The Structure of the Study Programme

Name and the Goals of the Study Programme

The name of the Study Programme is Optometry. The Goal of this study programme is to provide vocational education of experts in the field of Optometry.

Type of the Study and the Outcome of the Education Process

This study program belongs to undergraduate cycle of studies, undergraduate vocational studies. The main learning outcomes are the capacity for independent professional work in the field of optics and optometry, working with patients, independent organization and management of a small business or working in a team, transferring knowledge to younger colleagues.

Professional Title, Academic, or Scientific Title

Upon completion of this study programme, students are awarded the title of Vocational Optometrist.

The Structure of the Study Programme

Enrolment requirements are in accordance with the Law on Higher Education.

Teaching, besides lecturing, includes experimental, demonstrational and theoretical exercises, homework, practice, preparation and defence of the seminar papers. Important component of the study program is preparation and defence of the Final Work. Another important component of the study program is students’ independent work on mastering the foreseen content.

Studies are conducted through teaching courses (using modern teaching methods) listed in the curriculum and arranged into semesters. Two semesters constitute an academic year. Total number of ECTS points per academic year is at least 60. Duration of the studies is 3 years (6 semesters) obliging a student to collect at least 180 ECTS. It is important to emphasize that by the end of the studies, a student should have at least one of the options among various options for each elective course.

Courses in this programme are divided into groups: academic and general education courses, vocational courses and practically applicable vocational courses. This program also includes the obligatory and elective courses.

In order to complete studies, students must pass all required obligatory courses, pass at least one option for each group of elective courses, write and defend Final Work so that they collect a total of at least 180 ECTS.

The Time Allotted for the Realization of Particular Study Forms

Duration of the study program is three academic years or six semesters.

Credit Values of Particular Courses

Credit value of each of the courses and of the Final Work is reported in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The number of ECTS awarded to each course is shown in tables.

Credit value of the programme is 180 ECTS.

Diploma Work

After passing all required obligatory courses, at least one option for each group of elective courses, students have to write and defend Final Work.

Prerequisites for the Registration for Particular Courses or Group of Courses

The Prerequisites for registering each course are given in the course description.

Transferring from Another Study Programme

Conditions for transfer from other study programmes within the same or related field of study are also defined.

The Purpose of the Study Programme

The purpose of the study programme is providing the high-quality education to successfully perform academic and professional work in the field of Optics and Optometry to students who will play a leading role in their area of expertise. The study program guarantees acquiring all the necessary competences for education of professionals.

The existence of this degree program is fully justified and beneficial to society as a whole, given the main purpose of Optometry – vision correction and detection of diseases that can affect the eye or human visual system.

Optometrists are experts in primary vision health care. They are trained to be able to examine the eye and detect defects in vision, signs of injuries, eye disease or abnormality and vision problems. In addition, a qualified optometrist is able to diagnose, advise and, when necessary, prescribe, prepare and require glasses and other optical aids. Addressing such specialists can certainly be necessary and useful, regardless of whether the patient needs no further evaluation or treatment, or the patient required correction lenses, or eye doctor referral. Qualified optometrist has a wide range of opportunities to work like for example in private practice, eye clinics, etc.

Contemporary studies of Optometry are based on fundamental sciences, optometry studies and practice. Taking into account that the Faculty of Sciences educates experts in the field of physics, which together with other branches includes the optics, it is implied that Optometry is in full compliance with the basic tasks and goals of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad.

The Goals of the Study Programme

Study program of undergraduate vocational studies of Optometry has a goal to educate and train professionals to work as optician-optometrist with the university level of education. This means achieving professional competence in Optometry and mastering the skills and methods of their acquisition and further development. None the less important goals are the development of creative abilities and skills to perform optometric practice.

The most important general objectives of the study programme are to provide environment stimulating for professional and personal development of students, to use the learning methods for developing analytical, critical and self-critical thinking and addressing the challenges in an interesting and intellectually challenging way.

The most important professional goals are to provide the students with:

  • Integrated knowledge of theoretical and applied principles of anatomical, physiological and perceptual aspects of the visual system;
  • Thorough knowledge of structural and functional anomalies of the visual system;
  • Detailed knowledge of a wide range of optical devices, equipment, materials;
  • Detailed knowledge of a wide range of optical aids and how they are issued to customer satisfaction;
  • Awareness of the legal, ethical and commercial constraints in optometry;
  • Ability to put the theory into practice;
  • Development of communication and building adequate human relations in order to communicate effectively with patients, physicians and other professionals they would meet in practice;
  • Understanding the role of optometry in the health care system;
  • Understanding the methods for vision correction.

