Optometry

MOptom

Become a vision care expert through our MOptom course, and gain hands-on experience with real patients, setting you up for a rewarding, life-long profession that changes lives.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

B512 

Start date

Course overview

Our Master of Optometry (Optometry MOptom) programme is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of optometry and vision science and the practical skills necessary to excel professionally. In our course, you will learn to become a professional clinician responsible for multiple aspects of vision care, specialising in preserving sight by diagnosing and treating visual problems and trained to examine the eyes and detect disorders originating in the eye, brain or other parts of the body.

With clinical experience integrated throughout every year, this programme stands out as a premier pathway for aspiring optometrists. Benefit from a full learning experience combined with hands-on learning through our extensive network of industry partners; develop your skills in our dedicated specialist facilities, and learn from the experience and insight of our expert teaching staff.

Jaspreet Hothi Testimonial

"When we started seeing real patients in clinics, I was able to put all that I had learned and my knowledge into practice, and it was rewarding to improve an individual's vision. In addition, interacting with patients enhances your skills and experiences, as you are able to further develop your communication and clinical skills."

Jaspreet Hothi
Optometry MOptom

Why Optometry at Aston University?

TEF Gold 2023 logo
Gold standard teaching
Gold standard teaching, Aston University was awarded Triple Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
General Optical Council
General Optical Council
Our programme is regulated by the General Optical Council (GOC)
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Extensive patient contact
Benefit from extensive patient contact throughout the course through integrated placements
Glasses
World class facilities
A UK-first dedicated simulation suite equipped with the latest instruments and simulators
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Excellent gradute prospects
Top 5 in the UK for Graduate Prospects in Optometry, Ophthalmics & Orthoptics (Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Earn more
Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, earning on average £36,100 five years after graduating (Longitudinal Education Outcomes, 2023)

Course description

Optometry MOptom

Our Optometry MOptom degree at Aston will equip you with the skills, insights, and confidence required to become an outstanding optometrist, well-equipped to be able to keep our communities healthy and safe in a rewarding career. 

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you, fantastic facilities that will bring your course to life through hands-on, practical experience; years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. 

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understand that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, you must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
As an optometry student in our Optometry MOptom programme, you will learn the skills to work as a competent optometrist in various in various clinical settings, ensuring optimal vision care for diverse patient needs. You will gain key skills in eye examination, vision correction, diagnosing eye diseases, patient care, and utilising advanced optometric technologies for optimal vision health management.

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Placement year
You will benefit from extensive patient contact throughout the course and in the final stage, you will complete a 44-week period of external Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP), delivered in collaboration with the College of Optometrists.

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Career prospects
Our Optometry programme is valued by some of the best-known companies in the world. Recent graduates have successfully secured careers with employers such as Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Boots, Vision Express, Optical Express, Essilor, Neil Gordon Opticians, NHS hospitals, Specsavers, and Tesco.

How you will learn

Our teaching style is modern and innovative, with a hands-on approach that bridges the gap between theory and practice. This enables you to apply your skills as you progress through your course, marrying your learning with practical examples, all designed to prepare you for the world of work. You’ll experience a wide range of learning methods and opportunities such as:

  • Supervised hands-on clinical experience working with patients at the Aston Eye Clinic, based on our vibrant city centre campus.
  • Virtual reality training simulators to help you develop your skills and expertise.
  • Clinical experience in multiple external settings such as specialist clinics, local hospital eye departments and community practices. Patient-facing clinical experience begins in year 1 of the programme.
  • Interprofessional learning with students from a range of health professions.

What you will learn

Aston School of Optometry was one of the first providers to start offering an updated optometry programme, in September 2023, to fit the new requirements of the General Optical Council. Our Master of Optometry (MOptom) is studied over 4 years, with clinical experience integrated throughout the programme from year one.

Year 1

You will develop your knowledge of the scientific principles that underpin optometry while acquiring a range of core clinical skills. You will begin to demonstrate professional skills and behaviours that are required for registration as an optometrist and complete a one-week period of external clinical learning at a local practice.

Year 2

You will further your knowledge of the scientific foundations of the profession and extend your skills in clinical assessment and interpretation. A range of person-centred care themes are explored in readiness for increasing patient exposure. By the end of the year, you’ll be able to complete a full eye examination, fit a variety of contact lenses, advise on spectacles and perform a range of techniques to investigate binocular vision.

