UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Advanced Clinical Optometry and Ophthalmology MSc | PG Dip | PG Cert

If you have previously completed a module or qualification in the same subject area at UCL or another institution, you may be able to translate this prior learning up to 60 credits toward the MSc pathway.

This programme provides ophthalmic non-medical professionals with the opportunity to undertake advanced clinical training through flexible study, to develop clinical practice and to contribute to the advancement of eye care delivery in primary, secondary or tertiary care settings. The programme provides credentialling for UK optometrists (College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications and Advanced Clinical Practice) 

The structure of this programme is designed to suit busy professionals through blended* learning. The programme can be studied full-time (1 year), part-time (2 years) or flexibly up to 5 years. All modules will be carried out online and will be supplemented by face-to-face days in London. The face-to-face days involve workshops, case discussions, patient assessments and discussion of clinical "pearls" from experienced practitioners.

*blended learning is a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. It enables you to fit your study around your professional life if undertaking the programme part time. Modules on this programme are typically 85% online and 15% face-to-face.

Programme pathways

Postgraduate certificate

Postgraduate certificate

Students must complete 60 credits for the PGCert award (1 year part-time). This pathway will suit those who want further education on a specific topic to refresh their skills or learn something new.

Postgraduate diploma

Postgraduate diploma

Students must complete 120 credits for the PGDip award (1 year full-time, 2 years part-time). You may be eligible for a Health Education England bursary.

MSc optometry

Master's programme

Students must complete 180 credits for the MSc award. This pathway will suit those who want an advanced clinical qualification or those who wish to pursue further research. If you already have a PGCert, you can apply for RPL to continue your studies and gain an MSc.



Compulsory modules (MSc pathway only)
  • Clinical Leadership Level 1 - 15 credits
  • Research and Statistics - 15 credits
  • Dissertation - 60 credits
Optional modules (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)
  • Glaucoma Level 1 - 15 credits
  • Glaucoma Level 2 - 15 credits
  • Glaucoma Level 3 - 30 credits
  • Medical Retina Level 1 - 15 credits
  • Medical Retina Level 2 - 15 credits
  • Cataract - 15 credits
  • Medical Contact Lenses Level 1 - 30 credits
  • Medical Contact Lenses Level 2 - 30 credits


Some modules can be taken as College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications. These can only be obtained by UK-based GOC registered optometrists. A clinical placement may be required for some levels, which you will need to arrange independently. The clinical placement for some modules can be arranged with Moorfields Eye Hospital

Modules can also be carried out as standalone modules which can be RPL'd onto an MSc programme only within 2 years of undertaking the module. Note, a maximum of 60 credits can be RPL'd across.

Programme benefits

  • Understand the disease process underlying common ophthalmic conditions (e.g. glaucoma and medical retina)
  • Learn how to use diagnostic criteria to formulate patient management plans
  • Develop decision-making skills underpinned by academic and clinical knowledge
  • Provides credentialling for GOC registered optometrists
  • Career options after completing the programme include; extended roles or advanced clinical practice in optometry and ophthalmology.

Tuition fees

For key information about this programme, including fees and entry requirements, please see the UCL Graduate Prospectus:

UCL Graduate Prospectus 2020-21 

Overseas Students

The online component of this programme can be carried out remotely but attendance for face to face days and assessments will be required in London from March to May. Students can get a Studebt Visitor Visa for up to 6 months and have the option of attending the compulsory period from March - May or optionally extending this until September to complete their dissertation. 

Apply now 

Further information

You should complete level 1 before commencing level 2 and must complete this before embarking on level 3 etc. However, you may choose to mix subjects to make up your MSc. For a full-time MSc, 120 credits and the dissertation should be completed in one academic year. 60 module credits should be completed per academic year and in addition, the dissertation should be completed in year 2. For a 5-year flexible MSc, a minimum of 30 module credits should be completed per academic year in years 1-4 and a dissertation in the final year.

Note that face-to-face components of the programme will take place in March every year, and assessments will take place in May. We advise overseas students to aim to spend the months from March to May inclusive in London.

Get in touch with us

Ms Jay Varia, Programme Director

Admissions (MSc, PGDip, PGCert)

Mr Azhar Aziz, Administrator (single credit-bearing modules)