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 academic 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 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, production and defence of the seminar papers. Important component of the study program is production and defence of the graduation thesis. Another important component of the study program is students’ independent work on mastering the foreseen content.
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) and is given in Standard. Credit value of the programme is 180 ECTS.
To graduate, a student must have passed all the required courses, must have written and defended the final work, and have passed a number of elective courses so as to collect at least 180 ECTS.
Prerequisites for the Registration for Particular Courses or Group of Courses
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.
Way of Choosing Courses from the Other Study Programmes
The method of selection of the courses is given in Standard.
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 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.
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.
During the first study year, the primary objectives are:
- Raising the level of knowledge of students with various previous skills to a higher standardized level drawn from the basic areas relevant for optometry and its future development;
- Introduction and mastering the basic contents in optometry, especially the optics;
- Obtaining knowledge and developing the general skills for further development, such as the use of computer and foreign language;
- Obtaining adequate and humane relationship with future clients and patients to be met in professional practice.
The second year of the study program is based on the knowledge acquired during the first year with the primary objectives being:
- Deepening and extending the knowledge of optics;
- Obtaining necessary knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the eye and physiological optics;
- Broadening practical knowledge and practices acquired in the first year
The objectives of the study programme in the third year are:
- Upgrading knowledge acquired in previous years;
- Further deepening and broadening of knowledge primarily from the content related to contact lenses, optical and optometric instruments and optometry itself;
- Mastering necessary content in management, marketing and economics with respect to their importance in all modern businesses, especially the small ones
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.
Description of general and course-specific competencies of students
Description of learning outcomes
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;
- Applying knowledge in practice;
- 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 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 courses in this study program are offered in the corresponding semester. Students have to choose at least one of the elective courses offered. Students choose the courses together with the student advisor for the module in question. Student Advisor is always a member of teaching staff and 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 the elective courses is done on the occasion of enrolment of the study year.
Students cannot choose elective courses from the programmes other than those comprising the group of elective courses belonging to this study programme.
A Distribution of the Courses into Semesters and Academic Years
Elective courses in the Study Program