Optometry and Ophthalmology 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 PG Cert 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)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
1 academic year
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 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 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 PG Cert route:

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

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

By choosing this PG Cert, 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 and a quality improvement project 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 (ECP) PG Cert 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 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.

2. Ophthalmic Practitioner Training

Work-based learning and assessments undertaken as part of the Optometry and Ophthalmology (ECP) PG Cert route 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 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 Enhanced 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 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.


For those following the Optometry and Ophthalmology PG Cert 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.


College of Optometrists Higher Qualifications

Enhanced Clinical Practice Framework

Teaching and learning

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.


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 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.


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 Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £4,700
Tuition fees (2023/24) £8,800

Part-time = 1 year.

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.