Taught course


University of Central Lancashire · School of Medicine and Dentistry

Entry requirements

You will need to be registered with the General Optical Council as a ‘student registrant’ throughout the programme. As the route to registration is facilitated by the College of Optometrists you will also need to be a member of the College during your studies.

Applicants will be a Registered Dispensing Optician with one-year post-registration experience along with passing the entrance exam
Recognition Accreditation of prior Learning may provide entry into other levels such as part way into Level 7.
A detailed admissions procedure will be forwarded on application.

Months of entry


Course content

If you are working within the optical industry and wish to follow a fast-track path to a master’s qualification while working, the three-year MSc Optometry is a good choice. Our blended learning format enables you to embed learning from the on-campus study blocks into your clinical practice.

The course combines several week-long blocks of on-campus learning with online materials and questions. Time away from campus is spent in practice, observing, practising and advancing the skills and knowledge gained.

Teaching is delivered over three semesters, so there are no long gaps between learning - fast-tracking your progress to the MSc qualification.

  • Gain real-world skills in our specialist Dispensing and Optometry Pre-Clinical lab.
  • Our on-campus Eye Health Clinic is the student-led equivalent of a high street optical practice, meeting the eyecare needs of members of public.
  • Your last year combines the Optometry Scheme for Registration period with your master’s research project module (a dissertation on an area of your personal or professional interest).
  • We arrange specialist clinical experience, such as hospital ophthalmology observations, with close working partners such as East Lancashire Hospital Trust.
  • On campus block sessions include guest lectures by industry colleagues on topics such as specialist contact lenses or getting a good image using an OCT.
  • You will work with volunteer patients who form a part of the general communication skills teaching resources as well as volunteers from visual impairment charities.

Lectures are delivered online (via the virtual learning environment) with formative questions to support learning at the end of each lecture. We also use a variety of multi-media formats such as audio recordings, hand-outs, videos to deliver course content.

You’ll benefit from online collaborations such as team-working, discussions and webinars.

A range of assessment formats are used. These include practical assessments such as Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OCSEs), written exams comprised of MCQs, short-answer questions and calculations, presentations, case records and written assignments.


The Vision Sciences academic staff members are all registered Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians who bring their clinical experience with learning & teaching qualifications to ensure that the content is up to date. Visiting clinicians will be supervising and facilitating specific aspects of the programme.

Specialist clinical experience such as hospital ophthalmology observations will be arranged with close working partners such as East Lancashire Hospital Trust.

Volunteer patients from visual impairment charities such as Galloways.


As a registered Optometrist, you have the opportunity to start your own business or be self-employed, work in a primary care (high street optical practices) or hospital setting.

MSc graduates may choose further study to gain higher qualifications in Low Vision, Glaucoma, Paediatrics and Medical Retina. A research degree opens doors to research companies developing new technologies and treatment options.

After graduating from this programme, you can consider gaining a either a professional doctorate or a PhD. You can consider entering into academia by gaining a learning and teaching qualification.


This programme is accredited by the General Optical Council (Provisional Approval).

The Vision Sciences team will be working collaboratively with the College of Optometrists for the scheme of registration as an Optometrist.

Students will need to be registered with the General Optical Council throughout the duration of study as well as The College of Optometrists.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    48 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
+44 (0)1772 892400