Graduate Diploma in Optometry

Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)

Why choose this course?

  • This subject line is ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in the Sunday Times University Guide 2015. 
  • World-class reputation for research
  • Modern, purpose built Vision Sciences building with first-class teaching facilities
  • Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC)
  • Students will have the opportunity to work with ophthalmologists in several local NHS eye departments.

Duration of programme: 9 months - October to July. Full-time, campus based learning.

Start date: October 

Deadline to apply for 2016 entry: 31st August 2016. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, please contact us.

Entry requirements:
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.

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.

Tuition fees for 2016 entry:
UK/EU students: £13,000
International students: £16,850


Students enrolling onto certain programmes within the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check. Also in line with national requirements for programmes leading to a health professional qualification, a number of degree programmes in the School of Life and Health Science are subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

For more information please follow the link: DBS Checks & Fitness to Practise

This programme is designed for Optometry graduates who do not achieve the grades required for automatic progression onto the UK pre-registration period (i.e. students who do not achieve at least a 2:2 degree and/or competence in key skills). Students from outside the UK may be eligible for this programme if they have a recommendation from the General Optical Council. The course can also be taken by practitioners whose certificate of clinical competence has expired.

The modules that make up the Graduate Diploma in Optometry programme are:

Plus an evidence-based research project.

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. 

Working with patients:
The Aston University BSc in Optometry and Graduate Diploma in Optometry involve the assessment of fitness to practise and one of the requirements is to promote the 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.

This programme is accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC).

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.

You will need to register with the GOC prior to attending classes. The GOC asks students to disclose any prior criminal convictions that may render them unsuitable for training.

You will have excellent career prospects in:

  • Private practice, in your own practice, in partnership or as an employee of a large optical company
  • Hospital practice
  • The optical industry
  • Optical research
  • Any other career recruiting high quality graduates.
Aston University’s Optometry graduates consistently achieve high levels of graduate employment.
Our modern, purpose-built Vision Science building provides outstanding facilities for undergraduate teaching, research and clinical work - including a fully operational Optometry Clinic.

The Aston University Day Hospital, located next to the Vision Sciences building is unique in Europe and houses the first university cornea and refractive research centre in the UK. The Aston University Day Hospital also brings together our research in areas such as brain imaging, human myopia (short sight) and epilepsy.

As an Aston optometry student your proximity to all this expertise will give your studies additional context and interest. Aston is currently the only optometry school in the world to have cataract and refractive surgery facility on campus.

Note that, although you will have access to key equipment, you will need to purchase some of your own personal equipment (approximate cost of £1,400) by the beginning of term 1 in year 2. This equipment will also be useful during the pre-registration period and future practice. The following is a list of the equipment you will need; retinoscope, ophthalmoscope, trial frame, pen torch, cover stick & a near Snellen stick.


optometry equipment



optometry equipment



optometry equipment



optometry equipment



optometry equipment


optometry equipment

  • 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
For further information please contact:

Tel:  +44 (0) 121 204 4161       
email: lhspgt@aston.ac.uk
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