Optometry and Ophthalmology MSc

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 MSc programme has been developed by practicing clinicians and researchers for multidisciplinary ophthalmic non-medical clinicians such as optometrists, orthoptists and ophthalmic nurses.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£14,100
£7,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£26,200
£13,100
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 academic year
2 academic years
5 academic years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

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.

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

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. International Preparation Courses

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 MSc 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 non-medical clinicians such as optometrists, orthoptists, and ophthalmic nurses.

The structure of the programme is based on the four main pillars in healthcare: clinical, leadership, education, and research. 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.

Non-medical ophthalmic professionals are extending their scope of practice to help manage the increasing burden of patient care in these areas.

There are two routes available to you:

Optometry and Ophthalmology MSc route:

On successful completion of this academic programme, you will gain an MSc in Optometry and Ophthalmology.

This MSc provides the academic component of the Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) in Ophthalmology training programme, which is underpinned by the ACP Framework in the UK.

Optometry and Ophthalmology (Advanced Clinical Practice) MSc route:

By choosing this MSc route, you will undertake the academic programme as above, but 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 and approved prior to submission of your dissertation for you to attain your degree.

You should only apply to this route if you have the workplace learning and assessment arrangements in place. You can apply to the Optometry and Ophthalmology (ACP) MSc programme here.

Links to other professional qualifications

1. College of Optometrists Professional Higher Qualifications

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

This MSc programme provides the academic component of the College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications in medical retina and glaucoma only. 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 (ACP) MSc route, your placement can be put towards the Higher Qualifications to achieve this professional qualification.

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.

2. Ophthalmic Practitioner Training

Work-based learning and assessments undertaken as part of the Optometry and Ophthalmology (ACP) MSc can be put towards attaining 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 non-medical ophthalmic professionals to develop their expertise and knowledge in the four busiest specialties in ophthalmology. It is ideal for orthoptists, optometrists or experienced ophthalmic nurses working within an ophthalmic setting.

It covers the academic component of the Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology training programme.

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. Apart from more specialist clinical skills, you will have the knowledge, skills and behaviours to take on roles in leadership, research and education in the healthcare setting or transferable skills in other settings. You will also have the option to build a varied and interesting portfolio career in some or all the pillars.

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 Optometry and Ophthalmology MSc 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 (ACP) MSc route, you will be able to carry out advanced practice roles in ophthalmology in a community or hospital setting.

Accreditation

College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications

Advanced Clinical Practice Framework

Teaching and learning

Multiple choice questions, short answer questions, patient management case scenarios, essays, visual recognition and interpretation of clinical scenarios, reflective reports and a library based dissertation.

You will be expected to spend 40 hours a week on study for the full-time programme, approximately 20 hours a week if undertaking the programme part time over two years and 12 hours a week for the flexible route if undertaken over three years.

Modules

The programme will be available to you as a full-time mode, part-time over two years, or flexibly over five years.

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 optional in-person practical skills days available to you at the end of the academic year.

The academic year is made up of three terms.

Induction to the programme will take place in the last week of September and the first term runs from October to December, the second term, January to April, and the third term from May to August.

The programme will start with a compulsory module on the Principles of Advanced Practice and will be followed by a further six compulsory modules including:

  • Fundamental Glaucoma
  • Fundamental Medical Retina
  • Fundamental Ocular Emergencies
  • Advanced Practice in Cataract
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Research Methods & Statistics

You will then decide on one area to specialise in and choose one option from:

  • Specialist Glaucoma
  • Specialist Medical Retina
  • Specialist Ocular Emergencies
  • Specialist Paediatrics and Neuro-ophthalmology.

The programme will conclude with a dissertation in your specialist area. There will be optional in-person practical skills days in June which will run over one to two weeks. Overseas students are advised to apply for the Optometry and Ophthalmology MSc and will be eligible for a 56-day student visitor visa should you wish to attend practical skills days with the option to stay further to undertake your dissertation or part of your dissertation in London.

Note that all modules are 15 credits except for the dissertation which is 60 credits.

You will be expected to undertake 90 credits per annum with your dissertation in the final year.

Most students undertake the modular/flexible route over three years with 60 credits per annum where the dissertation is undertaken in the final year.

If undertaking the programme over 5 years, you will be expected to complete 30 credits per annum over four years with your 60-credit dissertation in the final year.

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 is 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.

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 & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

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Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £26,200 £13,100

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

This programme has no additional costs.

Should students opt to experience an observership at Moorfields Eye Hospital, a small fee may be applied to cover administrative costs by the hospital. Students will need to arrange this directly with Moorfields Eye Hospital.

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.

Next steps

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: 2023-2024

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