Study Optometry at the Best University as it is a Top Career in Demand in Malaysia

Excellent optometry equipment at the lab in UCSI University

Qualified Optometrists are High in Demand in Malaysia

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Optometrists in Malaysia are trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormality and problems with general health, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. They make a health assessment, offer clinical advice, prescribe spectacles or contact lenses and refer patients for further treatment, when necessary. The job demand is high for qualified optometrists in Malaysia. Opticians in Malaysia cannot perform vision tests nor write prescriptions for visual correction. The Malaysian Government will require eye care providers to be trained as Optometrists therefore job opportunities will increase for Optometry graduates.

Optometrists study at university for at least 4 years and must participate in a period of assessed clinical training in practice, before being deemed to have the knowledge and skills needed to be registered. Students wanting in a good education in optometry should go to a top university in Malaysia that’s recognised by the Malaysian Optical Council.

All optometrist in Malaysia must be registered with the Malaysian Optical Council. It is illegal for an unregistered person (other than a medical practitioner) to practise optometry in Malaysia. Upon completion of a Degree in Optometry, you will be able to register as an optometrist with the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC).

To choose the best university for optometry in Malaysia for your studies, students may contact us for advise and information. Read on to get a better understanding of optometry in Malaysia.

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All you need to know about Studying Optometry in Malaysia

An optometrist is an eye care professional who is trained to perform eye examinations. They are experts in optical lenses, eye health, and visual performance. Among their important roles are; assessing, diagnosing, as well as, managing ocular or vision diseases, injuries and disorders for their patients.

Optometry is a career field filled with possibilities in Malaysia. Optometry offers flexibility, variety, gratification, good income, and freedom in choosing a location to practice – all while doing meaningful work.

Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures and their related systemic conditions. Optometrists care for their patients’ visual health similar to the way doctors care for their patient’s general health. An optometrist’s skill is based on an intimate knowledge of the workings of the eye and visual system. A variety of complex techniques and instruments complement an understanding of the patient’s needs.

An optometric examination begins with the optometrist taking a detailed case history, to determine what visual problems the patient may be experiencing, as well as other relevant information about their health and visual needs. The optometrist then performs a series of tests, some of which are carried out routinely and others when indicated by the patient’s case history and the results of other tests.

The consultation concludes with the optometrist’s diagnosis of the patient’s problem, explaining the diagnosis to the patient and deciding on appropriate treatment. Treatments can include prescribing suitable spectacles, contact lenses or eye exercises, or simply giving advice on lighting, visual habits or other issues.

An important part of an optometrist’s work is the detection and diagnosis of eye disease. When an optometrist detects a visual complaint which requires medical or surgical treatment the patient may be referred to an ophthalmologist.

The difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician in Malaysia

The job demand for qualified optometrists in Malaysia is high with good salary

The training and education required as well as the level of expertise for ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians in Malaysia are different.

  1. In order to become an Ophthalmologist, one needs to study the medical degree and then specialise in it. Medical practitioners who specialise in the treatment of eye disease and surgery are known as ophthalmologists. They may also be called eye specialists, eye surgeons or eye doctors. Optometrists refer patients needing surgery or treatment of some eye diseases to ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists are Medical Specialists trained in eye and vision care, and are licensed to practice medicine and surgery.  Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat eye diseases and perform ocular surgery. To correct vision problems,  Ophthalmologists prescribe and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  2. Optometrists in Malaysia provide primary eye care specialising in visual health and eye care.
    UCSI University students are taught by highly experienced professors in the Optometry programme

    Optometrists provide sight testing and correction as well as diagnosing, treating and managing vision changes.  The work of an Optometrist in Malaysia includes prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. They also diagnose, treat and manage vision changes. An Optometrist is not the same level as a doctor.

  3. Opticians in Malaysia design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames, contact lenses, and other devices to correct eyesight. Opticians in Malaysia cannot perform vision tests nor write prescriptions for visual correction. The Malaysian Government will require eye care providers to be trained as Optometrists therefore the job demand for Opticians will decrease.

Who should study Optometry in Malaysia?

A good optometrist will enjoy working with people of all ages and have a genuine desire to help their patients.A strong academic background is needed, as optometry courses are challenging and generally have limited places.Once in practice, optometrists need to have an interest in continued learning and professional development. This should include clinical knowledge to help in patient care and practice management to further develop business acumen.

Studying Optometry in Malaysia

UCSI University offers the degree in Optomotmetry

Caring for people’s vision through a career in optometry is rewarding. Most new graduates work initially as employees of optometrists in private practice, with large optical chains, in public clinics and occasionally with ophthalmologists. Many graduates aim to eventually become privately practising optometrists.

