Welcome from the Head of School

A personal message from Professor Steven Dakin, Head of School.

Professor Steven Dakin
Professor Steven Dakin

Optometry, as a primary health care profession has a wide role and responsibilities in the New Zealand system. From corporate to individual practice and from community to hospital locations, optometrists have a frontline role in looking after the vision and eye health of New Zealanders.

Your studies in Optometry and Vision Science will equip you for the challenges you will face and the lifelong learning needed for a satisfying career. While the study of Optometry and Vision Science has a professional focus, key strands of science and health science are maintained throughout the programme. By graduating with a Bachelor of Optometry (BOptom) you will be well prepared with the knowledge, experience and skills required to enter practice or to continue with graduate or other studies.

Optometry at Auckland had its beginning in 1965 within the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science. We are now part of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. We are the only Optometry school in New Zealand, and one of six schools in the region with accreditation from the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand. Our accreditation enables graduates to practice optometry in New Zealand and in Australia without the need to undertake additional examinations.

We use a variety of teaching methods and have a variety of teaching venues to support the BOptom programme. In addition to work within the clinical facilities located on the Grafton campus, students work at other clinics and locations in the Auckland region. We also have an active postgraduate programme, with students pursuing research topics in a variety of areas of Optometry and Vision Science.

Final year students are encouraged to spend an externship period in private practice, at other Optometry Schools, or at other approved venues.

The school also has a strong commitment to research and offers study towards postgraduate qualifications including a postgraduate diploma, two masters degrees, and the Doctor of Philosophy.

Whether you are a student participating in the undergraduate BOptom programme or a graduate student continuing your education I wish you every success in your endeavours. My staff and I assure you that you have our support in reaching your goals.

Professor Steven Dakin
Head of School, Optometry and Vision Science