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Masters Degrees (Ocular)

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Summary. Read more

Summary

This fully online programme consists of two 30 credit modules; 'Principles of Pharmacology and Prescribing' and 'Assessment, management and treatment of ocular conditions' and will prepare GOC registered Optometrists to undertake the Clinical Placement and proceed to The College of Optometrists Common Final Assessment in Therapeutics. This programme has been designed in collaboration with Ophthalmologists, Pharmacists and Independent Prescribing Optometrists. Our course team have many years experience in teaching optometry and vision science to undergraduate and post-graduate students at Ulster. This programme compliments and extends our current General Optical Council approved BSc (Hons) Optometry course which has been producing high quality graduates for over 16 years.

About

This online course will allow registered Optometrists to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of Ocular Prescribing and Therapeutics.

Modules

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. 

Principles of Pharmacology and Prescribing

This module will equip the optometrist with further skills in pharmacology and prescribing to allow the development of safe and effective management of ocular conditions. The knowledge gained during this module will enhance the students ability to work effectively as an optometric independent prescriber.

Assessment, management and treatment of ocular conditions

This module will equip the optometrist with further skills in ocular therapeutics to allow appropriate management of a wide range of ocular conditions. Completion of this module will enhance the Optometrist's up-to-date knowledge of current treatment regimes for a wide range of ocular conditions and enhance his or her scope of practice.

Attendance

This is a Distance Learning course and students access learning material via a virtual learning environment. 'elearning' is an excellent route for postgraduate learning as it gives unique flexibility and ownership of how and when you learn. It is a different experience from traditional face to face learning and is especially suited to adults who like to learn independently and are self-motivated. This course has been specifically designed with the elearner in mind, so learning material is appropriately displayed and students are encouraged to participate in discussion boards, and to contribute to online chats and are given regular small tasks to complete so learning is broken down into manageable segments.

Work placement / study abroad

Ulster University will provide the theoretical element of the Independent Prescribing programme. It will not be involved with the Clinical Placement element of the course. Ulster will not be responsible for arranging a mentor/supervisor for the student, arranging the clinical placements or examining hospital placement logbooks.

Career options

This qualification will allow the Optometrist to increase their scope of practice and manage and treat a wider range of ocular conditions.



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The one-year Clinical Ophthalmology MSc will enhance your knowledge of common ocular diseases, ophthalmic surgical and laser procedures and ocular therapeutics. Read more

The one-year Clinical Ophthalmology MSc will enhance your knowledge of common ocular diseases, ophthalmic surgical and laser procedures and ocular therapeutics. You will develop analytical skills for solving clinical cases and evaluating published research, and gain valuable research experience through the opportunity to undertake a clinical library-based dissertation.

About this degree

Students will be taught diagnosis and management of common ocular diseases by experienced clinicians and researchers. Students will gain an understanding of clinical assessments and disease processes in the eye, imaging modalities, treatments and side-effects. Additional skills acquired include critical evaluation of scientific literature and research skills . A personal tutor is allocated to each student to assist this process.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits over one year.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, flexible three years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, flexible two years) is offered.

Mandatory modules

All eight modules, plus the dissertation module, must be taken.

  • The Eye in Health and Disease
  • Common Ocular Diseases and Treatment
  • Systemic Disease and the Eye
  • Surgery and the Eye
  • Disorders Affecting Retinal Function
  • Ocular Imaging
  • Ocular Therapeutics 1
  • Ocular Therapeutics 2

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent library-based research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, problem-based learning, clinical application, and the possibility of clinical practice observation at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Assessment is through multiple choice question examinations, problem-based learning questions, and a dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Clinical Ophthalmology MSc

Careers

This programme provides students with the unique opportunity to study at world-leading ophthalmology institutions, where they will be exposed to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment approaches. Students will learn directly from experienced clinicians and researchers from both Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL, who will help them acquire the basic knowledge for further clinical advancement. Students can obtain basic practical ophthalmic skills (use of slit lamp, how to do tonometry, gonioscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, biomicroscopy) to assist them at the start of their ophthalmic career.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Clinical Ophthalmologist, Eye Specialist Centre
  • Doctor, Gartnavel General Hospital (NHS)

Employability

This Clinical Ophthalmology MSc aims to provide students with in-depth clinical knowledge of modern ophthalmic practice and academic skills to help them become independent clinicians and clinical leaders in any future post. 

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital are recognised globally and have an outstanding track record in basic biomedical research, teaching and clinical management of patients. This degree builds on the best of all of these to provide the student with an excellent knowledge of ophthalmology. 

In the first term basic clinical skills session teaching will be offered. In addition, in the second term the opportunity to attend practical skill courses (microsurgical skills, basic phacoemulsification, trabeculectomy, squint) offered to MSc in Ophthalmology with Clinical Practice Year 2 students are available to attend for an additional fee. In the third term the student writes a dissertation on a topic of interest to them with guidance from the senior clinicians running the programme.

The programme will also provide unique opportunities to interact with leading clinicians from Moorfields Eye Hospital as well as from other prominent institutions. International students from countries with less well-developed ophthalmic services will especially benefit from this unique programme.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Ophthalmology

80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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A distance-learning course run by Aston University. Recent legislation has extended independent prescribing rights to optometrists, subject to the satisfactory completion of a General Optical Council (GOC) accredited training course. Read more
A distance-learning course run by Aston University.

Recent legislation has extended independent prescribing rights to optometrists, subject to the satisfactory completion of a General Optical Council (GOC) accredited training course. The restriction to the range of medicines that can be used and conditions that can be treated for IP optometrists is by reference to their competence:

‘Optometrist Independent Prescribers should be able to prescribe any licensed medicine for ocular conditions, affecting the eye and adnexa, within the recognised area of expertise and competence of the optometrist.’