This study programme defines general methods and strategies for obtaining the competencies:

  • To acquire knowledge and understanding: accumulation of knowledge is mainly achieved through lectures and various forms of exercises and practices whose purpose is to deepen, clarify and highlight the practical importance of the topics given in class. This part is also includes directed learning through seminar papers at different levels and in accordance with students’ progress. The program is designed to enable students to take up their own further studies in line with their own preferences after acquiring the basic vocational knowledge;
  • General skills (ability to analyse, problems solving, integration of theory and practice, synthesis) are achieved mainly through lectures followed by different types of exercises, particularly those within the core courses. One of the crucial strategies is engaging students in solving practical problems encountered in professional practice;
  • General skills (communication skills through oral presentations and written reports, using information technology, building management skills, ability to work independently or in a team, insight into economic and social relations of optometry, integration and evaluation of information from a variety of sources, effective and continual learning); Part of these competences is acquired along and together with acquiring other skills. These skills are continually developed, upgraded and improved throughout the program and in particular with the increase of complexity of the seminar papers and practical problems to be solved by students;
  • Subject – specific skills in planning the ways to solve practical problems, the use of laboratory methods for data collecting, data analysis and their critical analysis, preparation of reports, their presentation, effective use of computers in practice; These skills are achieved mainly through laboratory exercises, producing seminar papers and professional practice.
  • Taking into account that students’ evaluation is one of the necessary steps in creating quality experts in the area, methods of assessment are given separately for each of the subjects.
The Skills of Students upon Completion of the Programme

General and Course-specific Competencies of Students

By mastering the curriculum, the student acquires the following general skills:

  • Analysis, synthesis and forecasting solutions and consequences;
  • Development of analytical, critical and self-critical thinking and approach to problem solving;
  • Development of communication skills and agility, cooperation with immediate social and international environment;
  • Professional ethics;
  • Lifelong learning and training;
  • Creativity;
  • Applying knowledge in practice;
  • Management;
  • Work independently or in a team.

By mastering the study programme, the student acquires the following course-specific skills and knowledge:

  • Expertise in identifying pathology of the eye and signs of the general pathology that afflicts the eye, with the aim of further treatment or sending to an ophthalmologist;
  • Practical, efficient and safe eye examination;
  • Logical interpretation of the patient’s symptoms and history in order to apply tests and plan further treatment;
  • Understanding the theory and practice of the visual aids;
  • Awareness of the legal, ethical and commercial constraints in optometry;
  • Critical approach to the evaluation of new concepts, procedures, techniques and products in optometry;
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of the optometric profession;
  • Applying knowledge and understanding of solving technical problems;
  • Linking the basic knowledge in various fields of the profession and their application;
  • Monitoring and implementation of innovations in optometry;
  • Development of skills and agility in the application of practical knowledge in optometry;
  • Theoretical knowledge and understanding of the most important theory of optics (logical and mathematical structure, application of physical phenomena);
  • Mathematical skills – application of knowledge and understanding;
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of optics;
  • Application of knowledge and understanding of the principles of the most important instruments used in optometry, their independent use;
  • Description, analysis and critical processing of the measured data;
  • Use of information-communication technologies in mastering the knowledge of optometry;
  • Eye examination, prescribing and development of optical aids.
The Curriculum

The structure of the curriculum includes the distribution of courses according to semesters and study years, the number of active teaching hours and the number of ECTS points.

Course description contains the name, type of the course, study year and semester, the number of ECTS points, lecturers’ names, course goals and expected outcomes, skills and competencies, course requirements, course content, recommended literature, teaching methods, methods of knowledge assessment and evaluation and other data.

The curriculum is designed to enable students to accumulate at least 60 ECTS in each study year, and obtain at least 180 ECTS upon graduation. The study program includes the obligatory and elective courses.

The method of selection of the elective courses:

  • Elective course is selected from the offered group of elective courses offered in a given semester. Students have to choose at least one of the elective courses from each offered group. Students choose the courses in consultation with the student advisor for the chosen study programme. Student advisor is always one of the professors.
  • Elective courses given in a semester (either winter or summer) can be selected in the corresponding semester where they are available. By the end of the studies, at least one option for each elective course must be passed.
  • Registration of elective subjects within the school year is done separately for the winter and summer semesters and in accordance with the Rules of Study.

A Distribution of the Courses into Semesters and Academic Years