Optometry MSc

Optometry MSc

School of Medicine


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Full-time : Three years (Up to 4 weeks of residential weeklong blocks per semester.)

  • Level:

    Postgraduate, Pre-registration

  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Distance with attendance, Full-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    September 2020

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The Masters in Optometry (MSc Optometry) is a unique programme in the field of optometric education as:

  • It is delivered through a blended learning format which is designed to offer colleagues working within the optical industry a path to gain qualifications while they are working.
  • It is a three year programme with the last year combining the Optometry Scheme for Registration period along with the Master’s research project module.
  • It is a fast-track programme as within each calendar year, the teaching and learning will be delivered over three semesters meaning there are no long gaps between learning

The blended learning format means that knowledge shall 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.

All students will need to be registered with the General Optical Council as “student registrants” throughout the programme. In addition, as the route to registration is  facilitated by the College of Optometrists students will need to be members of the College throughout the programme.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be a Registered Dispensing Optician (DO) with one-year post-registration experience along with passing the entrance exam. Applicants must be working in an optical practice in the UK.

Entry into other levels such as part way into Level 7 will be subject to case by case review for APL.

Programme at a Glance

Module OP4001

Level 7 90 Credits

Optometric Principles and Managing Vision Related Problems

  1. Communication
  2. Professional Conduct
  3. Ocular Examination of Anterior Eye
  4. Ocular Abnormalities
  5. Refraction & Binocular Vision
  6. History & Symptoms
  7. Contact Lens Fitting
  8. Underpinning Scientific Knowledge

Module OP4002

Level 7 90 Credits

Optometric Principles and Management of Eye Health

  1. Communication
  2. Professional Conduct
  3. Ocular Examination, Investigation & Management
  4. Ocular Abnormalities & Management
  5. Contact Lens Complications & Aftercare
  6. Binocular Vision Management
  7. Visual Impairment
  8. Underpinning Scientific Knowledge
  9. GOC Stage 1 Competency in Optometry

Module OP4003*

Level 7 60 Credits

Evidence-based Optometric Practice

  1. Evidence-based clinical research
  2. Scheme for Registration Stage 2 Competencies
  3. MCOptom OSCE Exams

* Coincides with and subject to College of Optometrists Scheme for Registration

Further Information


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 real world skills.

The Vision Sciences team comprises of:

  • Rupal Lovell-Patel, Academic Lead for Vision Sciences, Module Lead for Module 4003. 
  • Marie-Laure Orr, Senior lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Course Leader for MSc Optometry and Module leader for Module 4001. 
  • Catherine Collin, Senior lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Eye Health Clinic Lead. module leader for Module 4002. 
  • Deborah Armstrong, Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry. Module leader for OP4003.

  • Caroline Chambers, Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, module leader for OP2001.
  • 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. 

Hazel Walker

Hazel Walker, Optometry, MSci student

"I currently live and work in Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland and for the past 15 years, I have worked for Specsavers Opticians. My current role is a Dispensing Optician, while I undertake my Masters with UCLan. The flexibility of this course with online material has been ideal, as someone who is part of an earning household with dependents, returning to University on a full time basis was something I would have been unable to do.
Read more

How to apply

Please apply via our Online Application form. Students must provide their CV along with a supporting letter from the employer in addition to all the admissions related paperwork such as certificates, etc.


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 Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,375 per year (UK/EU)

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

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.

Specialist clinical experience such as hospital ophthalmology observations will be arranged with close working partners such as East Lancashire Hospital Trust.

Volunteer patients from visual impairment charities such as Galloways.

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 College of Optometrists for the scheme of registration as an Optometrist.

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


During the residential block sessions industry colleagues will be coming to deliver specific lectures such as specialist contact lenses, getting a good image using an OCT, etc.

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

As a registered Optometrist, you will be able to develop your career in various ways. You can start your own business or be self-employed. You can work in a primary care setting (high street optical practices) or in a hospital setting. You can undertake further study to gain higher qualifications in Low Vision, Glaucoma, Paediatrics and Medical Retina.  If you decide to study further and gain a research degree, you could join any number of research companies to develop new technologies and treatment options.