Doctor of Optometry

  • CRICOS code: 072811B

Course overview

  • 4 years full time
  • On Campus (Parkville)
  • Available to domestic and international students
  • Start Year Intake - February


The Doctor of Optometry (OD) at the University of Melbourne is a master’s-level professional entry degree. The OD program is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, creating a new benchmark in optometric education.The course has full accreditation from the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ).

The OD degree is a four-year full-time program consisting of a combination of on-campus teaching and clinical placements. Clinical studies commence in first year and gradually increase to full-time in the final year. The course covers the basic and applied optical, visual, and biomedical sciences that underpin optometry.

A research project, with clinical relevance, is conducted as a required component of the degree. Students will also be given the opportunity to undertake clinical training at metropolitan, rural and overseas sites as part of their final year of study.

Course description

The Doctor of Optometry is the pathway to an exciting and rewarding career in optometry. Specific graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course. Graduates of the program will achieve:

  • Understanding of the normal human visual system and its physical, chemical and biological foundations
  • Expertise to quantitatively describe light and its passage through optical systems (including ophthalmic instruments, ophthalmic lenses and the eye), the design of optical systems to meet required specifications, and quantitatively assess the nature and quality of optical images
  • Advanced knowledge of the mechanisms and associated manifestations of ocular and visual system disease. This includes expert competency in clinical ocular examination using current best-practice methods, enabling them to fully assess and manage the health and visual performance of their patient
  • Ability to construct appropriate differential diagnoses and to acquire additional information to arrive at correct definitive diagnoses. and expert knowledge of current best practice management strategies for the safe and effective use of ocular therapeutic drugs
  • The skills and knowledge required to manage the establishment, planning, promotion, finances, operations and workforce of an optometric practice
  • 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
  • Knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to optometry and the vision sciences
  • Ability to achieve a leadership role in the advancement of optometry on a global stage, both in clinical and research spheres

Commonwealth Supported Places

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for Australian and New Zealand citizens and Permanent Resident visa holders undertaking this degree. Due to limited availability, these places will be awarded on the basis of academic merit. Full-time students enrolled in this program are also eligible to apply for Youth Allowance, Austudy or Abstudy. Refer to the support web page for more information.

Upcoming information session

Doctor of Optometry Information Session: 2024 Intake

When:  Thursday 11 May 2023, 6.00-7.00pm (Melbourne, Australia Time)

Hear from Associate Professor Michael Pianta who will delve deep into the Doctor of Optometry program, the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and how it is creating a new benchmark in optometric education. You will have the opportunity to hear from current students in this interactive session.

Register here