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Study cataract and refractive surgery at the University of Sydney

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Global leaders in health education

  • No. 1 in Australia

    The University is ranked first in Australia and 33rd in the world for surgery in the U.S. News Top Global Universities Subject Rankings 2020. The discipline is also the largest academic surgical department in Australasia.

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  • Graduate outcomes

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

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In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely. 

About this course

The cataract and refractive surgery program equips students with knowledge of cataract and refractive surgery theory and practice. The online component of the course includes lectures from internationally recognised corneal and refractive surgeons and interactive online discussions with the course coordinators. Students are also given the opportunity to attend a week of workshops and wet labs at the Sydney Eye Hospital as well as undertaking placements in accredited refractive surgical centres.

Refractive surgery is an ever-expanding area within the field of ophthalmology, encompassing both laser and non-laser vision correction. This has traditionally been performed by surgeons in large private clinics, but in recent years has become accepted as part of mainstream ophthalmic care. Laser eye surgery is now the most frequently performed eye operation in Australia.

Why study cataract and refractive surgery us?

  • Our course is the first of its kind in the world
  • Your lecturers include internationally recognised corneal and refractive surgeons
  • Our course is flexible and suited to busy professionals, while still providing world-class training and development, and
  • The course includes a two-week placement in an accredited refractive surgical centre and time spent in the wet lab at Sydney Eye Hospital, to develop practical skills and experience.

Who should study this course?

This course is for medical graduates who are either:

It is suitable for those who wish to gain skills and experience to provide superior care to their patients, and advance their career.

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your admission criteria

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission criteria’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) 

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Closing dates

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)  

What you'll study

Students of the Master of Medicine (Cataract and Refractive Surgery) complete a total of 48 credit points (CP) to be awarded the degree. The course comprises 36CP of core units of study plus a research dissertation (12CP).

Core units include studies in:

  • ophthalmic anatomy,
  • ophthalmic optics,
  • refractive surgery and
  • practical refractive surgery.

In the unit of study, Practical Refractive Surgery, you will undertake a two-week full-time clinical placement held at an accredited private refractive surgery centre.

Explore the Medicine and Health Postgraduate Handbook to learn more about what you will study as part of this degree:

Units of Study

Admission criteria

A successful applicant for admission to the Masters of Medicine (Cataract and Refractive Surgery) will:

(a) hold a medical degree from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification; and

(b) hold appropriate medical indemnity; and

(c) have completed the requirements of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, and be eligible to undertake a subspecialty fellowship in the final year of accredited training; or

(d) be registered to practice ophthalmology in their state, territory or country.

In exceptional circumstances the dean may admit applicants without these qualifications who, in the opinion of the school, have qualifications and evidence of experience and achievement sufficient to successfully undertake the award.

Credit for previous study

For more information about the University’s credit policy, please see the Credit for Previous Studies page.

Related courses

Short courses and professional development

Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes.

Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. 

Learn more about short courses in medicine.

Career Pathways

The Master of Medicine (Cataract and Refractive Surgery) prepares ophthalmologists for the appropriate selection of candidates for refractive surgery, and provides an understanding of the surgical techniques involved and how to deal with complications that may arise.

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.