This course prepares you to work as an optometrist, making a real difference to the lives of people who suffer from vision impairment and sight loss.
You will learn about vision and the eye, through topics like optics, biology, eye disease and visual impairment. You’ll also learn about therapeutic solutions such as contact lenses and ophthalmic lenses and dispensing.
In your final year, you’ll develop your clinical practice by working in our very own eye clinic, City Sight. You will examine members of the public – from babies to the elderly – presenting with a wide range of ocular conditions and needs.
- Practise in excellent facilities, which include a range of purpose-built clinics and laboratories on campus, as well as our clinic, City Sight
- Learn from research-active academics who are leaders in their field and design the curriculum around cutting-edge developments in the discipline
- Benefit from a clinical placement at Moorfields, the UK’s leading Eye Hospital.
Observe at the Royal National Institute of Blind People's resource centre in central London, learning about multidisciplinary low vision care.
Our BSc (Hons) Optometry degree is accredited by the General Optical Council. Full registration with the General Optical Council is gained after successful completion of the Scheme for Registration (pre-registration year).
For Canadian applicants - If you would like to practise as an Optometrist in Canada following completion of this degree, you will need to go through the procedures specified by the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC). Information relating to this process and requirements can be found on the FORAC website (please note this process may change at any time). We strongly recommend that you investigate the possibility of returning to practice in Canada before applying to this course.
This three-year course prepares you for your pre-registration period in high street, independent practice or hospital optometry.
Build a foundation in the basic sciences that underpin optometry and start your clinical training.
Optics (30 credits)
This module aims to provide you with knowledge and hands on experience in the application of relevant areas of optics to optometry. In addition, the module also provides basic training in experimental methods, data analysis and scientific report writing.
Ophthalmic Lenses & Dispensing I (15 credits)
A knowledge, understanding and practical experience of optical appliances is necessary before you learn how to dispense them to the public. This module builds your knowledge of single vision spectacle lenses, spectacle frames and appliances and their verification use and manufacture.
Neural Biology & General Pathology (30 credits)
In this module you will explore the physiology and function of the key features of the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well the individual cranial nerves and ways of testing their function. You will cover topics including infection, immunology, ageing, and genetics.
Clinical Skills I (30 credits)
In this module you will learn the foundation knowledge and skills required to be an optometrist, including: eye exams, objective and subjective assessment of refractive error, principles of a variety of optometric instruments and techniques, and the concept and process of evidence-based practice.
Visual Optics & Measurement techniques (15 credits)
This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the optics of the eye and quantitative methods related to optometry to better inform your clinical practice.
Expand your clinical skills, developing an understanding of ocular and systemic disease, and the neuroscience of visual perception. Enhance your clinical confidence and competence, learning how to use the latest technologies to investigate ocular abnormalities.
Clinical Skills II (30 credits)
This module continues the process of developing examination skills and the use of clinical instruments that are a fundamental part of a standard eye examination as well as providing the background knowledge and understanding behind the techniques.
Contact Lenses I (15 credits)
This module introduces you to contact lenses and their use and associated complications. You will cover indications for contact lenses, physiological changes induced by lenses, properties of materials, fitting of lenses, preliminary investigations and care regimes.
Introduction to Eye Disease (30 credits)
This module covers the main eye diseases you will encounter in practice. These include, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment, congenital anomalies and vascular accidents affecting the retinal circulation and conditions affecting the pupil.
Binocular Vision (15 credits)
This module will develop your understanding of normal binocular vision, which involves how the eyes work together. You will also gain the knowledge and skills to both recognise and investigate both normal and anomalous binocular single vision.
Visual Perception (15 credits)
This module integrates knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the visual system with a thorough understanding of the limits of human visual performance and how this can be measured.
Ophthalmic Lenses & Dispensing II (15 credits)
This module will develop your knowledge, skills and applications in dispensing for all types of ophthalmic lenses, spectacle frames and optical appliances in practice. It also prepares you for seeing patients in dispensing clinics in the third year.
Develop the knowledge and clinical skills for professional practice. See a diverse range of patients under supervision at our new City Sight Optometry Clinic and carry out full eye examinations. Develop highly specialised skills and observe patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the world's leading eye hospitals.
Contact Lenses II (15 credits)
The module provides you with clinical experience in the fitting and aftercare of contact lens patients as a pre-cursor to more extensive experience to be gained in the pre-registration period.
