Optometry BOptom (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September

Intermediate awards: CertHE, DipHE

Overview

Optometrists perform eye tests and diagnose sight problems, helping to improve people’s vision and manage a range of eye conditions. Our Cambridge-based degree, fully accredited by the General Optical Council, is designed to give you the skills you need to register as an optometrist after a year-long clinical placement. You’ll learn from lecturers who are professional practitioners, use specialist equipment in clinical and lab sessions, and make a difference to people’s lives working in our University Eye Clinic.

Full description

Careers

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

As an optometrist, you might have your own practice, work in a hospital, in the armed forces, become an academic or a researcher, or work in international optical companies.

To register fully with the General Optical Council, you’ll need to work for a year as a pre-registration optometrist under the supervision of a registered optometrist. Once you’ve passed the Council’s professional examinations, you’ll become a registered optometrist yourself.

For students who complete their first year of BOptom Optometry to an exceptional high standard, there may be the opportunity to transfer to Year 1 of MBChB Medicine. It must be noted that this is a highly competitive route and there is limited availability.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Geometrical, Physical and Visual Optics
    You’ll focus on the principles of optical systems, lenses and the eye which form the basis of many aspects of clinical optometry and vision science. You’ll study the wave theory of light and then be introduced to optical techniques such as ray-tracing methods. General optical principles, such as refraction, are extended to the elementary areas of ophthalmic optics such the nature of ametropia and its correction. You’ll then study more advanced subjects including the theory of chromatic and monochromatic aberrations and their impact on retinal image quality. Our module is delivered over two semesters and combines lectures and laboratory sessions in which you’ll investigate various optical phenomena and observe the effects of ametropia on visual performance. You’ll be assessed through mid-year class-based multiple-choice test, an end-of-module examination and an assessment of your laboratory work.
  • Clinical Optometry 1- Introduction to Optometric Practice
    This is the first of a series of clinical modules in which you'll learn the theory and application of basic clinical optometric techniques and instrumentation. It's also the key to begin your understanding of how to communicate effectively with patients from diverse backgrounds. In addition to attending lectures there will be laboratory sessions where you are supervised by optometrists and third-year optometry students who will help you to master the clinical techniques and improve your interpersonal communication. You'll be expected to use the practice sessions made available for you to refine and improve techniques covered in lectures and supervised laboratory sessions.
  • Human and Ocular Anatomy
    This module will provide information about the principles of human anatomy, physiology and the significance of ocular diseases. It also examines the histology and gross structure of the human eye with an emphasis on the relationship between each structure and its function. This will provide you with a basis for understanding the functional anatomy of the eye and visual physiology, as required by a dispensing optician. It also includes an overview of the use of ophthalmic drugs and preparations encountered in ophthalmic practice. These are essential for effective communication to both the Optometrist and the patient in an accurate and authoritative manner.
  • Theoretical and Practical Ophthalmic Lenses
    Understand the principles of spectacle lenses and frames, so as to be able to dispense appropriate spectacles to your patients. The principles of refraction are introduced with respect to single vision lenses, and developed to include lens thickness, astigmatism, prisms and measurement of lens power, followed by more detailed analysis of lens aberrations and lens design, treated and tinted lenses, and multifocal lenses (bifocal and progressive power lenses). Frame materials and measurements, as well as legal aspects and standards for dispensing spectacles, are also covered. The module is delivered over two semesters through a combination of lectures, practicals and tutorials.
  • Optical Professionalism
    Explore the regulatory frameworks and professional considerations relevant to working in optical practice. This module will equip you with the knowledge of the roles and professions involved in optical practice, the laws/regulations and regulatory/professional bodies that inform these roles, and expectations of optical professionals.

Year two, core modules

  • Clinical Optometry 2 - Skills for Optometric Practice
    This module extends the theory and practice of optometric skills, instrumentation and investigative techniques while continuing to develop refraction skills. It also teaches you how to interpret clinical findings and communicate findings to patients from diverse backgrounds, and other eye care or medical professionals. The learning experience is based on formal lectures and practical classes. You will be expected to use the practice sessions available to you to refine and improve techniques covered in lectures and laboratory sessions.
  • Pharmacology and Pathology
    You'll build on the knowledge gained in year one in functional anatomy and physiology and ocular anatomy, gaining an understanding of pathological processes relevant to optometrists. You'll be introduced to the principles of pharmacology, based on an understanding of the functional anatomy and physiology of the body, in general, and the eye, in particular. You'll be introduced to important ocular manifestations of systemic disease. The principles of therapeutic drug use in the treatment of ocular emergencies and disorders of the eye provide a key focus to the programme.
  • Monocular, Binocular and Paediatric Vision
    This module consists of a series of lectures, supported by practical sessions, designed to provide you with a basic scientific foundation to the study of human vision and perception, along with a basic clinical foundation to the study of paediatric optometry and binocular vision. You will use the scientific foundations of monocular and binocular vision to study the basic clinical principles of paediatric optometry and binocular vision, including normal and abnormal binocular vision conditions, their diagnosis and correction, and the optometric examination of children. The module will cover aspects of visual psychophysics, neurophysiology and neuro-imaging as tools used in the study of vision science. You will also study the basic principles of paediatric optometry and binocular vision, based on a thorough understanding of the principles of functional anatomy and optics of the visual system.
  • Introduction to Ocular Disease
    You'll build on the knowledge gained in year one in our functional anatomy and physiology and ocular anatomy module. You'll study pathological processes relevant to optometrists and of the principles of pharmacology, to introduce the concept of diseases and abnormalities of the eye. An introduction to clinical presentation and the optometric and medical management of such diseases and abnormalities will be given.
  • Clinical Optometry 3 - Introduction to Professional Practice
    In this module, you'll be introduced to the various types of contact lenses and to the procedures used to assess their suitability, as well as the use of solutions used in conjunction with contact lenses. You'll learn how to conduct an eye examination, how to interpret clinical finding and how to dispense appropriate optical aids by carrying out eye examinations on volunteer patients. Most of your learning will take place in lectures, practical classes and patient examinations.

