Optometry BSc (Hons) /MOptom (Hons)

Course overview

  • Course level
    Undergraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    3 or 4 years
  • UCAS code(s)
    B510 (BSc Optometry) B512 (MOptom)
  • School

Entry requirements

  • A Level
    AAA (two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics) OR AAB (three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics)
  • BTEC
    Are considered with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details
  • International Baccalaureate diploma
    32 Overall (HL 6, 6, 6 must include two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics)
  • GCSEs
    Five GCSEs in total which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4
More information
Apply via UCAS

Key Dates

Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)

90% of students were satisfied Overall (NSS, 2018)

Gain hands-on clinical experience throughout all years of study

Employed graduates from subjects allied to medicine at Aston earn £10,800 (44%) more than the UK average, three years after graduating (LEO, 2018)

Course summary

This course is for you if you wish to develop the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills needed to enter the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration as an optometrist.

Entry requirements

Duration: 3 years full time, or 4 year MOptom course to include an additional year of practise-based learning during the pre-registration period.

UCAS Code: B510 (BSc), B512 (MOptom)

Admissions Review Process: All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated below. If you have already achieved your A level grades you may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme - this means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course may be reduced. Whilst we normally look for evidence of recent study (which we define as the past 3 years), we also welcome applications from mature students who have achieved grades up to 10 years old, which will be considered on a case by case scenario. You will be required to make a full UCAS application which lists your education and work history up to the time of application along with sufficient references. Find out more about our admissions policy.

Personal Statement: If you have a personal statement referring to another course, you will be required to email an Optometry related version.

Applicant Interview Visit Days: If you are shortlisted, you will receive an interview invite which will be held on campus. It is compulsory that you attend in order to receive a decision on your application. For International applicants we organise a Skype interview. In some cases we make a lowered offer to applicants who perform exceptionally at the interviews.

Typical offers

GCSEs:

Total five GCSEs required as follows: B/5 Mathematics C/4 English Language plus three GCSEs at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

A Levels:

AAA two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics
OR
AAB three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

Excluded Subjects: We welcome the following subjects as an additional A level, but not as one of the core three A levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies.

Resits: We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications. However, if you have had more than one attempt at improving your grades, your application will be considered on an individual basis and we reserve to make an amended (higher) offer, or not make an offer. We do not consider applications from students who are unsuccessful in obtaining the required number and/or standard of A Levels for admission to our programmes and subsequently embark on a BTEC as a second option. Instead we would encourage you to re-sit your A-levels.

BTEC:

We consider BTEC qualifications in any subject which are taken with the relevant A Level subjects as listed below.

BTEC Qualification Name

BTEC grades required A Level Requirements

Extended Diploma (QCF/National)

Distinction,
Distinction,
Distinction
(DDD)

With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject, you must also achieve grade B in one A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Diploma (QCF)National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject, you must also achieve grade B in one A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.


Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

90 Credit Diploma (QCF)

Distinction, Distinction (DD) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

National Foundation Diploma

Distinction (D) With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.


International Baccalaureate Diploma:

32 overall in the IB Diploma which must include 6, 6, 6 – 6, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. These subjects must include either two or three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 6 in Maths and 5 in English Language.

Access to Higher Education qualification is not accepted for this course.

International students

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your future webpage.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements and the entry requirements to our courses. 

International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): 

For students with good A level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science at Aston University, however, please note there are specific entry requirements which must be checked:  Foundation Entry Requirements.

Non-standard qualifications

Undergraduate Applicants:

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are want to transfer from their current degree in a related field elsewhere. You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have three A Levels at grade BBB with a minimum of two core sciences (or equivalents). A typical offer would be to achieve 60% overall with no fails in any units. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance.

Graduate Applicants:

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who have completed or will be completing a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have achieved BBC from three A Level including science subjects (or equivalents). A typical offer would be to achieve 2:1 with no fails in any units. These will be considered on a case by case basis for which you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications. For further information please contact the admissions team.

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who either have a BSc in Dispensing (or are in the final year of study), or who have already achieved professional FBDO status prior to application. You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have achieved BBC from three A Levels including science subjects

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

External Foundation Programmes from another University:

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

  • 5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • CCC at A-Level

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

Fees

For 2019 entry:

UK / EU students: £9,250 per year

International students: £18,500 per year

Please note: For use in year 2 onwards, students will be required to purchase their own retinoscope, ophthalmoscope and trial frame, as well as a few other handheld items. We will provide opportunities for you to purchase discounted equipment directly from the manufacturers and we estimate the cost to be around £2000. You will not be expected to purchase this equipment until the end of year 1, ready for use in year 2.

