4 x 50-minute lectures weekly
2 x 3-hour tutorials weekly
6 x 3-hour practicals per semester
1 x 6-hour independent study weekly
1 x 30-minute on-line exercises weekly
1 x 50-minute on-line lecture weekly
1 4 of OPTO3001, OPTO3002, OPTO3003, MMED3940
2 OPTO3006 - Normal Eye and Vision
2a OPTO3004 - Communication for the Consulting Room
Must Satisfy: (1 and (2 or 2a))
1 OPTO8002 - Ophthalmology
2 OPTO8003 - Clinical Skills for Optometrists 2
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Examination(s) (70%); Oral; Compulsory Tutorial participation and presentation; Tests.
Topic description

This topic will further develop the students' knowledge of the key areas of medical and vision science underpinning optometrical practice. Students will be familiarised with the scientific basis of Optometry by providing them with knowledge of the normal structure and function of the eye and visual system and relevant body systems at the molecular, cellular, optical, organ and total individual levels of organisation. The changes that occur as a result of abnormal growth or development, disease and injury, relevant psychosocial issues, aetiology of disease processes and factors affecting outcome of disease are also covered. Covering specific scientific discipline areas this topic is presented using a case-based learning (CBL) approach where common or important eye problems are used as vehicles to apply the learning underpinning the science. The topic has three case-driven presentation areas:

  • Ametropias
  • Diseases of the eye
  • Relevant systemic conditions

The cases represent real clinical presentation and within each case, relevant anatomy and physiology, cell biology and biochemistry, microbiology, immunology and pharmacology, pathology and pathophysiology will be explored. Exploration covers all levels of organisation, from the molecular and cellular, through optical to the clinical picture. The emphasis is on normal structure and function and on the pathophysiology of disease processes. Approaches to diagnostic testing and treatment are considered, with an emphasis on the underlying biomedical science principles.

All cases include pharmacological prescribing and dispensing and where appropriate, therapeutic management.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to think about information as it occurs in the clinical setting
  • Deliver information in an integrated format that provides connection of information from each medical and vision science discipline
  • Ensure material connected to clinical cases by definition has relevance to clinical practice
  • Empower students to use learning approaches that suit them
  • Allow development of information acquisition and critical appraisal skills
  • Allow development of interpersonal and teaching skills for effective group/team work
  • Allow development of life-long learning skills
  • Provide students with thorough knowledge about the eye diseases related to optometry
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the overall normal structure and function of the eye and visual system
  2. Apply and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the nature and treatment of all of the ametropias, the major blinding eye diseases, their etiology and pathophysiology including their clinical presentation and treatment
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the relevant and important systemic diseases in the endocrine, neurological and musculoskeletal systems and the physiological optics underpinning the conditions presented
  4. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the conditions at the molecular genetic and embryological levels
  5. Apply their knowledge of modern ophthalmic optics and pharmacological prescribing and dispensing and where appropriate, therapeutic management
  6. Demonstrate skills in independent learning, collaboration and critical thinking

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.