Optometry at Anglia Ruskin University - UCAS

Course summary

Please note this replaces our BOptom (Hons) Optometry course from September 2023. Start your journey into the world of optometry by studying for our four-year integrated taught Masters degree in Cambridge. As an MOptom Optometry student at ARU, you’ll study in our specialist eye care facilities, learning a range of clinical skills including how to perform eye examinations, diagnose sight problems, improve people’s vision, dispense spectacles, fit contact lenses, and manage a range of eye conditions. You’ll learn about how visual perception works, and how research guides our knowledge of vision. Your time studying optometry will combine academic study of vision science, ophthalmic conditions and the principles of vision, with real world experience of providing eye care to local communities. With support from expert tutors, this is the perfect place to train as an optometrist and gain direct entry to the General Optical Council (GOC) register when you graduate. Qualified optometrists are hands-on, examining patients and managing their visual needs and eye health. And we know that it’s important for you to gain this kind of practical experience. In the lecture theatre, we’re often joined by visiting professors, orthoptists and optometrists working in hospitals and their own practices. They’ll share their professional insights – as will our expert lecturers and tutors, who are trained optometrists and dispensing opticians. In one module you'll also learn alongside other healthcare students, giving you insight into interdisciplinary teamwork. Much of your learning time in years 1, 2 and 3 is spent in clinical and laboratory sessions, practical demonstrations, and in our University Eye Clinic. In your summers after years 1 and 2, you’ll be encouraged to undertake short placements in a variety of settings to aid your employability in the future. These could be in independent or multiple practices, in a hospital or charity. You’ll spend much of Year 4 combining your academic study with real-world clinical learning in practice. This involves a period of supervised practice in the professional world over 44-48 weeks. You’ll be supported in applying for this by our expert team of careers advisors, and by our partnership with the College of Optometrists. Once you have met all the requirements of the course, as an MOptom Optometry graduate, you’ll be ready to register as a fully-qualified optometrist. What’s the difference between an optometrist, an ophthalmologist, an optician and an orthoptist? In the UK, an optometrist can examine the eyes and is trained to recognise abnormalities. They can prescribe glasses or contact lens, offer clinical advice and refer patients for further treatment relating to their eyes. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who has completed their seven years of basic and foundation medical training, then further training specialising in medical and surgical care of the eyes. An orthoptist specialises in diagnosing and non-surgically managing squints and eye movement disorders. A dispensing optician cannot examine the eyes, but can advise on and fit glasses and lenses. We offer a foundation degree to become a dispensing optician. Are optometrists doctors? No, in the UK an optometry degree does not make you a doctor - an ophthalmologist is a doctor who has undergone full medical training. For students who complete their first year of BOptom Optometry, there may be the opportunity to transfer to Year 1 of MBChB Medicine. Other countries call an optometrist a “Doctor of Optometry”, and there is a postgraduate qualification called that in the UK, but this title is not that of a medical doctor.


Please note this course is subject to General Optical Council (GOC) approval and some details, including modules, may change. Year 1 Geometrical and Visual Optics Clinical Optometry 1- Introduction to Optometric Practice Human and Ocular Anatomy Theoretical and Practical Ophthalmic Lenses Vision Science Year 2 Clinical Optometry 2 - Skills for Optometric Practice Pharmacology and Pathology Binocular and Paediatric Vision Introduction to Ocular Disease Clinical Optometry 3 - Introduction to Professional Practice Year 3 Clinical Optometry 4 - Low Vision Assessment and Management Clinical Optometry 5 - Professional Practice Clinical Optometry 6 - Advanced Contact Lens Practice Management of Ocular Disease Advanced Clinical Skills Research Methods Optometry, Lifestyle and the Workplace Year 4 Clinical Learning in Practice 1 Clinical Learning in Practice 2 Major Project Optional modules Advanced Glaucoma Management Advanced Management of Medical Retina

Assessment method

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to measure your progress. Because our course is so practical, a lot of your assessment will be practical too – including exams and clinical competence. You’ll also do written exams, problem-solving exercises, essays, presentations and data analysis. Additionally, you’ll be encouraged to critically reflect on your work to feed forward for the next stages of your career.

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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Cambridge Campus
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 7.0 (with no individual section lower than 6.5), or equivalent English Language qualification.

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


Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

Health checks


Students are also expected to register with the General Optical Council.

Student Outcomes

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

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
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

Optometry at Anglia Ruskin University - UCAS