Optometry and Ophthalmology (Enhanced Clinical Practice) PG Cert

London, Bloomsbury

The aim of this programme is to develop clinical practice and to contribute to the advancement of eye care delivery in primary, secondary, or tertiary care settings. The Optometry and Ophthalmology Enhanced Clinical Practice PG Cert programme has been developed by practicing clinicians and researchers for multidisciplinary ophthalmic clinicians such as optometrists, orthoptists, and ophthalmic nurses. The structure of the programme is based on the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research that aligns with the written Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) framework in the United Kingdom. You may also be interested in the Optometry and Ophthalmology (Advanced Clinical Practice) MSc.

UK students International students
Study mode
Part-time
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£5,100
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£9,400
Duration
1 academic year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 31 Jul 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) Optometry, Orthoptics, General Nursing (evidence of ophthalmic specialty training is also required for ophthalmic nurses or OPT levels 1 and 2) or an equivalent overseas qualification.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology along with expertise from Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the leading eye hospitals in the world, will provide you with a rewarding PG Cert programme in Optometry and Ophthalmology.

The aim of the programme is to develop clinical practice and to contribute to the advancement of eye care delivery in primary, secondary or tertiary care settings. The programme has been developed by practicing clinicians and researchers for multidisciplinary ophthalmic clinicians such as optometrists, orthoptists, and ophthalmic nurses.

Modules that are offered to you provide training in the four busiest ophthalmic specialties in the UK and worldwide: Glaucoma, Medical Retina, Ophthalmic Emergencies and Cataract.

Ophthalmic professionals are extending their scope of practice to help manage the increasing burden of patient care in these areas.

Links to other professional qualifications

1. College of Optometrists Professional Higher Qualifications

For UK based, GOC registered optometrists and HCPC registered orthoptists only:

This PG Cert programme provides the academic component of the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications in the professional certificate in medical retina, the professional certificate and higher certificate in glaucoma. You will need to undertake further assessments outside the degree and arrange work-based learning and assessments (placements) to complete the qualifications. UCL does not arrange placements on your behalf.

If you choose the Optometry and Ophthalmology (ECP) PG Cert route, your placement can be put towards the Higher Qualifications to achieve these professional qualifications.

For UK-based optometrists, you will at the also be able to get CPD points required to maintain your professional registration on completion of academic modules on the programme.

Glaucoma and medical retina modules on this programme are going through the process of being re-accredited by the College of Optometrists, a quality assurance process that occurs every three years. Currently, these modules are not accredited until the procedure is successfully completed.

2. Ophthalmic Practitioner Training

Work-based learning and assessments undertaken as part of the Optometry and Ophthalmology (ECP) PG Cert can be put towards attaining parts of the OPT qualification with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Students will need to arrange registration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists independently and may need to undertake further assessments.

Access to observerships at Moorfields Eye Hospital

There are a limited number of observerships available at Moorfields Eye Hospital which will incur an extra charge. These are available on a first come, first served basis to students. You should organise this directly with the Moorfields Observership Scheme. Note that observerships cannot substitute placements.

Who this course is for

This programme has been designed to support those working as ophthalmic professionals to develop the skills, knowledge, and expertise to carry out enhanced practice roles in a community or hospital setting. It is ideal for orthoptists, optometrists or experienced ophthalmic nurses working within an ophthalmic setting.

It covers the both the academic and practical/workplace-based components of the Enhanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology training programme.

Please note, you will have to have an agreement with your employer or organisation to support you with your work-based learning and assessments at application to complete this route.

What this course will give you

This degree enables you to expand your scope of practice in ophthalmic care as well as providing you will multiple career options moving forward taking on more specialist work in ophthalmic care.

The foundation of your career

There are no alumni at present as this is a new programme and the first cohort are due to graduate imminently. Alumni are expected to take on roles working autonomously as non-medical practitioners in ophthalmology extended roles, shared care schemes, leading clinical teams, taking on roles in non-medical ophthalmic education and research.

Employability

For those following the PG Cert Optometry and Ophthalmology route, you will attain the theoretical knowledge to enable you to understand advanced practice roles in ophthalmology in a community or hospital setting. For those following Optometry and Ophthalmology (ECP) PG Cert route, you will be able to carry out enhanced practice roles in ophthalmology in a community or hospital setting

Networking

Students will have the opportunity to interact with fellow ophthalmic professional peers as well as qualified Advanced Clinical Practitioners from a range of different professions and workplaces.

