BSc / MOptom Optometry

UG Optom student profile
My highlight was seeing real patients in the university's clinics while working towards becoming an optometrist."

Optometrist, Davis Optometrists

Entry requirements

A Level: AAA-AAB

IB: 32

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.

Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)
96% Overall satisfaction (Aston Ophthalmics courses, NSS, 2017)
Subjects Allied to Medicine at Aston is ranked 2nd in the UK in the 2017 Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide
Employed graduates from subjects allied to medicine at Aston earn £12,500 (51%) more than the UK average, three years after graduating (LEO, 2017)

Duration: 3 years full time with integrated placements, 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)

Please note:

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our courses who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on all previous and predicted qualifications, experience, references and motivation. If you meet the basic academic entry requirements, you will be invited to an interview day where you can meet staff, students, and see the campus. Offers are made shortly after each interview day. While we expect applicants to achieve our required entry grades, we will consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below our entry requirements for individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to and aptitude for healthcare practice, however, initial offers will not be lower than stated below.
  • You do not need to apply for both the BSc and MOptom courses on UCAS. Students can choose to swap between the two at any point up to the end of Year 3. Students are required to have achieved an average mark of at least 50% at the end of Year 3 to progress to the MOptom course. 
  • This course requires all applicants to uphold professional standards of behaviour.
  • 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.
  • GCSE requirements: Five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above including English Language and Maths Grade B/5 and above, GCSE Physics Grade B/5 and above (if not held at A Level) or Dual Award Science Grade BB.
  • Find out more about our admissions policy.
  • 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.
  • Suitably qualified students based in Singapore can study Aston's BSc Optometry & Clinical Practice course in country. Visit our course page here.
  • We are not able to accept applications for second year entry to this course.
  • Take a look at our FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Typical Offers:

AAA if an applicant is taking two sciences (from physics, chemistry, maths, biology and applied science). 

AAB if an applicant is taking three sciences (from physics, chemistry, maths, biology and applied science).

You will need to successfully complete the practical elements of at least two of your sciences. Please note that Optometry require applicants to study three separate and distinct subjects at A level and therefore do not accept e.g. both further maths and maths as part of the offer, although it is welcomed as a fourth A level.

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.

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.

32 points overall, to include 666 at Higher Level, which must include Biology and either Chemistry or Physics. 5 points in HL Maths or 6 points in SL Maths.

We welcome applications from students who have taken BTEC qualifications as a first option and who achieved five or more GCSEs (including Maths and English) at grade C or above. You must also meet the A level requirement listed below and pass the practical element of the A levels.

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 resit your A-levels (see our A Level resit policy).

D*DD in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science) together with grade B in A level in Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics).

DD in BTEC Level 3 Diploma / BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science, Laboratory & Industrial Science or Medical Science). With these qualifications we also require grades A and B in two A level science subjects.

We do not accept Access courses for entry to this degree.

Scottish Highers: AAAAB, including Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Maths. 360 UCAS tariff points in Irish Leaving Certificate including a minimum of A2 in Biology, Maths, and Physics or Chemistry and excluding Irish.

Degree: 2:1. Must be in a related field, with BCC at A-level including two sciences. If applicants have not taken A Levels prior to Degree study, other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

Diploma in Optometry from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic: Considered on an individual basis for 1st year entry.

Dispensing Opticians:
 Suitable applicants with FBDO status will be considered on an individual basis.

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our programmes. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this undergraduate degree programme by completing an International Foundation Programme  at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements to our programmes, which include successfully passing an interview. 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 a Foundation Year, although please note the progression requirementswhich include successfully passing an interview. The minimum A level grades we normally consider for entry to Optometry programmes via the Foundation Programme in Science are BBC, including two science subjects. We encourage you to apply for entry direct to the 1st year of the BSc Optometry in the first instance. 

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

For 2018 entry:

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 per year
  • International students: £17,550 per year
  • Please note: Second year students will be required to purchase their own retinoscope, ophthalmoscope, trial frame, Volk, Cross Cyl and Confirmation Stick as well as a few other hand held 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 start of the second year.

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

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 require 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.

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.

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 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 in 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 an 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 module can serve as "Advance Prior Learning" for our Doctorate in Optometry, which can be completed two years after graduation.

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.

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). 

General Optical Council

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

Students register with the GOC at the very start of 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. 

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.

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 equipment
optometry equipment
optometry equipment
optometry equipment
optometry equipment
optometry equipment

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 are 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. 

Hassnain Optometry

Hassnain Safdar


'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.'

Hassnain Button

Discover more in the following ways:

What's next?

Student finance
Open days