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

Criminal Records Check (DBS) & Fitness to Practise information

Students enrolling onto this course will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check).

In line with national requirements for courses leading to a health professional qualification, this course is also subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

Fitness to Practise regulations requires us to assess how well students are able to build a relationship of trust and confidence with patients. In order to fulfil this requirement, students are asked not to wear a full face veil, or to otherwise obscure their face in a manner that may adversely affect communication when they are working one-to-one with patients.

Discover more about DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise.

Further information for international applicants

Visas for the Pre-Registration period

The 4th year of the MOptom full time course is an integrated work based learning year, allowing students to work and study at the same time. This means that overseas students on the MOptom programme will not require a separate work visa during their pre-registration period. Discover more about visas for the Pre-Registration period.

Ocular Therapeutics

During the fourth year of the MOptom programme, students complete an Ocular Therapeutics module. Aston optometry graduates who have returned to countries in which optometrists have prescribing rights have found this invaluable.

Course in Singapore

Suitably qualified applicants can apply to study Aston's Optometry courses in Singapore.

Canadian applicants

Over recent years there has been increasing interest in our Optometry programme from Canadian applicants. Some of our Canadian graduates now live and work in the UK, whilst some have returned to practice in Canada. Discover more.

Course outline

Optometrists are professional clinicians responsible for many aspects of vision care, trained to examine the eyes for optical defects and to detect visual system diseases that may originate in the eye, brain or elsewhere in the body. Their training includes fitting and supplying spectacles, contact lenses and other optical devices.

This course is highly ranked for overall student satisfaction and graduate employability. 

A key feature of the Optometry course at Aston is the hands-on clinical experience that you will benefit from throughout all years of your degree. You will use our unique virtual patient simulators to help you develop initial clinical skills, and then later encounter real patients in our fully functioning Optometry clinics. You will help to provide patients with a full range of eye care services under the close supervision of our clinical staff, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists and dispensing opticians.

Throughout the programme you will be taught techniques of:

  • General eye examination; 
  • Spectacle dispensing;
  • Fitting and aftercare of contact lenses;
  • Paediatric and geriatric optometry. 

These skills and additional optometry specialties are integrated into the clinical investigation and management of visual problems.

To broaden your knowledge and practical experience, you will have the opportunity to attend a series of observation sessions in local hospital eye departments, a specialist low vision centre, and the Aston University Day Hospital: Optegra refractive surgery hospital.

The MOptom

Students who achieve good grades at the end of Year 3 (an overall average mark of at least 50%) can choose to continue with further study, leading to a MOptom qualification.

You will undertake the MOptom qualification during the pre-registration period - the period after graduation when you are in practice and training on the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration.

You will remain enrolled on a full-time basis at Aston University and undertake 6 masters’-level modules, four of which will be "taught" modules and two are coursework modules. Course material is delivered online and tutors can be accessed via email, phone or in person. You will also attend four days of on-campus tutorials, workshops and exams. These modules can serve as "Advance Prior Learning" for our Doctorate in Optometry, which can be completed two years after graduation.

What you will study

Year 1  

  • Medical Biology and Pathology 

  • Clinical Optometry

  • Basic Investigative Techniques 

  • Clinical Visual Biology 

  • Ophthalmic Lenses 

  • Optics and Medical Imaging 

  • Vision and Visual Perception.

Year 2   

  • Contact Lenses

  • Further Investigative Techniques 

  • Ophthalmic Optics 

  • Primary Optometric Examination 

  • Clinical Professional Development

  • Vision Science and Research Methods.

Year 3    

  • Anterior Eye 

  • Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology 

  • Binocular Vision and Paediatrics

  • Clinical Practice

  • Elective Studies

  • Professional, Occupational and Low Vision

  • Ophthalmic Drugs.

Year 4 (optional MOptom Year)

  • Interprofessional communication 

  • Evidence-based clinical research 

  • Retinal and Macular Disorders 

  • Advanced Investigative techniques 

  • Ocular Prescribing 

  • Glaucoma.

Learning, teaching & assessment

You will encounter a wide range of teaching approaches, such as 

  • Lectures;
  • Tutorials;
  • Practical/clinical skills training;
  • Sessions in the public service clinics in small groups with 3 or 4 students per supervisor, depending on the type of clinic.

Assessments are varied and include examinations, written reports, presentations, and assessment of practical and clinical performance, which includes regulations that are part of the Fitness to Practise scheme (see above for details). 

Professional accreditation

This course is regulated by the General Optical Council (GOC) and is the first step towards becoming a qualified clinician. General Optical Council

Students register with the GOC at the very start of the first year - university staff are on hand to help you with this during Freshers’ week.

