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Course summary

Following a strategic review of optical education, the General Optical Council (GOC) published new education and training requirements in 2021. For Optometry, the changes mean that there will no longer be a 2-step process to qualification (Optometry degree followed by the Scheme for Registration), but programmes must integrate all clinical learning within them and be at Master’s level. Education providers are expected to transition to the new requirements in 2023/24, or 2024/25. At Aston's School of Optometry, we are currently going through the adaptation process and expect to be offering our updated programme from September 2023 onwards, which will be a 4 year Master of Optometry programme, with an integrated 44 week period of external Clinical Learning in Practice (CLiP), delivered in collaboration with the College of Optometrists. Student optometrists will be responsible for applying for and securing a paid CLiP placement at an external practice location, with support available from Careers and Placements, and the Aston's School of Optometry careers tutor. The BSc in Optometry will cease to admit new students. Our 4 year MOptom (Hons) Optometry course has been specifically designed to meet the requirements for the practice of Optometry and is regulated by the General Optical Council (GOC). With clinical experience throughout, this course offers an integrated masters level year which is studied via distance learning during the pre-registration period. From your first weeks you’ll learn about the internal structures of the eye and how to assess occular health. As you move further into the course you will have the opportunity to:

  • Access our unique virtual patient simulators which will help you to develop initial clinical skills.
  • Supervised hands-on clinical experience working with patients at the Aston Eye Clinic, based on our vibrant city campus.
  • Learn to conduct a wide range of tests and examinations across all aspects of eye care for people at all times of life; from paediatrics to geriatric.
  • Discover the range of specialist fields and areas of optometry from dry eye to low vision by observing specialist clinics led by experts.
  • Develop knowledge and experience in the fitting and aftercare of contact lenses.
  • Broaden your understanding of the role opticians play in the wider healthcare field by taking part in interdisciplinary learning.
During the MOptom year you will deepen your knowledge of topics such as advanced investigative techniques, evidence-based clinical research, glaucoma, interprofessional communication, ocular prescribing, and retinal and macular disorders. You will remain enrolled on a full-time basis at Aston and complete 6 masters-level modules, 4 of which will be taught modules and 2 are coursework modules. As this course is an integrated work based learning year, students are able to work and study at the same time. Completing the MOptom enables you to achieve a master’s degree as you qualify as a registered Optometrist. Whilst undergoing the pre-registration period, your depth of knowledge will be enhanced by the distance modules that we offer, and your skills will continue to be refined and grow during this year. Key course benefits:
  • 1st in the UK for graduate prospects; on track (Optometry, Ophthalmics and Orthoptics (Complete University Guide 2022).
  • Aston is ranked 2nd in UK for Health Professions (Guardian University Guide, 2022).
  • 5th in UK for student satisfaction (Optometry, Opthalmics & Orthoptics (Complete University Guide 2022).
  • Within the School of Optometry, we conduct world-leading research in a wide range of areas relating to optometry and eye health. 3rd in the UK for research quality (Optometry, Ophthalmics & Orthoptics, (Complete University Guide 2022).
Please note we do not offer a Foundation Programme, if you select Year 0 on your application form this will be amended to Year 1 at admissions review stage.


Year 1 Develop your knowledge of the scientific principles that underpin optometry, while acquiring a range of core clinical skills. Core modules: Medical Biology and Pathology, Clinical Practice 1, Basic Investigative Techniques, Clinical Visual Biology, Ophthalmic Lenses, Optics and Medical Imaging, Vision and Visual Perception, and Personal and Professional Development. Year 2 Gain skills in contact lens fitting, dispensing and binocular vision. You’ll also develop your ability to perform a full eye examination and manage patients. Core modules: Clinical Practice Development, Clinical Practice 2, Contact Lenses, Further Investigative Techniques, Ophthalmic Optics, and Vision Science and Research Methods. Year 3 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 as well as the professional skills required for a career in optometry. Core modules: Anterior Eye, Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology, Binocular Vision and Paediatrics, Clinical Practice 3, Elective Studies, Ophthalmic Drugs, and Professional, Occupational and Low Vision. Final year Deepen your knowledge of topics such as advanced investigative techniques, evidence-based clinical research, glaucoma and interprofessional communication. You will remain enrolled on a full-time basis and study via distance learning while you complete the Scheme for Registration. You’ll complete six modules, four of which will be ‘taught’ modules, with two being coursework modules. Course material will be delivered online and you’ll be able to access your tutors via email, phone or in person. You will also attend four days of on-campus tutorials, workshops and exams. Core modules: Interprofessional Communication, Evidence-based Clinical Research, Retinal and Macular Disorders, Advanced Investigative Techniques, Ocular Prescribing, and Glaucoma. For more information, please visit our website.

Assessment method

Teaching methods on our optometry programmes are varied and include a wide range of lectures, tutorials, and practical and clinical skills sessions.You’ll learn and gain invaluable insight from practising optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and opticians specialising in dispensing, contact lenses and low vision. They will be there to supervise and support you during your time working in the public service clinics in small groups. This range of experiences will provide you with, not only the practical skills, but also the personal industry insight and human skills that will really set you apart in the job market after graduation. Like our teaching, 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.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • General Optical Council

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Admissions Review Process All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated in our entry requirements. Find out more about our admissions policy on our website. Personal Statement: If you have a personal statement referring to another course, you will be required to email an Optometry related version. If you are shortlisted, you will receive an interview invitation which will be conducted virtually. The virtual interview is a compulsory element of the application process and no offer will be made without a successful interview being conducted first. When applying, please ensure you include an up to date email and telephone number as this is important information for us if you are shortlisted for interview. Further information about the interview and application process will be made available to you post-application.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)


Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £20100 Year 1

Additional fee information

For Sandwich courses the placement fee is £1250 for Home/UK students and £2,500 for International students. * Please note that the tuition fees stated are for 2023 entry. 2024 tuition fees are presently unavailable and will be published on this website at the earliest opportunity. **The latest information relating to EU students and tuition fees for 2023 can be found on the UCAS website at: ***The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be eligible for home fee status. ^^Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law.
Optometry at Aston University, Birmingham - UCAS