Structure

Aston University is offering a distance learning course in Independent Prescribing for qualified optometrists. The course consists of two 20 credit modules delivered by distance learning using our e-learning environment, Blackboard. Each module is made up of online lectures assessed by unseen online tests and coursework.

The first module is entitled ‘Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics’ and covers topics including ocular immunology, pharmacology and ocular therapeutic drugs, frameworks of prescribing, prescribing safely and professionally.

The second module, taken after completion of the first module, is entitled ‘Prescribing for disorders of the eye’ and covers topics including evidence based practice and glaucoma in relation to independent prescribing.

A period of Learning in Practice

After successful completion of the two theory based modules and a practical assessment, optometrists are required to undertake practical training in the form of a clinical placement in conjunction with an Independent Prescriber (e.g. an ophthalmologist in a hospital eye department). To achieve Independent Prescriber status the optometrist must gain at least 12 days of clinical training.
For those who are already registered as Additional Supply or Supplementary Prescribers, the placement period required is 7 days.

Teaching methods

Each module consists of around ten ‘lectures’ delivered by distance learning via the Blackboard platform. Most topics are delivered by Powerpoint lectures with speech. Other lectures are delivered in a text-based format.

The first module covers aspects of ocular therapeutics, including the pharmacology and use of ocular therapeutic drugs.

The syllabus for the second module encompasses prescribing for ocular disease. Upon successful completion of the second module’s exam, optometrists will be required to undertake a clinical skills practical assessment at Aston University. The practical element will involve demonstration of slit lamp skills, contact tonometry and slit lamp binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy along with some objective structured clinical exam type questions.

Practice-based learning

Following completion of the two theoretical modules, trainees undertake a period of practice-based training. The aim of this component of the training is to develop competency in the practice of prescribing and to facilitate the integration of prescribing theory and practice with the conditions that the trainee will subsequently manage. This training will typically take place in the Hospital Eye Service under the supervision of a designated ‘mentor’ ophthalmologist. It is the responsibility of the trainee to arrange the clinical practice placement.

For IP the Clinical Placement comprises a minimum of 12 days (24 sessions of not less than 3 hours).

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This new Master's degree will deliver an in-depth understanding of clinical ophthalmology, disease pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. Read more

This new Master's degree will deliver an in-depth understanding of clinical ophthalmology, disease pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. The programme combines lectures and seminars at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in Year 1 with direct exposure to clinical practice in the ophthalmology clinics at the world-leading Moorfields Eye Hospital in Year 2.

About this degree

The programme provides knowledge of the theory and practical skills of clinical ophthalmology including ocular pathology diagnosis and management, an understanding of clinical disease processes in the eye, the assessment of patients and the different imaging modalities and treatments available, as well as their limitations and side-effects.

Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits.

The programme consists of 16 mandatory modules (240 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits) and a case-based portfolio (60 credits).

Year one core modules

  • Basic Understanding of the Eye
  • Common Ocular Diseases and Treatment
  • Systemic Disease and the Eye
  • Surgery and the Eye
  • Disorders Affecting Retinal Function
  • Retinal Imaging
  • Ocular Therapeutics I
  • Ocular Therapeutics II
  • Dissertation

Year two core modules

  • Clinical Practice: Cataract
  • Clinical Practice: Cornea
  • Clinical Practice: Glaucoma
  • Clinical Practice: Medical Retina 1
  • Clinical Practice: Medical Retina 2
  • Clinical Practice: Paediatrics and Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Clinical Practice: Uveitis
  • Clinical Practice: Vitreo Retinal Surgery
  • Case-based Portfolio

Dissertation/report

In year one all students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words. In year two students will construct a portfolio, examined by a viva.

Teaching and learning

In the first year the programme is predominantly delivered through lectures, seminars and attendance at clinical teaching sessions. The second year is largely clinic based and supplemented by taught sessions. Assessment is through written examinations, oral presentations, problem-based learning, dissertation and a case-based portfolio.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Ophthalmology with Clinical Practice MSc

Funding

The Institute of Ophthalmology currently offers the following bursaries for successful applicants on our postgraduate taught Master’s degrees: two £10,000 Allergan Foundation bursaries (available for successful applicants on the Clinical Ophthalmology and Ophthalmology with Clinical Practice degrees). These bursaries are open to home and overseas students and will be received in the form of a fee reduction only.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme provides students with the unique opportunity to study at world-leading ophthalmology institutions, where they will be exposed to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment approaches. Students will learn directly from experienced clinicians and researchers from both Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL, who will help them acquire the basic knowledge for further clinical advancement. Students learn basic practical ophthalmic skills (use of slit lamp, how to do tonometry, gonioscopy, indirect ophthalmoscopy, biomicroscopy) to assist them at the start of their ophthalmic career. In Year 2 students attend clinics at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Employability

The degree programme aims to provide students with the clinical and academic skills to help them become clinical leaders in their future posts. They will acquire the basic knowledge and clinical skills to become independent clinicians who are able to lead others in modern ophthalmic practice.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital are recognised globally and have an outstanding track record in basic biomedical research, teaching and clinical management of patients. This degree builds on the best of all of these to provide the student with an excellent knowledge of ophthalmology. The attachments in the clinics in the second year provide an unparalleled opportunity to see and examine patients with a wide range of ophthalmic diseases with experienced clinicians.

In Year 1 students will be taught diagnosis and management of common ocular diseases by experienced clinicians and researchers. Students will gain an understanding of clinical assessments and disease processes in the eye, imaging modalities, treatments and side-effects. Additional skills acquired include critical evaluation of scientific literature and research skills . A personal tutor is allocated to each student to assist this process. Basic clinical skills session teaching will be offered. In the third term the student writes a dissertation on a topic of interest to them with guidance from the senior clinicians running the programme.

