UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Study Ophthalmology MSc at UCL

The flagship Ophthalmology MSc from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital is ideal for intercalating MBBS students, junior doctors, medics, GPs and optometrists, and connects them to the most current clinical and research expertise.

Why study the Ophthalmology MSc?

The Ophthalmology MSc provides an in-depth engagement with the study of Ophthalmology in a contemporary clinical and research focused context. It is intended to provide a comprehensive grounding in the principles, approaches and methodologies that inform current practice in the specific clinical subspecialties in this rapidly advancing area.

It is intended to provide you with a deeper theoretical and contextual knowledge to allow you to develop your clinical decision-making skills in subspecialty areas and plan coherent next steps and further specialist study, research and training in readiness for patient-facing clinical practice and research.

The relationship between the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the world-leading Moorfields Eye Hospital as partners in delivering the programme, allows you to develop your understanding in the context of the most current research, diagnostic and treatment advancements in the ophthalmic field.

Ophthalmology education training

Register your interest to study at UCL

Interested in studying the Ophthalmology MSc at UCL? Complete this form to hear about our future information events and news about the programme including when applications open.

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Why study at UCL?

  • You will be taught by Consultant Ophthalmologists based at Moorfields Eye Hospital, ranked as the world's best eye hospital (SCImago Institutions Rankings 2023).
  • Our longstanding partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital represents the largest co-located site for eye research, education and care in the world.
  • The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is ranked the best place in the world to study ophthalmology (CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • UCL is ranked 8th in the world (QS 2022).
  • In biomedical and health sciences, UCL is 1st in Europe for papers in the top 5% of their field by citation rate (2015-2018, CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020).
  • UCL hosts more UKRI Future Leader Fellowships than any other UK university, with three academics at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology receiving the prestigious fellowships over the last three years.
  • As a student you will have access to innovative facilities, connection to a growing network of peers, and support from highly experienced and professional tutors.

Programme overview

The Ophthalmology MSc is delivered through a modular structure, in intensive learning blocks that are focused on the core ophthalmic sub-specialties in respect of content and topics (such as Glaucoma, Cornea and external disease, Neurophthamlology, Retinal conditions etc). This allows for a connected synthesis of understanding to be developed across the programme, while ensuring that in-depth knowledge of particular aetiologies, pathologies, management and treatment of conditions in specific areas can be acquired.

Learn more about this programme below.


If you are studying via distance learning, your teaching will take place online throughout the year. To complement your studies, a two-week, in-person Enhancement Activities course is available for enrolled students for free at the end of your programme (in the summer). The Enhancement Activities will take place across Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology with opportunities for observerships, practical clinical skills workshops, and networking events. Attendance to the Enhancement Activities is not compulsory and there may be additional costs such as visas, travel and accommodation expenditure.

If you are studying in-person, your teaching will take place in the dedicated Clinical Education Suite (CES) at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology which has its own lecture theatres and classrooms. The two buildings are located next to each other and you can walk between them quickly. You will be able to access the Joint Library of Ophthalmology and the student common room - both located in the Institute of Ophthalmology building. Please note, the programme will still include self-study time even if you are studying in-person. Students on this programme can also access the main UCL Bloomsbury Campus, including the Student Centre and libraries.

Students studying via distance learning are welcome to participate or attend in-person teaching dependent on their visas.

Application information

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Ophthalmology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Ophthalmology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging 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.

Apply online here

UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital teaching staff

All module leads are Honorary lecturers at UCL and Consultant Staff at Moorfields Eye Hospital (or Consultants at other London-based Hospital Trusts).

By studying the Ophthalmology MSc programme, you will gain unprecedented access and networking opportunities with consultant ophthalmologists at one of the world's best eye hospitals.

Your global community

When you complete your programme at UCL, you will join a global alumni community of more than 350,000 former students. Your relationship with UCL continues long after your graduation with opportunities to attend events and and access academic e-journals to support your research interests.

Our research expertise

Hear from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Director, Professor Andrew Dick and Deputy Institute Director/Deputy Director for Research Professor Alison Hardcastle on the ideas behind the research themes at the Institute.

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Learn more about the Institute's research themes and community here.

What our students say

Elsa Lee
"The Institute has been driving the change in redefining the post-pandemic landscape of eye care. To learn at the centre of Institute’s research engine and the largest eye hospital in Europe was an opportunity unparalleled in the world."

- Elsa Lee, Ophthalmology MSc.

Read Elsa's and other students' testimonials here


Taster lecture videos

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Find out more about the Institute Ophthalmology and a taster lecture from the Ophthalmology MSc's education team. 

More information for students

UCL Campus

Your life in London

When you study at UCL, you will join a community with students from more than 150 countries studying in the heart of London, with some of the capital's best attractions within walking distance of the campus. London was voted the world's best student city in 2023 by QS Best Student City Rankings.

You'll find a host of cutting-edge facilities, libraries, and the Student Centre - an dynamic space to study or meet friends. You will also find places to eat and a lively social scene with open lectures, events, and many clubs and societies to join.

Ophthalmology education training

Career and employability support

Students who complete this programme will be equipped with the expertise to further their medical careers within the specialism of ophthalmology. You will become part of the wider UCL community and network with Moorfields Eye Hospital staff.

The UCL Careers service is a fantastic place to develop your employability skills, and there are additional initiatives to support students who may interested in developing their own business or venture. You can also engage with the Innovation & Enterprise department, home to the Hatchery incubator hub.