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  1. Ophthalmic Dispensing
    1. 2017
    2. 2016

Ophthalmic Dispensing

Foundation Degree |
This course leads to a rewarding career as a dispensing optician, a specialist trained to dispense and fit ophthalmic lenses and spectacle frames.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017


Full time: two years



Full-time: £9,000 (2016/17 fee; 2017/18 TBC)


Full-time: £14,500 (2016/17 fee; 2017/18 TBC)

UCAS code


Who is it for?

This course is for students who would like to train as a dispensing optician while gaining a degree with a strong focus on the workplace. On completion of the course students may complete their pre-registration period and qualify as a dispensing optician or apply to join BSc Optometry (minimum 2 years).


This course leads to a rewarding career as a dispensing optician, a specialist trained to dispense and fit ophthalmic lenses and spectacle frames.

The Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing allows students to enter their pre-registration training as a dispensing optician or can lead to further study at degree level. Job prospects are good and the career is interesting and rewarding. The career is suited to those who enjoy working with people.

Why study Ophthalmic Dispensing?

  • Leads to a rewarding career dispensing and fitting spectacles
  • Benefit from the expertise at both City University London and City and Islington College
  • Approved by the General Optical Council
  • Benefit from a course which is at the forefront of training for dispensing opticians
  • Build credit for further study or you can enter your pre-registration training


General Optical Council

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • CCD to include at least 1 science at A level preferably Biology at grade C or above (88 tariff points) and GCSEs in Maths and English at 5 or above (A-C)
  • BTEC National Diploma in a relevant science subject with DDD or above
  • Equivalent qualifications are sometimes accepted

In addition:

  • Applications are considered from a wide range of backgrounds and assessed individually
  • Applicants from overseas are considered on a case-by-case basis.

English requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require aCAS as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.  

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course; there are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than 6 months
  • Students on courses of less than 6 months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English Language course

Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City University London courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

You can apply via the central UCAS applications system that supports all undergraduate applications within the UK for both home and overseas students.

It is recommended that you submit your application as early as possible.

For more information contact City University London:

Or City and Islington College:

to an interesting and rewarding career.
from a course at the forefront of training for dispensing opticians.
in London for Opthalmic Dispensing, according to The Guardian league tables, 2017

Teaching and learning

The course is a partnership between City University London and City and Islington College, with the majority of teaching at the college. We believe that learning is a joint venture between staff and students. You will be assisted through lectures, tutorials, practical classes, group work and a work placement. This combination provides a superb opportunity both for learning and preparing you for your career.

Assessment is based on examinations, coursework tests, presentations, practical write-ups, practical work and practice based assessment.

Assessment weightings by year

  • Year 1: 35%
  • Year 2: 65%


Year 1

Core modules

  • Visual optics
  • Human biology
  • Practice management
  • Optics and quantitative methods
  • Ophthalmic lenses and dispensing.

Year 2

Core modules

  • Clinical skills
  • Visual and neural biology
  • Ophthalmic lenses and dispensing
  • Optics
  • Work placement
  • Visual optics and low vision
  • Ocular anatomy and contact lenses.

Career prospects

The course is accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC). On completion, graduates may gain exemption from the theory exams of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and continue their pre-registration training to become a registered dispensing optician or apply to join BSc Optometry (minimum 2 years).

Find out how studying at City University London helps you to improve your job prospects.

Contact details

City and Islington College
Unistats background City of London