Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject aims to provide students with an introduction to the human visual system, in order to explore the local and international sociological impacts of diseases of the eye and decreased visual function. Normal function is presented by explaining characteristics of light as an electromagnetic energy spectrum; the anatomy and physiology of the eye; visual pathways to the brain, and finally 3D perception. Some vision measurements are described so that discussion of decreased vision in eye disease can occur. The five major eye diseases affecting populations globally are discussed. These include refractive error (the need for corrective lenses/glasses), cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Medical (drug) and surgical treatment and management of these diseases are discussed using patient case scenarios.

SchoolSchool of Allied Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorMeri Vukicevic

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Students from outside of the School of Allied Health may enrol in this subject.


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsLecture Notes OphthalmologyRecommendedJames, B., Chew, C., Bron, A. 200710TH EDN. BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, UNITED KINGDOM

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Explain how the normal eye and brain enable perception of objects.

Create poster on aspects of the human eye. You will be able to: (a) Describe some of the physical properties of light; (b) Draw diagrams and explain the macro- anatomy and physiology of the eye and related brain areas; (c) Describe simply, the steps that occur when light travels from an object being viewed, through the eye, to the brain for perception to occur; (d) Discuss visual illusions as normal function of an imperfect system.

02. Document, describe and perform measurement of visual function.

Experimental exercises using vision, colour vision and 3D vision charts. You will be able to: (a) Discuss the anatomical basis underlying vision measurement letter charts; (b) Describe the design of vision measurement charts by demonstrating their use experimentally; (c) Discuss the anatomical basis underlying colour vision measurement; (d) Describe the design of colour vision measurements by demonstrating their use experimentally; (e) Describe the physiological basis for design of stereoscopic (3 D) vision tests; (f) Perform and document measurement of stereoscopic vision.

03. Describe common eye diseases as deviations from normal function.

Case study analysis. You will be able to: (a) List and describe the 5 major visual diseases of refractive error (the need for corrective lenses/glasses), cataract, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration; (b) Discuss prevalence for these diseases in Australia, including within indigenous communities, and in comparison with international populations; (c) Explain how physical and structural ocular change during these diseases, causes decreased vision; (d) Discuss common medical and surgical and management options for these diseases.

04. Discuss the sociological implications for individuals with decreased vision.

Case study analysis. You will be able to: (a) Describe risk factors for eye disease and those populations most at risk; (b) Describe costs (social and monetary) associated with decreased vision; (c) Describe local programs that aim to decrease risk factors.

05. As an individual, or in a team, analyse a problem and clearly define and communicate the outcomes to be achieved by resolving or managing it.

Perform enquiry on a case. You will be able to: (a) Recognise your own learning needs and take responsibility for developing effective learning strategies; (b) Identify authoritative information; (c) Describe a problem clearly; (d) Independently and as part of a team, evaluate your own and others behaviours; (e) Communicate effectively to manage conflict, brainstorming, and encourage others; (f) Describe the outcomes expected from managing the problem effectively; (g) Interpret complex information into an appropriate mode to inform others.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 2, Online


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorMeri Vukicevic

Class requirements

Unscheduled Online Class Week: 31 - 43
One 3.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via online.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
One group assignment (1000-words equiv)Submitted electronically40 04, 05
Three 60-minute testsTests are online60 01, 02, 03