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Masters Degrees (Ophthalmologists)

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Our MSc course in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences brings together the research expertise in vision from The University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Read more
Our MSc course in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences brings together the research expertise in vision from The University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

This course will provide you with a firm grounding in the knowledge needed to pursue a higher degree and to conduct high quality research in ophthalmology, optometry or vision sciences. It also gives an opportunity for vision-related professionals to advance their knowledge of the scientific foundations of ophthalmology and vision sciences.

The course is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and nurses from the UK and overseas. It is suitable for:
-Individuals who are considering undertaking a research degree in the vision sciences
-Those interested in professional development
-Those interested in conducting research as part of their clinical training
-Ophthalmologists wishing to expand and extend their training into specialist areas
-Optometrists considering a career in the hospital eye service

Teaching and learning

The course has two different pathways:
1. Six taught units (15 credits each) and a project dissertation (90) credits.
2. Four taught units (15 credits each), a literature review (30 credits) and a dissertation (90 credits).

The six units are Research Methods, Cornea, Contact Lens, Vascular Disease, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma.

In each of the units, learning will be based on a series of formal lectures on topics relating to ocular disease and treatments, and a series of more informal tutorials on current research. You will receive copies of presentations and direction to relevant literature for personal study.

Many projects have led to peer reviewed publications in the ophthalmic literature. Recent titles include the following:
-Optical coherence tomography measures of the retinal nerve fibre layer
-Development of a model cell assay to investigate the cellular processing of ARB mutant bestrophin-1
-Risk factors for late presentation of patients with primary open angle glaucoma
-Molecular analysis of autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies
-In vivo analysis of the wettability of silicon hydrogel contact lenses
-Can corneal densitometry be used to assess the treatment outcome after corneal transplantation
-A contact lens based technique delivering cultured stem cells onto the human corneal surface
-The use of corneal imaging to assessing treatment outcomes of LASIK and LASEK
-Addressing the physiological cues needed for trans-differentiation of dental pulp stem cells into limbal stem cells

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is via:
-Written examinations in January and May
-Coursework set during the taught units
-A research project dissertation

Career opportunities

This course is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and nurses from the UK and overseas.

It is considered suitable for:
-Individuals interested in vision sciences
-Those interested in conducting research as part of their clinical training
-Optometrists considering a career in the hospital eye service
-Those interested in an academic career in ophthalmology/optometry/vision sciences
-Optometrists interested in professional development

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The purpose of this course is to prepare ophthalmologists for the appropriate selection of candidates for refractive surgery, understand the surgical techniques involved and deal with complications. Read more
The purpose of this course is to prepare ophthalmologists for the appropriate selection of candidates for refractive surgery, understand the surgical techniques involved and deal with complications.

The Masters degree normally involves 1.5 years of full time study, assuming the standard progression of units of study, as specified by the Discipline is undertaken and needs to be completed in 3 years from commencement of enrolment. If studying part-time, the Masters degree normally involves 3 years of study, assuming the standard progression of Units of Study as specified by the discipline is undertaken, and needs to be completed in 6 years from commencement of enrolment. Each candidate must achieve a total of 48 credit points (CP) to successfully complete the Masters degree. Areas of study include Ophthalmic Anatomy, Ophthalmic Optics, Refractive Surgery 1, Refractive Surgery 2, and a research dissertation. The course work is completed by the Practical Refractive Surgery unit of study that involves a 3 week full time clinical and wet lab placement to ensure the skills required in performing refractive surgery are gained. The practical unit of study also assesses the candidates’ skills in patient selection, test interpretation, intra and post operative complication management.

Please note: overseas-trained specialists who plan to practice in Australia will require documentation from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists showing that they have met the College guidelines for specialist practice in Australia.

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Programme description. This new two 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 Surgery (ChM). Read more

Programme description

This new two 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 Surgery (ChM). It has been developed with the support of NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The ChM is designed to support advanced ophthalmology trainees in the UK and internationally through a curriculum which recognises their subspecialist ophthalmic interests in preparation for exit examination and hospital-based practice.

Our programmes are aligned with the curricula of both the FRCSEd and FRCOphth examinations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, making these degrees very attractive to domestic and international students.

