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  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    Full-time MSc: up to a maximum of two years. Part-time MSc: up to a maximum of five years. PgDip: two years. PgCert: one year.

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    22 January 2018

Course Content

Course content

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 from 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.


The General Optical Council accredits the following modules: 

  • Principles of Therapeutics
  • Principles of Prescribing (exit for Additional Supply)
  • Independent Prescribing

Students completing the final examination must be qualified for at least two years. Find out more

The College of Optometrists accredits the following modules in providing the Professional Certificate:

  • Glaucoma
  • Low Vision
  • Paediatric Optometry
  • Medical Retina

The Contact Lens Practice module is accredited as the ‘Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lens Practice’. Find out more

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
  • Minilabs
  • 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)

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.

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

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. For further information please click on the CPPD links below each module.

  • Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (15 credits)
  • Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lenses (30 credits)
  • Contact Lenses (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
  • Critical Thinking for Ophthalmic Practice (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care (15 credits)
  • Professional Certificate in Low Vision (15 credits)
  • Principles of therapeutics (15 credits)
  • Principles of prescribing (15 credits)
  • Independent prescribing (15 credits)

If completing the MSc you are required to complete the School of Health Sciences Research and Data analysis module which is worth 30 Postgraduate credits. You are also required to complete a 60 credit dissertation module.

Career prospects

Optometrists are equipped to provide enhanced clinical care to patients, particularly in the field of ocular therapeutics.

You can also choose the following options, all of which enhance career opportunities whether within the HES or in practice:

  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Glaucoma.
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Low Vision
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Paediatric Optometry
  • College of Optometrists’ Higher Professional Certificate in Contact Lenses.

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





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