Ophthalmic Physiology (OPSC5002)


Successful candidates will demonstrate to the examiners that they have a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of physiology relevant to the practice of ophthalmology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the organisation, function, mechanism of action, regulation and adaptation of relevant structures and their component parts. They are also expected to have an understanding of the maturation and normal ageing changes of the human eye. Candidates must have a thorough understanding of the methods used to measure the activity of relevant physiological processes e.g. intraocular pressure, retinal electrical activity, visual acuity etc On completion of this unit of study the successful student will be able to (1) describe the normal physiological functioning of the human eye and nervous system, (2) describe the principal physiological laws and phenomena that apply to these systems and (3) describe how these physiological processes are measured and the limitations of such tests.

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Further unit of study information


online/distance learning environment (total of 20hrs/wk) for 13 wks comprising: lectures delivered online (3 hrs/wk) online tutorials (1hr/wk) self directed learning and assignments (16hrs/wk) wk 14 for revision. In addition to time spent on assignments it is expected that the student will spend approximately 120 hours of private study over the course of the fourteen weeks. It is suggested that also 25 hours of study will be necessary to prepare for the 3 hour examination at the end of the semester.


2x3000 word assignment (30%), 1xpresentation (15%), online contribution in the form of a wiki page on an allocated topic (10%) and 1x3hr exam (45%)


Adler's Physiology of the Eye (11th Ed), PL Kaufman and A Alm eds, Saunders Elsevier, Sydney 2011
Biochemistry of the Eye (2nd ed), RE Anderson ed., Oxford : Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003,1994
Physics for Ophthalmologists DJ Coster ed., Edinburgh ; New York : Churchill Livingstone, 1994

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

Undergraduate knowledge of basic human cell and organ physiology



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.