The ChM provides advanced training for medical and surgical ophthalmologists preparing for the fellowship examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) in the UK and Ireland and those approaching consultancy. On completion of this programme students will be able to:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty, and be able to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of medical and surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting
  • recognise the leadership contribution and responsibilities of the ophthalmologist in the multidisciplinary management of complex medical and surgical disease
  • critically reflect upon day-to-day medical and surgical practice in the context of recent advances, and engage in critical dialogue with peers and experts in other specialties
  • apply the general principles of clinical study design, ethics, and statistics to critically evaluate the scientific literature in medical and surgical research, and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues in medicine and surgery
  • exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional activities at a level of independent medical and surgical practice
  • Watch our introductory film to learn more about how this online degree can help you hone your clinical skills

Online learning

The programme is taught entirely online. Students are supported by 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

The programme runs on a semester basis over 2 years and involves approximately 10-15 hours of study each week in a flexible, modular manner.

The programme is delivered using a purpose-built learning environment that supports a variety of learning styles, and allows students flexibility in their study patterns.

Core, compulsory modules in each area of clinical ophthalmology are aligned to the curricula of the FRCSEd and FRCOphth. These are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach, supported by systems-based review of the course material. Knowledge and understanding will be assessed with a formal MCQ exam designed to replicate the trainees' upcoming exit exams.

Academic modules (core and specialist) allow the student to explore research and teaching methodology, as well as develop skills which ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students are required to complete an e-dissertation involving an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work, such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Year 1

  • Ophthalmology 1
  • Core Ophthalmology
  • Applied Basic Sciences, Examination and Surgical Strategies
  • Clinical Decision Making, Therapeutics, Avoiding and Managing Complications
  • Diagnostics and Technologies in Clinical Practice
  • Acute Ophthalmology, Trauma and Advanced Surgical Techniques

Year 2

Academic modules will explore research and teaching methodology, whilst enabling students to develop the ability to analyse published evidence and enhance their interactive and written clinical communication skills. Students will also have the opportunity to complete an academic research project in Year 2 e.g. Original research or a Systematic Review in a relevant area of work. Following completion of the programme, students are encouraged to seek publication of their study in a peer-reviewed journal.

Students are supported throughout the programme through asynchronous discussions with e-tutors who are all leading clinicians in their field. Students also have access to a large learning resource, including subscriptions to key online books and journals. A written examination (MCQ)) is held in the second year, following completion of core modules.

  • Ophthalmology 2
  • Core Academic Activity (Reflective ePortfolio)
  • Examination (MCQ and EMI)
  • Specialist Academic Activity (Research Project)

Career opportunities

The programme will offer an alternative to clinical / laboratory research training for those students who do not wish to take time out of training. It will develop the trainee's academic portfolio and facilitate medical/surgical research projects essential to a research active career.

The ChM programme is designed to follow the FRCSEd and FRCOphth curricula and prepare the advanced trainee for their exit professional examinations.

The award of ChM will highlight the trainee's commitment to continuing professional development and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for consultant positions.



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The programme is designed to be a complete introduction to the how, what and when of cataract and refractive surgery. It covers the basics of refractive surgery from how excimer lasers work to ablation profiles and topography and aberrometry. Read more
The programme is designed to be a complete introduction to the how, what and when of cataract and refractive surgery. It covers the basics of refractive surgery from how excimer lasers work to ablation profiles and topography and aberrometry. It progresses through microkeratomes and femtosecond lasers to LASEK, LASIK, phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) and clear lens extractions and the complications and management of each. Pre-op assessment and post-op follow-up, prevention and management of complications, surgical variants of phaco, and modern IOLs for cataract surgery will also be covered.

Key benefits

- This programme has been designed in collaboration with The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) standards, curriculum and examination committees and is the only endorsed RCOphth refractive surgery programme completed fully online in the UK.

- Innovation, flexibility and creativity in curriculum design and delivery.

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/course/msc-cataract-and-refractive-surgery-theory-pt-el

Course detail

- Description -

Celebrating now the twenty-fifth anniversary of LASIK in 2015, Refractive Surgery commands far greater evidence-based clinical concordance amongst specialists performing preoperative surgical assessment, surgical technique and complication management, than ever before. This programme of study includes the best practice patterns based on the wealth of accumulated scientific knowledge of the last two decades and provides, for both the novice and experienced surgeon, a template for establishing safe and effective practice in the field.

- Course purpose -

The Postgraduate Diploma in Cataract and Refractive Surgery (Theory) is suitable for ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthopists, nurse practitioners and ophthalmic technicians. This programme is the endorsed by the RCOphth as the only preparatory course in the UK for their Certificate in Laser Refractive Surgery examination. The programme offers a platform to learn the latest complex and sophisticated methodologies in laser and other refractive corneal and lens (IOL) based surgery including preoperative keratoconus screening, toric-IOL diagnostics and calculations, as well as understanding ocular and systemic co-morbidity when considering elective refractive surgery. A critical approach to multifocal IOL surgery is included based on published safety and efficacy as well as neuro-psychoadaptation. There is much attention focused on the systematisation and optimisation of surgical techniques. Advances in published knowledge provide a more established understanding of therapeutic refractive surgery for complications management.