In Year 2 in addition to attending clinics in all sub-specialty areas, you attend practical skill courses (microsurgical skills, basic phacoemulsification, trabeculectomy, squint) run by experienced clinicians. 

The programme will also provide unique opportunities to interact with leading clinicians from Moorfields Eye Hospital as well as from other prominent institutions. International students from countries with less well-developed ophthalmic services will especially benefit from this unique programme.



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This MSc is aimed at students who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise in the eye as an integrated biological system. Read more

This MSc is aimed at students who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise in the eye as an integrated biological system. The programme provides a unique and integrated review of the physiology and biology of the eye, covering molecular and developmental cell biology, complex genetics, immunology and behavioural neuroscience.

About this degree

The programme offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise in ocular cell biology, genetics, visual neuroscience, development and immunology. On completion of the programme, students gain an enhanced knowledge and understanding of scientific communication skills, scientific design and analysis, sophisticated laboratory techniques and valuable research experience.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Ocular Cell Biology
  • Genetics and Epidemiology of Ocular Disease
  • Ocular Immunology
  • Microvascular Biology
  • Visual Neuroscience

Optional modules

  • Either Advanced Visual Neuroscience (30 credits)
  • Or Microvascular Biology (15 credits) and Visual Neuroscience (15 credits)

Dissertation/research project

All MSc students undertake either a research or informatics project using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment. The project culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–18,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem classes, journal clubs, self-directed studies and laboratory practical courses. Assessment is through long essays, coursework, laboratory practicals, oral examination and the research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biology of Vision MSc

Careers

This programme provides excellent preparation for a PhD or a successful research career in academia or for positions in the public or commercial sectors. Previous students have also successfully obtained specialist trainee positions in ophthalmology at hospitals across the country.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Doctor, Mile End Hospital (NHS)
  • GP (General Practitioner), Barnet Hospital (NHS)
  • Research Associate, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • PG Dip in Clinical Ophthalmology, UCL
  • Research Degree, Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL

Employability

The programme aims to train first-class basic and clinical scientists in the field of ophthalmology.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of the premier centres in the world for the study of vision and the mechanisms, diagnosis and therapy of eye disease. We embrace fundamental research, through the entire spectrum of translational medicine to clinical trials.

This MSc programme draws upon the extensive basic and clinical research experience available at the institute and at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Students gain expertise in basic cell biology, genetics, neuroscience and physiology, specialise in the biology of the eye as an integrated biological system and conduct a six-month research project within a world-class research environment.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Institute of Ophthalmology

80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This programme is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, which is world renowned for the translation of biomedical research into new therapeutic advances in eye disease. Read more

This programme is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, which is world renowned for the translation of biomedical research into new therapeutic advances in eye disease. Students will be embedded in the research environment, have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, and to work alongside world-leading experts.

About this degree

Students will develop key transferable personal and professional skills to independently conduct an extended empirical research project supervised by world-leading experts in the field of vision research. Students will also learn about the fundamental biology of the eye in health and disease, providing key knowledge to support their research project.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (105 credits).

Core modules

  • Bioscience Research Skills
  • Research in Practice

Optional modules

  • Students choose three of the following:
  • Genetics and Epidemiology of Ocular Disease
  • Ocular Cell Biology
  • Ocular Development in Health and Disease
  • Ocular Immunology

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs and workshops. Assessment is through essays, oral presentations, problem-based tasks and a research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Vision Research MRes

Funding

The Institute of Ophthalmology currently offers the following bursaries for successful applicants on our postgraduate taught master’s degrees: One £5,000 Duke Elder bursary for non-clinical courses (available for successful applicants on the Biology of Vision, Applied Immunobiology, Applied and Regenerative Neuroscience, and Vision Research degrees). Duke Elder bursaries are open to home and overseas students and will be received in the form of a fee reduction only. 

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The Vision Research MRes will develop the necessary competitive skills to pursue a research degree at PhD level in the field of biomedical sciences. Graduates will offer prospective employers skills in research development and practice, suitable for further research careers in academia, industry or business.

Employability

A unique feature of the Vision Research MRes is the delivery of key elements that are essential for the development of an internationally competitive career in biomedical research. The research expertise at the institute will be fully harnessed to prepare students for a new era in research in the global employment market. Students will develop critical understanding of a range of research-related knowledge and skills, including quantitative and qualitative tools for the implementation, management and dissemination of research. The programme will give students both the fundamental knowledge and skills base to address complex issues of global significance in health and wellbeing.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is recognised globally for its outstanding record in basic biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in novel and innovative therapies.

The Vision Research MRes is a unique programme that will combine existing high-quality research-informed teaching at the institute with a substantial empirical research project.

The opportunity to participate fully in academic life as part of a research team will provide networking opportunities across the spectrum of biomedical research taking place at the institute, UCL and elsewhere, thereby increasing exposure to further opportunities in research.



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Who is it for?. The MSc in Clinical Optometry has an international reputation for quality and is at the forefront of continuing education in clinical optometry - you will acquire cutting-edge skills and knowledge from leading UK experts in a dynamic learning environment. Read more

Who is it for?

The MSc in Clinical Optometry has an international reputation for quality and is at the forefront of continuing education in clinical optometry - you will acquire cutting-edge skills and knowledge from leading UK experts in a dynamic learning environment.

The programme will provide you with an opportunity to enhance your career prospects in this field through gaining both an academic qualification and a professional qualification with either the General Optical Council or the College of Optometrists (where appropriate).

