Glaucoma - Professional Certificate

This theory based module is for you if you are a clinician in the field of eye care and are looking to develop your knowledge in glaucoma detection, investigation and monitoring methodologies used in both optometry and ophthalmology. It can also be taken as part of the Optometry Flexible Framework.

The professionally accredited route, which is accredited by the College of Optometrists, involves completion of the theoretical module, assessments plus a mandatory on-campus workshop. 

Course type
Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


4 months

UCAS code(s)


Start date

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Key information, entry requirement and fees

  • Credit value: 20 Masters-level credits
  • Mode of delivery: Blended Learning
  • Course type: Standalone Module
  • Module code: OP4GL1
  • Number of places available: 30
  • Start date: 1 October 2024
  • Duration: 4 months
  • Workshop dates: Thursday 9th and Friday 10th January 2025
  • Fees (2024/25): £1300 plus £149 practical workshop, total cost £1449
  • Entry requirement: Only UK based GOC-registered optometrists are eligible to undertake the Professional Certificate, for other eye care professionals please refer to our Glaucoma Standalone module
  • Language requirement: Find out more about our English language requirements.

Course outline

  • Introduction to glaucoma: primary glaucomas; definition, diagnosis, risk factors, intraocular pressure measurement and fluctuations, optic disc examination, other examination techniques
  • Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG): risk factors and disease mechanism, POAG suspects and evaluation of potential glaucoma
  • Primary angle closure glaucoma: definition, risk factors, classification, manifestation and differential diagnoses.
  • Screening methodologies
  • Visual field examination: theoretical principles of perimetry in relation to the selection of the optimal testing strategy for the detection and monitoring of glaucoma
  • Examination of the optic nerve head: anatomical features of normal and glaucomatous optic nerve head appearances.
  • Differential diagnosis between glaucomatous and non-glaucomatous disc appearances
  • Patient examination and clinical guidelines: clinical optometric procedures and best practice for recording examination of glaucoma patients and suspects in relation to NICE guidelines for optometric referral of glaucoma patients and glaucoma suspects
  • Lifestyle and social aspects of glaucoma: how glaucoma affects patients in terms of vision and everyday tasks
  • Inter-professional aspects relating to social care, the implications of blind and partial sight registration
  • New developments in investigative technique
  • The emergence of imaging technologies for evaluating the structure of the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fibre layer will be evaluated in terms of glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring
  • Pharmacological principles for the treatment of glaucoma
  • Surgical treatments for glaucoma

Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

This course is delivered via distance learning. You will access learning materials for general study, revision and assessment via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.

Assessment is by coursework submitted throughout the course. Coursework will take the form of formative assessments (MCQs) and individual assignments. On campus workshops  will also take place and is a mandatory requirement for the professional certificate.

Our courses are written and delivered by staff at the forefront of life and health sciences teaching and research. In the recent Teaching Excellence Framework assessment, Aston University was awarded Gold, the highest award possible. In addition, our courses are regularly reviewed by relevant professional experts.

Course lead: Dr Howard Collins (Teaching Fellow)

This course is part of the School of Optometry which sits within the College of Health and Life Sciences.


(2023-24) Total: £1240 plus £149 practical workshop, total cost £1389

Your future career prospects

Our range of continuing professional development modules offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career, it is also our ethos is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to make a real difference in your field

They have been designed to allow you to develop specialist knowledge in advanced optometric topics like Glaucoma. Clinical application and content may allow eye care professionals to widen and specialise their mode of practice.