Doctor of Optometry

  • CRICOS code: 072811B

The experience


As a student of this course, you will become a member of an elite group completing the only Doctor of Optometry in Australia. Your interest in the body and its abilities, in particular the brain and nervous system, will be shared by a diverse group of peers.

Throughout the program, you will be immersed in this rich field of study through innovative and contemporary teaching styles. You will also benefit from witnessing first-hand practical and dynamic bedside manner skills, and hone your own patient management by learning one-on-one from experts with years of experience in primary care.

As a graduate, equip yourself with an internationally recognised degree that can take you places, including some of the most sought after local and international health organisations and practices.

The day-to-day experience

Throughout your four years of study, enjoy learning about healthcare in context as you become a member of an active department that focuses on hands-on learning. Your experience through various yearly placements at leading health organisations will enhance your overall experience in the program.

Research into contemporary health issues plays an important role in your day-to-day experience. You will engage regularly with world experts focused on specialised eye diseases, including posterior eye disease, glaucoma and anterior eye problems.

Enjoy the benefits of a small but engaged cohort course with a very active student community. As part of your involvement, you will partake in a two-day Doctor of Optometry student conference. In your final year, you have the opportunity to run the conference as part of the curricula, assisting you to make lasting connections with experts beyond the realm of the stand-alone course and pursue potential employment prospects.

Learning mode

Theory and practised-based learning will direct you through the program. A highly practical course, the Doctor of Optometry will see you regularly apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world situations, with a heavy emphasis on clinical practice and contact hours.

During your second year, you will see your one-on-one patient numbers increase to match your growing clinical skills. As you enter your third and final year, your learning will mostly focus on direct patient care, preparing you for entry into this specialised health arena.


This degree provides you with over 1,000 hours of clinical practice throughout the program. With this high level exposure, you will have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of what clinical practice path may best suit you post-graduation.

Read about Victoria's experience:


Victoria Ahmadzai

My interest in the vision sciences stems from a bull’s eye dissection demonstration in high-school. This was my first exposure to the intricate layers and structures of the eye. My interest grew further while studying the eye during vision science lectures in my undergraduate degree.

Now I’m in my third year of the Doctor of Optometry degree and it’s been great so far. We cover the theory in lectures and that knowledge is consolidated with tutorials and practicals. One of the best things about the course is that we are exposed to the clinical aspect of optometry quite early on, shadowing more senior students in-clinic in our second year. In our third year we go straight into seeing patients and our final year is solely clinically based.

Placements are undertaken at two separate clinics, the University of Melbourne Eye Care and the Australian College of Optometry. This exposes us to a wide demographic of patients, and I thoroughly enjoy problem solving and personalising the consult to suit the patient’s needs.

Each cohort in the course is quite small - my year only has 80 students, which means we know each other well and it really feels like a big family. Across all year levels we share a common room, and we are all happy to help each other out.

The teaching staff are incredibly supportive. They take the time to ensure we understand the content and are always accessible when we have questions.

I’m looking forward to the overseas externship in fourth year. There is a wide variety of locations to choose from. I’m excited to broaden my horizons and experience primary eye care in a setting that is different to what we have here in Australia.