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Ophthalmic Dispensing

Dispensing opticians are eye care professionals who fit and supply spectacles and manage optical practices. They can also expand into eye screening, contact lens fitting and the supply of specialist optical appliances.

GCU is the only university in Scotland to offer a full-time Ophthalmic Dispensing programme in a recognised Centre of Excellence for Vision Sciences.

UK & EU Students

Course Details

UCAS Code:B502

Classification:BSc

Course Duration:3 Years

Course Start Date:12 September 2016

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland

Year Fee Description/Notes
2016/17 Contact us Fees at GCU include all tuition, library, examination & administrative costs. A guide to fees at GCU.

Information about Scholarships and Bursaries for RUK students

Students from Scotland and the rest of the EU

Year Fee Description/Notes
2016/17 Contact us Fees at GCU include all tuition, library, examination & administrative costs. A guide to fees at GCU.

Information about Scholarships and Bursaries

Minimum Entry Requirements

Year 1SQA Higher: BBC including one science plus Nat 5 Maths, English and Physics if not taken at Higher
A level: CC plus GCSE English, Maths and Physics/Double Award Science all at B grades if not taken at A level
ILC Higher: BBCC Including Physics plus English and Maths at Ordinary Level
IB Diploma: 24 points including Physics
Btech Level 3 Extended Diploma: In a relevant subject equivalent to minimum grades and contains Physics
College: SWAP Access to Science and Technology at 75% overall with BBB at first attempt or 65% overall. 65% in Physics Module. Qualification must include a science based HNC (with a B in the Graded Unit(s)) which includes Physics and Maths.
Your Personal StatementPersonal statement should state the student's intent of studying ophthalmic dispensing. Some work experience is always useful.
Disclosure RequirementAll students are required by the General Optical Council to have been cleared by Disclosure Scotland at the advanced level to work in a clinical situation. Disclosure is sought for the Clinic here at Glasgow Caledonian University and applications will be made during enrolment in the first week of the first year of the course. This Disclosure certificate once obtained will last for the duration of the course for the GCU clinic premises only.

Non UK/EU Students

Course Details

UCAS Code:B502

Classification:BSc

Course Duration:3 Years

Course Start Date:12 September 2016

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Year Fee Description/Notes
2016/17 Contact us Fees at GCU include all tuition, library, examination & administrative costs. A guide to fees at GCU.

Information about Scholarships and Bursaries

Minimum Entry Requirements

Year 1SQA Higher: BBC including one science plus Nat 5 Maths, English and Physics if not taken at Higher
A level: CC plus GCSE English, Maths and Physics/Double Award Science all at B grades if not taken at A level
ILC Higher: BBCC Including Physics plus English and Maths at Ordinary Level
IB Diploma: 24 points including Physics
Btech Level 3 Extended Diploma: In a relevant subject equivalent to minimum grades and contains Physics
College: SWAP Access to Science and Technology at 75% overall with BBB at first attempt or 65% overall. 65% in Physics Module. Qualification must include a science based HNC (with a B in the Graded Unit(s)) which includes Physics and Maths.
Your Personal StatementPersonal statement should state the student's intent of studying ophthalmic dispensing. Some work experience is always useful.
Disclosure RequirementAll students are required by the General Optical Council to have been cleared by Disclosure Scotland at the advanced level to work in a clinical situation. Disclosure is sought for the Clinic here at Glasgow Caledonian University and applications will be made during enrolment in the first week of the first year of the course. This Disclosure certificate once obtained will last for the duration of the course for the GCU clinic premises only.
INTO PathwayIf you do not meet the academic requirements, you may be eligible for a preparatory programme with INTO GCU. Successful completion of these INTO courses means a guaranteed conditional offer of a place on the degree programme at Glasgow Caledonian University.

College Students

Course Details

UCAS Code:B502

Classification:BSc

Course Duration:3 Years

Course Start Date:12 September 2016

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Year Fee Description/Notes
2016/17 Contact us Fees at GCU include all tuition, library, examination & administrative costs. A guide to fees at GCU.

Information about Scholarships and Bursaries

Minimum Entry Requirements

Year 1SQA Higher: BBC including one science plus Nat 5 Maths, English and Physics if not taken at Higher
A level: CC plus GCSE English, Maths and Physics/Double Award Science all at B grades if not taken at A level
ILC Higher: BBCC Including Physics plus English and Maths at Ordinary Level
IB Diploma: 24 points including Physics
Btech Level 3 Extended Diploma: In a relevant subject equivalent to minimum grades and contains Physics
College: SWAP Access to Science and Technology at 75% overall with BBB at first attempt or 65% overall. 65% in Physics Module. Qualification must include a science based HNC (with a B in the Graded Unit(s)) which includes Physics and Maths.
Your Personal StatementPersonal statement should state the student's intent of studying ophthalmic dispensing. Some work experience is always useful.
Disclosure RequirementAll students are required by the General Optical Council to have been cleared by Disclosure Scotland at the advanced level to work in a clinical situation. Disclosure is sought for the Clinic here at Glasgow Caledonian University and applications will be made during enrolment in the first week of the first year of the course. This Disclosure certificate once obtained will last for the duration of the course for the GCU clinic premises only.

Programme Description

This three-year programme is based within the Department of Vision Sciences, which is the only department of its kind in Scotland. Students benefit from studying in a recognised centre of excellence in Vision Sciences which has developed strong links with its related professions.

