Masters degrees in Optometry teach postgraduates the skills to test and correct eyesight, and to diagnose visual disruptions. They also include training in the treatment and management of vision changes.
Related subjects include Clinical Optometry and Vision Sciences. Entry requirements typically include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Medicine or Biology.
Optometrists are responsible for a range of practices for correcting and managing eyesight. These include performing eye exams and vision tests to detect certain eye abnormalities such as astigmatism, and prescribing and dispensing visual aids like glasses and contact lenses.
Courses in this field will build your understanding of the causes for eye abnormalities and vision disruption, with some programmes including an investigation of the anatomy of the eye. Practical training may also be given in the vision testing process, where you could work with patients directly to increase your professional experience.
Upon graduation, you could work in either the public or private sector. For example, you might offer eye testing and correcting services within a business, a healthcare centre or on behalf of a charity working in community centres and prisons.
The aim of this programme is to provide optometrists with the opportunity to undertake a challenging and rewarding Masters in Clinical Optometry that focuses on their personal development as professionals leading, managing and developing ophthalmic practice roles and models of care delivery.
The MSc Clinical Optometry is designed for optometrists in primary, secondary and tertiary settings who wish to advance their knowledge base, and specialist clinical and leadership skills. You will become actively involved in the advancement of optometry.
The MSc is a 180 credit Level 7 qualification. It has been designed to meet the continuing education and training needs of the modern eye care professional providing advanced knowledge and facilitating understanding in this rapidly expanding field of healthcare, whilst at the same time achieving a higher degree.
A deliberately wide portfolio of modules is offered in order to recognise the increasing desire for specialist training within optometry, including glaucoma, acute eye care, paediatrics, dry eye, medical retina, clinical teaching and leadership, amongst others. Specific programme pathways are suggested for those wishing to focus on certain areas of practice.
Successful students on this programme will have an advanced standing both clinically and academically, taking them to the forefront of the profession, and enhancing their personal and professional development.
Knowledge: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:
Skills: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will have:
Application of knowledge and skills: Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry course will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills:
Specific graduate attributes have been carefully defined, developed and mapped to every component of the course.
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:
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:
The Contact Lens Practice module is accredited as the ‘Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lens Practice’. Find out more
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Our MSc/MRes Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences course brings together the research expertise in vision from The University of Manchester and the clinical expertise of Manchester Royal Eye Hospital .
The course is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and nurses from the UK and overseas. It is suitable for:
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.
This course aims to provide those working within the ophthalmic professions (ophthalmologists, optometrists, vision scientists, orthoptists and ophthalmic nurses) with an opportunity for professional development.
It will give you a firm grounding in the knowledge, understanding and skills you will need to pursue a higher research degree or to participate in research programmes and meet a need for researchers who can form a bridge between basic research and applied clinical research.
Through the literature review and dissertation, you will develop skills of systematically analysing and interpreting a body of literature, designing and conducting a research project, and analysing and presenting research findings within a written dissertation.
In each unit, 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 dissertation projects have led to peer-reviewed publications in ophthalmic literature. Recent titles include the following.
Assessment is via:
The course has two different pathways:
The six units are Macular Degeneration, Paediatric Ophthalmology, Cornea, Contact Lens, Vascular Disease and Glaucoma.
IOVS is a great course overall; excellent content and very enjoyable. (Abid Ali, ophthalmology trainee [UK])
I've enjoyed the insight into new and modern treatments and diagnostic techniques. (Isaac Nunoo, optometrist [Ghana])
I love the way the lecturers teach and explain, and the ease with which you can access information.(Chimdi Emma-Duru, optometrist and PhD student [Nigeria])
Ophthalmology is housed within the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, which is located on the CMFT site at the southern end of the University campus. Optometry is housed within the Carys Bannister Building. The two sites are few hundred yards apart.
Most dissertations are conducted within the confines of the University and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Students may, however, embark on work outside these confines (eg an optometric practice or other hospital). This is contingent on the acceptance of the research proposal and the approval of suitable external and internal supervisors by the course director.
You will also have access to a range of library and IT facilities across the University.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability and Advisory Support Service .
We offer a number of CPD courses in ophthalmology and optometry .
This MSc is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, biological scientists, nurses and those from related backgrounds, and can open up a number of career opportunities.
The course is suitable if you want to further your knowledge of the vision sciences or if you are an optometrist considering professional development or a career in the hospital eye service.
It is also ideal if you want to conduct research as part of your clinical training or pursue an academic career in ophthalmology, optometry and the vision sciences.
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.
Part time distance learning
Lead academic 2018: Dr Charlotte Codina
This is a part-time distance learning course for practising orthoptists and other eye care professionals.
It's taught online (supported by two residential weekends, an introductory day for Low Vision and virtual tutorials), so you can study for a higher degree without having to leave your current post.
As this is a distance learning programme, attendance in Sheffield is only required for two residential weekends (Year 1 and Year 2), and for the Low Vision module option only, for an Introductory Day and clinical examination. Modules with no residential weekend or introductory day are supported by virtual tutorials. Modules are accessed online, therefore broadband internet access is required.
Please visit our webpages for further information.
Teaching is by distance learning, supported by two weekend residentials that take place in Sheffield and virtual tutorials using e-technology.
This programme is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, which is world renowned for the translation of biomedical research into new therapeutic advances in eye disease. Students will be embedded in the research environment, have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, and to work alongside world-leading experts.
Students will develop key transferable personal and professional skills to independently conduct an extended empirical research project supervised by world-leading experts in the field of vision research. Students will also learn about the fundamental biology of the eye in health and disease, providing key knowledge to support their research project.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (105 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs and workshops. Assessment is through essays, oral presentations, problem-based tasks and a research dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Vision Research MRes
The Institute of Ophthalmology currently offers the following bursaries for successful applicants on our postgraduate taught master’s degrees: One £5,000 Duke Elder bursary for non-clinical courses (available for successful applicants on the Biology of Vision, Applied Immunobiology, Applied and Regenerative Neuroscience, and Vision Research degrees). Duke Elder bursaries are open to home and overseas students and will be received in the form of a fee reduction only.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The Vision Research MRes will develop the necessary competitive skills to pursue a research degree at PhD level in the field of biomedical sciences. Graduates will offer prospective employers skills in research development and practice, suitable for further research careers in academia, industry or business.
A unique feature of the Vision Research MRes is the delivery of key elements that are essential for the development of an internationally competitive career in biomedical research. The research expertise at the institute will be fully harnessed to prepare students for a new era in research in the global employment market. Students will develop critical understanding of a range of research-related knowledge and skills, including quantitative and qualitative tools for the implementation, management and dissemination of research. The programme will give students both the fundamental knowledge and skills base to address complex issues of global significance in health and wellbeing.
The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is recognised globally for its outstanding record in basic biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in novel and innovative therapies.
The Vision Research MRes is a unique programme that will combine existing high-quality research-informed teaching at the institute with a substantial empirical research project.
The opportunity to participate fully in academic life as part of a research team will provide networking opportunities across the spectrum of biomedical research taking place at the institute, UCL and elsewhere, thereby increasing exposure to further opportunities in research.