School of Optometry

It is our aim to advance eye health in our region and society through innovative and clinically relevant education, research, and community engagement.

 

The School of Optometry within Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences, is dedicated to providing a relevant, challenging and supportive learning environment that integrates scientific, clinical and professional aspects to enable our students to become skilled healthcare professionals.

Benefitting from over 80 years of innovation, our portfolio of courses range from undergraduate, to masters taught and doctoral level research. In addition, we offer a wide range of optometry continuing professional development options, designed to complement existing skills and develop new knowledge. Learning at Aston is informed by decades of experience in conducting internationally leading ophthalmic research, ensuring our students have access to the latest thinking and trends in optometry and vision science. 

All our programmes are informed by professional practice. Led by an inter-disciplinary teaching team of optometrists, dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists, and vision scientists. Reflecting this highly practical ethos, students on our undergraduate programmes benefit from substantial hands-on experience in the onsite Aston Eye Clinic, one of the largest at any UK university, with over 6,000 patient episodes completed every year.  

Rankings

The School of Optometry is regularly ranked highly by both leading national ranking publications, and in annual student-led surveys.

  • 90.5 per cent overall satisfaction (BSc Optometry, National Student Survey, 2020)
  • 94.7 per cent of students found the course intellectually stimulating (BSc Optometry, National Student Survey, 2020)
  • 1st in the UK for graduate salaries three years after graduation (Allied Health Courses, Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) data, 2020)
  • 3rd in the UK for research quality (Ophthalmics, Complete University Guide, 2021)
  • 3rd in the UK for student to staff ratio (Health Professions, Guardian University Guide, 2021)
  • 5th in the UK for student experience (Subjects Allied to Medicine, Sunday Times, 2021)

Regulation and professional links

Regulatory bodies

The General Optical Council (GOC) regulates our BSc, MOptom and Graduate Diploma in Optometry courses.  

Within our range of continuing professional development courses, we also offer several higher qualifications that meet the requirements of College of Optometrists Professional Certificates including: 

  • Independent Prescribing for Optometrists 
  • Paediatric Eye Care 
  • Medical Retina 

More details on regulation can be found on our course pages. 

Professional links

We have strong relationships with a range of local hospital Trusts, where our students get the opportunity to observe ophthalmic surgery, specialist clinics and management of patients with visual impairment. These include University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, and the nationally renowned Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where third year undergraduate students observe eye care practitioners in small groups. 

These student experiences also extend to specialist charities such as Focus Birmingham, an independent charity that provides information, advice, support and care for people with visual impairment and complex needs. 

Facilities

The School of Optometry is based in the Vision Sciences building within Aston University’s Birmingham City centre campus. Facilities within the School include: 

  • Aston Eye Clinic with 29 fully-equipped consulting rooms 
  • Dispensing showroom 
  • Specialist clinics in paediatrics, myopia management and dry eye Clinical skills laboratory 
  • Bespoke virtual patient simulators 
  • Lecture theatres and seminar spaces.