The first two years of the programme are designed to give you the knowledge and understanding of optical principles and how they relate to effective correction of refractive errors in the human eye. In your third year you will develop the advanced skills required to allow you to apply your knowledge in an optical practice.

Strong emphasis is placed on the integration of theoretical and practical aspects throughout the programme. In the University's well-equipped, purpose-built dispensing clinic, you will gain experience in practical dispensing skills while developing your interpersonal skills through dealing with patients. To practice as a Dispensing Optician you must pass the additional exams of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and then complete a year of supervised professional practice before applying to the General Optical Council for professional registration.

Why Choose This Programme?

Dispensing opticians are eye care professionals who fit and supply spectacles and manage optical practices. Dispensing opticians can expand into contact lens fitting and the supply of specialist optical appliances.

GCU is the only university in Scotland to offer a full-time Ophthalmic Dispensing programme in a recognised Centre of Excellence for Vision Sciences. The programme offers an excellent integrated professional education. A modern purpose-built dispensing clinic on campus provides the ideal environment for training towards commercial practice.

A BSc in Ophthalmic Dispensing from GCU opens doors to professional placements, providing links to future employers throughout the UK. Some collaborative programmes also exist with international partners.

What You'll Learn

Year 1: Foundations of Optics, Ophthalmic Materials, Optical Appliances, Ophthalmic Anatomy and Physiology, Refraction and Binocular Vision.

Year 2: Clinical Dispensing Practice and Communication, Diagnostic Techniques (DO), Refraction and Binocular Vision, Ophthalmic Pathology and Pharmacology, Lighting, Colour and Optical Devices, Ophthalmic Professional Studies, Law & Management, Low Vision.

Year 3: All modules are elective, with the choice dependent on the route of study chosen. Dispensing Practice, Investigating Business Practice in Healthcare, Management planning in Healthcare, Research in Health and Social Care, Investigating Effective Practice, International Perspectives on Health, Advanced Orthoptics, Advanced Orthoptics 2, Contact Lenses, Physiological Optics, New Venture Creation, Visual Neuroscience.

Work Placement

The University has its own Eye Clinic, providing practical training facilities at first and second year. Students are expected to undertake two 12 week work placements in commercial practice in their third year.

A BSc in Ophthalmic Dispensing from GCU opens doors to professional placements, providing links to future employers throughout the UK. Some collaborative programmes also exist with international partners.

Professional Accreditation

The BSc Ophthalmic Dispensing is accredited by the General Optical Council.

HM Forces

In partnership with HM Forces, GCU has identified this programme is being particularly suited to military and ex-military men and women. Visit the HM Forces Careers Zone for more information on the services we provide.

Assessment Methods

Our assessment methods are designed to ensure that graduates have a balanced knowledge and understanding of all aspects required of Dispensing Opticians. This experience gained will help our students to become independent learners with a high level of professionalism and allow graduates to remain competent over their career in a continuously evolving and multi-disciplinary field.

The practical training will initially involve fellow students, moving on to volunteers and eventually patients attending the University Eye Clinic for eye examinations, under supervision, giving students experience in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside optometrists and orthoptists. We cover a range of specialist training including exposure to patients with special needs, as well as those with low vision. Parallel to practical education, the course also includes a range of business relevant topics, which will equip students with the required knowledge of running a business. Some dispensing graduates may become practice managers or run their own businesses.

Teaching Methods

This programme is the only one of its kind in Scotland. We place a strong emphasis on developing the professional values and clinical knowledge, as well as enhancing the communication and team -building skills of our students throughout the programme. To do this we use a range of teaching methods and utilise modern technology in our award-winning on-site eye clinic, which is also unique in Scotland.

Our aim is to foster in the students an awareness of the dispensing problems and requirements of patients, and teach skills such as the ability to conduct appropriate investigations, and the development of patient and customer interactions based on solid communication skills.

We have strong links with the UK’s largest employers in the optical sector, which not only enhances our teaching, but also makes our graduates well placed for employment opportunities.

Our students have the opportunity to study abroad, either on an international exchange programme at a partner university or on a work placement.

Employment Details

Ophthalmic Dispensing offers an interesting and worthwhile career with good employment prospects in large organisations, partnerships, private practices or in running your own business. This programme has an excellent record of graduate employment in dispensing optics.

To practise as a dispensing optician, you must also pass the exams of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. You must complete a period of supervised professional practice before applying to the General Optical Council for professional registration, much of which can be concurrent with university training or students with a part-time job in optical practice.

Our programme has evolved and been designed in such a way that almost all of our students enter eye-care occupations, usually as a registered Dispensing Optician after passing the Association of British Dispensing Opticians examinations. Those students who do not choose this route have found a wide range of employment.

Dispensers can continue their career development through various postgraduate schemes including specialist training in contact lens fitting.

The professional knowledge and skills possessed by graduates will enable them to contribute to a modern and changing eye-care and dispensing environment, and to work successfully within multi-disciplinary teams.

Fee Information

Glasgow Caledonian University is one of the UK’s most dynamic and diverse higher education institutions, with a tradition of welcoming students from all walks of life. As such, the University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to ensure all students have an equal chance of success. The fees and funding that are relevant to you also depend on where you lived before coming to university.

To make things as simple as possible we have information on all of this, including links to our award-winning student support team, available at www.gcu.ac.uk/money.

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