BSc (Hons) Optometry

GCU's Optometry programme 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.

GCU has been the hub for non-medical eye-care education in Scotland since 1971 and remains the only institution in Scotland to offer a degree programme in Optometry.

Your career

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

  • 2019/20


Mode of study


Start date




BSc (Hons)
Full Time
4 Years
16 Sep 2019
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BSc (Hons) Full Time 4 Years 16 Sep 2019 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

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.

Year 1

SQA Higher
AABBB English, (or essay based subject such as Modern Studies/History), Mathematics, 2 sciences plus one other Higher Nat 5 Physics is recommended
A Level
AAB including two sciences or one science and Maths plus GCSE Maths at A/7 and English at B/6 – GCSE Physics is recommended 
ILC Higher
H1 H1 H2 H3 H3 to include 2 Sciences, Maths and English Physics is recommended
IB Diploma
30 points including two Higher Level sciences at 4 plus Maths – Physics recommended
BTEC Extended Diploma
in Science/Applied Science D*DD or DDD plus GCSE English at B/6, Maths and Double Science at AA/77
HNC - Science-based HNCs including Maths with A in the Graded Unit. HNCs that include Physics are recommended
SWAP Access to Science and Technology/Ophthalmics with AAA on the first attempt and including 80% in Physics module.
Foundation Apprenticeship

Accepted as equivalent to one Higher as part of the overall grade profile of Highers required for entry. Any essential subjects at Higher should still be achieved in addition to the Foundation Apprenticeship.

Your personal statement

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

Additional information

Other Academic and Vocational Qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English will normally be required to hold IELTS of overall 7.0 with 7.0 in speaking and 6.5 in all other elements, or equivalent.

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.

For new international students, particular care is taken around our induction events which begin on 13 September 2019 to welcome you to the UK and GCU prior to the start of teaching. There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus tours, city tours and social events where you can meet other international students. Where possible, we encourage you to arrange travel to allow you to arrive in time to enjoy these.

Find out more about international life at GCU.

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

Tuition fees 2019/20

Home: £1820** 
RUK: £9250*
EU: £1820** 
International: £11,845 

*Total tuition fees for RUK students completing a three or four year degree are capped at £27,750.

**Specific fees are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Government and may change once confirmed.

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

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 £2.5 million per year.

View our Undergraduate scholarships.

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.