Medical Retina – Standalone module

The Medical Retina standalone module at Aston University, Birmingham, forms part of our postgraduate Optometry Flexible Framework. This module aims to equip you with enhanced knowledge and clinical skills in the in the field of medical retina.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Part-time / distance learning

Course format

No placements


6 months 

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Medical Retina - Standalone module

Discover what it's like to study at Aston

Key information, entry requirement and fees

Credit value: 20 masters level credits

Mode of delivery: Online delivery with a compulsory two day workshop held at the Aston University Birmingham campus

Number of places available: 20

Start date: 

1st October 2021. Application deadline 23rd August 2021

11th January 2022. Application deadline 4th December 2021

Duration: 6 months

Time commitments: Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend up to 200 hours of study in total

Fees (2021/22): £1,150

Entry requirements: You must be a clinician in the field of optometry

Professional accreditation

This module has been designed to meet the requirements of the College of Optometrists Professional Certificate in Medical Retina. 

Please note while any clinician in the field of optometry is eligible to study this module, only those who are registered with the General Optical Council will receive the acknowledgment of Prof Cert Med Ret by the College of Optometrists upon successful completion.

Course outline and what you will study

The module aims to equip clinicians in the field of optometry with enhanced knowledge and clinical skills in the field of medical retina. Topics covered within the module include:  

  • Retinal anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology.
  • OCT imaging and its use for diagnostic purposes in medical retina.
  • Pathophysiology, risk factors, symptoms, management and current treatment for key medical retina pathologies.
  • Efficient patient communication.
  • Use of imaging technology (other than OCT) to identify and monitor medical retina conditions.
  • Diabetic retinopathy screening, the current UK scheme, it’s delivery and significance.
  • Clinical management guidelines and local referral pathways for medical retina conditions.
  • Safeguarding adults and children.

Content and directed learning delivered on this course links in with contemporary research in this field, much of which is conducted at Aston University.

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

Learning, teaching, assessment and staff

Learning and teaching 

Lecture content is delivered by distance learning, using Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more. You will also complete small group activity learning with activities such as tutorials and independent study. 

In addition, you will take part in a two day compulsory face-to-face workshop which consists of lectures, hands on clinical workshop, peer review and discussion sessions as well as four OSCEs to conclude the workshop.


A variety of assessment methods linked to learning outcomes are utilised including online multiple choice, visual recognition tests and a case report which assess theoretical knowledge. Learning outcomes which require the assessment of practical ability are examined in OSCEs during the two day compulsory workshop.

Key staff

Module leader: Dr Rebekka Heitmar

Career Prospects

This module has been designed to meet the requirements of the College of Optometrists Professional Higher Certificate in Medical Retina.

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 medical retina. Clinical application and content may allow eye care professionals to widen and specialise their mode of practice.

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