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    The practical application of the principles of ophthalmic optics, anatomy and physiology to current and future ophthalmic clinical practice, including the use of equipment designed to assess or measure the functioning of the human eye, anatomical specimens, prosections and models to illustrate the ocular and related anatomy.

    The Department of Medicine offers the Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmic Basic Sciences (PGDipOphthBS), taught in conjunction with the University of Sydney. This consists of four 30-point papers, which can be taken full time over a year or part time up to five years. This diploma is intended for medical graduates with at least two years' experience who are either wishing to embark on a career in ophthalmology or in a recognised training programme and wish to enhance their understanding of the ophthalmic basic sciences. The diploma is based on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists' curriculum, which has been extended to include clinical correlations where appropriate.

    About this paper

    Paper title Practical Ophthalmic Basic Sciences
    Subject Ophthalmology
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Short Courses (inc. Field Trips) (1 June 2024 - 31 July 2024) (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    OPHX 804
    Limited to
    University of Sydney students, please apply for a Certificate of Proficiency in OPHT804 by emailing

    Must be admitted to the PGDipOphthBS or a Certificate of Proficiency.

    Students enrolled in the University of Sydney Master of Medicine (Ophthalmic Sciences) must take this paper as a Postgraduate Certificate of Proficiency.

    Application enquiries to:
    Postgraduate Administrator
    Teaching staff

    Academic Co-ordinators:

    Paper Structure

    The material will be presented in a two-week teaching block in Dunedin mid year (date to be confirmed). This paper is intended to be taken as a capstone after the successful completion of OPHT 801, OPHT 802 and OPHT 803 (or the equivalent papers at the University of Sydney).

    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    Staff and experts in their respective fields deliver this two-week programme in Dunedin. The course timetable indicates which day of the two-week block the topic will be presented. The days are divided into morning and an afternoon sessions, each being three and a half hours long plus private study time.


    Suggested Textbooks:
    Some are reference texts and are expensive. It is suggested that the student should consult local hospital and medical school libraries to see if any of the recommended texts are available. Online university library facilities are also available. It is also suggested that online bookstores may be able to provide the texts at a cheaper price than local bookstores (beware of security issues). Have a look in local second-hand university bookstores or ask local previous candidates (or ophthalmology registrars) if they wish to part with their pre-loved texts (if they allow it, we may be able to provide you contact details). The lectures will reference relevant texts and will provide additional relevant material (copyright allowing).

    Prescribed texts:

    • Clinical Optics AR Elkington and HJ Frank, Blackwell Science, 3rd Ed, 2000
    • Optics, Refraction and Contact Lenses, Basic and Clinical Science Course, American Academy Ophthalmology, 2013

    Additional texts:

    • Optics MH Freeman, Butterworths-Heinemann Medical; 10th Ed, 1990
    • Optics for Clinicians M Rubin, Triad Publishing, 3rd Ed, 1993
    • Physics for Ophthalmologists DJ Coster 1st Ed 1994
    • Optics Workbook online
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Successful completion of the Diploma may lead to acceptance into the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists' training programme.


    Short Courses (inc. Field Trips) (1 June 2024 - 31 July 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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