Take the first step towards a professional career as a registered optometrist. This degree combines the theory behind vision science with the clinical expertise of primary eye care.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Medicine and Health
Delivery Mode
On campus
Award
Master of Clinical Optometry, Bachelor of Vision Science
Commencing Terms
Term 1
Duration (Full Time)
5 Year(s)

Overview

We rely heavily on our five senses to navigate life: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. Each of these senses play a vital role in our day-to-day lives. Problems with eyesight can have a profound impact on an individual’s life. Through optometry, many vision problems and eye diseases can be corrected or managed, restoring sight to people from all walks of life. 

Optometrists diagnose vision problems, eye diseases and other eye health issues. These highly skilled professionals correct poor vision and manage or slow degenerative eye diseases with corrective lenses, optical aids, therapy or medication. 

The Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry provides you with the clinical skills and training required to gain registration to practice optometry. It combines the theoretical discipline of vision science with the clinical expertise of primary eye care.  

Key features

  • Combined undergraduate/postgraduate degree
    This degree consists of a three-year Bachelor of Vision Science and a two-year Master of Clinical Optometry.

  • Pathway to registration
    You’ll graduate with the specialised knowledge and skills required for professional practice as an optometrist. Upon completion of the Master of Clinical Optometry, you can apply to register with the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA), the Optometrists and Dispensing Board (ODOB) New Zealand and other registration boards in Asia where our degree is recognised.

  • Wide range of career opportunities
    This degree not only prepares you for a career as a registered optometrist, it also prepares you to work with ophthalmic industries in the development of new technologies, diagnostic instruments and patient care options. You’ll be able to work in a wide range of public and private sector areas that specialise in primary eye care, optical devices, technologies, teaching and scientific research in vision, optometry and ophthalmology.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Gain practical experience in UNSW’s Optometry Clinic
You’ll gain practical experience in UNSW’s Optometry Clinic. The clinic is open to the public and uses state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that provides the best in patient eye health management. You’ll see patients from a wide variety of ages from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. The UNSW Optometry Clinic operates several internal clinics that, in conjunction with external placements, offer students a broad experience in many aspects of optometric and eye care including rural and remote optometry, paediatrics, ocular emergencies, contact lenses and myopia progression control.

Connect with industry-leading research centres and institutes
We’ll provide you with a varied education in vision science through the Centre for Eye Health, Brien Holden Vision Institute and Optometry Giving Sight.

Study with the School of Optometry and Vision Science
UNSW Optometry and Vision Science is the largest school of optometry in Australia. We are committed to forming partnerships within the ophthalmic industry and across the health care sector. The School is committed to translational research that will lead to practical applications and significant improvements in community eye health. 

 

Program Code
3182
CRICOS Code
092960A
Campus
Kensington
UAC Code
429750
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
240
Indicative Enrolments
237

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Entry requirements

2021 Lowest Selection Rank
99.2
2021 A levels
23
2021 IB Diploma
42
2021 Lowest ATAR
91.5
    1. 2021 Lowest Selection Rank
      The 2021 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021.
    2. 2021 A levels
      The 2021 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. 2021 IB Diploma
      The 2021 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. 2021 Lowest ATAR
      The 2021 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.

Adjustment factor schemes

We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Alternative entry pathways

Your ATAR is not the only measure of your potential to succeed, which is why we offer a range of pathways into university. Explore your options below and get in touch with our future student advisors to discuss your path to UNSW. 

Entry programs for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
We offer entry programs for Indigenous Australians, including the Indigenous Preparatory Programs and the Indigenous Admission Scheme (IAS). The entry pathway program you apply for will depend on the degree you want to study. 

English language requirements​

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Pathway programs

UNSW Global has university pathway programs that will help you transition into university so you can achieve your academic and career goals. Learn more.

English language requirements​


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

This degree consists of a three-year Bachelor of Vision Science and a two-year Master of Clinical Optometry. Through studies in vision science, you’ll learn about the optics of lenses and instruments, the anatomy and physiology of the eye, eye diseases and the psychophysics of vision and neuroscience.

Optometry components will give you clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of ocular disease, the dispensing of spectacles and contact lenses, care of people with special needs (children, low vision), sports vision and vision in the workplace.

You’ll also learn about research design, experimental methods and techniques that can be applied in the workplace. You’ll gain broad experience in optometric eye care and training on how to work and communicate with patients and other health care practitioners.

Full program structure

The Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry can be completed in five years of full-time study. The program is made up of 39 courses total, including 37 core courses and two general education courses.

Future careers

Become an optometrist
Optometrists diagnose vision problems, eye diseases and other eye health issues. These highly skilled professionals correct poor vision and manage or slow degenerative eye diseases with corrective lenses, optical aids, therapy or medication. 

The demand for qualified optometrists remains steady in Australia and globally, due to ageing and growing populations. By 2036 the number of optometrists is like to increase with Australia’s population projected to reach 32.4 million people.

Across the world, over 2.2 billion people experience vision impairment or blindness. Access to proper eye care can correct many of these cases through different clinical measures. Sadly, for people living in communities with limited access to health care, treatment for vision problems is often inadequate. There are many opportunities for qualified optometrists to join programs and organisations that provide care to these populations on a short-term or long-term basis. 

Other career opportunities
The Bachelor of Vision Science will prepare you to work in the eye health sector, including clinical settings, health promotion in government and non-government organisations, laboratory-based eye research and the ophthalmic industry.

You can work in wide range of optics, vision science and ophthalmology research laboratories that develop drugs, imaging technology and vision correction devices such as contact lenses, spectacles and ocular implants.  

Career opportunities are also available in the government sector, particularly in teaching and defence technology (e.g., lasers and optical equipment). You could also contribute to the development of health and occupational policy regarding the importance of vision to quality of life in the workplace. 

Accreditation

Upon completion of the Master of Clinical Optometry, you can apply to register with the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA), the Optometrists and Dispensing Board (ODOB) New Zealand and other registration boards in Asia where our degree is recognised.

Jeremy Chiang
"I have learnt a tremendous amount from highly experienced academics at the school and skilled clinicians based at the UNSW Optometry Clinics. UNSW also has strong ties with institutions and facilities globally, offering a wealth of knowledge and external training for future students.”

Jeremy Chiang

PhD Student

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$7,950*

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included.

 

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$47,760*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$246,680*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

 

Scholarships

At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


  • Top 50
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2022.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

Janelle Tong
"A highlight of the course is the exposure to a wide range of clinical environments, both internally within the UNSW Optometry Clinic and the variety of external placements in 'real-world' practices, which provide excellence hands-on experience."

Janelle Tong

Optometrist

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