Optometrists in private practice in Malaysia enjoy:

  • great satisfaction in helping their patients overcome vision problems
  • a responsible position in the community as a health professional
  • the opportunity to be self-employed, either as a partner or a sole practitioner
  • substantial monetary remuneration, particularly where they own or part-own a practice
  • dealing directly with people for most of their working day

    Excellent optometry equipment at the lab in UCSI University
  • comfortable working conditions
  • the ability to attend congresses to interact with peers and learn about new developments in the profession the ability to work as an optometrist in many overseas countries
  • the chance to help the less fortunate with participation in eye outreach programs

Optometry graduates in Malaysia also have the opportunity to involve themselves in activities outside private practice such as vision research, teaching and administration and working for various professional organisations in the industry. Some optometrists may specialise in a particular aspect of visual care, including:

  • contact lens practice
  • low vision
  • sports vision
  • child visual health
  • consultant

Students after SPM or O-Levels may join the Foundation in Science at UCSI University for 1 year before

UCSI’s praxis® approach focuses on hands-on learning, which sees students using professional optometry equipment.

continuing on to the 4-year Bachelor of Optometry (Hons) programme at UCSI UniversityPre-University students with the relevant results in UECSTPM, A-Levels, SAM, CPU, AUSMAT, etc. can enter directly into Year 1 of the Optometry degree.

Upon completion of the UCSI optometry programme, graduates will be able to register as optometrists with the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC), under the Optical Act 1991. UCSI University graduates will be eligible to sit for the American or Canadian optometric board examination, if they want to practice overseas. Nonetheless, job opportunities in optometry abound in Malaysia.

The professional recognition, MQA accreditation and years of experience offering applied science and health science degree courses make UCSI University one of the best universities in Malaysia to study optometry.

Registration to become a Registered Optometrist with Malaysian Optical Council (MOC)

Dato’ Peter Ng, Chairman of UCSI Group together with the Team from Focus World Vision Care Group during the launch of the UCSI Optometry Centre.(left – right) France Lim, Dato’ Tony Looi, Dato’ Peter Ng, Ishan Goh, Alan Chong, Wong Gon Khiang, and Louis Chan

As legislated by Optical Act 1991 and Optical Regulations 1994, all practising optometrists must register with MOC. For new Malaysian optometry graduates, please check with MOC to confirm your institution of higher learning is recognized by Ministry of Health. If your institution is recognized by the government, you can proceed to register with MOC using Form 7. Once registered, you need to apply for Annual Practicing Certificate (APC) and Photo Name Certificate (PNC). APC needs to be renewed annually before 1st of December of respective year. Meanwhile, PNC can only be renewed for every 3 years.

Upon completion of a Degree in Optometry, you will be able to register as an optometrist with the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC).


Where do Optometrists Work in Malaysia?

An optometrist is an eye care professional who is trained to perform eye examinations. They are experts in optical lenses, eye health, and visual performance. Among their important roles are; assessing, diagnosing, as well as, managing ocular or vision diseases, injuries and disorders for their patients.

Most Malaysian optometrists are either self-employed or work for other optometrists in private practice. Optometric practices are like those of doctors or dentists and are usually located in office-type premises in or near shopping areas.

Sometimes optometrists work outside their practices, for example visiting homes of bedridden or house-bound patients, acting as a consultant to firms or factories at their premises, or working at health care institutions such as hospitals, community health centres or special clinics.

A small number of optometrists do not enter private practice after completing their course but continue their studies through research and teaching. These optometrists are called vision scientists and usually obtain higher qualifications such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D.

Malaysian optometrists’ basic range of clinical skills and procedures include:

  • Refraction: Measuring the optics of the eye
  • Binocular vision tests: Testing the co-ordination of the two eyes as a team
  • Ophthalmoscopy: Internal examination of the eye for eye disease
  • Slit lamp biomicroscopy: External, detailed examination of the eye
  • Tonometry: Measuring the pressure of the eyeball
  • Optical Dispensing: Supply and management of spectacles and contact lens

Optometrists also develop and implement ways to protect workers’ eyes from occupational eye strain or injury. Other specialist areas include:

  • contact lenses
  • colour vision
  • vision therapy

Career Opportunities for Optometrists in Malaysia

Work Setting Type of Work
Private Optometric Practice  Owning and operating an individual private practice and providing direct patient care.
Group Practice Working in a partnership or group practice with two or more ODs.
Retail Optical Stores  Practicing as an independent practitioner in a retail or optical setting.
Corporate / Industrial Working in a corporate setting to perform clinical research, develop eye-related products, or provide patient care within a clinic. Manufacturers of ophthalmic products (e.g. contact lens, eye solutions)
Academic Working in a university setting to teach/mentor optometry students.
Public Health/ Hospitals/ Community Health Care Centres Working with other health care practitioners to provide interdisciplinary care in a hospital, community health center, or a clinical setting.


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