Student Info & Guide

Study In Malaysia: Optometry Courses

by StudyMalaysia.com on January 26, 2015 | Top Stories

We depend on our eyesight for almost all the activities we carry out each day and often, we don't realise the importance of taking care of our eyes until we experience something that affects the health of our eyes.

If you are interested in eye care and are considering a career as an eye care professional, you should first understand the difference between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians


What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician?

Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians have different levels of training and areas of expertise. Here's a quick look at the three types of eye care providers:

  • Ophthalmologists are medical doctors trained to specialise in eye and vision care, and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery. They diagnose and treat eye diseases, perform eye surgery and prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision problems.
  • Optometrists provide primary vision care that includes sight testing and correction. They also diagnose, treat and manage vision changes. This includes prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. However, an optometrist is not the same as a medical doctor.
  • The role of opticians is primarily to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. Opticians don't perform vision tests nor write prescriptions for visual correction.

Studying Optometry in Malaysia

There are many optometry courses in Malaysia. Most courses cost between RM80,000 and 92,000 at private colleges and universities. Here's an overview of some optometry providers:

Institution Name of course Intake and Duration Admission requirements
SEGi University, Kota Damansara  Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) January and September; 4 years
  • STPM with 3 principal passes; or
  • A-Levels; or
  • Foundation / Pre-University programme with CGPA of 2.5 or above; or
  • Any equivalent qualifications (Science Subjects)
UCSI University,Kuala Lumpur Campus  Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) February and July; 4 years
  • A-Levels - Minimum C in the subjects: Biology, Chemistry & Physics/ Mathematics at SPM or equivalent, including a pass in English.
  • STPM/UEC - Minimum 3 Credits in at least 2 of the subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics at SPM or equivalent, including a pass in English.
Management & Science University Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) 4 years
  • Pass STPM in Science Stream with 2.50 CGPA
  • Pass The South Australian Matriculation (SAM) with average score of 14 (60% ATAR/TER) including 3 Science or Mathematic subjects
  • Pass Canadian Pre University Programme (CPU) with minimum 2.50 CGPA including 3 Science or Mathematic subjects
  • Pass Indian Pre-University/HSC/SSC with 60% aggregate, including 3 Science or Mathematic subjects
  • Pass A Level in Science Stream with 2.50 CGPA, including 3 Science or Mathematic subjects
  • Pass Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) with average score of 14 (60% ATAR/TER) including 3 Science or Mathematic subjects
International University College of Technology Twintech (IUCTT),Sri Damansara Campus Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) 4 years
  • Pass SPM or its equivalent and achieve 3 credits in at least two of the following subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics and a pass in English
AND
  • Pass STPM (Science) with 3 principals including General Paper; OR
  • Pass in Diploma in Science with CGPA 2.5 or more; OR
  • Pass accredited Foundation Program in Science/ Technology subjects with CGPA 2.5 or more; OR
  • Pass Matriculation Program in Science awarded by Ministry of Higher Education with CGPA 2.5 or more; OR
  • Pass other equivalent pre-university programs such as Canadian International Matriculation Program, Australian Matriculation Program, South Australian Program, Monash University Foundation Year, NSW University Foundation Program, Australian HSC, Canadian Grade 13 Certificate, and USA Grade 13 Certificate
The National Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences (NIOS) Bachelor of Science in Optometry (BSc. Optometry) 4+0 in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India August; 4 years
  • STPM with 3 Principal Science Subjects
  • A-Levels (UK), AUSMAT / CIMP, Foundation Science, Matriculation, UEC, or other equivalent qualification with a minimum CGPA of 2.50
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)  Bac. of Optometry (Hons)Master of Health Science (Optometry) – By ResearchPhD (Optometry) – By Research September; 4 years For more information about this programme, click here.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Bac. of OptometryMasters of Health Sciences – Optometry (By Research)PhD in Health Science (Optometry) September; 4 years A pass in the IIUM Matriculation Centre's final examination with a CGPA of not less than 2.0 and fulfillment of all other requirements for promotion to the first year of undergraduate studyOR Three principal passes, or 'C' grades in the STPM examination,OR Three principal passes in the GCE 'A' level examination,OR Any other certificate that is recognised by the Senate as equivalent to one of the above.
Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Bac. of Optometry (Hons)Master of Health Science (Optometry) (By Research)Doctor of Philosophy Specializing in Optometry (By Research) 4 years For more information about this programme, click here.

Practising as an Optometrist in Malaysia

Optometry According to the Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO), for a person to practise as an optometrist in Malaysia, one must be registered with the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC). It is also important to ensure that your qualification is recognised by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. For more information on how to register with MOC, click here.

Is Optometry for You?

Optometrists perform vision tests and analyze results. They also diagnose vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness and eye diseases, such as glaucoma. In addition, they prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medications and provide treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation. Optometrists also promote eye health through counselling.

It is important for optometrists to have good decision-making skills. They need to evaluate the results of a variety of diagnostic tests and decide on the best course of treatment for a patient.

Optometrists spend a lot of time dealing with patients. As such, they need good interpersonal skills to help make their patients feel comfortable. They must also be able to explain instructions clearly and answer patients' questions.

Think you may be interested in opticianry instead? Click here to find out more about the opticianry courses.

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