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Graduate Diploma in Optometry

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Entry requirements

See below for full details

This course is for you if you did not achieve the grades required for automatic progression onto the UK pre-registration period, your certificate of clinical competence has expired or you obtained an optometry qualification from outside the UK. Learn from academics with a world-class reputation for research and ophthalmologists from several local eye departments.

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Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)
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96% Overall satisfaction (Undergraduate Optometry, 2016 NSS)
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Modern, purpose built Vision Sciences building with first-class teaching facilities
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2nd in the UK for Optometry (2017 Complete University Guide)

Mode of delivery: Full-time, campus based

Duration: 9 months (October to July)

Please note:

  • This programme is available for those who have a 3rd or Pass degree classification in a BSc Optometry degree from a UK university. Students from outside the UK may be eligible for this programme if they have a recommendation from the General Optical Council. It can also be taken by practitioners whose certificate of clinical competence has expired.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We recommend applicants check with the GOC that successful completion of this course will allow progression into the pre-registration period in their particular circumstances.

Start date: October

How to apply:

  • Apply here 
  • The application deadline is 31 August 2017.
Tuition fees for 2016 entry (fees for 2017 entry to be confirmed shortly):
  • UK/EU students: £13,000
  • International students: £16,850

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 involve the assessment of building a relationship of trust and confidence between clinician and patient. In order to fulfil this requirement, students are prohibited from wearing a full veil during clinical teaching sessions or otherwise obscuring their face in a manner that may adversely affect communication and compromise the relationship of trust and confidence.

Discover more about DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise.

This course is designed for:

  • Optometry graduates who have not achieved the grades required for automatic progression onto the UK pre-registration period (i.e. students that have not achieved at least a 2:2 in their degree and / or competence in key skills).
  • Practitioners whose certificate of clinical competence has expired.
  • Students from outside the UK who have a recommendation from the General Optical Council and need to obtain an appropriate qualification to work in the UK.

Teaching takes place in lectures, tutorials and practical/clinical classes.

Assessment is by written examination (75%), and assessment of practical and clinical performance (25%).

All examinations need to be passed and an overall average of at least 50% achieved for successful completion of this programme.

Performance in the Graduate Diploma in Optometry will not alter the classification of the optometry degree initially awarded.

This course is regulated by the General Optical Council (GOC). 

Students must be registered with the GOC before the start of the academic year - university staff are on hand to help you with this during Freshers’ week. The GOC asks students to disclose any prior criminal convictions that may render them unsuitable for training.

After completion of the Graduate Diploma in Optometry, you must complete a pre-registration period that leads to a series of College of Optometrist exams through the Scheme for Registration.  Success in the College's exams earns you the qualification MCOptom (Member of the College of Optometrists) and allows you to register with the GOC as a fully qualified optometrist . Entry to pre-registration training is regulated by the GOC and minimum entry requirements apply - visit their website for more information.

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.

Aston University’s Optometry graduates consistently achieve high levels of graduate employment.

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 from our undergraduate courses 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 your own retinoscope, ophthalmoscope, trial frame, pen torch, cover stick & a near Snellen stick. 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 (LHS), 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. 

Dr Leon N Davies is the acting Head of Optometry

Dr Hannah Bartlett is the Admissions Tutor

  • Dr Frank Eperjesi - Head of Optometry and joint module leader for Binocular Vision and Paediatrics
  • Prof Anderson - module leader for Professional, Occupational and Low Vision
  • Dr O Hunt - Deputy Head of Optometry (Programme Director) module leader for Clinical Practice
  • Dr D Gherghel - module leader for Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology 
  • Dr S Naroo - module leader for Anterior Eye
  • Dr N Logan - Joint module leader for Binocular Vision and Paediatrics

Meet the Optometry team.

Discover more in the following ways:



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