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Optometry

Optometrists are eye care professionals who detect and manage a range of sight problems and eye conditions, prescribe and fit glasses, contact lenses and other visual aids.

Optometrists also co-manage a variety of common eye conditions such as glaucoma. Optometrists in Scotland have an extended healthcare role and this degree programme prepares students for these additional responsibilities.

Glasgow Caledonian University is the only university in Scotland to offer this programme in a recognised Centre of Excellence for Vision Sciences. A purpose-built eye clinic on campus with the latest clinical equipment provides students with access to state-of-the-art clinical equipment.

UK & EU Students

Course Details

UCAS Code:B510

Classification:BSc (Hons)

Course Duration:4 Years

Course Start Date:14 September 2015

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland

Year Fee Description/Notes
2014/15 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
2014/15 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

HigherAABBB
A-LevelAAB
ILCAAABBBB
BTECRelevant subject plus GCSEs
Essential SubjectsEnglish (H, GCSE , ILC-H) Maths (H, GCSE , ILC-HA), Physics (S Grade 1/Int 2 A/Nat 5A/GCSE A or Dual Award Science AA), and either 2 sciences (H/ILC-H/GCSE) or 1 science plus Maths (A-level only).
Recommended SubjectsMaths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, English, and Modern Studies/History.
IB Diploma28 points
Your Personal StatementIn your personal statement include you intent to study optometry. Some work experience 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:B510

Classification:BSc (Hons)

Course Duration:4 Years

Course Start Date:14 September 2015

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Year Fee Description/Notes
2014/15 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

Entry RequirementsThis programme accepts applications from international students. Please see the International Student pages for further details.
IB Diploma28 points
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.

College Students

Course Details

UCAS Code:B510

Classification:BSc (Hons)

Course Duration:4 Years

Course Start Date:14 September 2015

Course Mode:Full Time

Subject Area:Vision Science

Location:GCU

Course Fees

Year Fee Description/Notes
2014/15 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

College StudentsYear 1 entry:
Access to Science and Technology/Access to Ophthalmics at 75% or AAA must have 80% in Physics Module from SWAP Access. First attempt only. HNC Science with an A in the Graded Unit(s).

Qualification must include sufficient coverage of physics.
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

Throughout the programme, you will gain knowledge and expertise in subjects related to abnormal ocular conditions and build a rigorous academic education in Optometry.

With a state-of-the-art Eye Clinic within the university campus and specialised accommodation equipped with modern instruments and apparatus used in eye and visual systems examinations, you will experience a high quality of clinical teaching.

In all the clinical studies, there is very close co-operation with academic staff who individually check or assess the work of each student. There is a counselling scheme for first-year students where various aspects of study skills are considered in group tutorials.

As well as forming the basis of further specialisation and graduate study, graduates of this programme are able to register with the General Optical Council after one year's supervised clinical practice and the completion of the Professional Qualifying Exam of the College of Optometrists. The costs of books and instruments will amount to approximately £600 for the programme, although purchase is not essential.

Why Choose This Programme?

Our programme offers an excellent integrated, professional and scientific education in optometry. It emphasises clinical practice and provides ideal training for careers in private practice, hospitals or research. Throughout the programme you will put the theory into practice by working with real patients through regular placements with hospital eye departments and the Resource Centre for the Blind.

This lets you apply the knowledge and skills gained on the programme to real life situations prior to entering the workplace. All clinical studies feature very close cooperation with academic staff, whose responsibility it is to individually check or assess the work of each student. All our students enjoy the benefit of personal tutors to whom they can come if they require help with studying or personal problems.

Programme Structure

Year 1:
Foundations of Optics, Ophthalmic Anatomy & Physiology, Ophthalmic Materials, Refraction & Binocular Vision.

Year 2:
Diagnostic Techniques, Refraction & Binocular Vision, General & Systemic Pathology, Physiology & Microbiology, General & Ocular Diagnostic Pharmacology.

Year 3:
Clinical Ophthalmology, Contact Lenses, Physiological Optics, Clinical practice & Communication, Research Methods & Statistics, Introductory Ocular Disease, Visual Ergonomics, Abnormal Binocular Vision.

Year 4:
Advanced Abnormal Binocular Vision, Low Vision & Speciality Clinics, General Optometric Practice; Shared Care & Ocular Therapeutics, Ophthalmic Professional Studies, Law & Management, Project/Dissertation.

Work Placement

Clinical training takes place in our Eye Clinic on campus, with a number of specialist clinical rotations: contact lens fitting, orthoptics, low vision, electrophysiology, infant and learning disability clinics. Students also attend regular placements at local hospital eye departments & the Resource Centre for the Sensory Impaired.

A BSc (Hons) in Optometry from GCU opens doors to professional placements, providing links to future employers throughout the UK. There are also collaborative programmes with international partners.

Career Opportunities

Employment prospects remain excellent. In addition to private optometric practice, a number of other career paths are open to graduates of this programme such as hospital eye services, teaching and research. Optometry graduates are required to register as student trainees with the General Optical Council to obtain a registration number.

Graduates become qualified optometrists after one year of supervised clinical practice and successful completion of the Scheme for Registration run by The College of Optometrists.

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.

Professional Accreditation

Accredited by the General Optical Council. 

Optometry graduates are required to register as student trainees with the General Optical Council to obtain a registration number. Graduates become qualified optometrists after one year’s supervised clinical practice and successful completion of the Scheme for Registration run by The College of Optometrists.

Assessment Methods

The principal aim of the programme is to deliver high quality clinical education that reflects the evolving role and scope of practice of optometry in the UK.

Our programme assesses the clinical competence of our students in a number of innovative ways, including the use of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) which are similar to those used by our governing body, in their Scheme for Registration. Our programme aims to equip our students with the necessary clinical skills; the OSCEs ensure that they can demonstrate competency in all areas needed to practice as an optometrist.

Clinical teaching is central to our programme. We provide our students with the means to develop the competencies required in clinical practice, which in turn are built from a thorough understanding of the scientific principles underlying the discipline. 

We have strong links with professional bodies, including the College of Optometrists, Association of Optometrists and the Scottish Committee of Optometrists and with a number of industry partners including Specsavers, Optical Express, Birmingham Optical and Optos.

Teaching Methods

The overall aims of our clinical teaching are to stimulate awareness of the optometric problems and requirements of patients amongst and to equip students with the ability to conduct appropriate investigations, develop patient interaction and communication skills, make appropriate evidence based clinical decisions and to achieve sound clinical management of patients.

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 utilising new technology in our award winning onsite eye clinic.

In 3rd and 4th year our students benefit from supervised clinical experience in the University Eye Clinic. Experienced optometrists with expertise in a variety of clinical areas provide clinical supervision and feedback for student when they examine patients. A fully equipped clinical area is available to the students, where they can practice and consolidate their clinical skills.

As part of their training, students attend hospital eye departments and undertake community placements, which ensure that they gain clinical experience with a broad range of ocular conditions. This improves clinical and communication skills and allows to establish diagnostic and management abilities.

In addition, students have the opportunity to undertake a range of summer research programmes. Clinical scholarships are also available, at home and abroad.

Employment Details

Employment prospects for graduates in Optometry have been, and continue to be excellent with all past graduates entering the required one-year pre-registration period within one year of graduation.

Following registration, optometrists have a range of career options including working in a variety of practice settings, working as part of secondary care in hospitals, or setting up their own business.

Optometrists can continue their career development through various post-graduate schemes. These include training towards qualifications for Independent Prescribing and a range of specialist skills (e.g. glaucoma management).

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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