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Course content

The MSc in Clinical Optometry is designed to satisfy the rapidly changing academic, clinical and professional development needs of optometrists working in practice.

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 form 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).


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.

Academic facilities

The Division of Optometry opened a brand-new, purpose-built ophthalmic 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

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
-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.


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)
-Dissertation (60 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.

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.
-Binocular Vision (15 credits)
-Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (15 credits)
-Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lenses (30 credits)
-Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
-Critical Thinking in Ophthalmic Practice (15 credits)
-Paediatric Optometry (15 credits)
-Professional Certificate in Low Vision (15 credits)
-Principles of therapeutics (15 credits)
-Principles of prescribing (15 credits)
-Independent prescribing (15 credits)
-Refractive Surgery (15 credits)

Career prospects

Optometrists are equipped to provide enhanced clinical care to patients, particularly in the field of ocular therapeutics – they can choose to become an additional supply optometrist or an independent prescribing as part of your MSc training. Students opt to complete the College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Glaucoma, Medical Retina and Low Vision or the College of Optometrists’ Higher Professional Certificate in Contact Lenses all of which enhance career opportunities whether within the HES or in practice.

Visit the Clinical Optometry - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the City, University of London website for more details!






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