Optometry is an exciting and rewarding career in South Africa, and there are several universities and professional institutions offering courses in optometry. From postgraduate qualifications to short courses, prospective students can study Optometry in South Africa at various tertiary institutions.
These schools have a range of options for those interested in embarking on an optometry career. Whether you are looking for a full-time or part-time course, there is sure to be an optometry program to suit your needs. Here is a list of some of the best places to study optometry in South Africa.
Where Can I Study Optometry In South Africa?
- University of the Witwatersrand
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Pretoria
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- University of Limpopo
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
- University of the Free State
- University of Stellenbosch
- North-West University
- Vaal University of Technology
- Central University of Technology
- University of Venda
- University of Zululand
- Tshwane University of Technology
- Durban University of Technology
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- University of South Africa
- Walter Sisulu University
- University of Mpumalanga
- University of Fort Hare
Educational Requirements to study optometry in South Africa on all levels
To study optometry in South Africa at the undergraduate level, you must have a National Senior Certificate (NSC) with a minimum of 30 per cent in the language of teaching and learning, a minimum of 50 per cent in Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy and a minimum of 50 per cent in Physical Science. You must also have a minimum of 60 per cent in Life Sciences.
You must also pass an Optometry Admission Test (OAT). This test is administered by the Optometrists Council of South Africa (OCSA) and assesses your knowledge in the fields of general biology, visual perception, and general optics.
To study optometry in South Africa at the postgraduate level, you must have a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Optometry. You must also have a minimum of 3 years of clinical experience in the field of optometry.
In addition to the academic and clinical requirements, you must also pass an Optometry Admission Test (OAT). This test is administered by the Optometrists Council of South Africa (OCSA) and assesses your knowledge in the fields of ocular pharmacology, ocular pathology, and clinical optometry.
To study optometry in South Africa at the doctoral level, you must have a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Optometry. You must also have a minimum of 5 years of clinical experience in the field of optometry.
In addition to the academic and clinical requirements, you must also pass an Optometry Admission Test (OAT). This test is administered by the Optometrists Council of South Africa (OCSA) and assesses your knowledge in the fields of ocular disease, clinical optometry, and vision science.
How long does it take to study optometry in South Africa & what is the mode of study (i.e. Full time or Part time)?
It typically takes a minimum of five years to study optometry in South Africa. Students can pursue their degree in optometry either on a full-time or part-time basis. Depending on the student’s preference, the academic requirements and duration of the course will vary.
Full-time optometry students can typically complete their degree in four and a half years. The course is divided into three parts, the first two years of which are focused on theoretical and practical learning, and the third year on clinical placements. The fourth and final year is dedicated to completing a research project.
Part-time students typically complete their degree in five and a half years. The first two years are spent on theoretical and practical learning, while the third and fourth years are spent on clinical placements and research projects. The fifth year is dedicated to completing the research project.
Whichever mode of study is chosen, students must complete a minimum of three years of study and clinical placements before qualifying as an optometrist.
How much does it cost to study optometry in South Africa?
The cost of studying optometry in South Africa varies depending on the institution. Most institutions offer a 4-year program which costs around R50,000 per year. This includes tuition fees, books, and other associated costs.
An additional cost that may be incurred is for accommodation, transport and living expenses. Depending on the institutions, additional costs may also include health insurance, student union fees, and technology fees.
Is optometry high in demand in South Africa and what Career opportunities are available for optometry in South Africa?
Yes, optometry is in high demand in South Africa. Optometry is essential for providing vision care, and it is an important part of the healthcare system in South Africa. There are several career opportunities available for optometrists in South Africa, including working in private practices, hospitals, or clinics.
Optometrists may also be employed in research or teaching, as well as in government or industry roles. Additionally, optometrists may specialize in specific areas, such as vision therapy, pediatric optometry, or contact lens fitting. Optometrists in South Africa may also provide services in rural or remote areas, or work with NGOs to provide vision care to those in need.
How much does optometry earn in South Africa?
Optometry is a highly-paid profession in South Africa. According to research, optometrists in South Africa can earn between R150 000 to R500 000 per year. This salary range is dependent on many factors like years of experience, place of work and qualifications. Optometrists who are employed in larger cities and towns tend to earn higher salaries.
Further, those optometrists who are employed in private practices usually earn higher salaries than those employed in government health facilities. Additionally, optometrists with additional qualifications and experience tend to earn more.
In conclusion, there are a few universities in South Africa that offer Optometry as a major, such as the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, North-West University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Each of these universities offers excellent courses in Optometry, which can provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful Optometrists. With a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience, graduates of these universities can pursue a successful career in Optometry.