Specialist Certificate - Glaucoma and Retinal Disease

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Optometry Award Specialist Certificate
Course Specialist Certificate in Glaucoma and Retinal Disease
Course Code SC-GARD
Course Abbreviation SpecCertMPED
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 Management of Posterior Eye Disease is an award certificate which comprises of a previously approved subject (Posterior Eye Disease, Optometry OPTO90016) from the Optometry programs that are being discontinued. 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 guidelines.
Course Description This Specialist Certificate/subject will enable optometrists to advance their capabilities in the day-to-day management of eye disease by affording them the opportunity to review the most current ideas on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of ocular disease affecting the posterior pole, thus also preparing them for any further shifts in the scope of optometric practice in this area. This module will include a critical examination of how the state-of- the-art diagnostic and imaging tools can be incorporated into clinical practice. Given the explosion in the literature of health sciences, the course will concentrate on developing a deep understanding in a select group of eye diseases regularly seen in optometric practice (for example, glaucoma, diabetes, agerelated macular degeneration). The course will, however, provide optometrists with the tools necessary to develop a deeper, evidence-based understanding in other eye diseases of their choosing .

Please note: Registration to practice in Australia is NOT granted on completion of this course
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 OPTO90016 Management of Posterior Eye Disease
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. There 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. Posterior Eye Disease 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 Posterior Eye Disease are as follows:
  • A 2000-word assignment, due approximately week 6, documenting the findings of a review of the literature explaining the pathophysiology of a posterior ocular disease (not diabetes, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)), 25%
  • A 1000-word assignment, due approximately week 9, discussing the clinical value of a piece of diagnostic equipment. The assignment should include a comparison of the manufacturer's claims, e.g. in technical literature associated with the equipment, with findings in independent clinical trials of the equipment, 10%
  • A 2000-word case-report, due at the start of the examination period, that emphasises a review of the literature covering the management of a posterior ocular disease (again, not diabetes, glaucoma or ARMD), 25%
  • A 2500-word case-scenario, due at the end of the examination period, based structured assignment covering the information contained within the required reading of the subject, 30%
  • Ongoing appropriate contribution (approximately 3 hours per week) to the subject's online community, along with critical assessment of research articles in an interactive, online format, 10%
Hurdle: Enrolled optometrists will be required to obtain a passing grade in all assessment components (i.e. each of the three assignments, online participation and the structured assignment). 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 Master 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.
Course Fees Course fees for 2018 are as follows;
  • Domestic students $5,295.00
  • International students $6,475.00
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.
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.
Key Dates Semester 1, 2018: 26th February - 27th May (this course will run in Semester 1, 2018)
Semester 2, 2018: 23rd July - 21st October

Related Courses and Subjects OPTO90006 Anterior Eye Disease and Dry Eye
OPTO90007 Management of Low Vision Patients - this course will not run in 2018
OPTO90009 Management of Contact Lens Patients
OPTO90010 Management of Paediatric Patients
OPTO90015 Management of Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders
(MC-ClinOpt) Master 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 Alexis Beaumont
Program Coordinator
The University of Melbourne
E: tl-optometry@unimelb.edu.au
T: +61 3 9035 3480