Optometry BSc (Hons) /MOptom (Hons)

Course overview

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

Entry requirements

  • A Level
    AAA to AAB including a minimum of two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics (depending on Scoring and Contextual offer)
  • BTEC
    Are welcomed 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

Play Video

Here is Optometry

Take a look at what second year Optometry student, Simone, says about her course and Aston.

Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)

96.8% of students were satisfied Overall (National Student Survey, 2019)

6th in the UK for graduate prospects (Subjects Allied to Medicine, Sunday Times, 2020)

Gain hands-on clinical experience and encounter real patients throughout all years of study

Course summary

Gain hands-on clinical skills and encounter real patients throughout each year of your optometry degree at Aston University. You’ll develop the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to enter the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for registration as an optometrist, as well as have the option to complete an integrated masters level year with our MOptom degree.

Entry requirements and fees: 2020

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)

Fees for 2020 entry:

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 per year
  • International students: £18,900* per year

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

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

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 predicted grades of CCC or above 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. 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 for your application to be processed further. 

Interview Visit Days: If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Please note, the interview is a compulsory element of your application and must be completed for you to be considered for an offer. Our interviews are held on campus, however if you are unable to travel to us, please contact our admissions team as soon as possible on ugadmissions@aston.ac.uk. International students based outside of the UK will be invited to a Skype interview.

 

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.
  • AAB three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
  • A level applicants may be eligible for a lowered offer if they perform exceptionally at interview or are eligible for our Contextual Offer Scheme.

More details about interview scoring will be provided to shortlisted candidates and Contextual Offer Scheme.


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 welcome 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 in Higher Level subjects. These subjects must include either two 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: this qualification is not accepted for this course.

Foundation Programme in Science: Health 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: Health Science at Aston University.

 

International students

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

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme. International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

 

Alternative qualifications

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 undergraduate admissions team 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.

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 levels including a minimum of one science subject from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics (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 achieved a BSc in Dispensing at a 2:1 (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 a minimum of one science subject from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

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

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.
  • BBB in any three A Level subjects
  • BBC in three A Level subjects which must include two sciences from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics

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.

Key applicant information

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

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

See full details about our DBS and Fitness to Practise regulations.

Additional costs: In addition to course fees, for use in year 2 onward, optometry 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.

 

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 our 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.

Professional accreditation

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

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. 

Course outline

Optometrists are professional clinicians responsible for multiple aspects of vision care. Specialising in preserving sight by diagnosing and treating visual problems. They’re trained to examine the eyes and detect visual system diseases originating in the eye, brain or other parts of the body.

Why Aston?

Studying the optometry at Aston University gives you the skills needed to provide patients with a full range of eye care services. Situated in our city-centre campus, our degree provides:

  • Hands on clinical experience –building your confidence throughout each year.
  • Unique virtual patient simulators–developing your essential clinical expertise.
  • A fully functioning optometry clinic on campus– putting your knowledge to practice as you encounter real life patients and gain hands on experience.

At Aston, you will learn the specific techniques of general eye examination and spectacle dispensing. You will gain knowledge of the fitting and aftercare of contact lenses. Whilst also getting an understanding of paediatric and geriatric optometry.

These skills will then be integrated into the clinical investigation and management of visual problems. With the exciting opportunity to attend various observation sessions in: a specialist low vision centre, local hospital eye departments and the Aston University Day Hospital.

Expand your knowledge with our integrated MOptom year

In addition to the BSc Optometry degree, you have the opportunity* to continue your studies with our MOptom (Hons) Optometry course. 

You will remain enrolled at Aston on a full-time basis, while you undertake six 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. 

Completing the MOptom enables you to achieve a master’s degree as you qualify as a registered optometrist. Whilst undergoing the pre-registration period, your depth of knowledge will be enhanced by the distance modules that we offer and your skills will continue to be refined and grow during this final year. 

What you will study

Year 1: Develop your knowledge of the scientific principles that underpin optometry while you begin to acquire a range of core clinical skills.

Modules

  • Medical Biology and Pathology 
  • Clinical Practice 1
  • Basic Investigative Techniques 
  • Clinical Visual Biology 
  • Ophthalmic Lenses 
  • Optics and Medical Imaging 
  • Vision and Visual Perception.
  • Personal and Professional Development.

Year 2: Gain skills in contact lens fitting, dispensing and binocular vision. During this year you will also develop your ability to perform a full eye examination and manage patients.

Modules

  • Clinical Practice Development
  • Clinical Practice 2
  • Contact Lenses
  • Further Investigative Techniques 
  • Ophthalmic Optics 
  • Vision Science and Research Methods.

Final year (BSc) / Year 3 (Moptom): See a wide range of patients in our public service clinic and gain experience in specialist optometry services. Develop further knowledge in areas such as ocular disease and abnormality as well as professional skills required for a career in optometry.

Modules

  • Anterior Eye 
  • Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology 
  • Binocular Vision and Paediatrics
  • Clinical Practice 3
  • Elective Studies
  • Professional, Occupational and Low Vision
  • Ophthalmic Drugs.

Final year (MOptom): Deepen your knowledge of topics such as advanced investigative techniques, evidence-based clinical research, glaucoma and interprofessional communication. You will remain enrolled on a full-time basis and study via distance learning while you complete the Scheme for Registration.  

Modules

  • Interprofessional communication 
  • Evidence-based clinical research 
  • Retinal and Macular Disorders 
  • Advanced Investigative techniques 
  • Ocular Prescribing.
Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods on our optometry programmes are varied and include a wide range of lectures and tutorials.

To ensure you gain the hands-on skills needed to become a competent and confident optometrist, we ensure you complete a series of and practical and clinical skills training sessions throughout as well as a series of sessions in the public service clinics in small groups with 3 or 4 students per supervisor, depending on the type of clinic.

Assessments

Like our teaching, 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.

Staff

You'll be taught and supervised by practising optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and opticians specialising in dispensing, contact lenses and low vision. In addition to teaching, staff within Aston Optometry School undertake a wide variety of cross-disciplinary research which is then fed back into our teaching, to ensure your educations remains at the forefront of the field.   

Head of Optometry: Prof Leon N Davies  

Programme Director: Dr Amy Sheppard 

Admissions Tutor: Dr Hannah Bartlett 

 

Your future career prospects

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. 

Our graduates enter careers in hospitals, community-based or private practice, the optical industry, optometry research, roles outside of healthcare or choose to undertake further postgraduate study.

Companies and institutions who have employed our graduates include:

  • Boots
  • NHS hospitals including: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and The Royal Liverpool University Hospital
  • Specsavers
  • Tesco
  • Vision Express.
Facilities

As an optometry student at Aston, you'll spend most of your time in our Vision Sciences building, which is equipped with a range of facilities and equipment for learning, research and clinical work. The facilities that you will benefit from include:

  • An onsite public facing 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 instruments identical to those that you will use in practice.
  • Unique virtual patient simulators help you develop clinical skills.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.
  • Blackboard, our 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. 

Contact us
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.

Register your interest