Objectives

The MSc in Clinical Optometry has been designed to provide optometrists with up-to-date research-based and theoretical knowledge of a wide range of fields, particularly in primary care optometry.

It is a flexible, taught postgraduate modular based programme, delivered on an intensive three-day modular programme design.

Emphasis is placed on 'shared-care' or 'co-management' of patients with other medical disciplines and the expansion of the optometrist's role in ocular therapeutics. The programme integrates clinical and theoretical knowledge, making extensive use of expert practitioners. It enables optometrists to continue development and accumulation of knowledge and expertise relating to ocular health care and vision science during their professional careers.

The programme provides a range of modules including 15 and 60 credit modules at Master’s level. There is a choice of exit routes a PG Cert and PG Dip level, modules can also be taken as stand-alone Continuing Professional Development courses.

Accreditation

The General Optical Council accredits the following modules: 

  • Principles of Therapeutics
  • Principles of Prescribing (exit for Additional Supply)
  • Independent Prescribing

Students completing the final examination must be qualified for at least two years. Find out more

The College of Optometrists accredits the following modules in providing the Professional Certificate:

  • Glaucoma
  • Low Vision
  • Paediatric Optometry
  • Medical Retina

The Contact Lens Practice module is accredited as the ‘Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lens Practice’. Find out more

Teaching and learning

A blended approach to learning and teaching is adopted including institution-based taught modules; e-learning and work-based learning. Modules are led by experienced practitioners and leading researchers, using a variety of direct and interactive teaching methods. You will learn in large and small multi-disciplinary groups and will be supported and encouraged to participate in independent learning.

The range of teaching methods is wide and includes lectures (face-to-face; on-line), tutorials, advanced clinical training, clinical demonstrations, videos and discussion of clinical scenarios and action learning sets. Discussion forums, interactive seminars, peer reviewing work-based examples and clinically focussed critical reflections via a case review process are also included.

Practical classes and clinical skills laboratories provide opportunities to develop practical skills and demonstrate techniques covered in lectures. Many lectures are delivered by external specialists, giving access to current issues, research and methods in the field.

A three-hour examination is taken 8-10 weeks after the module. Methods of assessment vary between modules, reflecting their differences in structure and content. The modular examinations include any combination of the following:

  • A multiple choice question paper (normally including questions from each lecturer on the module)
  • Visual recognition and interpretation of clinical signs tests (VRICS) (involving analysis of a series of slides/photographs)
  • Patient management case scenarios
  • An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Professional practice portfolio
  • Minilabs
  • Peer-reviewed publication

Some modules have more than one assessment component and the weighting for each assessment component is outlined clearly within the module specification.

Modules

The programme provides a range of modules which include 15, 30 and 60 credit modules at Master’s level. The programme provides you with a choice of exit routes but modules can also be taken as stand-alone courses.

Each 15 PG credit module includes 150 hours (15 PG credits) in duration with approximately 30% of the study requires attendance at City for face-to-face learning in either lectures/tutorials or workshops.

Depending on the module, you should be aiming to study approximately:20 hours/week if full-time. 4 hours/week if part-time.

Core modules

  • Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (30 credits)

You may begin carrying out your dissertation during the year but you are only able to submit it once you have completed all the taught modules successfully.

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules

Alternatively students can take modules from this Masters degree as standalone CPPD (Continuing Personal and Professional Development) courses. In this case, course costs might vary. For further information please click on the CPPD links below each module.

  • Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (15 credits)
  • Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lenses (30 credits)
  • Contact Lenses (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
  • Critical Thinking for Ophthalmic Practice (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Low Vision (15 credits)
  • Principles of therapeutics (15 credits)
  • Principles of prescribing (15 credits)
  • Independent prescribing (15 credits)

If completing the MSc you are required to complete the School of Health Sciences Research and Data analysis module which is worth 30 Postgraduate credits. You are also required to complete a 60 credit dissertation module.

Career prospects

Optometrists are equipped to provide enhanced clinical care to patients, particularly in the field of ocular therapeutics.

You can also choose the following options, all of which enhance career opportunities whether within the HES or in practice:

  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Glaucoma.
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Low Vision
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Paediatric Optometry
  • College of Optometrists’ Higher Professional Certificate in Contact Lenses.


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This new three year part-time Masters programme, taught entirely online, is jointly offered by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and leads to the degree of Master of Science (MSc). Read more

This new three year part-time Masters programme, taught entirely online, is jointly offered by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and leads to the degree of Master of Science (MSc). It has been developed in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

Aimed primarily at optometrists seeking formal postgraduate training in community-based clinical care, this programme is also highly relevant for medical and surgical trainees entering specialty training in ophthalmology.

This degree is aligned with the curricula of both the FRCSEd and FRCOphth examinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, making it very attractive to domestic and international students.

This programme is aimed at supporting optometrists seeking formal postgraduate training in community-based clinical care and also medical and surgical trainees entering specialty training ophthalmology.

This programme gives trainees first-rate preparation for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and Fellowship of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) examinations or equivalent, with additional emphasis on acquired knowledge and its application.

The third-year MSc research project also serves as an opportunity to develop an academic career.

Online learning

The programme is taught entirely online. Students are supported by synchronous and asynchronous discussion with e-tutors - all leading clinicians in their field - and have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. Students will be expected to lead e-seminars and e-journal clubs.

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

The programme is headed up by Professor Baljean Dhillon.

Programme structure

Delivered through an online learning environment, this programme runs on a semester basis over three years and involves approximately 10-15 hours of study each week in a flexible, modular manner. All modules are compulsory and are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach and involve participation in discussion boards and reflective portfolios.

Students accumulate credits by completing a series of modules leading to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Science degree. The minimum time for completion of the full Masters programme is three years, and the maximum time for completion is six years.