Year 3

You will see a wide range of patients in our public service clinic and gain experience in specialist optometry services. Develop further knowledge in areas such as ocular disease and abnormality, and specialist practice and refine your professional skills required for a career in optometry. You will work on our virtual reality simulators to gain experience of a wide range of ocular disorders.

Final Year

You will work under supervision as a student optometrist during your 44-week paid CLiP placement. You will be supported in applying for and securing a CLiP placement by the Careers and Placements team, the Aston School of Optometry careers tutor, and the College of Optometrists. As you’ll be based away from Aston, course material will be delivered online and you’ll have regular tutorials to stay in touch with your tutors and fellow students. Once you have successfully completed stage 4 and achieved the MOptom, you’ll be able to apply to join the GOC register as a qualified optometrist.

Facilities

Optometry students have access to a range of specialist facilities that reflect the hands-on learning within the field. In these settings, you gain practical experience alongside like-minded students, with workshops and lectures guided by industry professionals and expert technicians.

Clinical skills area

  • An onsite public-facing Optometry clinic where you will help provide patients with a full range of primary eye care services under the close supervision of our clinical staff.
  • A UK-first dedicated ophthalmic simulation suite equipped with the latest. instruments and simulators, designed to develop your clinical skills.
  • Unique virtual patient simulators to help you develop clinical skills.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form.

Cutting edge equipment

  • Phoropters for assessing prescription needs and determining visual acuity in eye examinations.
  • Retinoscopes to evaluate the eye's refractive error by analyzing its reflection pattern.
  • Keratometers to measure corneal curvature for contact lens fitting and diagnosis of corneal disorders.
  • Tonometers to gauge intraocular pressure, crucial for glaucoma diagnosis and management.
  • Lensometers to precisely measure lens power, aiding in prescription verification and lens preparation.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with the opportunities to realise your academic potential through a range of learning experiences.
  2. Encourages you, through a practical approach, to have a passion for optometry and an enthusiasm for learning.
  3. Enables you to demonstrate the expected characteristics of an optometry professional, upholding high professional and ethical standards.
  4. Employ evidence-based approaches to develop your optometry practice in relation to the needs of the UK population.
  5. Enables you to demonstrate the knowledge and clinical skills required to examine and manage people with a range of eye conditions, working within your own limits of competence.
  6. Enables you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to work effectively with patients and the public, including through collaboration with other professionals.
  7. Enables you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to manage risk associated with optometry practice and ensure a safe environment for patients and the public.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Optometry Stage 1120
Total120

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to meeting the expectations and requirements of an optometrist.
  • Demonstrate awareness of communication styles and recognise non-verbal cues.
  • Describe the legal frameworks applicable to UK optometry.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the principles of governance in optometry.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the basic principles and science of public health.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between visual structures and basic visual functions.
  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of visual perception.
  • Describe the development of vision and the techniques used to assess infant vision.
  • Describe and interpret basic techniques for the evaluation of binocular vision.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of body systems and genetics necessary for clinical practice as an optometrist.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of pathology and microbiology relevant to optometry.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of anterior eye structures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theory and be able to perform a range of basic techniques for the assessment of the anterior eye.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of posterior eye structures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theory and be able to perform a range of basic techniques for the assessment of the posterior eye.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theory and be able to apply a range of techniques for the assessment of vision and refractive error.
  • Demonstrate an initial ability to maintain accurate and organised patient records.
  • Apply geometric and ophthalmic optical equations across a range of scenarios.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the optical principles of ophthalmic lenses and use a range of instrumentation to measure their properties.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the optical principles and properties of contact lenses and biomedical devices.

