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Masters Degrees (Orthoptics)

We have 6 Masters Degrees (Orthoptics)

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Lead academic 2016. Dr Charlotte Codina. This is a part-time distance learning course for practising Orthoptists and other eye care professionals. Read more

About the course

Lead academic 2016: Dr Charlotte Codina

This is a part-time distance learning course for practising Orthoptists and other eye care professionals. It’s taught online so you can study for a higher degree without having to leave your current post.

Our study environment

You’ll be based in teaching hospitals that serve a population of over half a million people and refer a further two million. We also have close links with the University’s other health-related departments.

Our research funding comes from many sources including the NIHR, MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, the Department of Health, EU, and prominent charities such as the Wellcome Trust, ARC, YCR, Cancer Research UK and BHF. Our partners and sponsors include Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Eli Lilly.

You’ll also benefit from our collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

How we teach

Classes are kept small (15–20 students) to make sure you get the best possible experience in laboratories and in clinical settings.

Our resources

We have a state-of-the-art biorepository and a £30m stem cell laboratory. The Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) opened in November 2010. We also have microarray, genetics, histology, flow cytometry and high-throughput screening technology, and the latest equipment for bone and oncology research.

At our Clinical Research Facility, you’ll be able to conduct studies with adult patients and volunteers. The Sheffield Children’s Hospital houses a complementary facility for paediatric experimental medical research.

Hepatitis B policy

If your course involves a significant risk of exposure to human blood or other body fluids and tissue, you’ll need to complete a course of Hepatitis B immunisation before starting. We conform to national guidelines that are in place to protect patients, health care workers and students.

Course content

Concomitance and Incomitance in Depth or Stroke; Insight into Disease or Low Vision; Eye to Vision; Research Methods (option for Postgraduate Diploma); Dissertation (Postgraduate Diploma only); Research Project (MMedSci only).

Teaching

Teaching is by distance learning, supported 
by four weekend residentials.

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This is a progressive and flexible programme of postgraduate study. There is an overarching theme of advanced practice in healthcare, yet the flexible, modular nature of this award permits healthcare professionals to structure their studies to meet with their own professional needs. Read more
This is a progressive and flexible programme of postgraduate study. There is an overarching theme of advanced practice in healthcare, yet the flexible, modular nature of this award permits healthcare professionals to structure their studies to meet with their own professional needs.

This will provide options for profession specific pathways through the programme if required. These may be clinical, managerial or more generic. Guidance will be provided by the Programme Co-Directors on module choice.‌

Students can register for an award and there are exit points at Postgraduate Certificate (PGC), Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) and Masters Level. The PGC or PGD may be taken as either free standing awards or as an intermediate exit award for any student who has successfully completed the modules required for these awards or who have failed to comply with the criteria which permits access to the next level of study. However, some students may wish to only register for an individual module for the purpose of continuing professional development. This is permissible and such students will not be registered on the programme.

However, students may accrue credit through taking some stand alone modules and then apply for APL transfer of these credits into the programme for a formal award. All students who undertake stand alone modules will be advised of appropriate combinations which can be mapped into the award.

The programme has one starting point per year: semester one (September), and is part-time. It is modular, with some modules being mandatory and others optional to suit the individual student needs. Teaching takes place in both semesters and the scheduling of the teaching will depend upon the modules taken. There are two assessment points per year (January and May), one at the end of each semester.

On this modular programme students can study stand alone credit rated modules (for which Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) points will be awarded).

Or to achieve a:

- PGC a student must successfully complete 60 credits at M level, with not more than 15 credits at level 6 and no dissertation credits;
- PGD a student must successfully complete 120 credits at M level, with not more than 30 credits at level 6 and no dissertation credits;
- Masters degree a student must complete 180 credits at M level, with not more than 30 credits at level 6 and to include a 60 credit dissertation.

As previously stated, the programme is modular and the PGC stage incorporates some compulsory modules and some option modules dependent upon the pathway chosen by the student. The PGD is made up of optional modules although students hoping to progress to the dissertation stage must complete Introduction to Research Methodologies in Health and Social Care (HEAL402) prior to moving to the dissertations stage. The Masters degree is achieved by independent research and the submission of a dissertation.

Why Health Sciences?

Breadth of expertise

The School comprises the Directorates of Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics and Physiotherapy and has a vibrant Postgraduate/CPD unit. The school is committed to delivering quality research to the highest ethical standards in order to improve knowledge and services for the health of the community. Our multi professional cohort of staff has a strong research profile and is committed to developing policy, practice and technology for the improvement of healthcare and service delivery.

Contributing to the advancement of health care practice

We offer taught modular postgraduate programmes, providing extensive opportunity for in-depth study and development of advanced clinical skills in a range of areas and contributing to the advancement of healthcare practice, management and professional education.

Continuing professional development provision

The School also offers a wide range of accredited and non-accredited CPD modules and hosts a vibrant daytime and evening short course programme to maximise opportunity for attendance. The most up-to-date information about these activities is to be found on the School website.

Career prospects

The taught postgraduate programmes provide opportunity for healthcare professionals to develop, specialise and extend the scope of their skills into new areas, to meet the constantly evolving service demands for advanced practitioners. The students who exit our taught postgrdaute programmes usually take up senior clinical/management positions within the NHS. We have students from multi-professional backgrounds as we encourage interprofessional learning and education as appropriate to foster understanding of the roles of colleagues.

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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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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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