Ophthalmic Dispensing

Ophthalmic Dispensing BSc (Hons)

A unique fast-track programme in the field of ophthalmic optics education, which is taught over three semesters per year. The blended learning format means that knowledge will be delivered online and there will be several week-long residential on-campus “blocks” to embed learning into clinical and practical skills throughout each year.

Students will have access to specialist labs such as the Dispensing and Optometry Pre-Clinical space.

The modules will be: 

LEVEL 4: Introduction to ophthalmic dispensing and optometric practice.
LEVEL 5: Further ophthalmic dispensing and contact lenses + start of the Pre-registration period.
LEVEL 6: Advanced ophthalmic dispensing and ocular abnormalities + Pre-registration period.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time, 2 years fast-track.
    Blended learning with weeklong blocks every two months

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Distance with attendance, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September 2020

  • Delivered through a blended learning format designed to offer colleagues working within the optical industry a chance to gain qualifications while they are working.
  • A fast-track format means that you can be undertaking the pre-registration period during the last year of the course and be a registered Dispensing Optician within two years of starting the course.
  • Utilise our brand new purpose built vision sciences facilities including specialist dispensing and refraction labs
  • Earn while you learn with progression opportunity onto the Optometry course.

Course Overview

Module OP1001

Level 4 120 Credits

An Introduction to Ophthalmic Dispensing & Optometric Practice

  1. Communication
  2. Professional Conduct
  3. Optical Appliances
  4. Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Employability
  5. Underpinning Scientific Knowledge

Module OP2001

Level 5 120 Credits

Further Ophthalmic Dispensing & Contact Lenses

  1. Optical Appliances
  2. Paediatric Dispensing
  3. Methods of Ocular Examination
  4. Contact Lenses
  5. Underpinning scientific knowledge

Module OP3001

Level 6 120 Credits

Advanced Ophthalmic Dispensing & Ocular Abnormalities

  1. Advanced Ophthalmic Dispensing Practice
  2. Methods of Ocular Examination
  3. Low vision
  4. Refractive Management
  5. Ocular Abnormalities
  6. Portfolio Project
  7. Underpinning Scientific Knowledge
  8. Evidence based reflective 

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £11,100 per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Must be employed within an optical practice and have a suitable mentor.

GCSE English, Science and Mathematics plus two others at a minimum grade C or grade 4 (standard pass) equivalent + 1 year optical work experience.


Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Optical Retail Skills + 1 year optical work experience + 5 GCSEs as above


SMCTech qualification + 5 GCSEs as above

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Further Information

Ophthalmic Dispensing

Industry Links

The Vision Sciences academic staff members are all registered Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians who bring their clinical experience with learning & teaching qualifications to ensure that the content is up to date.

Visiting clinicians will be supervising and facilitating specific aspects of the programme.

Experience with Volunteer patients from visual impairment charities such as Galloways will be included within the programme.


During the residential block sessions industry colleagues will be coming to deliver specific lectures such as specialist contact lenses, business enterprise, etc.

Visits to large scale glazing lab as well as visiting charities who support visually impaired patients will be arranged.

Professional Accreditation

This programme is accredited by the General Optical Council (Provisional Approval). Whilst under provisional approval, students recruited on to the programme are not guaranteed entry to the GOC Register and may be required to undertake additional assessments through an alternative GOC approved education provider in the event that any aspect of the programme when delivered does not satisfy the GOC standards.

The Vision Sciences team will be working collaboratively with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) to provide the route to registration as a Dispensing Optician.

Students will need to be registered with the General Optical Council throughout the duration of study as well as ABDO.

Career Prospects

As a registered Dispensing Optician you could start your own business, be self-employed, work in a primary care setting (high street optical practices) or in a hospital setting.

You may undertake further study in specialist areas or gain a research degree to pursue a career developing new technologies and treatment options.

You will be able to use this qualification to enrol on to an optometry course or undertake further studies to be a contact lens optician or a Low Vision Optician.


As a blended learning programme, lectures will be delivered online (via the virtual learning environment) with formative questions to support learning at the end of each lecture. There will be a variety of multi-media formats utilised to deliver the learning: audio recordings, hand-outs, video’s, online collaborations such as team working, discussions and webinars.

A range of assessment formats will be used throughout the programme and these include: Practical assessments such as Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OCSE’s), closed book written exams comprised of MCQ’s, short-answer questions + calculations, presentations, case records/portfolio and written assignments.

Students will have access to specialist labs such as the Dispensing and Optometry Pre-Clinical space. There will be an Eye Health Clinic on campus which will be a student led equivalent to a high street optical practice open to members of public to come have all their eyecare needs met as well as providing an excellent learning environment for the students to gain specialist real world skills.

The Vision Sciences team comprises of:

Rupal Lovell-Patel, Academic Lead for Vision Sciences.
Peter Black, Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing and module leader for Module 3001.
Haleema Younas, Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, module leader for Module 1001 and 2001.
Caroline Chambers, Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, module leader for OP2001. 
Catherine Collin, Senior lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Eye Health Clinic Lead.
Marie-Laure Orr, Senior lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Course Leader for MSc Optometry.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
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Important Information

This course is based in the School of Medicine

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.