Master of Orthoptics course to commence at UTS next year

Entry to the course is not entirely conventional in that few dands are made by UTS as to the nature of the degree held by applicants. Its website states that the course is: “open to people who have a UTS-accepted bachelor degree in any discipline and who seek a career in eye therapy”.
However, the ‘gotcha’ is that candidates are expected to have a Credit average for their undergraduate degree – it is a Masters degree after all. Graduates of the new course will be eligible for registration by the Australian Orthoptics Board, currently, the sole accreditation entity.The course encompasses 16 subjects, 25 per cent of which will be clinic-based (a registration requirent), and will integrate practical and clinical aspects of the discipline.
The UTS Model of Learning is ployed campus-wide. That model, especially in its GSH guise, seeks to close the gap between theory and practice and the integration of the best of on-line and face-to-face learning.
In addition to traditional lectures, students will have access to on-line resources that encourage preparation for the more formal aspects of their education. Those more formal aspects of the course will include real case studies, clinical placents and interactions with mentors.The new course will commence in the midst of a $1-billion campus redevelopment in Sydney’s Broadway that is probably most famous for its attention-getting Frank Gehry designed building under construction in the Haymarket precinct of UTS.
The orthoptics course will be located in a purpose-built facility including a clinic in the UTS Tower Building and space in the unfinished Thomas St Building that will be available by the end of the year. Some servicing courses are to be provided by the Faculty of Science to the GSH. Additionally, existing orthoptics resources from the University of Sydney will be transferred.
Associate Professor Kathryn Rose, an established leader within the discipline and head of discipline (USyd), was central to the development of the new orthoptics programme, the only one on offer in NSW.
The only other course in Australia is offered by La Trobe University in Melbourne. That course takes the form of a combined four-year Bachelor of Applied Science/Master of Orthoptics programme.
Currently, Australia is the only country in the Asia-Pacific region to offer orthoptics as a formal course hence Australian trained professionals service patients well beyond Australian shores.
As well, UTS is working closely with Orthoptics Australia and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists so that its new course will meet the eye-health needs of Australians. According to RANZCO only about 500 orthoptists currently work in Australia and their ranks are ageing.

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