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The final graduates of the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Optometry Degree celebrated the conferring of their degrees at a ceremony in Melbourne on 16 December.

Fifty-eight students graduated at the ceremony at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, Carlton.

The five-year course began in 2002 and the first graduates entered the profession at the end of 2006. It was the first in Australia to incorporate training for the prescribing of ocular therapeutics by optometrists.

The head of the university’s Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Professor Algis Vingrys, said the course had continued successfully with minor changes.

Ashika Verghese also graduated on Monday with a PhD, and Errol Lloyd and Yamni Mohan graduated with a Master of Science (Vision Science).

The undergraduate optometry course has been replaced by the postgraduate four-year Doctor of Optometry (OD) program, in keeping with the Melbourne Model.

The OD is a masters level professional entry degree and the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The first cohort of OD students are in their third year and will graduate at the end of 2014.

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