Year three, core modules

  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You will create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could choose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you are specifically interested in. You will identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artifacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.
  • Clinical Optometry 5 - Professional Practice
    Spend up to six hours per week in the University Eye Clinic, where you will be performing eye examinations on a range of patients, and dispense these patients with appropriate spectacles where required. You will be supervised by GOC registered practitioners and will develop the clinical skills you have learnt in the first two years of the course. In a series of lectures, you will learn about the process of clinical decision making, including its ethical implications, and work in groups to review clinical cases on a range of topics. You will need to apply knowledge previously acquired on the course in this module. This module also includes a hospital placement and external specialist clinics. The knowledge and skills you'll develop in this module contribute to the core requirements for practising optometry, including the needs for equality, diversity and inclusivity, essential to employment.
  • Clinical Optometry 6 - Advanced Contact Lens Practice
    You will develop the concept of contact lens design and application in a more complex context. You will examine the use of contact lenses in a variety of clinical situations and learn about the consequences of long term wear. You will also learn how to develop management plans for patients who wear contact lenses taking into account the patient’s clinical and lifestyle needs. The module is delivered as a series of lectures and practical sessions. Knowledge and skills developed in this module contribute to the core requirements for practising optometry, essential to employment.
  • Optometry, Society and Environment
    Consider the place of the optometric profession in society. You'll examine the laws and ethical codes pertaining to optometry, and considering their effects on optometric services and patients. You'll study the relationship between Acts of Parliament, Statutory Instruments and professional guidelines, and examine the influence of Parliament, the General Optical Council and the College of Optometrists on optometric practice. You'll complete a study of basic ethical theory enabling you to resolve ethical dilemmas and evaluate existing professional guidance. You'll also examine the importance of vision in society by considering the impact of vision on common social and workplace activities such as driving and computer usage. This will include the effects on vision of lighting and radiation along with other environmental factors and hazards.
  • Clinical Optometry 4 - Advanced Optometric Practice
    The aim of this module is to build on the foundations of optometric practice covered in Years 1 and 2 of the course in order to develop the knowledge and application of knowledge in the detection and management of ocular disease. You will learn how to interpret the presenting symptoms and signs of patients attending with ocular disease and how to manage such patients. Management of patients with ocular disease will be considered further with the study of low vision. The module will cover causes of visual impairment, procedures for testing and assessment of patients, evaluation of remaining visual function and consideration of the full range of optical and non-optical visual aids and services available.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment to measure your progress. Because our course is so practical, a lot of your assessment will be practical, too – including exams and clinical competence. You’ll also do written exams, problem-solving exercises, essays, presentations and data analysis.

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?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

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

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£9,250

International students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£13,500

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Additional costs

Please note, the estimated additional costs for this course are as follows:
PD ruler - £20
pen torch - £10
Occluder - £14
Budgie stick - £10
Retinoscope & Ophthalmoscope - £1385
General Optical Council fees - £30 per annum
Lab coat - £15
Travel expenses for 14hrs of hospital experience: approx. £100
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – Enhanced check £44
Printing costs (optional) – Average: £2.50 - £5.00 per teaching week.

 

 

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Scholarships

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. 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 September 2020.

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 answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

Students must be able to demonstrate capability in all the relevant General Optical Council (GOC) competencies at the end of their training. In a small number of cases, a disability or health condition might make it impossible for a student to meet the requirements of a training course or a competency required by the GOC. If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to contact our Disability and Dyslexia Support team (disability@anglia.ac.uk), or our Admissions team (admissions@anglia.ac.uk) where we can refer your query to the course leader.

Further details can be found here: https://www.optical.org/en/Education/Careers/index.cfm.

For international students studying optometry in the UK, the College of Optometrists can offer sponsorship after you graduate. This is so that you can remain in the UK to complete your pre-registration period and professional exams with the General Optical Council. Anglia Ruskin University itself does not provide sponsorship for this period.

Bridging information for Canadian students

If you’re a Canadian student wishing to register as an optometrist in Canada you can follow one of the following pathways. 

Current Canadian undergraduate degree holders:

• Study and complete the three-year BOptom (Hons) Optometry degree at Anglia Ruskin University.

• Undertake one year’s pre-registration work in the UK, resulting in registration as an optometrist in the UK.

• Complete the process of registration for internationally educated optometrists as specified by the optometric regulatory body in Canada.  Applicants are advised to seek up-to-date information on the requirements and procedures.   

• Please note that 'registration as an optometrist is provincially regulated and requirements vary slightly from province to province. It is strongly recommended that interested applicants research the specific requirements in the province(s) that are of most interest. Please see the IOBP's website.


Canadian high school leavers:

• Study and complete the three-year BOptom (Hons) Optometry degree at Anglia Ruskin University.

• Undertake one year’s pre-registration work in the UK, resulting in registration as an optometrist in the UK.

• Spend three years working as an optometrist in the UK or outside of Canada.

• Complete the process of registration for internationally educated optometrists as specified by the optometric regulatory body in Canada.  Applicants are advised to seek up-to-date information on the requirements and procedures.   

• Please note that 'registration as an optometrist is provincially regulated and requirements vary slightly from province to province. It is strongly recommended that interested applicants research the specific requirements in the province(s) that are of most interest. Please see the IOBP's website.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, 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.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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