Year 2 modules

In your second year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Optometry Stage 2120
Total120

Year 2 outcomes 

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate core knowledge of the principles of ophthalmic pharmacology.
  • Describe the usage of ophthalmic diagnostic drugs commonly employed by UK optometrists.
  • Demonstrate attributes and emerging skills needed to deliver person-centred care.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of clinical leadership and management in optometry, relevant to scope of practice.
  • Demonstrate an ability to obtain initial consent and verify continuation of consent for a range of patients.
  • Demonstrate a developing ability to act ethically and uphold high professional standards.
  • Describe key eye health policies and guidance.
  • Apply techniques to manage risk through infection control initiatives and maintenance of one's own health.
  • Describe the processes involved in visual perception.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of evidence-based practice and appraise published research.
  • Perform a range of techniques for the investigation of binocular vision function in patients of all ages, accurately interpreting the results.
  • Describe the features of common binocular vision anomalies and have an awareness of management options.
  • Describe key ocular manifestations of systemic disease.
  • Interpret information from a range of sources to identify ocular manifestations of systemic disease.
  • Using a range of techniques, identify and describe abnormal features linked to common conditions affecting the anterior eye.
  • Demonstrate awareness of management options for common conditions affecting the anterior eye.
  • Using a range of techniques, identify and describe abnormal features linked to common conditions affecting the posterior eye.
  • Demonstrate awareness of management options for common conditions affecting the posterior eye.
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge and core skills for the performance of routine eye examination.
  • Select and perform appropriate eye examination techniques for a range of patients, recording all aspects of consultations.
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of the properties and optics of spectacle lenses and low vision aids.
  • Demonstrate a developing ability to dispense, fit and advise on spectacles for a range of patients.
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge and clinical skills to fit a range of soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage the anterior eye health of contact lens wearers.
  • Select and use common ophthalmic drugs safely and legally.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of adverse reactions of ophthalmic drugs and ocular adverse reactions to medication.

Year 3 modules

In your third year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Optometry Stage 3
 
120
Total120

Year 3 outcomes 

On successful completion of the third year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ongoing reflective approach to meeting the expectations and requirements of an optometrist.
  • Contribute to service evaluation initiatives and evaluate and apply feedback to improve own practice.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify when people/patients may be at risk.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of a range of measures to ensure patient safety and be able to implement these as appropriate.
  • Engage with population and public health initiatives, demonstrating understanding of how population data should inform practice and service delivery.
  • Engage with technological advances relevant to optometry and general healthcare delivery, and explain the significance of specific developments for enhancing patient outcomes and services.
  • Critically evaluate and appraise information from a range of sources to describe and comment upon issues relevant to contemporary optometry, demonstrating an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.
  • Recognise, investigate and discuss a range of anomalies of binocular vision, including approaches to management.
  • Demonstrate an ability to manage paediatric patients requiring services including spectacle dispensing, contact lens fitting and low vision assessment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to deliver high quality care to patients with significant healthcare and/or additional needs, putting in place adaptive measures where relevant.
  • Interpret patient information and the results of investigative techniques to develop a management plan for patients with abnormality or disease of the anterior segment and/or adnexa.
  • Safely perform a range of techniques for the investigation of abnormalities of the anterior segment and/or adnexa, selecting appropriate techniques for individual patients.
  • Interpret patient information and the results of investigative techniques to develop a management plan for patients with abnormality or disease of the posterior segment.
  • Safely perform a range of techniques for the investigation of abnormalities of the posterior segment, selecting appropriate techniques for individual patients.
  • Demonstrate ability to make timely and appropriate referrals to other healthcare professionals to ensure patient's needs are met.
  • Investigate, diagnose, and manage functional and developmental visual conditions.
  • Demonstrate an ability to prescribe, advise and dispense vocational and special optical appliances, in accordance with relevant regulations and standards.
  • Conduct a low vision assessment, dispensing appropriate low vision aids and providing relevant advice.
  • Recognise and manage contact lens complications, including making appropriate referrals where indicated.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of biomedical devices for the treatment of refractive and ocular disorders and understand the role of optometrists in patient care in this field.
  • Evaluate the risk-benefit ratio in the use of ophthalmic drugs.
  • Demonstrate an ability to make informed decisions regarding the use of ophthalmic drugs in the management of ocular conditions or abnormalities.

