Clinical Ophthalmology MSc

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

This MSc offers the highest-quality clinical ophthalmic teaching to compliment ST1/ST2 training. The programme provides targeted teaching to meet the requirements of the Royal College's FRCOphth Part 1 and Refraction Certificate, and accommodates the demanding clinical timetables of ophthalmic professionals through a flexible programme of study.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years
  • Flexible 2-5 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £11,600
  • Overseas Full-time: £23,000

Application date

  • All applicants: 7 July 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme enhances knowledge of common ocular diseases, ophthalmic surgical and laser procedures, clinical anatomy and ocular therapeutics. Students develop analytical skills for solving clinical case problems and the critical evaluation of published research, and gain valuable research experience through the opportunity to undertake a clinical library-based dissertation.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of the premier centres in the world for the study of vision and the mechanisms, diagnosis and therapy of eye disease. We embrace fundamental research, through the entire spectrum of translational medicine to clinical trials.

This MSc programme draws upon the extensive basic and clinical research experience available at the Institute and at Moorfield's Eye Hospital. Students gain expertise in clinical ophthalmic procedures, develop key analytical skills and conduct an extensive research project within a world-class research environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, flexible three years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, flexible two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Basic Understanding of the Eye
  • Common Ocular Diseases and Treatment
  • Systemic Disease Causing Ocular Disease
  • Surgery and the Eye
  • Ocular Therapeutics I
  • Ocular Therapeutics II


  • Basic Science and Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Visual Sciences
  • Disorders Affecting Retinal Function
  • Retinal Imaging
  • Or any other suitable optional UCL modules, subject to the approval of the
  • Course Organiser


All MSc students undertake an independent library-based research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, problem classes, journal clubs, self-directed studies and practical courses. Assessment is through MCQ examination, coursework, completion of clinical skills and competencies, and the research dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in optometry, orthoptics or a medical discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 7 July 2014.

Who can apply?

Speciality ophthalmic trainees in their first and second years of training will find the programme particularly suitable, but it will also appeal to ophthalmologists in trust grade positions, qualified and experienced optometrists, and orthoptists. The taught programme is designed to ensure minimal time is spent away from base hospitals.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Clinical Ophthalmology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Clinical Ophthalmology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Graduates are well placed to pursue further academic study. Previous students have embarked on an MD(Res) or PhD. Others have continued with clinical or medical careers.


The programme provides useful preparation for the Part One FRCOphth and Refraction Examination Certificate, and covers practical skills relevant to achieving the ST1/ST2 competencies required by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. It imparts added value to uncoupled trainees in the competitive selection process to secure run-through training.

Next steps


Mrs Anne Snowling

T: +44 (0)20 7608 6878


Institute of Ophthalmology

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Student View

"Participating in some observership clinics with my supervisor was extremely helpful for me, and writing the dissertation with all the new things I learned from this experience. Ophthalmology is one of the fastest evolving medical specialties, and dealing with vision was always my dream."

Abbas Fahem

Degree: Clinical Ophthalmology MSc

Student View

"A particularly valuable aspect of my degree is that I am part of UCL’s vast neuroscience community. This provides great networking opportunities and gives me the chance to learn from world-leading academics and experts in my field."

Seetal Chavda

Degree: Visual Neuroscience PhD