Specialist Certificate – Management of Low Vision Patients

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Optometry Award Specialist Certificate
Course Specialist Certificate in Management of Low Vision Patients
Course Code OPTO90007
Course Abbreviation SpecCertMLVP
Partner Faculty Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences
Background The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences has been reviewing the training needs of professional optometrists and the historical engagement of students in postgraduate training programs. This review has led to the closure of a number of existing programs and the introduction of the Master of Clinical Optometry (MClinOptom) and six Specialist Certificates. The Specialist Certificate in the Clinical Management of Low Vision is an award certificate. The main change to the existing subject is a change to the subject title and the revision of total study commitment time to achieve consistency with current University guidelines.
Course Description Topics covered within this subject include the epidemiology and geographic distribution of blindness; the roles and methods within the rehabilitative team for the support and rehabilitation of the visually disabled; the procedures for comprehensive assessment of visual disability and the management of patients with partial sight; and the principles and performance of optical, non-optical and technological aids for the enhancement of low vision. Emphasis is on clinical set-up, application and support of patients with low vision.
Delivery Mode This course is delivered online via the UoM online learning management system, known as LMS. Once you have enrolled, you will be issued with an LMS user name and password. Enrolled students will be directed to research articles, case studies, course materials and activities, as well as being able to interact with other students using this platform e.g. participating in discussion forums.
Who Should Apply The course is designed to offer the optimum balance of formal education and flexible study options to optometrists who have a compulsory requirement to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) every year to maintain their registration as an optometrist. Under new legislation (2011), all registered Australian and New Zealand Optometrists are required to complete 40 points of CPD each year, of these 20 points are required to be in the therapeutics area.
Subjects This is a 25 point semester-long postgraduate subject and contains 12 units, with each unit occupying one week of the academic semester. The time spent each week will vary according to the tasks that are to be completed in a particular week. The following tasks are typically to be completed in a week: Reading: (notes, articles, online material): these can be read at any free time and are accessible from the LMS anytime the LMS is available. All reading material is available either as PDF downloads or webpages. Clinical practice tasks: in most weeks candidates are required to carry out activities related to their clinical practice. These tasks can be conducted during normal working hours and you are advised to as soon as possible relate the experience on the Discussion Board (as required). Online Contribution: communication with fellow candidates and the subject coordinator is an important aspect of online education. Ther e is a strong emphasis on sharing experiences and discussing readings on the Discussion Board. Collaboration tasks with peers encourage communication of understanding and the opportunity to learn from each other. Assignments and Assessment Preparation: at around the time an assignment is due, generally tasks in the preceding weeks are reduced to make more time for assignment preparation. Further information: this subject may provide self-assessment quizzes for candidates to test their understanding of important key concepts. The quizzes are not compulsory and in many cases model answers are provided. Low Vision Kit: the kit will be added to throughout the semester to eventually build a resource that can be used in clinical practice. Tasks (online & clinical), assignments and reflections made during a unit will contribute to the kit.
Assessment Assessments for the Specialist Certificate in the Management of Low Vision Patients are as follows;
  • Case Study Report + Peer review, 2,500 words, due early semester - 30%
  • Case Study Report, 2,500 words, due mid semester - 25%
  • Case Study Report, 2,500 words, due late semester - 25%
  • Portfolio, Low Vision Kit, due end of exam period - 15%
  • Ongoing online contribution - 5%
Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and relevant to industry professionals.
Pathways to Further Study Successful completion of this subject provides 25 points of credit into the Masters of Clinical Optometry.
Academic and Teaching Team Ms Christine Nearchou, Course Coordinator, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences TBA, Academic Coordinator, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences
Entry Requirements A 4-year Australian degree in Optometry, or equivalent. Professional experience may be taken into account to determine equivalency. The IELTS requirement for international students is an overall band score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 in the individual listening, reading, writing and speaking components.
Key Dates Not running in 2018
Course Fees

Course fees or 2019 TBC

Please note that fees are subject to an annual increase. Organisations that wish to enrol three or more students on a single course delivery may be eligible for a group discount if participation is entered into an organisational contract basis. Individuals all still need to meet the University entry requirements for the course. Please contact us to find for details and requirements. Places are limited and it is recommended that you express interest and/or send in your application as soon as possible. A closing date for applications will be determined closer to the commencement of the subject.

Fee Inclusions Fees include tuition, course materials and access to on-line resources. As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.
FEE HELP Fee-Help is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.
Related courses and subjects OPTO90006 Management of Anterior Eye Disease and Dry Eye
OPTO90009 Management of Contact Lens Patients
OPTO90010 Management of Paediatric Patients
OPTO90015 Management of Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders
OPTO90016 Management of Posterior Eye Disease
Masters of Clinical Optometry
Other Information The University of Melbourne is an approved provider of CPD for the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA). CPD points for specialist certificates are designated as non-accredited CPD points as they are not recorded automatically by Optometry Australia, (but they are valid for attaining the OBA mandatory CPD requirements for registration).
Contact Us Program Administrator: Alexis Beaumont
Phone: (03) 90353480
Email: tl-optometry@unimelb.edu.au