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Optometry Stage 4
 
120
Total120

Final year outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a consistent ability to deliver high-quality person-centred care involving collaboration with other professionals where relevant.
  • Communicate effectively with patients, carers, colleagues, and the public to achieve desired outcomes and critically reflect on own communication to improve professional interactions.
  • Independently investigate, diagnose and manage functional and developmental visual and ocular conditions, making informed decisions on treatment and management, including actioning referrals where indicated.
  • Uphold high professional standards and practice ethically, working within your own scope of practice and relevant legislation.
  • Ensure a safe environment for patients and the public, taking personal responsibility for managing risk and working within limits of own competence.
  • Demonstrate professional leadership and management skills and attributes relevant to the scope of practice and make sound judgments in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
  • Demonstrate a reflective, ongoing approach to meeting the expectations of an optometry professional to improve the quality of care for patients.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current issues relevant to the profession, including in specialist areas of practice.
  • Demonstrate autonomous research skills in the field of optometry and vision science (e.g. in study planning and execution, data analysis and presentation) communicating conclusions clearly, with an understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research.

The 12 themes of our MOptom programme present throughout all four years, including:

Personal and Professional Development

In Personal and Professional Development, you will develop some of the key transferable skills relevant to your career as an optometrist. The theme considers professional identity in the early stages as well as communication skills, which will support your patient-facing clinical work. We will cover key topics linked to leadership and management in optometry. Interprofessional learning, with and from other healthcare professions is a key aspect of this theme. You will be supported to develop an ongoing reflective approach to practice, and a lifelong approach to learning.


Delivery of Care

Delivery of Care (DoC) is an important theme delivered and assessed throughout the 4-year MOptom programme. Students will be introduced to the principles of governance pertaining to optometrists, paying particular attention to the Opticians Act and Standards of Practice for both students and qualified optometrists. DoC outlines the key organisations and professional bodies that support and guide optometrists in practice, along with how the profession delivers eye care in private and NHS systems. Specific topics on safeguarding, duty of candour, confidentiality, and equality, diversity and inclusivity combine to provide students with a rounded understanding of the responsibilities of practicing optometrists.

Public Health and Eye Care

In the PHE theme, you will gain an insight into major public health achievements and current challenges, with a focus on the United Kingdom. You will learn about the determinants of health and health inequalities. Key research methods relevant to health and epidemiology will be covered, and we will consider the role of the optometrist in public health so that you are able to contribute to public health initiatives relevant to optometry.


Vision Science and Evidence-Based Practice

This theme is concerned with understanding the underlying mechanisms of human visual perception and the methods used to conduct rigorous scientific enquiry to this end. You will learn about the capacities and properties of the visual system and how these constrain and drive the neural analysis of image data, ultimately delivering our visual perceptions. As the theme progresses, this rigorous approach will be extended to applications in evidence-based practice in clinical contexts. In your third-year, you will carry out a supervised project (i) designed around the principles and/or details of what you have learned about human vision in the previous two years, (ii) how to analyse relevant data and/or the scientific/clinical literature, and (iii) how to present what you find.



Binocular Vision and Paediatrics

Within the BVP theme you will learn about how a patient’s eyes may, or may not, work together and how vision develops through childhood. You will learn the skills required to detect abnormalities in the focussing of the eyes, the co- ordination of the eyes and the sensory functions that allow a patient to bring together the images seen by each eye. You will initially practice with your peers and then later you will move on to see patients in specialist Binocular Vision clinics. You will learn how to assess young patients and how to adapt your testing for patients with special needs. As you progress through the theme you will learn how to appropriately manage young patients and patients with binocular vision anomalies.


Systemic Disease

In the Systemic Disease theme, you will learn about human anatomy and physiology, and disease processes, relevant to optometrists. You’ll then go on to develop an understanding of the ocular manifestations of systemic disease and use our Virtual Patient simulator to experience a range of patient presentations and build your skills in clinical decision making. You’ll develop your knowledge and skills in managing patients with healthcare and additional needs.

 

Anterior Eye

Welcome to the Anterior Eye theme. Here you will learn about the anatomy and physiology of the anterior eye structures such as the eyelids, cornea, tear film and lens. You will also learn techniques to clinically examine and investigate these structures, such as slit lamp biomicroscopy and tear film tests. Later you will learn additional clinical techniques to help you investigate the signs and symptoms of eye diseases. You will learn more about pathologies that affect the anterior eye and how these diseases are managed, including those that need onward referral to other clinical colleagues. This will prepare you to serve your patients when you are working as a registered optometrist in the future.


Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology (PEG)

Within the PEG theme, you will be developing your knowledge about the different structures that are found towards the back of the eye and how they function within the eyeball as a whole to provide us with working vision. We start by looking at the anatomy and physiology of these structures to see how they should function normally, and then build on that knowledge to discover how and why things can go wrong, and the impact that this can have on our patients. Alongside theoretical knowledge, you will also learn how to perform a detailed examination of the back of the eye and other aspects of visual function using a variety of instrumentation and techniques, and how to interpret your findings in order to offer your patients the best possible care.


Assessment and Management
Assessment and Management provides you with knowledge and skills required
to perform and understand a range of clinical optometric techniques, covering
both objective and subjective examination methods to perform eye
examinations at any age. You will also demonstrate professionalism in clinical
techniques including accurate and organised record keeping and effective
communication with the patient. In later stages you will be seeing patients in
Primary Care Clinics.


Appliances and Dispensing

Appliances and Dispensing provides you with a grounding in geometric and physical optics where you will learn about the interaction of light with lenses, mirrors and apertures. You will learn about the properties of ophthalmic lenses and spectacle frames, focussing on single vision lenses initially, moving on to more complex lenses and ophthalmic devices. You will develop the theoretical and practical skills to dispense the most appropriate frames and lenses or low vision aids for your patient’s occupational and personal needs and will learn how to verify ophthalmic prescriptions and ascertain reasons for non-tolerance cases. You will also learn about the legislation covering the supply of spectacles, safety spectacles and low vision aids.


Contact Lens and Biomedical devices (CLB)

In this theme, the students will learn and understand contact lenses and biomedical devices for optometry practice. The topics will cover a review of anterior eye and use of slit lamp technique, followed by soft contact lenses, rigid contact lenses, toric lenses for management of astigmatism, presbyopia lenses, and understanding impact of contact lens on the ocular surface. This theme will also include speciality lenses such as scleral, orthokeratology and myopia management lenses, and management of contact lens related complications. The theme will also include legislation relating to sale and supply of CLs. The theory part of the learning materials will be delivered by pre-recorded didactic lectures and face to face seminars. A series of practical and hands on sessions will train students for evidence-based contact lens clinical practice, including several workshops designed in all stages to enhance clinical experience.


Pharmacology and Prescribing

This theme builds knowledge in basic and applied ocular pharmacology and pharmaceutics relevant to the use of ophthalmic drugs for use in general clinical optometric practice. It will also provide a foundation for the appreciation and understanding of the pharmaceutical properties of drugs used for therapeutic treatment of various ocular conditions. Relevant aspects of legislation governing the use, sale and supply of ophthalmic drugs by Optometrists at all training levels will be included together with aspects of ocular adverse reactions to systemic and ophthalmic medication. The theme will also delve into the varied clinical applications of ophthalmic drugs, drug instillation techniques, drug formulations and associated potential adverse reactions. You will learn how to select appropriate drug formulation, dosage and instillation techniques for the clinical requirement and safe management of a patient. The theme will also cover the indications and contraindications for drug use and how to give appropriate advice concerning potential risks.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    - AAB three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
    - ABB three science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics, for contextual offer students* 
    - AAA two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
    - AAB two science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics, for contextual offer students* 

The following subjects will not be considered as one of the core three A Levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies. We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking a maximum of one set of resits. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

BTEC Qualification Name    BTEC grades required    A-Level Requirements
 
Extended Diploma (QCF/National)
 
Distinction, 
Distinction, 
Distinction 
(DDD)
With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject, you must also achieve grade B in one A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
 
Diploma (QCF)National Diploma 
 
Distinction, Distinction (DD)With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

If you are taking the BTEC in Applied Science subject, you must also achieve grade B in one A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

90 Credit Diploma (QCF)    Distinction, Distinction (DD)With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.
National Foundation DiplomaDistinction (D)    
With this BTEC you must achieve grade BB in two A Level science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Standard offer for 2 Science Subjects:  32 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 6 6 6, must include 2 science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in English Language and grade 6 in Maths.

Contextual offer: 32 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 6 5 5 must include 2 science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in English Language and grade 6 in Maths for contextual offer students.*

Standard offer for 3 Science Subjects: 32 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 6 6 5 must include 3 science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in English Language and grade 6 in Maths.

Contextual offer: 32 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 6 5 5 must include 3 science subjects from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in English Language and grade 6 in Maths for contextual offer students.*

This qualification is not accepted for this course.

This qualification is not accepted for this course.

