Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Thank you for choosing a student from the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences. Whilst we are unable to provide information for current host organisations, the following information will provide you with an idea of what constitutes a placement at our department. External clinical placements are an integral component of the Doctor of Optometry (OD) course. The final year of this four-year course is an intensive clinical internship year with students being exposed to various external practice settings.

Placements will be in metropolitan, rural, interstate and overseas venues. The aim of the placements is to integrate optometric knowledge gained during the students' first three years of study with clinical presentations in a variety of clinical settings.

Placement objectives:

  • Enhance the skills and knowledge of the student in all aspects of vision care.
  • Enable the student to examine patients alongside eyecare practitioners in Australia and overseas in a variety of settings.
  • Enable the student to receive constructive feedback and analysis regarding patient-care and optometric knowledge with regard to the consultation.
  • Introduce students to the business aspects of managing a practice.
  • Provide opportunities for students to utilise and reinforce their optometric knowledge and practical skills by allowing them to conduct full consultations where appropriate.
  • Provide the student with exposure to a broad range of practice environments, enabling them to develop an understanding of the different approaches to practicing optometry.
  • Provide opportunities to network and develop future mentoring relationships.
  • Expose students to patients from diverse cultural and age backgrounds.

How to be involved?

  • Types of placement

    Rural practices: Students each undertake one rural placement. A practice may choose to have as many students as they would like, at any time of the year. Students will attend the practice 5 days a week for two weeks.

    Metro practices: Metro placements run throughout the year. Students attends the practice 3-4 days a week for 1-2 weeks.

  • Benefits to Supervisors
    • Development of skills in clinical teaching, appraisal, and mentorship.
    • Professional involvement in the teaching/ learning process.
    • Opportunity to contribute to the development and training of future optometrists.
    • Knowledge transfer between clinicians and interns on clinical matters.
    • Providing opportunities for staff recruitment.
    • Collaborate and link with the University, being part of a scholarly community.

    To show our recognition of support for the program to Clinical Placement Supervisors who participate in our External Placement Program, we are pleased to offer:

    • A certificate of appreciation specifying that the Clinical Placement Supervisor (and their practice) contributes to the University of Melbourne teaching program.
    • Networking opportunities.
    • Access to expert teachers, clinicians and teaching resources.
    • Access to training in good teaching and learning practices.
    • A DOVS newsletter that will inform Supervisors of teaching and learning initiatives.
  • Criteria for involvement
    • The Supervisor will ideally hold an endorsement for scheduled medicines (except for certain specialist placements).
    • The Supervisor has a minimum of 3 years experience post-graduation/registration in the field.
    • The Practice is committed to quality improvement processes.
    • The Practice has a patient base that will expose students to a wide range of optometric presentations.
    • The Practice is able to occupy the student in a variety of tasks that will meet the objectives of the placement.
    • The Practice is able to commit to the duration of the external placement (dependent on the type of practice).
    • The Supervisor is able to obtain patient consent prior to consultations involving the students.


Need Help?

For general enquiries:
Anthea Cochrane
t: +61 3 9035 9892
For rural placement queries:
Christine Nguyen
t: +61 3 9035 3186
For metro placement queries:
Jia Jia Lek
t: +61 3 8344 5156