The GOC states that in order to become a fully-qualified Optometrist, you must complete the College of Optometrists Scheme for Registration during the Pre-Registration period. In order to enter the scheme, you must achieve at least a 2:2 (if you are on the BSc Optometry course), or at least an overall average of 50% by the end of Year 3 and completed all clinical competencies (if you are on the MOptom course).

The Pre-Registration period involves working in-practice, being supported by supervisors, and taking a number of assessments. You will be responsible for finding your own Pre-Registration post, however, the Aston Careers Team and the Optometry careers tutor will be on hand to support you. In addition, as one of the UK's leading Optometry courses, we are regularly targeted by the major high street optometry chains and other companies that offer Pre-Registration posts. 

Your future career

Our graduates enter careers in hospitals, community-based practice, private practice, the optical industry, optometry research, and roles outside healthcare. Some undertake postgraduate courses.

Roles of recent graduates include:

  • Assistant Optometrist, Specsavers
  • Audit Associate, Deloitte (Accountancy firm)
  • Clinical Demonstrator, Aston University
  • Optician, Boots,
  • Optician, Specsavers
  • Optometrist, Boots,
  • Optometrist, Specsavers
  • Optometrist, Vision Express
  • Pre-Registration Optician, Boots
  • Pre-Registration Optician, Specsavers
  • Pre-Registration Optician, Tesco
  • Pre-Registration Optician, Vision Express
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist Dispenser, Specsavers
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist Dispenser, The Royal Liverpool University Hospital (NHS)
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist Dispenser, Vision Express
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Boots
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, L Dollay Optometrist
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Neil Gordon Opticians
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Specsavers
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Tesco
  • Pre-Registration Optometrist, Vision Express.
Facilities

Our modern, purpose built Vision Sciences building provides outstanding facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate learning, research and clinical work. The facilities that you will benefit from include:

  • A fully functioning Optometry clinic. You will help to provide patients with a full range of eye care services under the close supervision of our clinical staff, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists and dispensing opticians.
  • A clinical skills laboratory, equipped with the latest instruments identical to those that you will use in practice.
  • Unique virtual patient simulators help you develop clinical skills.
  • The onsite Optegra refractive surgery hospital. This day hospital is unique in Europe and houses the first university cornea and refractive research centre in the UK. It brings together our research in areas such as brain imaging, human myopia (short sight) and epilepsy.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.
  • A virtual learning environment used general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. 
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form.

As an Aston optometry student, your proximity to all this expertise will give your studies additional context and interest. 

Note that, although you will have access to key equipment, you will need to purchase some of your own personal equipment by the beginning of term 1 in year 2. This equipment will also be required during the pre-registration period and future practice.

optometry equipmentoptometry equipmentoptometry equipmentoptometry equipmentoptometry equipmentoptometry equipment

Staff

Optometry at Aston University is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences, which also includes the Pharmacy School, Biology, Biomedical Science and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There is over 30 staff in Optometry with other School of Life and Health Sciences staff also undertaking Life/Health Sciences/Physiology related teaching and research. In addition, the Optometry department includes a team of technical and support staff. 

Prof Leon N Davies is the Head of Optometry 

Dr Amy Sheppard is the Programme Director and Deputy Head of Optometry

Dr Hannah Bartlett is the Admissions Tutor

Meet the Optometry team

Meet our students & graduates

Find out what it is really like to study at Aston by reading our student and graduate profiles.


 

Hassnain Optometry

Hassnain Safdar

Optometrist 

'Optometry really appealed to me, as I found it inspiring how by using a few simple techniques, you could have a positive impact on someone’s life.'

Read Hassnain's story.

 

Find out more

Discover more in the following ways:

Why did you choose to study at Aston?

Aston has some of the leading lecturers both nationally and worldwide in Optometry. It was this and the quality of teaching it is well known for, which drew me towards Aston!

Were you involved in any student societies or extra-curricular activities?

My most memorable extra-curricular activity was when I volunteered for Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP). The charity runs a clinic once a week and provides eye care and glasses to homeless people. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for optometry students to see another side of the profession while practicing techniques in a different environment.

What was the highlight of your time at Aston?

My highlight was at the end of my second year when I saw my first patient, the thought that I would be in charge of his eyes and all the associated areas that allow it to function normally such as the brain was both phenomenal and frightening.

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston?

I can always contact them when I have questions via email or arranging face-to-face sessions. The technicians and staff are always helpful and friendly. Also, the HUB, especially the international student support team is very competent even when I was not on campus during my pre-registration year.

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