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Theory of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists PGCert

Course Description

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.

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/201617/theory-of-independent-prescribing-for-optometrists-12763

Course detail

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.

- Purpose -

This online course will allow registered Optometrists to increase their knowledge and skills in the area of Ocular Prescribing and Therapeutics.

- Teaching and learning assessment -

The programme will comprise a variety of teaching and learning methods. Primarily delivered on-line with regular interactive discussion boards and one optional face-to-face session in the second module. Each module will comprise 12 fully online lectures supplemented with additional reading, structured discussion boards and assessment, appropriately directed to meet each learning outcome.

Assessment will comprise a variety of methods including examination of knowledge, skills and reflection on the material using written assignments, multiple choice questions (MCQS), Visual Identification and Management of Ophthalmic Conditions (VIMOCs), contribution to structured discussion boards and case studies with reflection on practice.

Work placement / study abroad

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.

Career options

This qualification will allow the Optometrist to increase their scope of practice and manage and treat a wider range of ocular conditions.

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why study at Ulster?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We are an international university with more than 2,000 international students from over 80 countries and Alumni from 121 countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five or ten equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting http://www.ulster.ac.uk/learnyourway


A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

Visit the Theory of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists PGCert page on the Ulster University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Two years experience in clinical practice will be required before starting the clinical placement element of the therapeutic programme. Applicants (irrespective of any therapeutic prescribing qualification they may hold) must supply evidence of their prior experience in the diagnosis and management of the eye conditions for which they will be trained to prescribe. Evidence may be in the form of a letter from an employer or ophthalmologist. It is expected that practitioners will work in fields such as primary eye care and/or the hospital eye service, particularly in glaucoma clinics. English language entry requirements: View Website

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