27 x 50-minute lectures per semester
1 x 8-hour independent study weekly
1 x 18-hour on-line exercises per semester
1 Admission into BMSVMOPT-Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science), Master of Optometry
2 MMED3934 - Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
1 OPTO3003 - Clinical Skills for Optometrists 1
2 OPTO3001 - Knowledge of Health and Illness for Optometrists
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Assumed knowledge
MMED3934 Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Assignments; Examination (55%); Oral; Tests.
Topic description

This topic aims to provide optometry students with knowledge related to the drugs commonly prescribed within their scope of practice. This knowledge will be enhanced by an understanding of the mechanisms of actions of drugs both in the eye (e.g. antihistamines) and systemically (e.g. cardiovascular drugs). In depth knowledge will be gained through critical examination of key drug classes (e.g. mydriatics and cycloplegics) and contextualised by further learning of drug classes and their therapeutic use in the treatment of systemic (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, infection) and ocular diseases (e.g. glaucoma, microbial eye disease). Relevance of the material will be highlighted by reference to drugs that optometrists are currently licensed to prescribe

Educational aims

This topic aims to assist students to build further on their knowledge of pharmacology and therapeutics that can be utilised in the optometric setting. The specified learning outcomes will encourage safe medication practice within the current legal and ethical boundaries of optometric practice. Specifically the topic aims to:

  • Encourage acquisition of advanced knowledge of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Ensure that advanced knowledge of ocular pharmacology provides the foundation for independent therapeutic practice
  • Ensure the knowledge foundation in ocular pharmacology and therapeutics provides the basis for career-long learning
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate links between mechanistic pharmacology and therapeutics
  2. Integrate knowledge of physiology/pathophysiology and pharmacology as it relates to drug therapy of the eye
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of drug classes used in the treatment of systemic diseases and drug classes that cause ocular adverse effects
  4. Select, manage, monitor and review ocular drug therapy
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of how to acquire accurate (peer reviewed) information on medicines approved for use by the Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA)

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.