Total five GCSEs required as follows: B/5 Mathematics C/4 English Language or English Literature plus three GCSEs at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Fitness to Practise (FTP)

These requirements are checked at the point of enrolment.

As this course includes clinical placements where students interact with members of the public we are required to ensure that students have completed the following checks:

  • Fitness to Practise: In line with national requirements for courses leading to a health professional qualification, students applying to this course is also subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check: Students enrolling onto this course will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check).

 DBS and Fitness to Practise

Prospective students must read the HEOPS guidance on standards of medical fitness to train for optometry. If you have serious concerns that a medical condition may have implications for your future fitness to train as an optometrist you should, at an early stage, and even before making a formal application, contact the School.

Other

Undergraduate applicants

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who want to transfer from their current degree in a related field elsewhere. You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have three A Levels of which either two should be core science at grades AAA or three core sciences at grades AAB. Core sciences are: Biology, Maths, Physics or Chemistry.

A typical offer would be to achieve 60% overall with no fails in any units. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications. Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance.

Transfers Policy

Postgraduate applicants

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who have completed or will be completing a degree in a related field elsewhere You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have three A Levels at grade ABB with a minimum of two core sciences (or equivalents). A typical offer would be to achieve 2:1 with no fails in any units. These will be considered on a case by case basis for which you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications. For further information please contact the admissions team.

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance.

Transfers Policy

Degree in dispensing

We consider applicants for year 1 entry who either have achieved a BSc in Dispensing at a 2:1 (or are in the final year of study), or who have already achieved professional FBDO status prior to application. You must have at least five GCSEs, which must include grade B/5 Mathematics, C/4 English Language and the rest at grade C/4. You must also have achieved BBC from three A Levels including a minimum of one science subject from: Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Please note we do not accept year 2 transfers in any circumstance.

Age of qualifications

Applicants must normally have achieved their eligible academic qualifications for entry onto this course within the last two years. Applicants presenting qualifications older than two years will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Admissions Lead.

External Foundation Programmes

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

  • 5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths (at grade B) and English.
  • ABB in any subjects OR
  • BBB where two subjects must be from Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics.

Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications.

 

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250

International students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Assessment

Our Optometry MOptom utilises a range of different assessment types and the assessment strategy reflects both the national educational requirements in the FHEQ and the professional educational standards and learning outcomes from the General Optical Council.  Assessments are varied and include examinations, written reports, presentations, and assessment of practical and clinical performance, which includes regulations that are part of the Fitness to Practise scheme.

Career prospects

Our Optometry MOptom programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

Our blend of practical learning, world-leading research and links with industry mean that our graduates are highly sought after by major eye-care organisations that offer pre-registration posts. As a graduate, you could enter your career in:

  • Hospitals
  • Community-based or private practices
  • The optical industry
  • Optometry research
Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Optometry at Aston University?

Studying optometry at Aston, you’ll have experience in real optometry clinics from year 1. Our large, modern Aston Eye Clinic cares for several thousand patients per year and you’ll also undertake clinical work at external clinics to give you a broad range of professional experience. Our dedicated virtual reality simulator suite supports your theoretical learning on an accredited course; giving you the right skills and knowledge to succeed in a future eye care career.

What accreditations does the Optometry course at Aston have?

This course is regulated by the General Optical Council (GOC) and upon completing the MOptom, you’ll be able to apply to join the GOC register as a qualified optometrist.

What facilities will I have access to?

As an optometry student at Aston, you'll have access to the School of Optometry’s extensive facilities and equipment for learning, research and clinical work. The facilities that you will benefit from include:

  • An onsite public facing Optometry clinic. You will help to provide patients with a full range of primary eye care services under the close supervision of our clinical staff, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists and dispensing opticians.
  • Unique virtual patient simulators to help you develop clinical skills.
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment.
  • Blackboard, our virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form.

Will I get experience working with real patients?

Yes! This is an essential part of the course, and really important in giving you both the clinical and people skills to have a successful career in eye care.

For example, you’ll work in our public Optometry clinic on-site in our campus in Birmingham, where you’ll help to provide patients with a full range of eye care services under the close supervision of our clinical staff, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists and dispensing opticians.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding careers support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government have created a new post-study work visa. For more information visit the government website.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

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