Type of institution: University/Higher Education Institution
This course prepares the graduate to become an orthoptist an eye care professional who specialises in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of vision and eye disorders. Orthoptists generally work in specialist eye clinics and public hospitals, where they work with ophthalmic surgeons to monitor eye disease and provide treatment, which includes prescribing glasses for children and adult patients. They also provide rehabilitation services in low-vision agencies and may work in orthoptic private practice. Orthoptists are increasingly being employed in eye and vision research centres and industry partners which develop and supply orthoptic and ophthalmic instruments. This degree gives you the knowledge you need to screen, detect, diagnose, monitor and treat vision and eye problems in both children and adults. Your first year will cover the fundamentals of applied science and normal eye anatomy and physiology. You will then go on to study eye diseases and eye movement disorders and will learn how to manage these disorders and patients with low vision. Along with this fundamental knowledge, you will develop an understanding of neuroscience, pathology and pharmacology in your studies. From the second year of your course you will participate in clinical placements. You will undertake these placements in hospitals with dedicated ophthalmology programs such as the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Alfred Health, the Royal Children's Hospital or within one of the Orthoptic Clinical School Network's private or public practices around Melbourne. In final year, you will also complete one placement outside Melbourne with one of our partner clinics in regional Australia, interstate or overseas in countries like New Zealand, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. These placements will test your classroom knowledge in a practical environment, demonstrating your ability to detect eye conditions and administer treatments to a range of patients. From semester two of third year and throughout the final year of the course you will complete a major industry honours project or, subject to meeting academic merit requirements, have an option to complete a research honours project. These projects provide an opportunity for you to develop the research and project management skills required for successful professional practice in Orthoptics. The qualification awarded on graduation is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) as Level 8.
Standard entry requirements
- Essential requirements for enrolment or graduation: Applicants will be required to hold a valid National Police Record Check for professional placements as part of this course
- Applicants will be required to hold a valid Working with Children (WWC) Check prior to undertaking professional placements as part of this course
- Prior to commencing a placement, students are required to meet all of the requirements of the degree in relation to immunisation and testing for blood-borne viruses. Students must visit a medical practitioner who will complete and sign the Immunisation and Health Record form
- First Aid and/or CPR certification is required to meet the professional requirements of the degree.
- Applicants with recent secondary education (within the last two years): VCE: Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 30 in English (EAL) or at least 25 in English other than EAL. Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in two of Biology, Chemistry, any Mathematics, Physical Education or Physics. Bridging and enabling courses: Successful completion of Unilearn Biology (which must include online lab activities) with an overall grade of at least 60% satisfies the Biology prerequisite for this course. Personal Statement: Applicants can complete and submit a Personal Statement if they wish other information to be considered during the selection process. This may include information such as work experience or reason for applying. Applicants may wish to provide other documentation in support of their application. Relevant work experience of at least 3 months may be eligible for extra consideration during the selection process.
La Trobe's Orthoptics courses have consistently received professional accreditation. Our new course, the Bachelor of Orthoptics (Honours), will be seeking accreditation with the Australian Orthoptic Board (AOB). Graduates of the Bachelor of Orthoptics (Honours) may be eligible to apply for membership with Orthoptics Australia, the International Orthoptic Association, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists. Professional membership may be subject to additional or ongoing requirements beyond completion of the degree. Please contact the relevant professional body for details.