Optometry MSci

The Integrated Masters in Optometry (MSci Optometry) is a unique programme in the field of ophthalmic optics education as: 

  • It combines both Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry within one programme and integrates routes to registration as a Dispensing Optician and Optometrist.
  • It is delivered through a blended learning format which is designed to offer colleagues working within the optical industry a range of entry points and paths to gain qualifications while they are working. 

The course 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. It is a five-year programme with the last year combining the Optometry Scheme for Registration period along with the master’s research project module.

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 routes to registration are facilitated by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and the College of Optometrists, students must be registered with ABDO for the first three levels (Level 4-6) of the programme and with the College for all modules in Level 7.


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."

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Key Information

  • Duration:

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

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Distance with attendance, Full-time

  • Award Type:


  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:

    Please apply via our Online Application form

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • The School of Medicine is ranked 2nd in the North West and in the top 15 of the UK for academic support - National Student Survey 2019
  • This course combines both Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry within one programme and integrates routes to registration as a Dispensing Optician and Optometrist
  • Access to specialist labs such as the Dispensing and Optometry Pre-Clinical space

Course Overview

Level 4

  • Introduction to ophthalmic dispensing and optometric practice

Level 5

  • Further ophthalmic dispensing and contact lenses

Level 6

  • Advanced ophthalmic dispensing and ocular abnormalities

Level 7

  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Optometric principles and managing vision related problems


  • Optometric principles and management of eye health

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

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

Level 4

GCSE English, Science and Mathematics plus two others at a minimum grade C or grade 4 (standard pass) equivalent.


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


SMCTech qualification + 5 GCSEs as above

Level 7

A BSc degree (2:1 or better) in Ophthalmic Dispensing or registered Dispensing optician with one year post-registration experience along with passing the entrance exam.

Entry into other levels such as Level 5 and 7 will be subject to case by case review for APL. APL can be specific module credit or course/subject credit.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Advice & Guidance

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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.

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, videos, 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 (OCSEs), closed book written exams comprised of MCQs, 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.
  • Catherine Collin, Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Eye Health Clinic Lead. Module Lead for Module 4002.
  • Marie-Laure Orr, Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Course Leader for Milestone 2 of the Programme and Module leader for Module 4001.
  • Peter Black, Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Course Leader for Milestone 1 of the Programme and Module Lead for Module 3001.
  • Haleema Younas, Lecturer in Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry, Module Lead for Module 1001 and 2001.


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 Dispensing Optician or an 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.


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 and volunteer patients from visual impairment charities such as Galloways.


The University of Central Lancashire currently holds provisional approval from the GOC to provide the MSci Optometry programme. 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 and 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 ABDO and The College of Optometrists.

How to apply

Please apply via our Online Application form.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

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: 2019 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.