SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code M2B521617
Module Leader Dirk Seidel
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Vision Sciences
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The module leads to a detailed knowledge of low vision practice for Dispensing Opticians and other health care professionals. It brings together the relevant areas of visual function, examination, law, and communication skill with the mechanical and optical aspects of low vision aids and their provision .


To give a level of theoretical knowledge commensurate and relevant with routine Low Vision practice: Definition of low vision and registration procedures Visual acuity and visual field in low vision The refraction of the low vision patient and interpretation of results; referral for new refraction; Need for referral based on signs and symptoms of ocular and systemic pathologies Effect of pathologies on visual performance; test charts and types; Incidence, prevalence and conditions causing low vision Low vision aids, patient assessment and supply of appliances; estimating required magnification Design, availability, suitability and optical principles of low vision devices Spectacle corrections and low vision aids Design and roles of non-optical low vision devices Optical principles and use of telescopic low vision aids (afocal and focal) Principles of magnification (including telescopic and real image magnification - CCTV) Verification of magnifiers and telescopic low vision aids CCTV and other electronic low vision aids; field expanders & hemianopic devices BS, EN & ISO standards for low vision aids Low vision and contact lenses Illumination, lighting and contrast, discomfort and disability glare and environmental design and management in low vision; inverse square law, illumination and sound Significance of visual pathway, visual field; visual field measurement in low vision Binocularity and occlusion in low vision; functional consequences of visual impairment Psychological aspects of adapting to visual impairment Advising patients about their impairment; needs and task analysis; training patients Disciplines involved in low vision and the inter-disciplinary interaction; optical practitioners, social services, support groups, specialist trainers, rehabilitation offers, occupational therapists and and teachers Statutory benefits and voluntary support Communication with other support organisations After-care of low vision patients Prognostic factors for "success" with LVAs. Other methods of enhancing visual performance including eccentric viewing & other training methods.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to: Seek and communicate relevant information from and to patients in an effective and appropriate manner.Show professional conduct in fulfilling his/her duty of care as an eye-care professionalUnderstand the refraction of patients with reduced visual acuityUnderstand macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment and other common conditionsDemonstrate the ability to dispense optical low vision aidsDemonstrate the ability to recommend and dispense special optical appliances.Understand the causes of low vision and their effects on vision.Demonstrate the ability to assess a patient with low vision.Demonstrate the ability to advise on the use of, and dispense appropriate low vision aids.Demonstrate the ability to consider the effectiveness of current refraction of patients with low visual acuity and to refer back where appropriate.Understand the assessment of visual function, including the use of LogMAR and other specialist charts, and the effects of illumination, contrast and glare.Understand the assessment of the visual field of patients with reduced vision.Understand binocular vision in relation to low vision appliances.Demonstrate a knowledge of the relevance of optical low vision aids and of common types of non-optical low vision aid.Advise low vision patients on illumination, glare and contrast.Advise patients about their impairment and its consequences.Understand the need for multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to low vision care.Demonstrate the ability to refer low vision patients to other agencies where appropriateUnderstand the after-care management of low vision patients.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will comprise a lecture course supported with practical and tutorial work and problem-solving exercises. This will encourage the evolution of both clinical problem solving skills and information transfer in preparation for the practical application of those skills.

Indicative Reading


Transferrable Skills

Laboratory skills; Social, verbal and non verbal communication skills and interview technique; High order skills in information transfer, liason, debate, analysis. Manual dexterity, interpretation of clinical data; Record keeping; empathy; impartial and impassionate treatment of the problems of others.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 46.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 4.00
Assessment (FT) 14.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 25.00 35% class tests
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% unseen written paper
Course Work 02 n/a 25.00 35% case analyses