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. 

 

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 5 core modules; Medical Retina, Glaucoma, Advanced Cataracts, Acute and Emergency Eye Care and Advanced Clinical Practice. A range of other optional modules may be taken followed by a dissertation project. 

Core Modules

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

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 Fees (2023-24):

The total cost of this programme is £9650.  This is paid over three years and split into three installments each year.

Career prospects

The module can be taken as part of the Optometry Flexible Framework in order to gain a Masters or Doctorate in Optometry. It is an exciting opportunity for Optometrists to widen their skillset and explore the world of Glaucoma and its management.


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