Flinders to introduce first optometry course in SA

glassesFlinders University is planning to introduce a new course in optometry that could reduce the flow of local students interstate and boost eye health in indigenous communities.

The course will involve five years of study with the first intake of students in 2010.

Flinders course will fill a crucial gap in optometry training with the only qualifications currently offered in Queensland, NSW, and Victoria. The State’s lack of optometry studies – which provide the skills to manage important eye and vision problems – is compounded by the fact that some South Australian students remain and practice interstate after graduation.

While details are yet to be finalised in consultation with optometry practitioners and the national accreditation body, Flinders optometry course will be introduced as a specialisation in Vision Science within a three-year Bachelor of Medical Science, to be followed by a two-year Master of Optometry.

Flinders newly-appointed Executive Dean of Health Sciences, Professor Michael Kidd, said the new course would further enhance the University’s existing strength in teaching medicine and nursing, and would also draw on Flinders advanced eye and vision research capability.

“Flinders School of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences are highly regarded teaching institutions and a degree in Vision Science and a Master of Optometry will further consolidate the University’s leadership in health sciences education,” Professor Kidd said today.

“Flinders aims to be the first choice for health professional courses in South Australia,” he said.

Flinders initiative will help overcome a shortage of optometrists in rural and remote areas of Australia, and offers a potential boost for the treatment of serious eye problems in indigenous communities.

The University has strong teaching and research activities throughout SA and the Northern Territory with its Rural Clinical School, NT Rural Clinical School, Centre for Remote Health, NT Clinical School and Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health.

Professor Kidd said Flinders regional teaching model, which includes long term placements of medical students in local communities, could be applied to the optometry courses.

Flinders is also exploring possible links and partnerships with optical lens and frame manufacturers in SA.

Register your interest to be kept informed on further developments.

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0 thoughts on “Flinders to introduce first optometry course in SA

  1. Will current first year Bachelor of Medical Science students be able to specialise in vision science?

    1. Students need to have gained entry to the (Vision Science)/Optometry combined degree by application through SATAC to be eligible to specialise in Vision Science.

      Also, Vision Science/Optometry will only be available to school leavers – ie applicants who are competing for entry on the basis of performance in SACE Stage 2 studies or the International Baccalaureate or the interstate/overseas equivalent – in 2010.

      Applicants (including Bachelor of Medical Science students) who have studied at the higher education level for up to 2 years or less are eligible to apply for (vision science)/optometry on the basis of their TER .

      Applications for 2010 must be lodged via SATAC by the closing date. To be eligible to apply applicants must also hold a UMAT score from either 2008 or 2009. Ranking for offers of places will be based on an entry score combining TER (90%) and a UMAT-derived score (10%).

      Bachelor of Medical Sciences students who gain admission to the (Vision Science)/Optometry will given credit for equivalent topics completed in the BMS but will be required to complete all requisite specialty topics and other core topics of the vision science stream. Applicants should note that the year 2 specialty topics of the vision science stream will not be available until 2011.

      If you need further information or clarification contact admissions@flinders.edu.au.

  2. The course guide does not specify whether the Masters of optometry is CSP or not. I know the vision science is, but is the Masters component CSP?

  3. thanks for clearing that up. one more question. Do students who gain entry to vision science/optometry and gain a GPA of 5 require to undergo an interview before being accepted?

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