The course aims to foster advanced knowledge in clinical issues for optometrists, with an emphasis on how research informs practice and the evolution of eye care services and capabilities. The programme recognises and incorporates Professional Certificates from the College of Optometrists. Modules have been designed with contributions from guest experts from ophthalmology, clinicians from hospital settings and other specialists. A number of CET points are available for optometrists undertaking these modules.
This course is delivered by distance learning, on a part-time basis, so is designed for working optometrists to fit their learning around their other commitments.
Graduates of this course will be equipped with skills to undertake extended clinical roles, promote the development of eye care within their region. They will develop critical thinking skills to evaluate and undertake research, and may go on to further research endeavours including doctoral research training.
Ulster University is experienced in delivering courses through distance learning and has bespoke support and online delivery of teaching through the virtual learning environment, BlackBoard Learn. Distance learning offers the student the advantage of learning at their pace and preferred time, and teaching materials have been specifically developed with the distance learner in mind, ensuring access is simple and comprehensive. Support for distance learning students is at hand daily from online tutors and the e-Learning Support Unit at Ulster.
The MSc course is designed and structured so you will have the opportunity to choose a particular area of study that interests you, building from a series of Professional certificates and then going on to study ophthalmic public health and advanced retinal imaging or choosing to undertake the Theory of Independent prescribing for optometrists The skills of self-motivation, independent learning, problem solving and developing and communicating scientific arguments are encouraged and developed through a programme which emphasizes critical thinking and discussion of issues through online media.
Students may not wish to undertake the whole MSc (180 credits), and there are options to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCERT), which amounts to 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDIP), at 120 credits.
For those completing the MSc programme, a research project will be undertaken by the student in an area of their choosing with support and guidance from an academic supervisor. In addition, another member of staff will coordinate this module and provide generic support. This project will be a significant and novel piece of research.
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.
Graduates will gain a Master's in Advanced Clinical Optometry from a UK university designed to enhance their academic and professional development. Graduates may use skills obtained to effectively promote and develop eye care in their area, and take part in enhanced eye care services. Graduates will gain valuable experience of undertaking research activities and producing high quality scientific reports. These skills will support the graduates who wish to develop their research careers.
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.
This online course will allow registered Optometrists to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of Ocular Prescribing and Therapeutics.
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.
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.
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.
This qualification will allow the Optometrist to increase their scope of practice and manage and treat a wider range of ocular conditions.
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:
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
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.
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.