Optometry at University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) - UCAS

Course summary

There is growing demand for optometrists, highly skilled healthcare professionals, trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases or abnormalities. Through this innovative, interactive degree, you’ll develop the knowledge and skills you need to work as an optometrist and, importantly, continually adapt to the challenges faced in delivering eye-care provision in today’s health care environment. Our progressive programme challenges the way optometry has been traditionally taught in the UK by following a proven, problem-based and team-based approach to your learning and teaching. Through this method, you will gain in-depth theoretical knowledge, practical experience and develop required skills, including critical thinking, problem solving and patient management, from an early stage. As well as practical experience within clinical workshops, delivered in modern, purpose-built facilities in Inverness, you will also be immersed in genuine clinical situations, which allow you to work with employers and gain valuable experience in a safe and supported environment. From year one, you will undertake a combination of placements in community practice and hospital eye clinics, alongside clinical skills training. Over the duration of the course you will be out on placements for 19 weeks in total culminating in an extended placement in your fourth year. You will be seeing real-life patients in real-life settings, which will be vital for your future practice. On successful completion of this degree programme you will be equipped with both the academic and practical skills needed to enter the College of Optometrists Scheme for Registration1 as a pre-registration optometrist. This programme is a direct response to the needs of our communities, with workforce plans suggesting an additional 800 optometrists are likely to be needed across the UK to meet the demands of an ageing population and the associated prevalence of visual impairment and visual health disorders.2 This need is felt most acutely in remote and rural areas, and with pressures on the NHS, increased focus on extended roles and shared care with ophthalmology, this will further heighten demand for skilled optometry professionals. Our programme – one of only two in Scotland - is aligned to the requirements of the General Optical Council (GOC) and currently holds GOC provisional approval. 1 Please note that in order to enter the College of Optometrists scheme for registration you must achieve a degree classification of 2.2. or above and a certificate of clinical competency in the GOC stage 1 competencies. Students who gain sufficient academic credits at level 10 to receive an award but do not meet the professional requirements will gain the award of SCQF Level 10 BSc (Hons) Vision Science. 2 Source: College of Optometrists Optical Workforce Survey 2015 3 This course currently has provisional approval from the General Optical Council (GOC). Under provisional approval, students recruited on to the course are not guaranteed entry to the GOC register and may be required to undertake additional assessments through an alternative GOC-approved education provider in the event that any aspect of the programme when delivered does not satisfy the GOC standards.

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2023.

If you already have a 2023 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

This course has restrictions on who can apply.

Course not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here

This course is not accepting applications from students requiring a Student visa. For more information, please contact the course provider.

Application codes

Course code:
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Campus name:
UHI House
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

This course is not currently available for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

UHI does not use Tariff points, and accepts a range of qualifications. Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis.

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


Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course

Health checks

Successful applicants must be passed fit by occupational health. This will require a questionnaire and also a personal visit to the occupational health department in addition to and on a separate occasion to the interview day


All applicants will be required to attend an interview. Full guidelines will be provided in advance of the interview day, including required preparation for the event. As part of the interview you will be expected to demonstrate the following: A genuine interest in the care of patients and demonstration of care ‘values’, team working ability, good verbal and written communication skills, IT experience eg. word processing packages, email and using the internet, and a high level of commitment due to the intensive nature of this academic and clinical degree programme.


Successful applicants will be required to obtain student membership of the General Optical Council in order to undertake this course

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)7A minimum overall score of 7 is required. Individual scores for each section of the test must not be lower than 6, with the exception of the ‘Speaking’ section, where a minimum score of 7 is required.

Our programmes are taught and examined in English. To make the most of your studies, you must be able to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken and written English in an academic environment and provide certified proof of your competence before starting your course. Please note that English language tests need to have been taken no more than two years prior to the start date of the course.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250* Year 1
EU £14310* Year 1
Scotland £1820* Year 1
England £9250* Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250* Year 1
Wales £9250* Year 1
Channel Islands £9250* Year 1
International £14310* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

For full information on fees please see our Undergraduate Tuition Fees page at https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/first-steps/how-much-will-it-cost/ug/ For course specific fees information please refer to the Fees/funding tab on the university website course page. You can also find information on additional funding available such as bursaries and scholarships at https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/studying-at-uhi/first-steps/how-much-will-it-cost/funding-your-studies/bursaries-and-scholarships/
Optometry at University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) - UCAS