Contact Lens Optician PG Cert

Postgraduate (1 year part-time)

Distance learning, Cambridge


Intermediate award: PG Cert

This is a distance learning course with two residential visits to our Cambridge campus per trimester.

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Applications take just ten minutes


Take your career to the next level with our contact lens course. Designed for UK General Optical Council (GOC) registered dispensing opticians looking to specialise in contact lenses, our course will build on the training you already have, giving you the knowledge and skill set to look after contact lens patients. Subject to GOC full approval*, completion of our PG Cert and the assessment of clinical competencies will lead to entry-level registration with the GOC as a Contact Lens Optician.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


Registration with the GOC as a dispensing optician with contact lens specialty will open up further career options in optical practice, which attract a significant increase in salary. The contact lens specialty, along with study at postgraduate level, will open up additional career progression routes in industry, professional services, as well as education.

Modules & assessment

  • Selection and fitting of contact lenses
    Here you’ll be introduced to commonly fitted, contemporary contact lenses designs including their properties and suitability for different patient types. You’ll cover the optical, physical and physiological considerations in lens selection, along with instrumentation relating to the selection and fitting of contact lenses. Contact lens material properties (soft and rigid) along with their application for specific fitting and patient requirements are also considered. Through this module you’ll develop skills in the different methods to assess the fitting characteristics of lenses on eye for soft and rigid lenses, and the fitting of astigmatic and multifocal contact lenses.
  • Care and aftercare in contact lens wear
    Covering the care and maintenance of contact lenses for safe and effective wear, including how to manage complications that can arise, you’ll study the importance of compliance in contact lens wear. Your study will inform how a practitioner can maximise this, helping patients achieve long-term satisfaction with and safe wear of their contact lenses.
  • Professional practice in contact lenses I
    This module develops your practical competence in contact lenses. Through work based learning, you’ll prepare to take the GOC clinical competencies in contact lenses which are required for registration as a contact lens optician. You’ll be engaged in supervised contact lens practice for a minimum of one full day per week throughout your PG Cert programme, during which you will log your practice hours and patient episodes ready for a practice audit in the second trimester. The accumulated practice hours, patient episodes and a portfolio of case records, and completion of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) will allow the demonstration of clinical competence in practice required for entry onto the GOC register as a Contact Lens Optician.


This course uses innovative assessment methods to assess your progress towards registration.

The development of clinical skills in the workplace is assessed through completion of a workbook detailing a series of clinical tasks. Your theoretical knowledge is tested using formative online assessments whilst clinical competence is assessed using videoed demonstrations of clinical skills and clinical scenarios to assess data interpretation and clinical reasoning. Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) are used to assess ability in the GOC clinical competencies. Examinations will take place at ARU each trimester in addition to your residential visits.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our online learning management system.

More about distance learning

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Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)


Fee notes

Your course fee includes residential visits to ARU (excluding travel, accommodation and subsistence), provision of access to online course materials, and your in-practice audit and examinations.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

Entry requirements

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Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our students can choose to study face to face on campus or online only. They're also able to change their mode of delivery on given dates in each trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a safe and inclusive environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2021, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2021-22.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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