Optometry/Ophthalmic Science MSc

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • Degree
    Applicants must hold at least an upper 2nd class honours degree in an ophthalmic or biomedical field from a UK university or the recognised equivalent from an overseas university. For further details please see below.
More information
Apply October 2020


Flexible: gain a postgraduate certificate, diploma or masters qualification

Select the modules most relevant to your professional practice and an area to study in depth for your dissertation

Enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline

3rd in the UK for research quality (Ophthalmics, Complete University Guide, 2020)

Course summary

Enhance your knowledge and critical awareness of current issues with our part time masters in optometry / ophthalmic science. You’ll remain in full time professional practice whilst studying modules that put you at the forefront of this academic discipline.

Key information, entry requirements and fees

Mode of delivery: Part time distance learning

Duration: Up to 5 years part time for the full master's degree.

Start date: March and October 

Fees: £1,100 per 20 credit module. In accordance with University policy, tuition fees may increase in future years of study.

Entry requirements:

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.
  • Applicants must hold at least an upper 2nd class honours degree in an ophthalmic or biomedical field from a UK university or the recognised equivalent from an overseas university.
  • Other qualifications (such as Fellowship of the British Dispensing Opticians) will be considered individually, on merit.
  • Applicants must have spent at least two years in clinical practice before entering the course.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • 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.

Start dates: Two intakes per year - 1 October and 1 March 

 How to apply:

  • For March entry apply here.
  • For October entry apply here. 
  • The application deadline for each intake is 6 weeks before the start date.
  • If you are applying close to the deadline, please ensure you have all supporting documentation ready for the application. If the deadline has passed, we may still be able to consider you, so please contact us.
Course outline

The flexibility of this course allows you to study to the level that you wish and select the topics of interest to you. 

You will initially enrol on the postgraduate framework of flexible credit accumulation in the School of Life and Health Sciences. You have the option of taking each of the three stages of the course in order (PgCert, PgDip then MSc), or it is possible to exit the course at any of the stages, enabling you to be flexible with your level of commitment at the outset. Taught credits are valid for 5 years, so students studying for an MSc / PgDip / PgCert must complete their studies within 5 years of enrolment.

  • PgCert Optometry (60 taught credits)
  • PgDip Optometry (120 taught credits, to include those studied as part of the PgCert)
  • MSc Optometry / Ophthalmic Science (120 taught credits, to include those previously studied as part of the PgCert and PgDip, plus a 60 credit narrative research review dissertation)

As part of the flexible course, UK optometrists may complete the theoretical element of the GOC-approved Independent Prescribing for Optometrists course.

Each taught module* is worth 20 credits and include:

For the MSc, you will also undertake a 60 credit research review dissertation module, supervised by a member of Aston academic staff.

*Each of these modules can also be studied as stand alone modules. Please visit the links for more details. 

Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

Online lectures are used to support your learning; these are available on our virtual learning environment whenever you chose to view them, and are accompanied by short formative tests throughout the module. Each module includes a substantial piece of coursework, e.g. a scientific literature review or portfolio of case records. 

The dissertation module involves exploring an area relevant to contemporary practice in an extended literature review or short practical project. You will be supervised by an experienced member of academic staff.

Course Director: Dr Gurpreet K. Bhogal-Bhamra

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