Faculty of ScienceDepartment of Optometry & Vision Sciences

Study Problems

The optometry coursework programs are very demanding and it is not unusual for students to experience some form of hiccup during these years.

At some point during the course you may experience a lack of confidence in your ability, particularly in comparison to your fellow students - this is perfectly natural and the situation is usually not as bad as you think! Make sure to talk to your fellow optometry students, particularly those in the years above you - they have already worked through this experience. You may find it helpful to join or form a study group with other students in your year, as this can give you the chance to work with others to clarify your own ideas and provide an informal setting in which you can practice applying the ideas you have learnt in lectures and/or pracs.

However, you may be unfortunate enough to experience a more serious problem for which you require assistance. It is important to remember that the Department, Faculty Graduate School and University all have mechanisms and services in place to support you - the most important thing is to ask for help. Whatever you do, don't stay silent!

Problems With a Subject

If you are having problems with a particular subject the person to contact is your subject coordinator. Do not wait until after the subject is completed and you have found out your result. The earlier you ask for help the better! Your subject coordinator can suggest steps that you can take to improve your understanding of the subject, or can help point you in the direction of services that may assist you, such as the Faculty’s study support programs e.g. Science 101 (SKIL10006 Science Transition Assistance Program) and the First Year Learning Centres, or the University’s Academic Skills Unit which can help you with your writing and study skills.

Problems With the Course

If you are experiencing difficulties with the Optometry course in general, or if you are unsure about your decision to study Optometry, feel free to talk to any of the staff about the problems you are having. Your lecturers can give you feedback and advice about your progress in the course as well as information about alternative career options related to Optometry. You can also contact the Melbourne Graduate School of Science for advice on course planning and how to access other forms of assistance.

Personal or Financial Problems

If you are having personal problems that might be affecting your studies, the University’s Student Support Services can provide help and assistance in a range of areas including; finance, housing, health, counselling and learning skills.

Another avenue for advice and assistance is the Student Union Advisory Service (SUAS). Staff at the SUAS understand the University’s internal processes and can assist you to access the information or assistance you need, and can provide advice about the best way to resolve academic and personal issues.

Special Consideration

If you encounter any study problems you are urged to discuss them with your lecturer, the Department Office staff, or a Science Faculty Adviser. If you are experiencing study difficulties as a result of illness, accidents, or personal or financial problems, you should seek advice from the Department Office staff/ Science Faculty Adviser as soon as possible, as you may have a case for Special Consideration. You are also encouraged to access the relevant University support services described above.

Special consideration gives students a chance to be fairly assessed in relation to a whole range of difficulties and problems. You don’t just need to have a medical or physical problem to apply for special consideration. Financial difficulties, housing problems, medical problems, or personal problems such as family difficulties and relationship breakdowns are all valid reasons to apply for special consideration.

Please note that applications for Special Consideration must be submitted within certain time constraints. They must be lodged within three days of final assessment, or component of assessment - you must not wait until your result is released. The guidelines for Special Consideration and the online application form can be accessed via the Student Information System (SIS).

Who to Contact

Problem With Contact
  • Prac Class Allocations - Year 1 & 2
  • Prac Class Allocations - Year 3, 4 & 5
  • Timetable Problems
  • Subject Result
  • Clinic Matters
  • Course Notes
  • Enrolment Matters (fees, re-enrolment etc)
  • Graduation
  • Course Progress
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