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Undergraduate study
  • Course changes for 2020: for a safe environment and a great student and learning experience.
  • Note: this course is available to apply for 2021 intake. Apply online (full-time) through UCAS.

Course overview

This course prepares you to become a registered optometrist in a range of settings. You gain the theoretical knowledge and clinical competence to practice safely and effectively in the speciality of optometry, prior to your pre-registration year and application to the General Optical Council (GOC) for professional registration. Continuing education and autonomy within this professional role is embedded within the course.

You learn and develop your clinical skills within the University optometry clinic and in regular placements in settings including community optometric practices, independent optometric practices, acute specialist hospitals and other specialist placements.

Teesside University currently holds provisional approval from the GOC to provide this programme. Whilst under provisional approval, students recruited on to the programme 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.

Supporting information for applicants

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* Subject to University approval


Course details

Throughout the course you are required to achieve GOC Stage 1 Competencies through the self-management of a portfolio of learning logs. This tool facilitates the links between theory and practice.

We are particularly keen to support projects on the public health and commercial benefits of the evolving and expanding role of optometry, nationally and internationally in primary healthcare provision.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

An Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

This module introduces you to human anatomy and underlying physiology, and relates this to the pathophysiology of disease.

Clinical Optometry Skills

This module introduces the knowledge and skills needed to select, perform and interpret individual optometric tests. The module runs in conjunction with a clinical community placement, running one day on alternate weeks. Further practical sessions are delivered in the onsite optometry clinic.

Foundations of Ocular Anatomy and Physiology

This module provides knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the eye.

Geometric Optics

This module introduces the physics of optics and the principles of lenses and other optical instruments.

Ophthalmic Lenses and Dispensing

This module gives you the core knowledge required for optical lens dispensing. Theoretical teaching is supported by practical experience on placements in community optometry practices.

Visual Optics, Physiology of Vision and Visual Perception

This module gives you an understanding of the basic concepts of human vision, processing and perception.


Year 2 core modules

An Introduction to Pathology and Disease Management

This module provides a knowledge base of general pathological and disease processes. It builds on knowledge from Year 1 foundations of anatomy and physiology and introduces system and ocular diseases.

Binocular Vision

This module builds on your Year 1 knowledge of ocular anatomy and physiology, to provide a deeper understanding of the neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and sensorimotor processing of the visual system across the age continuum, along with giving you an understanding of the normal state of the visual system. The module also provides an introduction to the basis of binocular vision abnormalities.

Contact Lenses A

This module gives you an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of soft and right contact lens fitting. This includes the management of a patient through the fitting and aftercare process.

Investigative Techniques

This module gives you an overview of the knowledge and skills required to select, perform and interpret outcomes from a range of clinical techniques, available for use in optometry and ophthalmology practice. It is supported by practical experience on clinical placement one day a week.

Optometry Clinical Practice and Communication Skills 1

This module develops eye examination and dispensing skills toward the level required for entry to the pre-registration year in accordance to General Optical Council (GOC) requirements. Eye examinations and dispensing is carried out under supervision in the University optometry clinic and on community placements.

Pharmacology and Ophthalmic Drugs

This module provides the underpinning knowledge necessary to use ophthalmic drugs safely and effectively. It covers drug formulation, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, and the mechanisms of actions, indications for use, contraindications and adverse reactions of drugs used in optometric and ophthalmic practice.


Final-year core modules

Advanced Ocular Pathology and Disease Management

This module gives you the knowledge required to recognise and understand abnormal ocular conditions through differentiating the abnormal from the normal eye and the causes, consequences, referral process and management of abnormal ocular conditions.

Contact Lenses B

This module gives you the underpinning clinical reasoning and communication skills necessary to fit more complex forms of contact lens (torics and multifocals), as well as giving you an understanding of the aetiology and management of common contact lens complications to enable successful contact lens wear.

Innovation in Optometry

The module equips you to explore a specific area of optometric practice. This will be within the context of the evolving optometrists' role, and based on evaluation of current evidence regarding a focused, student-determined area of practice.