Eye Disease & Therapeutics (30 credits)
This module builds on the second year module General Pathology and Eye Disease. It places a particular emphasis on those eye diseases that are frequently encountered by optometrists working in a primary care setting.
Binocular Vision, Paediatrics & Visual Impairment (30 credits)
This module builds on the second year module and places a particular emphasis on those eye diseases frequently encountered by optometrists working in a primary care setting. Disease management within the module is presented from both an optometric and ophthalmological perspective.
Research Studies (15 credits)
By gaining an understanding of the importance of evidence-based research in the vision health sciences, this module will prepare you for professional engagement in your future career as an optometric practitioner.
Clinical & Professional Practice (30 credits)
This module will prepare you for your career as a primary-care optometrist and health care professional by developing your clinical skills and understanding of a clinical optometric routine including dispensing spectacles. You will also learn about your legal responsibilities as an optometrist.
Download course specification:
Teaching and assessment
City's Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences has an excellent reputation with expert academics from a wide range of disciplines including optometrists, ophthalmologists, dispensing opticians, orthoptists, physicists, psychologists, neuroscientists and biologists.
During your time with us, you will learn through lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory work, clinical practice, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) practice and our web-based virtual learning environment.
Tutorials encourage you to discuss clinical cases and use role play to explore patient and practitioner communications so you are better prepared for the clinical environment.
You will benefit from state-of-the-art clinics and laboratories, including our brand new City Sight Optometry Clinic as well as from study, placement and employment opportunities in our diverse capital city.
At City, we recognise that one way of assessing does not suit everyone so we use many different techniques to ensure we gain the very best from our students.
You will be assessed using a variety of methods, depending on module choices:
- written examinations
- clinical observation
- Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)
- A project or dissertation is required in your final year.
Percentage of the course assessed by coursework
The balance of assessment by examination, practical examination and assessment by coursework will to some extent depend on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessment, based on 2019/20 entry is as follows:
The Programme consists of 26% contact time and 74% self-learning Independent study times are for you to revise and prepare for teaching sessions and prepare for oral presentations of their work.
The contact time of the programme consists of 44% lectures, 47% Practical Classes, 6% tutorials and 1% on external visits. A student will on average have 16 hours per week of direct contact with staff in teaching sessions.
Fees and funding
Fees for year 2021/22
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/ 22 academic year only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase, which is normally 2%.
- Fee waivers are available for this course.
- Means tested support is available for 2021/22 entry.
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 please visit our finance pages.
This degree is accredited by the General Optical Council. Full registration with the General Optical Council is gained after successful completion of the Scheme for Registration (pre-registration year).
Optometry offers a diverse and flexible career pathway. Optometrists work in:
- high street and independent practice
- research and teaching.
There are opportunities to specialise in areas such as:
- binocular vision
- visual impairment
- contact lenses.
City’s employment rate is very high. 98.6% of our students gain employment within 15 months of graduation, with an average salary of £25,645 (Graduate Outcomes, 2020). The average salary for an experienced optometrist is £62,000 (Government Careers Service).
How to apply
Applications for degree courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can apply through your school or college using the Apply system, which enables you to submit your application directly to the UCAS website.
You can apply to up to five universities or institutions on the form. The UCAS code for City, University of London is C60.
Please take care to enter the correct course code when applying, particularly for subjects with a Foundation year or with BEng (Hons) and MEng (Hons) or BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) options.
UCAS has implemented an 'invisibility of choices' policy so that, on the initial application and while you are receiving decisions, each institution can see only their entry and not those of other institutions you have chosen. This ensures that your application for a course at City is considered solely on your academic and personal qualities.
You should submit your completed application form to UCAS with a £23 application fee. If you want to apply to City, University of London only, you can make a single choice application at a reduced rate of £12.
For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 8716.
Telephone lines are currently open between 10am - 3pm.
If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.
When to apply
Your application for entry in September 2021 should arrive at UCAS between September 2020 and 29th January 2021. Applications that arrive after 29th January 2021 will be considered only at City's discretion.
Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
- from inside the UK 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK +44 (0)871 468 0468
For callers with hearing difficulties:
- from inside the UK use the Text Relay service on 18001 0871 468 0468
- from outside the UK dial +44 151 494 1260 (text phone) and then ask the operator to dial 0871 468 0468.
City Sight and The Roberta Williams Centre