Benefits of this course
You will develop your clinical and theoretical knowledge with the guidance of expert practitioners informed by the most up-to-date research.
You will gain a detailed understanding of the expanding role of optometrists in the co-management of patients.
Your studies will be underpinned by a core module in Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis to develop your critical research skills.
Elective modules will allow you to build your professional knowledge and contribute to research in your particular areas of interest.
You can select to apply for one of the available exit points for this course.
- Master of Science (MSc)
Who is this course for?
This MSc programme is for qualified, practising optometrists who wish to increase their professional knowledge and enhance the clinical care they provide for patients.
Master of Science (MSc)
- Full-time: 1 year (plus up to 1 year for dissertation)
- Part-time: 2 years (plus up to 1 year for dissertation)
Total credits: 180
- 10 in total
Introduction to Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis-online module (30 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop your theoretical, methodological and research skills to enhance your ability to conduct rigorous research and to reach sound analytical conclusions, which form the basis of effective service delivery in health and social care organisations.
Discipline specific modules
Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care (15 credits)
This module prepares optometrists for advanced paediatric practice in independent and shared care. The module reviews development of the visual system through infancy and childhood, including normal levels for different age groups. This module is accredited by the College of Optometrists.
Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (15 credits)
Through this module you will gain 1) the specialised and advanced theoretical and practical base necessary to become a member of a glaucoma shared care/co-management scheme and 2) the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma which is accredited by the College of Optometrists.
Professional Certificate in Medical Retina (15 credits)
This module provides community and hospital based optometrists with knowledge of common medical retina conditions, enabling them to make accurate and appropriate referral decisions. This module is accredited by the College of Optometrists.
Professional Certificate in Low Vision (15 credits)
This module will update you on recent developments in vision research relevant to visual impairment in addition to providing you with knowledge which will help you to manage a visually impaired person in practice. This module is accredited by the College of Optometrists.
Principles of Therapeutics (via Moodle) (15 credits)
This module provides the theoretical knowledge to enable optometrists to manage ocular disease.
Principles of Prescribing (face-to face or on-line) (15 credits)
The purpose of this module is to provide the theoretical knowledge to enable optometrists to manage ocular disease within the context of independent prescribing.
Independent Prescribing (15 credits)
This module provides you with a) training in the theory and practice of independent prescribing b) skills in the assessment, diagnosis and management of common ophthalmic conditions and the ability to recognise and appropriately manage sight-threatening disease and c) management of common ophthalmic conditions and the ability to recognise and appropriately manage sight-threatening disease within the context of independent prescribing. This module is accredited by the General Optical Council.
Clinical Management Guidelines (15 credits)
This module will address a range of topics including a) the role of research evidence in eye care b) links between evidence-based practice and clinical decision-making and c) clinical guidelines and their evidence-based application in decision-making.
Advanced Ophthalmic Examination (15 credits)
The aim of this module is to facilitate practitioners’ expanding role in ophthalmic settings, building on existing skills and knowledge. Central themes of this module are conducting appropriate investigations and evaluating patient needs.
Dissertation (60 credits)
The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to undertake a piece of original, independent research focussed on the topics that are of particular interest to you, and you wish to explore in greater depth.
The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.
Download course specification:
Teaching and assessment
You will learn through a dynamic mix of methods including:
- lectures (face-to-face and online)
- discussion forums
- interactive seminars
- case reviews
- clinical demonstrations
- videos and discussion of clinical scenarios
- practical classes and clinical skills laboratories.
Our purpose-built public clinic City Sight is equipped with state-of-the-art industry standard facilities, providing exceptional learning and teaching resources.
Your modules will be led by experienced practitioners and leading researchers. You will also benefit from lectures given by external specialists, highlighting current and emerging issues in the field.
You will be assessed on each module through a range of written and practical examinations, which could include any combination of the following:
- a multiple-choice question paper
- visual recognition and interpretation of clinical signs tests (VRICS)
- patient management case scenarios
- an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)
- a professional practice portfolio.
Fees and funding
Fees for academic year 2021/22
Master of Science
Full-time per year
Part-time per year
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
Future Finance Loans
Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval. For further details visit the Future Finance website.
School of Health Sciences Funding Options
The School of Health Sciences (SHS) is committed to providing financial support to students who show academic and/or clinical excellence. Find out about the funding options available to SHS Postgraduate Taught applicants.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
Optometry is an evolving field with optometrists taking on greater responsibility for managing and prescribing for some eye conditions, as well as being involved in the shared care of patients as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
On completing the MSc in Clinical Optometry, you will have the academic and research skills to enhance your professional expertise, opening up opportunities to specialise in a particular area of clinical practice and expand your scope of practice
You could also consider pursuing further study with a view to combining academic teaching or research with your practitioner role.
How to apply
- You should be a UK registered optometrist satisfying all legal requirements to be eligible to practice in the UK
- You should also be registered with the General Optical Council
- An Honours degree in Optometry or professional optometric qualification of home country will be required from overseas candidates – clinical experience and responsibilities must be current and similar to a UK optometrist. Non-UK optometrists will be expected to attend interview in person or via Skype to ensure practitioners have the relevant clinical skills to complete the programme.
- A minimum of a 2:1 honours undergraduate degree, or the equivalent from an international institution.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, the following qualifications will meet the English language requirement for entry to a postgraduate course of study:
- A first degree from a UK university
- A first degree from an overseas institution recognised by City as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA
- International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) a score of 7.0 is required with no subtest scoring below 6.5
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) score 72 required
- TOEFL 100 overall with 24 in Writing, 20 in Listening, 19 Reading and 20 Speaking
- Other evidence of proficiency in the English language, which satisfies the board of studies concerned.
September 2021 entry
- Apply online for MSc Clinical Optometry with full-time study in
- Apply online for MSc Clinical Optometry with part-time study in
January 2022 entry
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is where we accept a previous qualification as meeting the learning outcomes (or covering the syllabus) for part of a course or module, so you don't need to take it as part of your degree.
If you have previously completed credits from a Masters level qualification that can be matched to credits on the programme qualification you would like to apply for, then you may be eligible for RPL or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) at City.
For more information on the policy, the maximum credits permitted and how to apply, please see the Guidance on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
Maximum transferable credits for each award
Contact the postgraduate team
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 5000
Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. On occasion we also work with external professionals to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.
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