BSc (Hons) Orthoptics

Orthoptists are allied health professionals who specialise in the diagnosis and management of a wide range of eye conditions.

Understanding the eye and the role of the brain in visual experience are key to Orthoptic work. Orthoptists work in the care and management of patients with poor development of vision and conditions that include brain injury, diabetes, stroke, low vision and glaucoma.

Orthoptists work closely with Ophthalmologists and Optometrists, as well as paediatricians, neurologists, nursery teachers, health visitors, endocrinologists, and other allied health professionals in multi-disciplinary care.

The programme at GCU involves learning alongside other healthcare trainees giving students a multidisciplinary experience throughout their four years of study. Orthoptics is suited to individuals interested in health care who enjoy working with people, particularly children and the elderly.

Your career

Studying Orthoptics is interesting and challenging and employment opportunities are excellent. The qualification is recognised worldwide.

The programme has been approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC and for membership of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society and the International and European Orthoptic Organisations.

Year 1

Foundations in Practice in Health and Social Care, Ocular Anatomy and Physiology, Child Development and Health Optics, Refraction and Binocular Vision, Practice Education.

Year 2

Diagnostic Techniques, Ocular Pharmacology, Ocular Pathology, Physiology and Microbiology, Refraction and Binocular Vision, Introductory Ocular Disease, Practice Education.

Year 3

Advanced Orthoptics 1 & 2, Research Methods and Statistics, Clinical Ophthalmology, Incomitant Deviations, Practice Education, Visual Neuroscience.

Year 4

Management in Health Care, Honours Project, Advanced Orthoptics 3, Practice Education.

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: BBBBC (incl English/essay-based subject and two Sciences or Maths and one Science)  Nat 5: B (Maths); Nat 5: Physics recommended
Minimum entry requirement: BBCCC (incl English/essay-based subject and two Sciences or Maths and one Science) Nat 5: B (Maths); Nat 5: Physics recommended

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: BBB (incl one Science) GCSE: B/6 (Maths and English); GCSE: Physics recommended
ILC Higher: H2 H3 H3 H3 H3 (incl two Sciences, Maths and English; Physics recommended)
IB Diploma: 28 points (incl a HL Science and Maths at 6; Physics recommended)
BTEC: DDM Ext Dip (Science/Applied Science) GCSE: B/6 (English and Maths)
SWAP: Access to Science and Technology/Ophthalmics - 70% overall (Distinction) or ABB pass at first attempt (incl Physics Module at 70%) or SWAP Access to Engineering - 70% overall (Distinction) or ABB pass at first attempt (Higher Biology Unit is recommended)
College HNC: Science-related HNC - graded unit B (incl Numeracy unit if applicant has no Maths; Physics is a recommended unit)

English language IELTS score of 7.0 with no element below 6.5 (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.

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.

The programme has been approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC and for membership of the British and Irish Orthoptic Society and the International and European Orthoptic Organisations.

Placements are an integral part of the course necessary to reach professional competency and students will complete around 30 weeks of placement. These occur as daily placements throughout the academic year. There are block placements throughout Scotland and the UK between the months of May and August (two weeks after first year, four weeks after second year, six weeks after third year).

Travel and accommodation are currently covered by SAAS AHP placement agreements for eligible students for placements in Scotland, however some costs have to met by students for placement in England, Wales and NI which is not covered by the SAAS AHP placement agreement (costs vary depending but usually do not exceed £2500 for the duration of the course).

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

Additional costs for Scottish domiciled students

If you are a Scottish domiciled student, you will not need to pay for PVG checks, occupational health checks or uniforms. Check out the SAAS Nursing and Midwifery student placement expenses claim and Allied Health Professions student placement expenses claim forms. 

Additional costs for all other students (rest of UK, EU and International)

During this course, you will be required to cover the cost of:
- Uniforms: approximately £16 each. The number of uniforms you require depends on the duration of your course and can range from two to four.
- Occupational health checks and vaccination set fee of £325
- Membership of Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. New applications cost £59. Updates to the existing scheme record cost £18.  

Invoices will be issued by the University for payment of all of the above additional costs in Trimester B (March/April) of the first year of your programme.

- Potential accommodation and additional travel costs during practice education placements


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.