based blogs and discussion forums led and moderated by an academic staff member to discuss issues of research practice or methodology related to the Journal Club presentations. Assessment for this module is based on a series of written tasks completed throughout the semester (detailed on the Department’s website;




An elective subject: normally chosen from the Department's coursework listings at 300-level or above.
Assessment for each subject is specified in the Handbook. This is articularly suitable for students who have not previously studied vision science or optics.

If a student is unable to choose a subject from the Department, the student's supervisor will assist the student to choose a coursework subject at 300-level or above from other departments at the University of Melbourne.
However if a student is still unable to choose a subject from the departments, the following option may be taken.
A literature-based assignment not exceeding 4,000 words. The assignment topic, which is to be decided upon in consultation with the student's supervisor and the Postgraduate coordinator, is to be drawn from a different but possibly related area to the research project. The student's supervisor and one other member of the Department's academic staff will assess the assignment.

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Science

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