UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Contact Lenses Level 1 (Higher Certificate)

This qualification builds on the baseline knowledge and skills of contact lens practice of qualified optometrists. It covers a range of topics including an ability to detect, assess and manage the impact of contact lens complications on the anterior eye, RGP fitting, orthokeratology, myopia control, early keratoconus, presbyopia, toric lens fitting etc.

It is designed to suit busy professionals through virtual face to face learning that is self paced. 


  • 12th October 2020

Entry requirements

  • Possess a minumum of a BSc(Hons) in Optometry or equivalent
  • Have a minimum 2 years of clinical experience

This course is equivalent to 30 credits





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Moorfields-UCL Advanced Clinical Ophthalmic Care -  Contact Lens

This programme prepares students in the development of a detailed knowledge of contact lens design, fitting of RGPs, fitting patients with regular and irregular astigmatism and dealing with presbyopia. The programme further develops skills in detecting change in clinical status and decision-making in patients wishing to wear or wearing contact lenses.


The curriculum for the qualifications will be based on the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications.

Following completion of the programme, students should have the skills and knowledge to have:

  • a detailed knowledge of lens design and manufacture for RGP and hydrogel contact lenses, including verification
  • an ability to fit and assess a range of RGP lens designs
  • an ability to fit a range contact lenses to correct regular and irregular astigmatism, such as early keratoconus
  • an ability to fit a range of contact lenses to correct presbyopia
  • an understanding of myopia control and orthokeratology
  • an ability to provide ongoing management and advice for maintaining healthy contact lens wear
  • an ability to detect, assess and manage the impact of contact lens complications on the anterior eye
  • an ability to manage the dry eye in contact lens practice
  • a detailed knowledge of currently available contact lens care products and ocular lubricants
  • an ability to produce a comprehensive contact lens record
  • an ability to communicate effectively with contact lens patients, fellow a detailed knowledge of current legislation and guidelines in contact lens practice.
Who is this course for?

Any suitable eyecare professional interested in specialist contact lens experience including ophthalmologists, optometrists and contact lens opticians.

What routes can I take?

The courses have been designed so that students will have the option of tailoring the education to their needs.

Two routes will therefore be offered:


College of Optometrists Higher Qualification


Includes the course and assessments, students will gain:

  • The College of Optometrists Higher Qualification and affix
  • CET points


Professional Development Course (suitable for appropriate eye care professionals)


Includes course attendance (online and face to face component) but no assessments.

UK Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians will gain CET points only.


Entry requirements

Optometrists working at this level should:

  • possess a minimum of a BSc(Hons) in Optometry or equivalent
  • be a GOC registered Optometrist
  • have a minimum of 2 years’ clinical experience

Eye care professionals should either:

  • Possess the CLO qualification from ABDO with a minimum of 2 years clinical experience
  • Be GOC registered Optometrist or Dispensing Optician
  • Have a minimum of 2 years clinical experience as an overseas equivalent professional – subject to a full CV including details of qualification with their country’s professional requirements.


Who will teach the programme


This programme will be taught by Moorfields optometrists who are specialist contact lens practitioners.

What is involved?
  Route 1Route 2

The course will be delivered via blended learning; there will be an online and a face to face component.

  • The online components will be made available to students on the launch date. Therefore, it is expected that students will have a thorough knowledge of the material through self- study before attending the face to face days. Students will be expected to input 8 hours a week on average for study of the online component. There will be assignments and activities that will need to be completed as part of study. There will be online Forums so that students can discuss aspects of the course with each other.
  • Students will then attend a one-day face to face component which will consist of workshops and case discussions.


Clinical Placement
  • Students will need to see 50 patient episodes in their place of work.
  • It is anticipated that this will take at least six months to complete. Note: experienced practitioners can APL part of this aspect of the course.
  • Once this has been done, students will need to submit a portfolio of the case records.
  • There will then be an assessment a few weeks after the face to face component and another one approximately six weeks after the initial presentation of the portfolio.

It is anticipated that it will take approximately 9-12 months to complete this qualification (including the work based portfolio).




What next?

This qualification is the first part of a suite of two contact lens qualifications. We plan to launch Level 2 (Diploma in Contact Lenses) in the near future.

Induction day

There will be an induction day in the week of the launch. Students greatly value meeting each other during face to face days and before the course starts. We will host a short day so that you can meet, get to know each other and find out details of the course structure and content. This day is mandatory for those who have opted for route 1 and optional for those who have opted for route 2.

          Course content

          This programme will be taught by Moorfields Specialist Optometrists in this field. Subjects covered will include:

          • Chapter 1 – Topography
          • Chapter 2 – Lens Materials
          • Chapter 3 – Contact Lens care products
          • Chapter 4 – Initial considerations
          • Chapter 5 – RGP lens design, manufacture, verification
          • Chapter 6 – Astigmatism, regular and irregular
          • Chapter 7 – Presbyopia
          • Chapter 8 – Ortho-K
          • Chapter 9 – Myopia control
          • Chapter 10 – Dry eye
          • Chapter 11 – Contact lens complications
          • Chapter 12 – Legislation, record keeping and communication