Law, Business, Occupational and Enhanced Optometric Services

This module provides you with an understanding of the optometrist’s role in occupational prescribing and dispensing, together with an ability to apply the legal and professional regulation to optometric business practice. In addition, you develop an understanding of the evolving role of the optometrist in society, nationally and internationally to equip you with the necessary skills to establish optometric services in the wider healthcare sector.

Optometry Clinical Practice and Communication Skills 2

This module develops your practical and decision making skills when selecting equipment and procedures used in further optometric assessment. You further develop your communication skills to enable you to effectively investigate and manage patients presenting with a range of optometric problems.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

This course is delivered using blended learning, combining face-to-face learning on campus with e-learning and delivery of materials using our virtual learning environment. This is complemented by clinical placements throughout all three years of the course.

The course includes the following types of activities to support your learning:

  • formative quiz
  • practical demonstration of skills
  • reflective journal
  • peer review
  • presentations
  • independent study
  • professional portfolio.

How you are assessed

A variety of assessment methods are used, including written assignments, practical assessments, poster presentations, OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Exam) and portfolio and logbooks.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements are two Bs and an A, equivalent to 128 UCAS points. A-levels must include two subjects from: maths, physics, chemistry and biology. The third subject can be any subject excluding general studies and critical thinking.

Equivalent qualifications are accepted, such as a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma in the following subjects: science, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy or medical sciences to include 30 Level 3 credits at distinction and the remaining L3 credits at merit with a minimum of 128 UCAS points.

Shortlisting criteria
Applications are measured against the following criteria:

  • your ability to complete all sections of the application form fully and correctly
  • meeting the required levels of all qualifications and grades
  • appropriate academic entry requirements achieved or predicted
  • evidence of successful Level 3 academic study over the last three years
  • a personal statement that is supportive of your chosen programme and demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and the role of the professional
  • a satisfactory reference.

If you are invited to interview and the date is not suitable we may not be able to offer you an alternative date. Please contact the Admissions Office immediately if you are unable to attend your interview.

Interview criteria
Once candidates are invited to interview, they will participate in individual stations to assess communication skills, moral values, professional awareness, judgement, decision making, psychometric testing and transferability. Academic staff, service users and optometrists are involved in the interview process.

At interview you are measured against the following criteria:

  • knowledge of optometry as a profession/career
  • an appreciation of the demands of the programme and of optometry
  • enthusiasm for the programme and optometry
  • ability to communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally
  • attitude towards equity of care.

If you are successful in shortlisting and interview you will receive a conditional offer which is subject to:

  1. evidence of achievement of the required academic qualifications
  2. a successful work-based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendations. More information on all of the HEOPS standards
  3. a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure - please note that any warnings, cautions, allegations or convictions received in the last five years may have implications for your continued offer on the course.
  4. satisfactory references.
    1. Please note until 1 to 4 have been successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

      For this particular course, there is a requirement for you to undertake an occupational health/work-based risk assessment. If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, sensory impairment or medical condition that may require reasonable adjustments during an external placement or in the university or in a clinical practice area, this must be declared as part of the enrolment process. If you are unsure you can contact the relevant admissions or course tutor for guidance.

      For additional information please see our entry requirements

      You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
      Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

This course is designed to prepare you to become a registered optometrist in a range of settings within this profession.

To apply for registration as an optometrist with the GOC you must achieve at least a 2.2 degree classification. This requires completion of a pre-registration period of training under supervision, which includes work-based assessment and a final assessment on the Stage 2 core competencies for optometry. Successful completion of this, together with evidence of meeting the required standards of performance and conduct, allows application for full registration with the GOC which confers fitness to practice as an optometrist in the UK.

Work placement

Placements are an integral part of the course. You take part in a variety of placements from Year 1. This requires travel to and from different locations within the North East.



Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: B510 BSc/CO
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 128 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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