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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MSc Clinical Optometry

Entry Year:
Developed for optometrists, this internationally renowned MSc will help you provide enhanced clinical care to patients, by helping you understand the co-management of patients and the expansion of the optometrist’s role in ocular therapeutics.

Key information

Start date

The course starts in September and January each academic year.

Academic year dates


Full-time MSc: One year taught course plus one year for dissertation
Part-time MSc: Up to a maximum of five years


Full-time: 10,800*

Part-time: £5,400 per year*


Full-time: 16,830*

Part-time: £8,415 per year*


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This MSc is for optometrists. It enables you to continue your development and accumulation of knowledge and expertise relating to ocular healthcare and vision science during your professional career.

The MSc in Clinical Optometry has an international reputation for quality and is at the forefront of continuing education in clinical optometry. As a result, you will acquire cutting-edge skills and knowledge from leading UK experts in a dynamic learning environment.

The programme will provide you with an opportunity to enhance your career prospects, by gaining both an academic qualification and a professional qualification with either the General Optical Council or the College of Optometrists (where appropriate).


The MSc in Clinical Optometry will help you:

  • Gain up-to-date research-based and theoretical knowledge of a wide range of fields, particularly in primary care optometry
  • Study through a flexible, taught postgraduate modular-based programme, delivered on an intensive three-day modular programme design
  • Understand 'shared-care' or 'co-management' of patients with other medical disciplines and the expansion of the optometrist's role in ocular therapeutics
  • Develop your clinical and theoretical knowledge, making extensive use of expert practitioners
  • Develop and accumulate your knowledge and expertise relating to ocular health care and vision science during your professional careers
  • Contribute to the development of your profession
  • Become a reflective practitioner
  • Practise safely by affirming an appropriate level of competence, a level of self-awareness that encourages recognition of your own limits and the knowledge to meet likely future developments in optometric practice.


General Optical Council

The course is accredited for the General Optical Council’s Continuing Education and Training (CET) points and include the Professional Certificates in Glaucoma, Medical Retina, Low Vision, and the Paediatric Eye Care  accredited by the College of Optometrists.

Prescribing modules are accredited by the General Optical Council with content forming the theory for the College of Optometrists’ Independent Prescribing Common Final Assessment.

The General Optical Council accredits the following modules:

  • Principles of Therapeutics.
  • Principles of Prescribing (exit for Additional Supply).
  • Independent Prescribing.

Students completing the final examination must be qualified for at least two years. Find out more.

The College of Optometrists accredits the following modules in providing the Professional Certificate:

    - Glaucoma
    - Low Vision
    - Paediatric Optometry
    - Medical Retina

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • 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 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
  • Other evidence of proficiency in the English language, which satisfies the board of studies concerned.

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 six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

September 2020

January 2021

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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 RP(E)L.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): “where credit is awarded for learning derived from study at this or another institution which has previously been assessed and/or awarded credit”.

Recognition of Prior Experiential learning (RP(E)L): “where credit is awarded for learning derived from the candidate’s life experience which has not previously been assessed and/or awarded credit.”

For more information on the policy, the maximum credits permitted and how to apply, please see the Guidance on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you have any queries about the process, please contact the Postgraduate team: .

+44 (0)20 7040 5790

Postgraduate Admissions
School of Health Sciences
City, University of London
Northampton Square

City has been providing technical optics education since 1898.
City was voted first in London for health professions (Guardian University Guide 2018).
All Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey respondents stated that 'the course is intellectually stimulating'.
During your course

More about fees

* 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).


At the School of Health Sciences, we believe that exceptional academic and clinical performance should be recognised and rewarded. We have several scholarships available for students starting on our courses this September and January.

To find out more, visit the School of Health Sciences Postgraduate funding page.

MSc Clinical Optometry

Dr. Michelle Hennelly, Programme Director of City’s MSc Clinical Optometry, introduces our unique course accredited by The College of Optometrists and General Optical Council. The MSc is at the forefront of continuing ophthalmic education and has an international reputation for teaching quality.

Academic facilities

The Division of Optometry opened brand-new, purpose-built clinic, City Sight in 2015. Our state-of-the-art facilities provide a comprehensive range of services and educational resources in vision sciences for our students, researchers and patients.

You will also use of the City's Virtual Learning Platform – Moodle – for a more interactive learning experience.

Campus tour

Take a tour of the School of Health Sciences at City, University of London, a world-leading provider of healthcare education and research in the heart of London. Our Clinical Skills Centre, specialist labs, radiography suite and optometry and speech and language clinics ensure our students are well prepared for clinical placements and future careers in healthcare.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

This MSC takes a blended approach to learning and teaching, including institution-based taught modules, e-learning and work-based learning.

Modules are run by experienced practitioners and leading researchers, using a variety of direct and interactive teaching methods. You will learn in large and small multi-disciplinary groups and will be supported and encouraged to participate in independent learning.

The range of teaching methods is wide and includes:

  • Lectures (face-to-face and online).
  • Tutorials.
  • Advanced clinical training.
  • Clinical demonstrations.
  • Videos and discussion of clinical scenarios and action learning sets.
  • Discussion forums.
  • Interactive seminars.
  • Peer reviewing work-based examples.
  • Clinically focussed critical reflections via a case review process.

In addition, practical classes and clinical skills laboratories provide opportunities to develop your practical skills and to give demonstrations of techniques covered in lectures.

Many lectures are delivered by external specialists, giving access to current issues, research and methods in the field.


A three-hour examination is normally held 8 to 10 weeks after a module. Methods of assessment vary between modules, to reflect their differences in structure and content.

The modular examinations may include any combination of the following:

  • A multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper, normally including questions from each lecturer on the module.
  • Visual recognition and interpretation of clinical signs tests (VRICS), involving analysis of a series of slides/photographs.
  • Patient management case scenarios.
  • An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).
  • A professional practice portfolio.
  • Minilabs.
  • Peer-reviewed publication.

Some modules have more than one assessment component and the weighting for each assessment component is outlined clearly within the module specification.


The programme provides you with a range of modules which include 15, 30 and 60 credit modules at Masters level. The programme provides you with a choice of exit routes, but modules can also be taken as stand-alone courses.

Each 15-credit PG module includes 150 hours (15 PG credits) in duration with approximately 30% of the study time requiring attendance at City for face-to-face learning in either lectures/tutorials or workshops.

Depending on the module, you should be aiming to study approximately:

  • Full time: 20 hours/week
  • Part time: 4 hours/week.

Core modules

You may begin carrying out your dissertation during the year, but you are only able to submit it once you have completed all the taught modules successfully.

Elective modules

Alternatively, you can take modules from this Masters degree as standalone Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) courses. In this case, course costs might vary. For further information please click on the CPPD links below each module.

If completing the MSc, you are required to complete the School of Health Sciences Research and Data analysis module which is worth 30 Postgraduate credits. You are also required to complete a 60-credit dissertation module.

Discover more School of Health Sciences CPPD modules.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

  • Teresa Paz Moraga
    Student profile
    This course enabled me to learn about a broad field of clinical topics that I can put into practise on a daily basis.
    Clinical Optometry MSc
  • Irene Ctori
    Academic expert
After you graduate

Career prospects

Optometrists are equipped to provide enhanced clinical care to patients, particularly in the field of ocular therapeutics.

You can also choose the following options, all of which enhance career opportunities whether within the HES or in practice:

  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Glaucoma.
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Medical Retina
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Low Vision
  • College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care

Contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Team

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