BSc (Hons) Optometry

GCU's Optometry degree course is designed to provide the theoretical and practical training to equip graduates with advanced clinical skills which they will use to work as independent eyecare professionals.

Optometrists are eyecare professionals who detect sight problems and prescribe and fit glasses as well as contact lenses and other visual aids. Optometrists also detect and manage a variety of eye conditions such as Glaucoma and Age-related macular degeneration.

Optometrists in Scotland have an extended healthcare role compared to elsewhere in the UK. The advanced knowledge and clinical skills that optometrists need to fulfil this role are at the centre of our four-year Optometry programme.

We offer a high-quality clinical and didactic education that is highly rated by students. As an integral part of their studies, students benefit from a wide range of clinical experiences in our purpose-built on-campus Vision Centre.

Your career

GCU has been the hub for non-medical eye-care education in Scotland since 1971. Employment prospects are excellent and our graduates are highly rated by employers throughout the UK. Opportunities include private optometric practice, hospital eye services, teaching and research.

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.

Year 1

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

Year 2

Diagnostic Techniques, Refraction & Binocular Vision 2, General & Systemic Pathology, Physiology & Microbiology, General & Ocular Diagnostic Pharmacology, Clinical Practice & Communication, Introductory Ocular Disease.

Year 3

Clinical Ophthalmology, Contact Lenses, Clinical Studies, Visual Neuroscience, Clinical Research Methods & Statistics, Visual Ergonomics, Incomitant Strabismus.

Year 4

General Optometric Practice, Concomitant Strabismus & Visual Development, Low Vision & Speciality Clinics; Shared Care & Ocular Therapeutics, Ophthalmic Professional Studies, Law & Management, Project/Dissertation.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

Study Options

  • 2022/23


Mode of study


Start date



BSc (Hons)
Full Time
4 Years
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BSc (Hons) Full Time 4 Years Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

Year 1
Scottish Higher: Standard entry requirement: AABBB (incl English/essay-based subject, Maths and two Sciences)
Minimum entry requirement: ABBBC (incl English/essay-based subject, Maths and two Sciences)

Minimum entry requirements are for widening access students only. If you are from a group that is not currently well-represented in higher education you may qualify as a widening access student. This includes living in a target postcode area, attending a target school or college, attending SWAP, are care-experienced or provide care for someone else, have refugee status or are an asylum seeker.

A level: AAB (incl two Sciences or one Science and Maths)  GCSE: A/7 (Maths) B/6 (English) or AA/77 (Double Award Science); GCSE: Physics recommended
ILC Higher: H1 H1 H2 H3 H3 (incl two Sciences, Maths and English; Physics recommended)
IB Diploma: 30 points with H6 H6 H5 (incl two Sciences and Maths)
BTEC: D*DD Ext Dip (Science/Applied Science) GCSE: B/6(English) A/7 (Maths)
College HNC: Science-based HNC (incl Maths) - graded unit A; HNC that includes Physics recommended
SWAP: Access to Science and Technology - 75% overall (Distinction) or AAA on the first attempt (incl 80% in Physics module)

English language IELTS of overall 7.0 with 7.0 in Speaking and 6.5 in all other elements (or equivalent)

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Your personal statement

In your personal statement you should include your intent to study optometry. Some work experience always useful.

Additional information

Modern Apprenticeships

If you have completed a Modern Apprenticeship at SCQF level 6 in a relevant discipline this would be equivalent to two highers at B.

Relevant experience (RPL)

GCU’s flexible entry policies exist to allow relevant work experience and prior learning to be considered towards standard entry or advanced entry into a course. If you have three to five years of relevant work experience, you can apply for the degree that interests you and get in touch with our admissions team about your application and your eligibility for Recognition of Prior Learning.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

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.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
International: £13,000

*Scottish student tuition fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.
**Students from the Rest of the UK (RUK) will pay no more than £27,750 towards the total fees of a three or four-year degree.

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2 million per year.

View undergraduate scholarships at GCU.

We use a wide range of learning and teaching methods to ensure that you have both the necessary knowledge and understanding of business and management and a portfolio of intellectual and personal skills.

Each module on the programme uses its own learning, teaching and assessment strategy to achieve learning objectives. Assessment methods vary between modules and may include unseen examinations, class tests, essays, management reports, case studies, presentations, and group work.

The learning and teaching methods we use ensure that our programme is both vocationally relevant and academically challenging. Our approach is student-centred, practical, participative and relevant to the needs of employers.

We've moved away from the traditional teacher-centric learning to a more independent learning approach, where you are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills.