Masters degrees in Orthoptics equip postgraduates with the skills to detect and correct vision defects and problems with eye movement. This often involves the use of therapeutic exercises to strengthen eye muscles and improve vision, as well as glasses and eye patches.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Ophthalmics and Public Health. Entry requirements typically include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Medicine or Biology.
Orthoptists are mostly responsible for treating strabismus (wandering eye), amblyopia (lazy eye) and eye movement disorders.
Training typically involves studying how to monitor refraction and muscular eye control. This may also include vocational practice in a healthcare setting, screening for and monitoring eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy (damage caused to the back of the eye through diabetes).
Orthoptists find employment in a range of medical and healthcare settings. For example, you may work closely with ophthalmologists to diagnose and treat eye disorders in private and public health centres. You may also branch into public health, advising on changes to policy and regulation regarding eye care.
This course provides ophthalmic professionals with the knowledge and skills required to reduce blindness and visual disability in their populations by developing an evidence-based public health approach for the control and management of blinding eye diseases. It enables students to contribute effectively at a local, national and international level in research, training and service delivery.
The training will enable students to develop a public health oriented approach to eye care services and the control of blindness in keeping with the objectives of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight.
They will acquire and apply skills in epidemiological and operational research, critical analysis of strategies for the control of major blinding eye diseases, in programme planning, management and evaluation; facilitate a personal development, so enabling individuals to contribute more fully to their countries’ and societies’ eye health; engage with local, national and international networks of health professionals and systems, for the prevention of blindness worldwide.
Graduates from this course are expected to and encouraged to enter into careers with ministries of health, universities and NGOs involved in developing health services to prevent blindness and improve vision.
For further information on the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), visit http://www.iceh.org.uk.
- Full programme specification (pdf) (https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/files/phec_progspec.pdf)
Visit the website https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/public-health-eye-care
Additionally for the MSc Public Health for Eye Care, students are expected to be health care professionals involved in eye care, or to have an appropriate technical qualification and work experience.
Any prospective student who does not meet the above minimum entry requirement, but who has relevant professional experience, may still be eligible for admission. Qualifications and experience will be assessed from the application.
At the end of this course students should be able to:
- describe the basic epidemiology of the major blinding eye diseases
- design and interpret studies to assess public health eye care needs using appropriate methods
- critically appraise and select appropriate public health intervention for the major blinding eye diseases
- design a comprehensive eye care programme for appropriate preventive and therapeutic measures for a community
- develop the skills necessary for resource mobilisation, management and evaluation of local comprehensive eye care programmes and integration in health systems
All students take the following compulsory modules:
Basic Statistics for Public Health and Policy
Epidemiology of Blinding Eye Diseases
Introduction to Health Economics
Public Health Programmes in Eye Care
Skills for Field Projects in Eye Care
Recommended optional modules can be taken after consultation with Course Director.
All students take the following compulsory modules:
Childhood Eye Disease and Ocular Infections
Non-Communicable Eye Disease
Implementing Eye Care: Skills and Resources
Global Disability & Health
All students take one optional module:
The choice will depend on the student’s interests in public health and health systems and should be discussed with their supervisor and the Course Director. The module can be selected from:
Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries
Principles and Practice of Public Health
During the summer months (July - August), students complete a research project on an appropriate topic. Students undertaking projects overseas will require additional funding of about £1,500 to cover costs involved.
Find out how to apply here - http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/study/masters/mscphec.html#sixth
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.