Career options

The majority of students undertaking this online programme will do so for their continued professional development within their individual areas of employment for career enhancement.

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why Choose Ulster University ?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We recruit international students from more than 100 different countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five* or ten* equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/postgraduate

Scholarships

A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

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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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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. Read more
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.

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/course/pgc-theory-of-independent-prescribing-for-optometrists-pt-fo

Course detail

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.

- Purpose -

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

- Teaching and learning assessment -

The programme will comprise a variety of teaching and learning methods. Primarily delivered on-line with regular interactive discussion boards and one optional face-to-face session in the second module. Each module will comprise 12 fully online lectures supplemented with additional reading, structured discussion boards and assessment, appropriately directed to meet each learning outcome.

Assessment will comprise a variety of methods including examination of knowledge, skills and reflection on the material using written assignments, multiple choice questions (MCQS), Visual Identification and Management of Ophthalmic Conditions (VIMOCs), contribution to structured discussion boards and case studies with reflection on practice.

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.

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why Choose Ulster University ?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We recruit international students from more than 100 different countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five* or ten* equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/postgraduate

Scholarships

A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

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The specific aim of the programme is to prepare optometrists to practise as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register. Read more
The specific aim of the programme is to prepare optometrists to practise as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register.

The School of Optometry will provide a supportive environment for you to advance your professional and personal development, offering high quality modules relevant to optometry that are informed by research and taught by leaders in the field.

The programme provides a flexible pathway to level 7 qualifications. It will cultivate an understanding of evidence-based practice in eye care and enable you to safely practice at the forefront of your profession to an appropriate level of competence.

Distinctive features

• The course meets the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register

• Learn with one of the leading Optometry Schools in the UK, ranked 1st in the Complete University Guide 2018

• It will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance your career and contribute effectively to extended professional roles

• The involvement of research-active staff in course design and delivery

• The only ‘Therapeutic Prescribing for Optometrists’ course available in Wales

Structure

The Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Prescribing for Optometrists consists of three taught modules of 20 credits each. The modules are taught principally using distance learning: A series of articles (on the diagnosis and management of relevant eye conditions as well as on the principles of medical prescribing), webinars in which cases are discussed and online lectures. Contact days (one session of two days per module) enable clinical hands-on workshops and face to face case discussions.

Upon completion of the third module, a clinical placement is required and the passing of a final exam set by the College of Optometrists for registration for candidates who are aiming for 'Independent Prescriber' registration (IP) with the GOC. For international candidates not wishing to register their qualification in the UK, a clinical placement is not mandatory. In line with other UK courses, the placement is not part of the University provision.

Credits accumulated in this course can be used in the future for further study towards Masters-level qualifications.

The programme will be held over 1 year and 6 months, with typically 20 credits being studied each semester. The academic semesters are defined by the entry points for the postgraduate taught programmes:

• September
• March

An Examining Board will be held at the end of each semester to confirm results and allow progression from one module to another where the former is pre-requisite, as appropriate. The course takes a minimum of three semesters to complete.

Teaching

Each module offers a variety of teaching and learning methods, making extensive use of the Virtual Learning Environment and online resources. There are online lectures and online articles. Webinars enable remote case discussions. Practical face to face days allow skills workshops and face to face case discussion.

Authors and teachers include optometrists (IP), ophthalmologists, Pharmacologists, GPs, Microbiologists, Ophthalmic & clinical pharmacists. 

Assessment

A range of assessment methods will be used on the programme in order to reflect the high level of decision making skills and knowledge required for advanced clinical care in optometry.
The programme utilises a combination of formative and summative assessment in all modules, where the assessment tasks are aligned with learning outcomes.

Students on this programme will be provided with an assessment guide which includes marking outlines. For case based learning, you can take self-directed formative assessment prior to taking the marked elements.

You are required to submit case records in every module. You have the opportunity to submit a formative case record to receive detailed feedback prior to submitting your summative report.  Timed, written examinations allow assessment of knowledge and skills. All modules require some participation in online discussions to optimise learning – this is particularly important to draw distance learners together and provide a support peer network, at the same time as improving communication skills.

Career Prospects

The specific aim of the programme is to prepare optometrists to practise as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register.

Placements

Upon completion of the Certificate at Cardiff University, you will need to arrange a clinical placement as required for registration as an 'Independent Prescriber' (IP) with the GOC.

For international candidates not wishing to register their qualification in the UK, a clinical placement is not mandatory.

This placement is not part of the University course

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