Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 

pharmacology - CPD

  Key facts:

  • 20 masters level credits 
  • Distance learning
  • Standalone module
  • Module code: OP4OT1

This course is for you if you are a clinician in the field of optometry and are looking to develop your knowledge in ocular pharmacology and therapeutics. You will explore a variety of topics in this area, including in addition to medication errors, pharmacovigilance, and medicines and the law.

  • Credit value: 20 masters level credits 
  • Mode of delivery: Distance Learning   
  • Course type: Standalone Module
  • Module code: OP4OT1
  • Start date: October
  • Number of places available: Up to 30
  • Duration: 16 weeks 
  • Time commitment: Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend up to 200 hours of study in total
  • Entry requirement: You must be a clinician in the field of optometry.
How to apply
  • Applications are currently open for our next intake

  • Closing date: 31 August.

Apply now cpd
For 2018 entry: £1100

This course will provide you with a theoretical background in Ocular Pharmacology and therapeutics. Following successful completion of this module, you should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology, ocular immunology and microbiology and pathology as well as principles history taking for ocular diseases 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of pharmacology and relate this to ocular therapeutic drugs 
  • Interpret the legal basis and frameworks for prescribing 
  • Prescribe safely and professionally as an individual or as part of a team.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Anatomy and physiology 

  • Ocular pathology:  
    • Scope of pathology 
    • Terminology used in pathology and medicine 
    • Health versus disease 
    • Injury and response to injury.

  • History Taking:
    • Presenting symptoms 
    • Ocular history 
    • Medical history.


  • General and ocular immunology and microbiology:
    • Characteristics of infectious agents (including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa) 
    • Normal flora 
    • Recognition and diagnosis of microbial infection of the eye and adnexa 
    • Transmission and (in vitro and in vivo) control of infectious agents 
    • Natural and acquired 
    • Cells of the immune system and communication between cells 
    • Hypersensitivity.

  • Principles of pharmacology:  
    • Pharmacokinetics 
    • Pharmacodynamics 
    • Drug formulation and delivery.

  • Ocular pharmacy and therapeutics:
    • Adverse reactions to drugs 
    • Drug use in special groups, genetic and ethnic influences on drug responses, contraindications, interactions 
    • Drug development and testing 
    • Analgesics 
    • Anti-infective drugs 
    • Vasoconstrictors, anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory drugs 
    • Drugs used in the treatment of dry eye 
    • Drugs used in the treatment of retinopathy and maculopathy 
    • Drugs used in the treatment of glaucoma.


  • Medicines and the law:  
    • Drug legislation, licensing, legal and professional frameworks 
    • Relationships between the non-medical prescriber and statutory professional bodies 
    • Working within clinical governance frameworks that include audit of prescribing practice 
    • Risk management.

  • Effective prescribing:  
    • Governance 
    • Utilising sources of drug information 
    • Prescription writing 
    • Data protection 
    • Medication errors and pharmacovigilance 
    • Influences on prescribing practice and prescribing context (misuse of medicines)  
    • Public health policy.

  • Adherence:  
    • How to review the working and differential diagnosis 
    • How to modify treatment or refer, consult and seek appropriate guidance Medicine taking behaviour 
    • Factors affecting non-adherence 
    • Assessing Adherence 
    • Special populations 
    • Ways of improving non-adherence 
    • Appropriate non-adherence.

  • Medical ethics: 
    • Ethical codes of practice 
    • Ethics in professional-patient relationship 
    • Ethics in inter-professional relationships 
    • Patient confidentiality 
    • Consent and prescribing
    • Shared approach to prescribing (taking account of preferences and values of patients and carers).

This course is delivered via distance learning. You will access learning materials for general study, revision and assessment via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

Assessment is by coursework submitted throughout the course. Coursework will take the form of formative assessment (MCQs) and Portfolio assignment.  

Our courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.

The Optometry CPD courses allow you to develop specialist knowledge in advanced optometric topics. Clinical application and content may allow eye care professionals to widen and specialise their mode of practice.

Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of Life and Health Sciences teaching and research. Many members of staff practise / have practised professionally. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

Course leads: Dr Doina Gherghel and Dr Paramdeep Bilkhu

Discover more in the following ways: 

Sign up to our mailing list: