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  1. Undergraduate and foundation
    1. 2021
Study at City

Certificate HE Introduction to Optometry

Entry Year:
This one year full-time programme provides an introduction to clinical and professional optometric practice as well as a thorough education in the core subjects required to study BSc Optometry, providing students with an alternative entry route onto BSc Optometry at City, University of London.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


Full-time: one year


Full-time: £9,250 *


Full-time: £15,610 **


Full-time: £15,610 **

UCAS code



Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course has been designed for students with an ambition to study optometry at BSc level. You should have a passion for science and will enjoy a future working with the public and colleagues across the healthcare sector. Optometry is a career where you have the opportunity to make a real difference to peoples’ lives who suffer from vision impairment and sight loss.


The aim of our Introduction to Optometry programme is to provide a thorough education in core subjects required to study BSc Optometry, as well as an introducing you to clinical and professional optometric practice. The educational aims of our programme are to:

  • Provide you with the knowledge and skills to prepare you for entering the BSc Optometry course;
  • Provide you with a supportive learning environment which fosters academic and personal development and uses appropriate learning resources;
  • Enhance the development of your interpersonal skills;
  • Use a variety of appropriate teaching and learning methods, to provide education and training that is relevant, intellectually challenging and enjoyable;
  • Develop your analytical, critical and problem-solving faculties;
  • Provide you with opportunities for shared multidisciplinary learning with optometry students.

This programme will help you understand the university environment, allowing you to prepare for studying at BSc level.

As a student on the Introduction to Optometry Programme, you will be studying within a Division which has an internationally excellent reputation within the optometric profession. You will study a curriculum informed by our world leading research which is at the cutting edge of advances in the sector and be taught by academics who are leaders in their field.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • ‘A’ Level: CCC to include two subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Maths and/or Physics or any three non-science ‘A’ levels with grades BBB or equivalent (not including Language and Religious Studies).
  • UCAS Tariff: 96 points (typically CCC from science subjects or BBB from non-science subjects equivalent (not including Language and Religious Studies).
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD (BTEC D*DD should be in Medical Science/ Applied Science/Forensic Science)
  • GCSE / National 4 / National 5: A minimum of five passes at grade 4 (C) in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, English, Language
  • We do not accept Access courses.

*Subject to change.

Other suitable qualifications

  • International qualifications: are considered on an individual basis.

English requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall to include 7.0 in each of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, 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:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • 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

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 more information, contact City, University of London:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 5000.

City is the Capital’s leading institution for optometry teaching
overall student satisfaction in Optometry (NSS 2020)
in UK for student satisfaction in Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics (Complete University Guide 2021)
During your course

More about fees

* The fee for this course is £9,250 for each year of study.

** The fee is £15,300 for the first year of study. The institution reserves the right to increase your tuition fees annually to take account of the institution's increased costs of delivering educational services. The increase will normally be 2% but this is kept under review with reference to the RPI. If the institution intends to increase your tuition fees you will be advised of this alongside the published entry fee.


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

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 the City Finance website.

You are able to apply for funding for the duration of this course, as well as for a maximum 3 years of funding for a Bachelors degree if you choose to progress your studies.

Please be aware that should you fail a year of the Bachelors degree and need to repeat, you would not be eligible for funding for that one repeat year. If you have more than one previous year of HE study, i.e. completed qualifications in addition to this course, you may not be entitled to the full 3 years of funding for a Bachelors degree.

This information is correct as of June 2019, the Student Loans Company may change its regulations yearly so you are advised to check eligibility for funding prior to accepting a place on the course.

The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship


You can apply for a scholarship from The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship Rewarding excellence fund:

Find out how UK/EU students can receive £2,000 in their first year of study.

Student views

Optometry at City, University of London

BSc (Hons) Optometry student Inesh Porbudas talks about his experience studying optometry and the excellent facilities and placement opportunities available to City students.

Academic facilities

Optometry Clinical Skills

Optometry students benefit from excellent facilities, which include a range of purpose built clinics and laboratories on campus, as well as our clinic, City Sight, which offers optometric services to the general public.

City Sight and The Roberta Williams Centre


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.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

Our programme will incorporate a variety of teaching methods, encouraging independent learning and equipping students with the skills required for success on an undergraduate degree programme. City's Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences has an excellent reputation with expert academics from a wide range of disciplines. Our staff include optometrists, ophthalmologists, dispensing opticians, orthoptists, physicists, psychologists, neuroscientists and biologists.

During your time with us, you will learn through a variety of different techniques including lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory work, clinical practice, and our web-based virtual learning environment. In addition, we will explore patient and practitioner communications using role play to better prepare you for the clinical environment. You will benefit from our new state-of-the-art clinics and laboratories.

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.

Assessment Methods

Assessment on the Introduction to Optometry programme is through a variety of methods which include: Closed book summative examinations, laboratory/clinic based coursework, practical examinations (including formative assessments), MCQ and short answer formative tests, and assessment of reports. Theory examinations are utilised to ensure the core biological, mathematical and physics concepts are understood and allow you to demonstrate your scientific knowledge. Practical assessment allows you to demonstrate your ability to assess vision and visual acuity and also basic investigative techniques and the knowledge of the basic anatomy of the external eye. Coursework assessment permits you to spend time on compiling work, reflecting on the application of your studies and putting your knowledge into context.

Feedback on your work will be provided to you. This may be in a number of different formats including written feedback, discussion feedback in a group, or individual oral feedback.


Core modules on the Introduction to Optometry programme include ‘Introductory Biological Sciences’, ‘Optometric Physics’, ‘Quantitative Methods’ and ‘Introduction to Clinical Skills’. In ‘Introductory Biological Sciences’ you will learn about the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology of tissues and organs of the body related to ocular disease. During ‘Optometric Physics’ you will develop a basic knowledge of the optics of vision. In ‘Quantitative Methods’ you will be provided with the quantitative analytical skills required to deal with applied optical calculations, as well as training in experimental method and analysis and scientific report writing. In ‘The Introduction to Clinical Skills’ module you will be introduced to the principles of some optometric instruments and techniques.

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

After you graduate

Career prospects

A career in optometry puts graduates at the forefront of modern healthcare delivery. It is much more than a job – it is a lifelong career in which optometrists can develop their skills and interests within a range of specialisms. Successful completion of the Introduction to Optometry programme will result in a Certificate in Higher Education in Introduction to Optometry [European Qualifications Framework level 4]. This provides several career routes, which include:

Guaranteed progression to BSc Optometry at City, University of London (Programme Stage 1) subject to:

  1. Achieving >65% overall with no failed modules,
  2. Attendance >80% across all modules (labs and tutorials),
  3. Satisfactory interview with a panel,

Alternative careers prospects include:

  1. Providing an additional qualification to your academic achievements and CV for the application to work as an Optical Assistant within the private sector or within the Hospital Eye Service.
  2. Providing an additional qualification to your academic achievements and CV for the application to higher education courses at City, University of London (for example, the BSc in Health and Social Care) and other institutions nationwide.
  3. Find out more about the Careers support available at City.
100% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course