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

  • 2020/21


Mode of study


Start date




BSc (Hons)
Full Time
4 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location UCAS  
BSc (Hons) Full Time 4 Years 14 Sep 2020 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: BBBBC including English, 2 sciences or 1 science plus Maths National 5 Physics is recommended. National 5 Maths at B is required (if Maths is not taken at Higher Level)

A level: BBB including one science plus GCSE Maths and English at B/6; GCSE Physics is recommended

ILC Higher: H2 H3 H3 H3 H3 to include a Science, Maths and English. Physics is recommended

IB Diploma: 28 points must include a Higher Level Science and Maths at 6. Physics is recommended

BTEC: Extended Diploma in Science/Applied Science DDM plus GCSE English and Maths at B/6

College HNC: HNC in Science related area with B in graded unit (to include Numeracy unit if applicant has no Maths, Physics is a recommended unit). Examples are HNC Care and Administrative Practice or HNC Applied Science

SWAP: Access to Science & Technology/Ophthalmics – 70% overall (Distinction) or ABB pass at 1st attempt including Physics Module. SWAP Access to Engineering – 70% overall (Distinction) or ABB pass at 1st attempt along with Higher Biology Unit.

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.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English will normally be required to hold IELTS of overall 7.0 with 6.5 in each element or equivalent.

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.

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

Tuition fees 2020/21

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
EU: £1,820*
International: £12,250

Tuition fees 2019/20

Home: £1,820*
RUK: £9,250**
EU: £1,820*
International: £11,845

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

**Students from rest of UK 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. Fees and refund policy.

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 and Uniforms . However, while on practice education placements, you will need to meet any additional costs for accommodation and travel. You may be able to apply to SAAS for additional expense support to help meet these costs. 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 £15 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 £220.
- 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

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.

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 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).

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.