UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


UCL IoO celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with panel discussion and networking event

27 January 2020

On 4 February, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology & Moorfields Education will host a panel discussion and networking event focusing on the challenges and opportunities for apprenticeships in ophthalmic services.

Optometrist's eye chart

Following the launch of our Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology MSc Degree Apprenticeship in September 2019, we're hosting a special event to initiate debate around apprenticeships in ophthalmology. Timing it to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 February), we'll be bringing together interested parties to discuss what we've learned so far and what lies ahead for apprenticeships, as well as providing an opportunity for networking.

Pioneering apprenticeships at the IoO

In September 2019, UCL IoO and Moorfields launched a new Master’s-level Degree Apprenticeship: Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology. This MSc is one of only two such Degree Apprenticeships at UCL (the other is at the Department of Space & Climate Physics) and is aimed primarily at non-medical professionals seeking formal postgraduate training in advanced clinical ophthalmic practice.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, and celebrate the first year of our new appreticeship programme, we've convened an expert panel to discuss the challenges and opportunities for apprenticeships in ophthalmic services. Speakers include Jay Varia, our Apprenticeship Programme Lead, and Robert Brooks, Apprenticeships Manager at Moorfields. This free event will take place at UCL IoO, near Old Street, on Tuesday 4 February, 5.30-7pm. 

Following the discussion, there will be an opportunity for networking with drinks/refreshments. The event is open to anyone with an interest in apprenticeships in ophthalmic services, including employers and those considering taking an apprenticeship.

Register for the event

About degree apprenticeships

Introduced nationally in 2015, degree apprenticeships combine work with part-time university study, with apprentices employed throughout the programme. As well as providing opportunities for apprentices, they allow employers to help their current and future workforce develop significant new skills, and are aimed at reducing the UK skills deficit.

About our apprenticeship

The Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology Degree Apprenticeship is a Level-7 programme run in partnership with Moorfields Education (part of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust). It allows employers to train new and existing staff in advanced clinical practice and lasts three years part-time. The MSc offers a mixed-module, flexible approach, allowing practitioners to choose modules in different subject areas tailored to their clinical practice. The pilot programme began in 2019, with 10 apprentices, but the aimt is to increase the numbers in future years.

I’m pleased that this progressive apprenticeship has been launched in partnership with UCL’s Institute of Ophthalmology. As the largest provider of NHS-funded ophthalmology education and training, we are fully committed to ensuring that our staff have the opportunity to advance their clinical roles and are equipped to deliver the best possible care for our patients whilst meeting the demands that modern ophthalmic healthcare needs.

David Probert, Chief Executive of Moorfields Eye Hospital

About National Apprenticeship Week

The 13th annual National Apprenticeship Week, which will take place from 3 to 7 February 2020, is an annual, week-long celebration of apprenticeships across England. It's a time to recognise and applaud apprenticeship success stories across the country.

More information