Advanced Clinical Practice in Ocular Health MSc

Our School of Optometry is offering an exciting new masters programme for allied health professionals working in the field of ophthalmology who wish to to progress to advanced clinical practitioners . The programme is part of the Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF) and is open to optometrists, orthoptists and nurses working within the field of ophthalmology. 

New international applicants requiring visas
 

  • New applications from 15th June 2022 - we are unable to accept any new applications from international students onto this programme for September 2022 entry, who will require a visa to study in the UK.  
  • Existing applications received before 15th June 2022 – applicants and offer holders for September 2022 entry already received before this date will be processed in time to support Visa applications for timely entry.

UK applicants

  • We continue to welcome applications from Home students or students who do not need a CAS/visa to study with us.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Part-time, Online / distance learning

Course format

Duration

3 years, part-time 

UCAS code(s)

Start date

Overview

“The staff of Aston’s optometry department are so supportive and really want to see their students succeed. I found it useful to have different clinical supervisors in third year because each clinician does things a bit differently, so you can then use your favourite bits from each person’s routine to create your own.”

Natasha Richards, Optometrist at Specsavers

Read more about Natasha's story

Name and course:

 Natasha Richards, BSc Optometry

Graduate job:

Optometrist, Specsavers 

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston? 

The staff of Aston’s optometry department are so supportive and really want to see their students succeed. I found it useful to have different clinical supervisors in third year because each clinician does things a bit differently, so you can then use your favourite bits from each person’s routine to create your own.

What was the highlight of your time at Aston?

My highlight of my time at Aston was when we started seeing real patients in clinics. It was a great feeling to finally put all of my knowledge to use.

Were you involved in any student societies or extra-curricular activities?

My most memorable extra-curricular activity was when I volunteered for Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP). The charity runs a clinic once a week and provides eye care and glasses to homeless people. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for optometry students to see another side of the profession while practicing techniques in a different environment. And, the clinic is located at SIFA Fireside which is walking distance from campus. I definitely recommend that optometry students attend these clinics when possible, as I learned so much from them while also giving something back to the community.

How did you find the Aston campus experience?

I loved the campus at Aston. It’s much smaller than my previous university campus in Canada, and it was very easy to get from one building to another. Optometry students have all of their classes and clinics in the Vision Sciences building, which is very close to the library for those students who like to study on-campus.

What was the best thing about being a student in Birmingham?

Birmingham has amazing transport links so it’s very easy to travel within the UK and even abroad.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at Aston?

If possible, visit the universities that you are considering to get a feel for them, and choose your university based on where you can see yourself attending.

What would be your top recommendation to new students on what to do or see in Birmingham?

Brindley Place has great restaurants right along the canals, so I’d highly recommend going there. And this may sound weird, but Birmingham’s public library is a must-see! It’s a beautiful building and you can go to the top floor balcony and have gorgeous views of the city.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice as a first year student, what would it be?

Learn the basics really well, because everything builds on top of them, especially in optometry.

 

optometrist testimonial

“The staff of Aston’s optometry department are so supportive and really want to see their students succeed. I found it useful to have different clinical supervisors in third year because each clinician does things a bit differently, so you can then use your favourite bits from each person’s routine to create your own.”

Natasha Richards, Optometrist at Specsavers

Read more about Natasha's story

Name and course:

 Natasha Richards, BSc Optometry

Graduate job:

Optometrist, Specsavers 

How did the quality of teaching and student support enhance your time at Aston? 

The staff of Aston’s optometry department are so supportive and really want to see their students succeed. I found it useful to have different clinical supervisors in third year because each clinician does things a bit differently, so you can then use your favourite bits from each person’s routine to create your own.

What was the highlight of your time at Aston?

My highlight of my time at Aston was when we started seeing real patients in clinics. It was a great feeling to finally put all of my knowledge to use.

Were you involved in any student societies or extra-curricular activities?

My most memorable extra-curricular activity was when I volunteered for Vision Care for Homeless People (VCHP). The charity runs a clinic once a week and provides eye care and glasses to homeless people. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for optometry students to see another side of the profession while practicing techniques in a different environment. And, the clinic is located at SIFA Fireside which is walking distance from campus. I definitely recommend that optometry students attend these clinics when possible, as I learned so much from them while also giving something back to the community.

How did you find the Aston campus experience?

I loved the campus at Aston. It’s much smaller than my previous university campus in Canada, and it was very easy to get from one building to another. Optometry students have all of their classes and clinics in the Vision Sciences building, which is very close to the library for those students who like to study on-campus.

What was the best thing about being a student in Birmingham?

Birmingham has amazing transport links so it’s very easy to travel within the UK and even abroad.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at Aston?

If possible, visit the universities that you are considering to get a feel for them, and choose your university based on where you can see yourself attending.

What would be your top recommendation to new students on what to do or see in Birmingham?

Brindley Place has great restaurants right along the canals, so I’d highly recommend going there. And this may sound weird, but Birmingham’s public library is a must-see! It’s a beautiful building and you can go to the top floor balcony and have gorgeous views of the city.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice as a first year student, what would it be?

Learn the basics really well, because everything builds on top of them, especially in optometry.

 

optometrist testimonial

Course outline and modules

Modules

The programme comprises of five core modules:

Core Modules

  • Medical Retina
  • Glaucoma 
  • Acute & Emergency Ophthalmology
  • Advanced Cataracts 
  • Principles of Advanced Practice 

A range optional modules may be taken followed by a dissertation project.:

Optional Modules

  • Myopia
  • Nutrition & the Eye
  • Ageing Eye Management
  • Independent Prescribing 
  • General Ocular Therapeutics 
  • Ocular Anatomy and Essential Ophthalmic Investigative Techniques
  • Advanced Ophthalmology and Medical Skills

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of an upper second-class UK BSc (Hons) in Optometry, Orthoptics or Nursing degree.
     
  • Applicants are required to be working within the area of ophthalmology or optometry in the NHS or community practice.
     
  • Applicants must be UK registered clinicians with experience of secondary practice or evidence of intended secondary practice.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching is through our virtual learning platform as the course is a distance learning and online based module. Assessments include online tests such as MCQs and on campus workshops with associated OSCEs. Coursework completion of case records is also mandatory in some modules.

Module Leader: Dr Preeti Bhogal-Bhamra
 

Fees

UK students (2022-23)

The total cost of this programme for 2022 start is £9550. 

Career prospects

The MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice has been developed to accredit eye care clinicians to undertake a greater role in secondary eye care. For those already be working within the field of Ophthalmology this course will enhance your clinical skills and expertise to that required from an Advanced Practitioner allowing you to undertake a greater responsibility for your patients. A route is available for community based Optometrists who wish to progress into secondary eye care practice. 


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