At the certificate and diploma levels, students must attend an end-of-year examination, held in Edinburgh for UK-based students or with a pre-approved partner institution for international students.

Year 1: Certificate

  • Basic Ophthalmic Science: Anatomy, Pathology, Physiology of the Ocular Structures
  • Basic Examination & Investigation Techniques
  • Basic Glaucoma
  • Basic Macular Disease
  • Basic Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
  • eTriage and Referral Refinement

Year 2: Diploma

  • Advanced Ophthalmic Science: Anatomy, Pathology, Physiology of the Ocular Structures
  • Advanced Examination & Investigation Techniques
  • Advanced Glaucoma
  • Advanced Macular Disease
  • Advanced Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
  • Advanced eTriage and Referral Refinement

Year 3: Masters

The final year involves a supervised masters research project, which will be undertaken in an approved topic that reflects your subspecialty interest and will require the submission of a written project report.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed for:

  • optometrists who wish to enhance their knowledge with particular regard to diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease as they take on an increasingly expanding role in the management of eye disease as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team
  • medical and surgical trainees who aspire to specialise in ophthalmology, enabling them to study towards their FRCSEd, FRCOphth, or equivalent, in a flexible way

The award of MSc will highlight the student’s commitment to continuing professional development in their chosen career and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for clinical positions. The MSc will also help prepare them for an academic or research career.

The MSc is also relevant to GPs and trainee GPs with a special Interest in ophthalmology, family medicine physicians, orthoptists, ophthalmic nurses and other eye healthcare professionals seeking to advance their understanding of primary care ophthalmology and its interface with secondary care.



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The Sensory Systems, Technologies & Therapies (SenSyT) MRes programme was devised in consultation with industry partners developing treatments for sensory disorders. Read more

The Sensory Systems, Technologies & Therapies (SenSyT) MRes programme was devised in consultation with industry partners developing treatments for sensory disorders. It is an innovative biomedical and translational sciences programme intended for students pursuing a career in academia or in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industrial sectors.

About this degree

Through a major year-long research project and supplemental coursework, students will learn to conduct cutting-edge research aimed at understanding fundamental principles of sensory systems function and/or developing novel technologies and therapies for sensory disorders, such as deafness and blindness.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a research project with dissertation/report (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Introduction to Sensory Systems, Technologies & Therapies
  • Research in Practice
  • Translating Science into the Clinic

Optional modules

One optional module can be chosen from a group of appropriate modules currently offered at the UCL Ear Institute or at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, to provide more in-depth knowledge and understanding of particular issues in sensory systems research. Examples include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Audiovestibular System
  • Auditory Biophysics and Electroacoustics
  • Ocular Cell Biology, Genetics and Epidemiology of Ocular Disease
  • Ocular Development in Health and Disease
  • Visual Neuroscience

Students may choose an alternative optional module from across UCL with prior approval of the Programme Director, provided that it aligns with the topic of the extended research project.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake a year-long independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practicals, seminars, workshops, journal clubs, and an extended research project. Assessment is through coursework, oral presentations, essays, practicals, unseen written examinations, and research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Sensory Systems, Technologies and Therapies MRes

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The Sensory Systems, Technologies and Therapies MRes was devised in consultation not only with academic scientists pursuing cutting-edge research in sensory systems and therapies, but also with representatives from industries interested in developing new treatments for sensory disorders. The programme has therefore been designed with the intention of ensuring that successful graduates will be attractive candidates either for further PhD research or for jobs in the commercial sector (for example, in companies developing or marketing novel treatments for visual impairment or hearing loss).

Employability

Students will graduate with interdisciplinary training in sensory systems science; a good understanding of the clinical and commercial context for development of sensory systems technologies and therapies; and substantive experience with a cutting-edge research project.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is among the world's top universities for biomedical research, with particular strength in neuroscience, sensory systems research, and translational studies. Students taking the Sensory Systems, Technologies and Therapies MRes will be based at the UCL Ear Institute, an internationally recognised centre for auditory research, and will also take core modules at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, one of the world's major centres for vision research.

MRes students will have access to potential research supervisors from across all UCL, and will benefit from interaction with students on the Sensory Systems, Technologies and Therapies MPhil/PhD. The Sensory Systems, Technologies and Therapies MRes will therefore provide students with outstanding opportunities to learn from and network with scientists, engineers, clinicians and students throughout the UCL community.



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Knowledge.   Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have. an understanding of the normal human visual system and its physical, chemical and biological foundations;. Read more

Knowledge:  Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:

  • an understanding of the normal human visual system and its physical, chemical and biological foundations;
  • an advanced understanding of the mechanisms and associated manifestations of ocular and visual system disease;
  • an expert knowledge of current best practice management strategies for the safe and effective use of ocular therapeutic drugs;
  • knowledge to be competent in the practice of optometry at a level that enables them to achieve and sustain registration with the appropriate professional bodies;
  • knowledge required to manage the establishment, planning, promotion, finances, operations and workforce of an optometric practice;
  • a strongly developed sense of professional and ethical responsibility for patients, colleagues and the community generally, and be aware of the moral and legal responsibilities of professional practice;
  • knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to optometry and the vision sciences.

Skills:  Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:

  • skills to quantitatively describe light and its passage through optical systems (including ophthalmic instruments, ophthalmic lenses and the eye), design optical systems to meet required specifications, and quantitatively assess the nature and quality of optical images;
  • skills to construct appropriate differential diagnoses, and to acquire additional information to arrive at correct definitive diagnoses;
  • expert competency in clinical ocular examination using current best-practice methods, enabling them to fully assess and manage the health and visual performance of their patient;
  • interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, that allow them to establish and maintain professional relationships with their patients, professional colleagues and the general community;
  • skills in the practice of optometry at a level that enables them to achieve and sustain registration with the appropriate professional bodies;
  • skills to take on a leadership role in the advancement of optometry on a global stage, both in clinical and research spheres.

