We rely heavily on our five senses to navigate life: touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. Each of these senses plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives.  Problems with eyesight can have a profound impact on an individual’s life. Through Optometry, many vision problems and eye diseases can be corrected or managed, restoring sight to people from all walks of life.

Optometrists diagnose vision problems, eye diseases and other eye health issues. These highly skilled professionals correct poor vision and manage or slow degenerative eye diseases with corrective lenses, optical aids, therapy or medication. 

Careers in Optometry

The demand for qualified optometrists remains steady in Australia and globally, due to ageing and growing populations. There are currently 6,041** registered optometrists in Australia. By 2036 the number of Optometrists is like to increase with Australia’s population projected to reach 32.4 million people.

Across the world, over 2.2 billion people experience vision impairment or blindness***. Access to proper eye care can correct many of these cases through different clinical measures. Sadly, for people living in communities with limited access to health care, treatment for vision problems is often inadequate. There are many opportunities for qualified optometrists to join programs and organisations that provide care to these populations on a short-term or long-term basis. 

Relevant Roles

When you pursue a career as an optometrist, you can choose from many career pathways in a range of settings, including:

  • Vision Researcher
  • Paediatric Optometrist
  • Sports and Workplace Vision Specialist
  • Consultant in Ophthalmic Industries
  • Optometrist

Career Paths at UNSW

UNSW Science’s School of Optometry is  the only Optometry School in New South Wales and one of the largest in Australasia. When you study with us, you’ll benefit from our strong partnerships within the ophthalmic industry and healthcare sector.

You’ll study the science and theory that practising optometrists require while gaining hands-on experience in our optometry clinic. The UNSW Optometry Clinic is open to the public and provides a wide range of clinical services using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

We provide students with a varied education in vision science and optometry through the Centre for Eye Health, Brien Holden Vision Insititute, Optometry Giving Sight and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre.

The combination of our two degrees, the Bachelor of Vision Science and Master of Clinical Optometry, qualifies graduates to practice as an Optometrist in Australia, New Zealand and many Asian countries.

You can work in a range of roles related to eye care dispensing optical devices, including contact lenses, spectacles and ocular implants. Graduates also find jobs in ocular imaging, drug development and research.  

You can study Optometry at the undergraduate level through UNSW Science’s stand-alone Bachelor of Vision Science or the combined undergraduate/postgraduate Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Clinical Optometry degree. 

In the Bachelor of Vision Science, you’ll study: 

  • Optical science  
  • Anatomy and functioning of the eye  
  • Eye disorders  
  • Clinical optometry  
  • Ocular therapy  
  • Treatments of ocular-visual disorders 

If you want to become a practising optometrist, you’ll need to complete the Master of Clinical Optometry before registering with the Australian Optometry Board

UNSW Optometry and Vision Science offers the most comprehensive postgraduate degrees in Australia in the field of vision science.  

The Master of Clinical Optometry will provide you with the relevant qualifications to become an optometrist in Australian, New Zealand and many countries overseas. 

You’ll study both vision science and practical optometry in our world-class facilities such as the Optics and Radiometry Laboratory (ORLAB). Our students benefit from our vast research activities across a range of topics and disciplines. 

Where Our Graduates Work 

Portrait Picture of Shaun Chang

"There is nothing more satisfying than putting everything you learnt towards helping people. I experienced this when I started clinical optometry during my degree and it has stuck with me ever since. I founded a charity in the Everest region of Nepal when the doctor there told me children were having trouble seeing the board. I became a well respected children's optometrist because no one in my area was doing it. My 11 year journey has been amazing. If you want to live a purpose-driven life, then use your degree to help humanity."

Shaun Chang - Director of Eyes2Learn Optometrists & Founder of Eyes4Everest
UNSW Bachelor of Science alumni