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  1. Undergraduate and foundation
    1. 2021
Study at City

BSc (Hons) Optometry

Entry Year:
The BSc (Hons) Optometry at City has achieved 93% for overall student satisfaction (NSS 2020). Our Optometry BSc degree offers a professionally recognised qualification preparing you for a flexible and rewarding career in optometry.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


3 years (BSc only)


Full-time: £9,250 *


Full-time: £16,240 **


Full-time: £16,240 **

UCAS code



Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course has been designed for students with an ambition to become leaders in the field of optometry. 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.


As a student on the BSc Optometry course, 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.

Throughout your time at City, you will benefit from a combination of teaching styles including clinics and laboratories in our specialist on-campus facilities and clinical placements at Moorfields Eye Hospital, the UK’s leading eye hospital. During your final year, you will further develop your clinical practice by working in our very own eye clinic City Sight where you will examine members of the public from babies to the elderly, presenting you with a wide range of ocular conditions and needs. During your fourth year, after graduating with BSc (Hons) in optometry, you will have to successfully complete the Scheme for Registration run by the College of Optometrists before you can join the register as an optometrist.

As a City student studying optometry, you can join OpSoc (the Optometry Society) which is run by our incredibly enthusiastic students. OpSoc is actively involved in competitions between universities and institutions and were recently named the winners of the Association of Optometrists (AOP) Film and Television award for their Hunger Games-inspired entry in sporting competitions. In addition they organise the annual student optometry ball, The Eyeball.


General Optical Council

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.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

  • 'A' Level: ABB (including two from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics).
  • Tariff: 128 UCAS tariff points. Read more about the new UCAS tariff from September 2017.
  • Bachelor Degrees: Upper second class Honours degree in other science or medically related degree
  • IB: 31 points (including 6 in two Higher Level sciences and 5 in Standard Level English and Mathematics)
  • We do not accept Access courses or BTECs. Foundation courses are accepted on a case by case basis.

*Subject to change.

The following is also required:

  • GCSE: A minimum of five passes grade 4 (C) in GCSE, including English and Mathematics.

In addition to meeting the entry requirements, you are required to have enhanced disclosure and barring service clearance and are required to register with the General Optical Council and maintain this registration throughout the degree course..

Other suitable qualifications

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): We welcome applications that include the EPQ. Where relevant, this may be included in our offer, resulting in an 'A' Level offer reduced by one grade.

City, University of London also offers a one-year Introduction to Optometry course which can lead to progression onto our BSc (Hons) Optometry degree.

English requirements

If your first language is not English, we will require evidence of English language proficiency. Minimum requirements are:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with a minimum of 7.0 in each component.

English Language Programmes

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner, INTO City, University of London offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information.

English for Undergraduate Study

Pre-sessional English

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.

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.

When your application is acknowledged by UCAS, you will be sent a personal identification number so that you can access your records via Track on the UCAS website.


For general enquiries about the admissions process at City, please contact our Admissions Office:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7040 5000.

If your enquiry is about admission to a particular course, please use the contact details provided on the course page.

Contacting UCAS

Address: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3LZ
Telephone: 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.

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 will be £9,250 for each year of study for the duration of your studies.

** 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.

The Lord Mayor of London Scholarship

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.


As an optometry student at City, you will benefit from a clinical placement at Moorfields, the UK’s leading Eye Hospital. Here you will observe ophthalmologists treating and managing ocular conditions in a diverse range of patients both in clinics as well as in the operating room.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to observe at the Royal National Institute of Blind People's resource centre in central London where you will learn about multidisciplinary low vision care.

Find further information about our placement partners and trusts under our School of Health Sciences section.

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


We operate a Guarantee Scheme for first year undergraduates which means you will be offered place in one of City's affiliated Halls if you meet the Scheme's criteria.

Read more about our undergraduate 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.

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

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.

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed using a variety of methods, depending on module choices:

  • coursework
  • 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:

Year 1

Written examination: 55% Coursework: 45%

Year 2

Written examination: 53% Practical: 24% Coursework: 23%

Year 3

Written examination: 51% Practical: 28% Coursework: 21%


The BSc Optometry course prepares you for your pre-registration period in high street, independent practice or hospital optometry.

Year 1

From your very first day at City, you will build a foundation in the basic sciences that underpin optometry and start your clinical training. Lectures are supported by tutorials and laboratory-based work.

Core modules include:

  • Visual perception
  • Introduction to eye disease
  • Clinical skills II
  • Contact lenses I
  • Ophthalmic lenses and dispensing II
  • Binocular vision

Year 2

In your second year, you will expand and enhance your clinical skills, developing an understanding of ocular and systemic disease coupled with the neuroscience of visual perception.

Clinical confidence and competence is supported by expert guidance from optometrists who will teach you how to use the latest technologies to investigate ocular abnormalities, thus preparing you for the final-year clinics.

Core modules include:

  • Visual science
  • General pathology and eye disease
  • Clinical skills II
  • Contact lenses I
  • Ophthalmic lenses and dispensing II
  • Binocular vision

Year 3

You will develop the knowledge and clinical skills that form the basis of optometric practice by seeing a diverse range of patients under supervision at our brand new City Sight Optometry Clinic.

You will carry out full eye examinations and gain specialist skills in primary care, paediatrics, binocular vision, contact lenses, dispensing and visual impairment clinics.

You will also observe patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the world's leading eye hospitals.

Core modules include:

  • Eye disease and therapeutics
  • Clinical skills and professional practice
  • Binocular vision, paediatrics and visual impairment
  • Contact lenses II
  • Research studies

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

Overall workload

  • 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.

Approximate study time based on 2019/20 entry is as follows:

Year 1

Scheduled learning: 23% Independent learning: 64% Placement: 13%

Year 2

Scheduled learning: 25% Independent learning: 75%

Year 3

Scheduled learning: 28% Independent learning: 71% Placement: 1%
After you graduate

Career prospects

Studying optometry offers a diverse and flexible career pathway with opportunities to work in high street practice, hospital eye departments as well as research and teaching the next generation of students. Many of our students go on to specialise in different branches of optometry and take on leading roles in the profession.

Our employment rate at City is very high with currently 99% of our students gaining employment in their first year after graduation. We encourage students to take full advantage of the societies and training available whilst studying at City. In addition, we offer an optional Personal Development module to increase opportunities towards employability including industry visits and (international) events. City graduates are highly employable earning an average annual salary of £13,500 during their pre-registration period (i.e. post-graduation training year). Optometrists usually go on to earn between £24,000 to £50,000 as they advance in their careers, with senior consultants and managers earning up to £80,000.

After qualification as an optometrist, you can also return to City to study for an advanced practice MSc or PhD. This in turn can lead to a more expansive range of opportunities such as greater involvement in management of ocular diseases, enhanced eye services and independent prescribing.

98.6% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Contact details

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