Application of knowledge and skills:  Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:

  • by resolving new situations in clinical practice in an effective and innovative way;
  • by solving scientific problems in the visual and/or clinical sciences, as well as particular problems presented by patients;
  • by developing a sense of intellectual curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning, an ability to adapt to scientific, technological and social change, and a capacity to be creative and innovative.

Specific graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course.



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Teaches clinical and technical aspects for the provision of facial prostheses; ocular prostheses; orbital and skull cranioplasties and obturators. Read more

Teaches clinical and technical aspects for the provision of facial prostheses; ocular prostheses; orbital and skull cranioplasties and obturators. Programme includes: recognising oral disease; infections; skins lesions directly related to the provision on intra- and extraoral prostheses; core teaching in all restorative disciplines. Participate in research programmes, including: investigation into digital technologies used in colour formulation of facial prostheses; biocompatibility of titanium to hard and soft tissue for cranioplasties; bonding of acrylic to silicone and patient centred outcomes of implant treatment.

Key benefits

  • Only MSc in Maxillofacial & Craniofacial Technology in UK and Europe.
  • Opportunity for students to participate in the use of advanced technology with pre-operative planning and creation of anatomical models from digital data.
  • Contributions from guest speakers from the Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists & Technologists on their area of study.

Description

Maxillofacial & Craniofacial Technology ground-breaking programme open to both dental technicians and dentists. Teaches clinical and technical aspects of facial prostheses; ocular prostheses; orbital and skull cranioplasties and obturators. Covers: recognising oral disease; infections; skin lesions related to intra- and extra-oral prostheses; core modules in all restorative disciplines.

Course purpose

Ground breaking programme open to both dental technicians and dentists. For both overseas and UK applicants the programme provides training to a specialist level in maxillofacial and craniofacial technology.

Course format and assessment

Modular programme consisting of 180 credits, as follows:

  1. Two taught modules, covering the scientific and clinical basis of maxillofacial and craniofacial technology, usually assessed by written examination;
  2. One clinical module, involving supervised clinical practice and examined by a mixture of case studies on treated and unseen patients, a clinical/technical log and an oral examination;
  3. One research module, involving the submission of a research project report including a literature review, with an oral defence of the research.

Extra information

As we are seeking to identify your suitability for this clinical environment, we expect our interviewees to adopt the dress code required of clinical dental students at King's. Further information will be given should you choose to apply. Entry to the programme is strictly dependent upon occupational health clearance that you are able to conduct exposure prone procedures (EPPs) before you start clinical work. This will assess your hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis C antibody status, HIV and TB status following the completion of a health questionnaire and a further health check before or at enrolment. 

If offered a place on the course, overseas students are advised to be tested locally and send the results of these checks with the questionnaire, prior to a separate full test in the UK at the College's Occupational Health Department before term begins. All offers of a place on a programme are made subject to a satisfactory criminal conviction disclosure. If you are from overseas or have never lived in the UK before, you should contact the relevant authorities in your home country to arrange for the equivalent check to be conducted and/or a certificate of good conduct to be issued.



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Our MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research gives eye care professionals like you the academic knowledge and practical skills they need to contribute to groundbreaking medical advancements and effectively diagnose and treat a wide range of ocular conditions. Read more

Our MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research gives eye care professionals like you the academic knowledge and practical skills they need to contribute to groundbreaking medical advancements and effectively diagnose and treat a wide range of ocular conditions.

Whether you want to pursue further academic studies or take on new responsibilities as a primary caregiver – our programme gives you the clinical skills and research experience you need. Advance your career and have a meaningful influence on the future of the field.

A combination of core and elective modules and research opportunities – with a research project making up one-third of the programme – allows you to customise your studies based on your personal interests and professional requirements. This includes the option to select a specialisation leading to a named degree on completion of your dissertation:

  • MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research (General)
  • MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research (Diabetes)
  • MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research (Therapeutics)

What you will study

The programme is suited to applicants who have obtained a first degree in optometry or a related field outside of the UK. The generic stream of the programme gives a broader perspective than the diabetes and therapeutic routes

Modules

Advanced Binocular Vision; Advanced Clinical Investigation and Research Project; Chronic Complications of Diabetes; Clinical Ophthamology; Diabetes Care; Ocular Therapeutics; Practical and Theoretical Prescribing and Health Economics; Skills for Practice for Vision Science; Skills for Professional Practice Biosciences 2; and Public Health.

Students with an interest in diabetes can choose diabetes-related modules to enhance their understanding of how diabetes effects various structures of the human body. 

Core modules: Diabetes Care; Skills for Professional Practice for Vision Sciences; Skills for Professional Practice for Bioscience 2; Chronic Complications of Diabetes; Advanced Clinical Investigation and Research Project.

Optional modules: Clinical Ophthalmology; Health Economics and Public Health.

Graduate prospects

Whether you choose a path in academia or clinical practice, your MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research will unlock new opportunities to advance and expand your career. The programme is ideal preparation for subsequent studies towards a PhD or other higher academic qualification. It also allows optometrists and other practitioners to advance their careers in primary eye care.



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The MSc Clinical Optometry (Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care) provides optometrists working in specialist practice with evidence-based knowledge and practice of advanced level primary eye care. Read more
The MSc Clinical Optometry (Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care) provides optometrists working in specialist practice with evidence-based knowledge and practice of advanced level primary eye care.

Who is it for?

