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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 with direct exposure to clinical practice in the ophthalmology clinics at the world-leading Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Degree information

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 10–12,000 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.

Careers

This Master’s degree will equip students with the practical skills required to begin an ophthalmic career and forms part of a clinical specialty training programme leading to a specialist qualification. The unique exposure to high-level clinicians and instructors is likely to lead to further clinical advancement.

Employability
The degree programme aims to provide students with clinical and academic skills which will help them become clinical leaders in any future post. Students' direct contact with leading clinicians and instructors will provide them with the basic knowledge to later become independent clinicians, able to lead others into modern opthalmic medicine.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital are recognised worldwide and have an outstanding track record in biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in innovative therapies.

Students will have the unique opportunity to observe the implementation of clinical knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of ocular diseases by experienced clinicians and researchers, in clinics in the second year.

The programme will teach students how to assess scientific literature, to evaluate the efficacy of novel treatment strategies, and consier how they fit into existing treatment algorithms.

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

Degree information

Students on this programme will observe the diagnosis and management of a wide range of ocular diseases. Delivered 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 are critical evaluation of scientific literature, research skills and the exposure to novel treatment strategies.

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.
-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 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.

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 high-level clinicians and instructors from both Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL, who will help them acquire the basis for further clinical advancement. Students will obtain practical skills to assist them at the start of an ophthalmic career, as part of a clinical specialty training programme leading to a specialist qualification.

Employability
This Clinical Ophthalmology MSc aims to provide students with clinical and academic abilities which will help them become clinical leaders in any future post. Students’ direct contact with leading clinicians and instructors will provide them with the basic knowledge to later become independent clinicians, able to lead others into modern ophthalmic medicine.

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, much of which has been translated into important advances in novel innovative therapies.

Students will benefit from advanced facilities and high-level ophthalmic practice.

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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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 MSc Advanced Clinical Practice is a multi-disciplinary qualification for Allied Health Professionals. Read more
The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice is a multi-disciplinary qualification for Allied Health Professionals. The programme provides existing practitioners with the skills and knowledge to become more autonomous in their roles and have the ability to improve and evaluate services for patients – to become an Advanced Practitioner.

We offer specialist streams in Optometry, Audiology and Pharmacy for candidates who have already completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education in Advanced Health Assessment elsewhere or for students just embarking on their MSc study. Our programme therefore allows you to “top up” your existing PGCert qualification to either a postgraduate diploma or an MSc. Optometrists and Pharmacists study to become an independent prescriber as part of the qualification. Audiologists can choose from a range of modules to enhance their clinical practice. Many of the modules are available by distance or blended learning, allowing you flexibility in the way that you study.

Pharmacists

PG Certificate
-Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (60 Credits)
PG Diploma
-Pharmacist independent prescribing (60 credits)
MSc
-Research methods module (x2)
-Research project

Optometrists

PG Certificate
-Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (60 Credits)
PG Diploma
-Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (20 credits).
-Prescribing for disorders of the eye (20 credits)
And
-Retinal and macular disorders (20 credits)
Or
-Glaucoma (20 credits)
Or
Refractive surgery(20 credits)
Or
Nutrition and the eye (20 credits)
MSc
-Research methods module (x2)
-Research project

Audiologists

PG Certificate
-Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (60 Credits)
PG Diploma
-Specialist audiological assessment and management (30 credits)
-Evidence Based Practice (10 credits)
And:
-Adult rehabilitation (20 credits)
Or
-Tinnitus management (20 credits)
MSc
-Research methods module (x2)
-Research project

Learning, Teaching & Assesment

You will be taught through a variety of methods including lectures, workshops and practical classes. Assessment will be via coursework and examinations including oral presentations and key skills portfolio.

Career Opportunities

This programme is designed to equip you for an Advanced Practice role in your area of expertise.

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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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The programme is based in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, which has continued to pioneer high-quality new developments in optometric education, and it is recognised both nationally and internationally for the excellence of its courses, graduates and research. Read more
The programme is based in the School of Optometry and Vision Science, which has continued to pioneer high-quality new developments in optometric education, and it is recognised both nationally and internationally for the excellence of its courses, graduates and research.

Professional Accreditation

This module carries 20 credits at level 7, and is accredited for the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma for the College of Optometrists.

Modules

Distance learning lectures:
-Classification, terminology and clinical features
-Epidemiology and risk factors
-Examination of the anterior segment
-Pachymetry
-Tonometry
-Visual fields
-Examination of the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fibre layer
-Differential diagnosis
-Detecting changes in clinical status
-Patient information and support
-Guidelines and landmark studies
-Clinical governance

Practical workshops:
-Binocular indirect biomicroscopy and optic nerve head assessment
-Contact tonometry
-Pachymetry
-Van Herick and introduction to gonioscopy

Learning activities and assessment

The course is delivered by distance learning lectures, and a practical workshop at the university. Assessment is via written examination and a practical station-type examination.

Career support and prospects

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

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