Clinical Optometry Practice

Subject OPTO90026 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 100
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Six hours of lectures per week; Six hours of clinical work per week; Four hours of tutorials per week; Six hours per week of reflective analysis and computer-assisted learning/assessment.
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment - 900 hours over two 20 week semesters.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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:



Subject Overview:

Note: This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Doctor of Optometry.

This year-long subject of 40 weeks consists of clinical placements and the didactic study of specialist areas of optometry practice, including paediatric optometry, binocular vision anomalies, visual standards and specialist occupational eyewear, and low vision practice. In addition students will consolidate their core clinical practice skills learnt in the 2nd year of the O.D. and develop experience in the clinical application of advanced diagnostic assessment procedures. Students will be introduced to Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefit Schemes, and professional interdisciplinary teamwork with General Medicine and Ophthalmology. Students will be provided with lectures in the first semester and guided readings/tutorials in second semester to develop the basis to many of these issues. Reflective thinking and group discussion on elements pertinent to clinical settings that reinforce the lecture/tutorial/reading will also be facilitated, and computer assisted learning modules will be provided to test knowledge and understanding. Throughout this subject, students will be required to demonstrate a high standard in clinical techniques and their capacity to apply these methods in the examination and management of patients in the various clinical settings. Additionally, students will work in small groups, both face-to-face and on-line, to explore the scientific and clinical interface of clinical cases.


On completion of this subject students should have:

  • have developed a strong understanding of the mechanisms and associated manifestations of ocular and visual system disease at a level that allows them to construct appropriate differential diagnoses, and arrive at correct definitive diagnoses;
  • have interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, that allow them to establish and maintain professional relationships with their patients, professional colleagues and the general;
  • have a sense of intellectual curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning, with the ability to adapt to scientific, technological and social change, and a capacity to be creative and innovative;
  • be able to concisely present research findings, articulate links between those findings and clinical practice, and be able to demonstrate the use of evidence-based practice in clinical practice;
  • have a strongly developed sense of professional and ethical responsibility for patients, colleagues and the community generally, and be aware of the moral and legal responsibilities of professional practice; and
  • have an expert knowledge of best practice management strategies to enable the safe and effective use of ocular therapeutic drugs.

Three 3-hour written examinations to be held midway through the subject year, representing 30% of the final mark for this subject. Successful completion of each examination is a hurdle requirement and students who fail any hurdle will be permitted to resit these exams later in the teaching year.
Assessment of clinical performance throughout the year. Clinical performance will be assessed and graded by a panel of clinical teaching instructors. This will constitute 40% of the final mark for the subject. Associated minimum hurdle requirements for a number of certain clinical procedures are detailed in the subject description. Failure to meet a hurdle requirement will result in additional target numbers to be completed prior to the end of the year.
Thirty-two 12-minute patient scenario-based multiple choice examinations (1 - 2 each week during the first half of the teaching year). It is a hurdle requirement to obtain an 80% correct response rate and students will have the opportunity to resit these examinations during the year to demonstrate their competency. This will represent 15% of the final mark for this subject.
Three 2,000-word case reports due at regular intervals throughout the teaching year. Each report is worth 5%, representing 15% of the final mark.

Prescribed Texts:

As per the prescribed texts for the subjects: Preclinical Optometry; Applied Clinical Training; plus:

Duckman, R.H. (2006) Visual Development, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Pediatric Patient. Pub. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Jackson J & Wolffsohn J (Eds) (2006). Low Vision Manual. 1st Edition. Pub. Butterworth-Heinemann.

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 students should:

  • be able to plan strategies for improving the management of information in the workplace;
  • be able to work with colleagues to develop best practice in the delivery of eye care;
  • be able to incorporate evidence based information into your clinical practice;
  • be able to evaluate scientific literature as a foundation to evidence based practice;
  • be able to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to new problems;
  • be able to reflect upon and identify deficiencies in your knowledge, and develop strategies to address those deficiencies;
  • be able to independently advance your professional expertise and knowledge in optometry; and
  • be able to work as part of a team to address a common goal.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Optometry

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