The course is for optometrists working in specialist practice (in the hospital or community setting) who wish to build up a portfolio of training in evidence-based knowledge and practice of advanced level primary eye care.

Students are usually UK-registered optometrists who must satisfy all legal requirements to be eligible to practise as optometrists in the UK, and should be registered with the General Optical Council. Overseas candidates will be accepted on an ad hoc basis providing the individual's undergraduate syllabus and clinical responsibilities are similar to those of a UK Optometrist.

All entrants to the Programme must be in possession of a relevant first degree.

Objectives

The MSc in Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care (Clinical Optometry) has an international reputation for quality and is at the forefront of continuing education in clinical optometry - you will acquire cutting-edge skills and knowledge from leading UK experts in a dynamic learning environment.

The key purpose of the programme is the management of patients (with other medical disciplines if appropriate) and the expansion of the optometrist's role in ocular therapeutics within the hospital and community specialist practice setting.

The programme integrates clinical and theoretical knowledge, making extensive use of expert practitioners. It enables optometrists to continue development and accumulation of knowledge and expertise relating to ocular health care and vision science during their professional career. For some modules, you will learn alongside other health care practitioners enriching the learning experience.

By completing the MSc in APHSC (Clinical Optometry) optometrists will have demonstrated original application of knowledge to the field of clinical optometry and clinical decision-making in relation to practice. There is a choice of exit routes at PG Certificate and PG Diploma level and modules can also be taken as stand-alone Continuing Professional Development courses.

Academic facilities

The Division of Optometry opened brand-new, purpose-built clinic, City Sight in 2015. These state-of-the-art facilities provide a comprehensive range of services and educational resources in vision sciences for our students, researchers and patients.

There will be extensive use of City’s Virtual Learning Platform – Moodle – for a more interactive learning experience.

Teaching and learning

Postgraduate taught and distance learning modules offered by the School are designed to satisfy the rapidly changing academic, clinical and professional development needs of hospital and community optometrists working in specialist practice. Teaching and assessment methods are tailored to the learning objectives of each module component. The range of teaching methods is wide and includes lectures (face-to-face and online), tutorials, advanced clinical training, clinical demonstrations, videos and discussion of clinical scenarios. Discussion forums, interactive seminars, peer reviewing work-based examples and clinically focussed critical reflections via a case review process are also included.

Purely didactic modules are examined by means of multiple-choice question papers, whereas modules with a significant practical element may also have an objective structured clinical examination or a test of visual recognition of clinical signs and/or patient case scenarios. A professional practice portfolio / assignment may also be part of the assessment criteria.

Modules

Modules within the programme will include decision-making, resolving conflict, resource allocation and ethical issues. You will also be able to develop your theoretical, methodological and research skills to enhance your ability to critically evaluate research and the clinical evidence base.

The programme provides a range of modules which include 15, 30 and 60-credit modules at Master’s level. The programme provides you with a choice of exit routes and most modules can also be taken as stand-alone courses.

Each 15 PG credit module includes 150 hours (15 PG credits) in duration with approximately 30% of the study requires attendance at City for face-to-face learning in either lectures/tutorials or workshops.

You will study two core modules, and can choose a further five modules from a choice of five discipline-specific modules and two elective modules. If you are part-time, you should aim to take two modules per term over two years. If you are full-time, you take four modules per term over one year.

Depending on the module, you should be aiming to study approximately:
-20 hours perweek if full-time
-Four hours per week if part-time

Core modules
-Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (online) (30 credits)
-Critical approaches to advanced practice (15 credits)
-Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective modules - you will choose a further five elective modules. Elective modules available include:
-Principles of Therapeutics (15 credits)
-Principles of Prescribing (15 credits)
-Independent Prescribing (15 credits)
-Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (15 credits)
-Professional Certificate in Low Vision (15 credits)
-Leadership for practice and service delivery (15 credits)
-Management and leadership in Health care (15 credits)
-Contact Lens Practice (15 credits)

Career prospects

The course is for hospital optometrists or community optometrists working in specialist practice. It provides an opportunity to enhance career prospects in the context of hospital or specialist community optometry through gaining both an academic qualification and a professional qualification with the College of Optometrists and the General Optical Council.

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A flexible distance learning Master’s programme that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline. Read more
A flexible distance learning Master’s programme that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline.

Course outline

Flexible credit accumulation
New students initially register as LHS postgraduate students within a framework of flexible credit accumulation (FCA). Within this framework it is possible to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Optometry (60 taught credits); Postgraduate Diploma in Optometry (120 taught credits); M.Sc. in Optometry/ Ophthalmic Science (180 credits: 120 taught, 60 dissertation) or the Doctor of Optometry (DOptom)/ Doctor of Ophthalmic Science (DOphSc). The MSc requires the completion of 6 taught modules (120 credits) and a 60 credit narrative research review (dissertation). As part of the flexible programme, UK optometrists may complete the theoretical element of the GOC-approved Independent Prescribing for Optometrists. Further information is available here.

Timescales for study
Taught credits are valid for 5 years, so students studying for an MSc/ PG Diploma/ PG Certificate must complete their studies within 5 years of enrolment on the programme.

Subject guide and modules

20 credit taught modules include:
-Accommodation and Presbyopia (OP4AAP)
-Advanced Contact Lenses (OP4ACL)
-Advanced Visual Science (OP4AVS)
-General Ocular Therapeutics (OP4GOT)
-Glaucoma (OP4GL1)
-Investigative Ophthalmic Science (OP4IOS)
-Myopia (OP4MY1)
-Nutrition and the Eye (OP4NE1)
-Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (OP4OT1) - GOC-approved Independent Prescribing module
-Prescribing for disorders of the eye (OP4OT2) - GOC-approved Independent Prescribing module
-Refractive Surgery (OP4RS1)
-Research Methods (OP4RM1)
-Retinal and Macular Disorders (OP4RMD)
-Visual Impairment (OP4VI1)

For the MSc, you will also undertake a 60 credit research review dissertation module, supervised by a member of Aston academic staff.

