Orthoptics (pre-registration) MSc

London, Old Street

Orthoptists are experts in the diagnosis and management of developmental eye conditions, defects in eye movement and binocular vision. On this programme, you will learn about paediatric ophthalmology, strabismus (ocular misalignment), ocular motility disorders and other eye and vision health issues and diseases that are dealt with by Orthoptists.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 23 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant subject areas include: biological sciences, chemistry, nursing and psychology. Courses undertaken at institutions other than UCL will be assessed for accreditation of prior learning (APL) on a case by case basis and an interview and/or candidates may be required to write a piece of work to support the APL application.

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

In Year One, you will learn about the visual system, optics, and foundation and complex Orthoptics, paediatric ophthalmology and neuro-ophthalmology.

In Year Two modules will cover research methods and statistics, broader ophthalmology, sale and supply of medicinal products (specific to Orthoptics) and clinical placements. You will enhance your research skills through a library-based research project on a topic related to orthoptic/ophthalmic practice.

You will be paired with a clinical or clinical academic mentor so you can discuss what you are learning and experiencing in your clinical placement with an expert working in the field.

Who this course is for

Applicants with a minimum 2:2 Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant subject areas include: biological sciences, chemistry, nursing and psychology. Courses undertaken at institutions other than UCL will be assessed for accreditation of prior learning (APL) on a case by case basis and an interview and/or candidates may be required to write a piece of work to support the APL application.

What this course will give you

The two-year, full-time Orthoptics (pre-registration) MSc programme provides a fast-track route to theoretical knowledge and clinical training underpinning professional registration and practice as an autonomous Orthoptist with approval by the Health and Care Professions Council.

You will, through blended learning opportunities, learn core research methods and statistics, and extended clinical knowledge of complex ophthalmic and neuro-ophthalmic conditions. The programme also provides 1,000 hours of supervised placement activity so that you will graduate from this programme clinically experienced.

You will learn how to apply the latest and most updated practices and technology to address eye conditions through instructions with Moorfields Eye Hospital staff.

Our longstanding partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital represents the largest co-located site for eye research, education and care in the world. The Institute of Ophthalmology is also ranked the best place in the world to study ophthalmology (CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017).

The foundation of your career

This programme is designed to equip students with the requisite knowledge and skill to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Orthoptist. Graduates will likely undertake a career in Orthoptics, and will be primed to undertake extended clinical roles and/or pursue further training to undertake a clinical academic career. Many students go on to work in the NHS.



The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Teaching and learning

We use a range of assessment methods across the programme. This range suits a wider diversity of learners and thus promotes more equality. These methods include:  

  • Case reports

  • Problem based learning scenarios

  • Presentations  

  • Ongoing assessment during placements 

  • Clinical examinations (OSCEs)

  • Unseen written examinations 

  • A library-based dissertation 


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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits with level 7 qualification.


At the start of the programme, students are placed once a week at a hospital in/around London for the first term. Over the rest of the two-year programme, students attend 4-week block placements across the UK, for 12 weeks in each year. youThis allows to begin to work with patients, carers and other professionals from the outset and embed your learning in practice.


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

Bioscience Entrepreneurship MSc Information Session

The Bioscience Entrepreneurship MSc is designed for students who intend to start and run high impact enterprises in the life sciences sector. It is ideal for you if you have a science degree and an interest in enterprise or your own start-up. Join our virtual information session to find out more from the programme team and current students.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

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

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

This programme requires a completed enhanced DBS check. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £12.75. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the Admissions Team.

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

Students are eligible to apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund (NHS LSF) grant, which does not need to be repaid. Support includes:

  • £5000/year
  • Parental support of £2000
  • Reimbursement for excess travel and accommodation costs associated with clinical placements
  • Exceptional Support Fund for students experiencing financial hardship

You can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund here.

Students can also apply for a £9250/year tuition fee loan and a means-tested maintenance loan of up to £12667 from the Student Loans Company.

You can apply for a loan from Student Finance England here.

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

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Orthoptics (pre-registration) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Orthoptics (pre-registration) at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this 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.

Applicants are shortlisted based on their written application and invited to interview prior to acceptance.

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.