Key information, entry requirement and fees
- Credit value: 20 masters level credits
- Mode of delivery: Distance learning
- Course type: Standalone module
- Module code: OP4MY1
- Number of places available: Up to 30
- Start date: March. Please note, applications for March 2021 entry will open in autumn/winter 2020, this course page will be updated with the application link.
- Duration: 16 weeks
- Time commitment: Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend up to 200 hours of study in total
- Fees: Will be confirmed once applications for 2021 open later this year.
- Entry requirement: You must be a clinician in the field of optometry
Course outline and what you will study
The measurement, correction, and clinical management of ametropia is the foundation of optometric practice. The optometrist is well aware of the concerns expressed by patients when correction is necessary: What causes it? Will it get worse? Does it run in families? Can it be treated? These are reasonable concerns given that ametropia is often a lifelong condition, carries the long-term economic burden of correction and in some instances can increase the risk of ocular pathology. Particular attention will be directed to myopia as this condition is now evident in around 25% of UK adolescents and is estimated to affect ~1Bn of the world’s ~ 6Bn population.
The module provides a contemporary account of relevant studies in epidemiology, physiology, biology and opto-electronic measurement that have provided new insight into the psychophysiological and neurobiological nature of myopia. Modern methods of genotyping have informed substantially the nature vs nurture debate concerning the onset and development of myopia. The module will demonstrate that there is scope to treat myopia by manipulation of the visual environment and will present the rationale for current non-surgical options for treatment based on optical, pharmaceutical and behavioural studies.
The aim of the module is to enable you to appreciate fully the nature of contemporary clinical research in myopia and understand its relevance to clinical practice in terms of the genesis, development and putative methods of treatment of myopia.
This module provides a solid academic foundation for Ophthalmic Doctorate students who may be considering undertaking their research projects in this field.
In undertaking this module, you will cover the following topics relevant to myopia:
- Overview and Current perspectives: A review of contemporary issues in myopia research; outline of Module content and structure.
- Classification & Epidemiology: Optical, structural and chronological taxonomy. Syndromic myopia. Ametropia and ocular/systemic pathology. A global/European perspective of epidemiology; socio-economic and educational factors; current UK studies.
- Heredity & Genetics: Genetics of myopia: twin studies; the nature vs nurture debate.
- Prediction & Progression: Factors affecting prediction; refractive progression from infancy to early adulthood.
- Emmetropization: The concept of emmetropization; human and non-human primate models
- Structure & Function: 3-D structural correlates of myopia using Magnetic Resonance Imaging; retinal stretch and retinal function
- Aetiological Foundations: Retinal blur and ocular growth; oculomotor factors; the role of peripheral image quality.
- Optical Management: Progressive add/bifocal/single vision lens and contact lenses; peripheral refraction correction; corneal reshaping
- Pharmaceutical Management: Treatment of myopia using topical muscarinic antagonists
- Behavioural Management: The role of outdoor activity, sustained nearwork and nutrition. Aspects of Vision Training.
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 consists of short assignments (50% of module mark) related to each of the lecture presentations, and five case records (50% of module mark).
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 Nicola Logan
Your future career prospects
Our courses offer you the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills in order to develop your career. In addition, our ethos is to equip you to make a real difference in your field.
The Optometry CPD courses allow you to develop specialist knowledge in advanced optometric topics. Clinical application and content may allow eye care professionals to widen and specialise their mode of practice.