Learning, teaching & assessment

Online lectures are used to support your learning; these are available on our virtual learning environment whenever you chose to view them, and are accompanied by short formative tests throughout the module. Each module includes a substantial piece of coursework, e.g. a scientific literature review or portfolio of case records. The pass mark for all forms of taught module assessment is 50%.

The dissertation module involves exploring an area relevant to contemporary practice in an extended literature review or short practical project. You will be supervised by an experienced member of academic staff.

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A professional doctorate that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline through taught and research elements. Read more
A professional doctorate that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline through taught and research elements.

Course outline

The Doctor of Optometry/ Doctor of Ophthalmic Science (previously known as the Aston “Ophthalmic Doctorate”) is a unique qualification - a professional doctorate - that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, and critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline through taught and research elements.

Taught modules are 20 credits each, nominally equivalent to 200 hours of student learning. Modules consist of remote access lectures with electronic formative assessments and a module coursework assignment such as reflective case records, or an essay/literature review related to the module. There are two study periods per year to complete taught modules; 1st October -31st January and 1st March - 30th June. Module results are ratified at Examination Boards held shortly after the end of each study period.

The research project is the major component of the doctorate, supervised by members of the Optometry Subject Group academic staff. Students will develop their research proposals based upon their own clinical interests, or may opt to select a project nominated by an Aston academic. Because this is a distance-learning programme, the research is not normally carried out on the University campus, and it is essential that the student has access to the facilities and resources needed to carry out the research, usually in the student's place of work.

The research stage requires a significant long-term commitment, as it is equivalent to around 2 years of full-time work (i.e. 4 years part-time). Candidates ultimately submit a thesis which is examined in a viva voce examination.

The Doctor of Optometry programme is aimed at practising optometrists, who will complete case records where required for taught module coursework, and will undertake a practice- based research project. The Doctor of Ophthalmic Science programme is for eye care professionals who may not be practising optometrists, e.g. medics/ orthoptists/ product designers; these students may complete scientific essays to fulfil the coursework requirements, and undertake a non-clinical research project.

This degree is only available as part-time distance learning, so it is vital that the student has access to a good broadband internet connection.

Flexible credit accumulation

New students initially register as LHS postgraduate students within a framework of flexible credit accumulation (FCA). Within this framework it is possible to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Optometry (60 taught credits); Postgraduate Diploma in Optometry (120 taught credits); M.Sc. in Optometry/ Ophthalmic Science (180 credits: 120 taught, 60 dissertation) or the Doctor of Optometry (DOptom)/ Doctor of Ophthalmic Science (DOphSc).

As part of the flexible programme, UK optometrists may complete the theoretical element of the GOC-approved Independent Prescribing for Optometrists. Further information is available here: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lhs/cpd/courses/optometry/independent-prescribing-for-optometrists/

The MSc requires the completion of 6 taught modules (120 credits) and a 60 credit narrative research review (dissertation).

Completion of the DOptom/ DOphSc requires 180 taught module credits and successful completion of a substantial personal research project, with submission of a thesis/ portfolio of work and a viva voce examination with an internal and external examiner. Up to 60 credits may be awarded in respect of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), whether experiential or certificated (e.g. previous completion of the Aston MOptom). To progress to full doctoral registration requires a minimum of 120 taught module credits including the compulsory 20 credit Research Methods module, an approved project proposal, and successful completion of the qualifying report stage, assessed by viva voce examination with an internal examiner. The report and the viva voce examination will be used to assess suitability for progression to the full doctoral project.

Timescales for study

Taught credits are valid for 5 years, so students studying for an MSc/PG Diploma/PG Certificate must complete their studies within 5 years of enrolment on the programme.

Students undertaking the DOptom/DOphSc. programme must complete their taught module requirement and complete the research stage within 6 years of registration. Note that in accordance with University Regulations for part-time research students, the earliest date for completion of the doctoral programme (i.e. submission of thesis/ portfolio) is 4 years following registration.

Subject guide and modules

Taught modules include:
-Accommodation and Presbyopia (OP4AAP)
-Advanced Contact Lenses (OP4ACL)
-Advanced Visual Science (OP4AVS)
-General Ocular Therapeutics (OP4GOT)
-Glaucoma (OP4GL1)
-Investigative Ophthalmic Science (OP4IOS)
-Myopia (OP4MY1)
-Nutrition and the Eye (OP4NE1)
-Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (OP4OT1)
-Prescribing for disorders of the eye (OP4OT2)
-Refractive Surgery (OP4RS1)
-Research Methods (OP4RM1)
-Research Review (Dissertation modules OP4OPR and OP40SR)
-Retinal and Macular Disorders (OP4RMD)
-Visual Impairment (OP4VI1)

Learning, teaching & assessment

For taught modules, online lectures, available on our virtual environment whenever you chose to view them are accompanied by short tests throughout the module. Each module includes a substantial piece of coursework, e.g. a scientific literature review or portfolio of case records. The pass mark for all forms of taught module assessment is 50%.

For the main element of the doctorate, the research project, candidates submit a report and undergo a qualifying report stage within one year of becoming research active. Once this stage has been passed, candidates continue their research, culminating in the submission of a thesis (up to 80, 000 words) which is examined in a viva examination by experts in the chosen field. The degree of Doctor of Optometry or Doctor of Ophthalmic Science is awarded to candidates who successfully defend their thesis.

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