Accreditation

For UK-based, GOC registered optometrists and HCPC registered optometrists, this programme provides the academic component of the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications in medical retina and glaucoma only.

Glaucoma and medical retina modules on this programme are currently going through the process of being re-accredited by the College of Optometrists.

The content of the programme has been developed to align with the UK Enhanced Clinical Practice Framework.

Teaching and learning

A mixed range of teaching and learning strategies are used to deliver this online programme. Students undertake asynchronous study using a variety of teaching materials; instructionally designed content incorporating lecture material with voiceovers, videos, and quizzes to develop knowledge as well as forum activities which present problems students need to solve appraising and applying knowledge-based material they have learned.

In addition, there are synchronous sessions and activities which give behavioural insights and develop critical thought where cases or scenarios are presented and discussed. Formative assessments include critical review of evidence which relate back to clinical practice and research, presentations of cases which are peer reviewed and collaborative assignments with peers.

Assessments will include multiple choice questions, visual recognition of clinical scenarios and patient management case scenarios. For the Enhanced Practice route, a portfolio of practice including a quality improvement project.

There are two routes available to you:

Optometry and Ophthalmology (Enhanced Clinical Practice) PG Cert route:

This PG Cert provides the academic component of the Enhanced Clinical Practice (ECP) in Ophthalmology training programme, which is underpinned by the ECP Framework in the UK.

By choosing this PG Cert, you will undertake a level 7 academic programme. In addition, you will also be expected to undertake work-based learning and assessments which are arranged and led by either your employer or yourself.

You will have to have an agreement with your employer or the organisation you have arranged this with, who must support this. They will be expected to have structures in place for you to undertake this training and assessment in the workplace and be able to allocate you an education supervisor and appropriate clinical supervision. A portfolio of practice will need to be submitted together with a quality improvement project and approved for you to attain your degree.

You should only apply to this route if you have the workplace learning and assessment arrangements in place.

Optometry and Ophthalmology PG Cert route:

On successful completion of this academic programme, you will gain an PG Cert in Optometry and Ophthalmology only. You can apply to the Optometry and Ophthalmology PG Cert programme here.

Multiple choice questions, patient management case scenarios, visual recognition and interpretation of clinical scenarios, reflective reports.

Contact time varies with each module, and you should refer to each module handbook for these. You will be expected to spend approximately 15 hours a week studying on the programme.

Modules

The programme will be available to you part-time over one year only.

The structure of the programme has been focused on you as busy professionals where the programme is carried out online. There will be online lectures, interactive forum activities and webinars which include group tasks and patient case discussions to enhance your learning. Cases are based on real patient episodes which are discussed with clinical ‘pearls’ from experienced advanced practitioners and world leaders in the field of ophthalmology.

There will be four compulsory modules:

  • Fundamental Glaucoma
  • Fundamental Medical Retina
  • Fundamental Ocular Emergencies
  • Advanced Practice in Cataract

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Optometry and Ophthalmology (Enhanced Clinical Practice).

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Optometry and Ophthalmology Courses

This virtual event is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn more about the Optometry and Ophthalmology courses which have been created to support orthoptists, optometrists or experienced ophthalmic nurses working within an ophthalmic setting to develop skills and knowledge aligned to the Advanced Clinical Practice framework.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £5,100
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,400

Part-time = 1 year.

Additional costs

This programme has no additional costs.

Some students may elect to take an observership at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Students will need to arrange this directly with Moorfields Eye Hospital who may charge a fee.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Institute of Ophthalmology Bioscience Research & Development Scholarship

Deadline: 30 June 2024
Value: £3,500 towards tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

Institute of Ophthalmology International Excellence Scholarships

Deadline: 30 June 2024
Value: £5,000 towards fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Students must also have support from their employer to provide appropriate supervision and opportunities to support the required work-based learning and assessment element of the programme (including provision of Education Supervision and opportunities to develop a Quality Improvement Project proposal for ECP). This is the responsibility of the employer – UCL will not arrange or facilitate these on the student’s behalf.

You can find out more about the application process by visiting the Institute of Ophthalmology's webpage here.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.