UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Advanced Practice in Ophthalmology MSc Degree Apprenticeship

Developed by UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital, this programme aims to meet the growing demand for ophthalmic care and is delivered in conjunction with eligible UK employers.

student carrying out eye test on patient


UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital have developed this new programme to meet the growing demand for ophthalmic care. This exciting master's degree apprenticeship has been developed by practising clinicians and will allow you to develop an understanding of clinical care in the context of the latest ophthalmic research and treatments in glaucoma, medical retina, ocular emergencies, and cataract.

The teaching faculty will include a dynamic group of clinical experts and world-renowned researchers in the field. The programme is aimed primarily at non-medical registered ophthalmic professionals such as optometrists, orthoptists and ophthalmic nurses who work in the UK, seeking formal postgraduate training in advanced clinical practice in ophthalmology.

Programme structure

This Masters Programme is a three-year-part-time degree and is expected to be carried out in full. There are no interim exit awards.
(Nb: A Masters programme consists of 180 credits and 60 credits are expected to be completed per annum following a prescribed module diet).

Compulsory modules:
1. Principles of Advanced Practice (15 credits)
2. Fundamental Glaucoma (15 credits)
3. Fundamental Medical Retina (15 credits)
4. Fundamental Ocular Emergencies (15 credits)
5. Principles of Cataract (15 credits)
6. Clinical Leadership (15 credits)
7. Research Methods and Statistics (15 credits)
8. Research Report (30 credits)
9. End Point Assessment and Journal Article (30 credits)

ONE optional module from a chosen specialist clinical area: 
10. Specialist Glaucoma (15 credits)
11. Specialist Medical Retina 1 (15 credits)
12. Specialist Ocular Emergencies (15 credits) 

The glaucoma and medical retina modules are also accredited for the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications. Work based learning and assessments will give students the Ocular Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF) level 3 competency sign offs. Delivery of teaching is done entirely online, this model lends itself well to working professionals where study can be done at your own pace and your time.

An optional practical skills day will be held at the end of the first year in London. A virtual three day student induction programme is held at the start of term. There will be assessments in December and April/May of each academic year. Work-based learning is expected to be carried out alongside this degree throughout the academic year or in blocks. More information can be found in the information leaflet on this page.

Entry requirements

Optometrists, orthoptists and nurses with an ophthalmic specialty. Applicants would require a an upper second-class BSc (Hons.) UK degree. Ophthalmic nurses who already have OCCCF levels 1 and 2 competencies is desirable. Knowledge of how to use a slit lamp is desirable. The Institute for Apprenticeships also require evidence of level 2 Maths and English at GCSE grade C or above and is part of our standard entry requirements.