Ophthalmic Physiology (OPSC5002)


Successful candidates will demonstrate to the examiners that they have a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of physiology relevant to the practise 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




2 x 2500 word assignments (30%), online presentation (15%), wiki on an allocated topic (10%), online journal club (pass/fail) and 1x3hr exam (45%)


Prescribed texts: Adler's Physiology of the Eye (11th Ed) Kaufman ed, Saunders Elsevier 2011; Review of Medical Physiology (21st Ed) WF Ganong, McGraw Hill 2003, 24th Ed. Additional texts: Ocular and Visual Physiology: Clinical Application. S Skalicky, Springer-Verlag, Singapore 2016; Biochemistry of the Eye [electronic resource] /Whikehart. Boston : Butterworth-Heinemann, c2003; Physics for Ophthalmologists DJ Coster (ed) Churchill Livingstone, Sydney 1997; The Eye: Basic Sciences and Practice. Forrester JV, Dick AD, McMenamin P, Lee WR. WB Saunders 2003; Duane's Foundations of Clinical Ophthalmology. JB Lippincott Co, Philadelphia; The Neurology of Eye Movements (5th Edition). RJ Leigh and DS Zee, Oxford University Press, 2015.

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.