BSc (Hons), MOptom (Hons)

2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours, Master of Optometry with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Biomedical Sciences


Coleraine campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2022

With this degree you could become:

  • Pre-reg Optometrist
  • Optometrist

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Boots Opticians
  • Specsavers Opticians
  • Vision Express


At Ulster we offer a 3-year BSc (Hons) Optometry or a 4-year Masters with Honours Optometry degree.


Optometrists are primary health care professionals. Did you know that most people value their sight above all other senses? That’s not surprising considering how important vision is to our everyday lives. Vision is a complicated process involving not just our eyes, but our brains and nervous system.

Studying for an Optometry degree you will discover the fascinating way in which the visual system works and learn to help patients of all ages to keep their eyes healthy and achieve the best vision possible.

You will explore everything from the physiology and psychology of vision, to how to conduct an eye test, prescribe glasses and contact lenses and detect signs of injury or disease (both in the eye and the rest of the body). You will practise your new skills in the range of specialist clinics that are available in our on-campus eye clinic and you will also visit local hospital eye clinics to further broaden your experience.

Information for International applicants

Information for Canadian applicants

Sign up to hear more about Ulster

About this course


If you are interested in problem-solving, science and working with people the Optometry degree at Ulster will provide you with the training you need to become an Optometrist. You will benefit from the small class sizes (approximately 32-36 per year), unique to Ulster, which ensures our students have excellent access to patients, equipment and lecturing staff. Our graduates consistently score our course in the top three of UK Optometry degrees and go on to careers in high street practice, hospital practice, the optical industry, vision science research and academia.

At Ulster we offer a 3-year BSc (Hons) Optometry or a 4-year Masters with Honours Optometry degree. All students start on the BSc programme and, depending on availability and academic progress, students may choose to transfer onto the Masters option.

This full-time programme of study is based at the Coleraine campus where we have a well equipped Optometry Clinic which provides eye care services to the local population whilst also acting as the central teaching hub for our students.

You can find out more about the Optometry Clinic by clicking here.

In addition to the extensive clinical experience gained in the Optometry Clinic and NHS placements, you will learn through interactive lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions, where engagement in learning is encouraged through a diverse range of teaching and assessment methods.

Key skills for Optometry include the ability to understand and apply scientific principles and methods, a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail, good organisational and administrative skills, good manual dexterity and strong interpersonal and communication skills.

The Optometry programme at Ulster has been accredited by the General Optical Council to provide optometric education and provides the training required to become a registered optometrist in the UK or Ireland.


Full time.

MOptom: Four years

BSc (Hons) Optometry: Three years.

Start dates

  • September 2022

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Right from the first week of your studies, you will be in the eye clinic, where you will learn how to test each other's eyes before you apply these skills to paid volunteers in the second year. In the third year of study, you will provide eye tests and contact lens assessments for patients of all ages in our public Optometry Clinic. Third-year students also experience a range of specialist clinics both in the on-campus Optometry Clinic and in NHS placements, preparing them for pre-registration practice.

The final year of the MOptom programme encompasses the College of Optometrists' Scheme for Registration and includes higher level modules taken by distance learning in specialist areas of optometric practice.

The small number of students accepted each year onto the Optometry degree allows a high level of interaction between students and both staff and patients making sure that you get the best out of the experience.

A wide range of teaching and learning methods are utilised including lectures, practicals, tutorials and clinical practice. Computer-based and problem-based learning are integral to the programme. Assessment for most modules is by a combination of coursework and sessional examination. Coursework may include written reports of practical work, essays, class tests, projects, oral presentations and a wide range of clinical assessments.

Teaching is enhanced and informed by the high-quality research that is undertaken by academic staff within the Optometry Clinic and in the Vision Science Research Group.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Coleraine campus


A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

Find out more - information about sport  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Coleraine Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
Cromore Rd,
BT52 1SA

T: 02870 123 456


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Human Physiology & Anatomy

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.

Medical Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the cellular basis of life and the relevance of studies of cell structure and function at the molecular level to human disease. In addition, it will provide a foundation for further studies in genetics, microbiology, histology and biochemistry.

Clinical Skills 1

Year: 1

This initial introduction to clinical skills will give students the opportunity to develop robust core clinical skills, with a good understanding of the theory that underpins the techniques. The development of core understanding and a basic clinical skillset will equip students for the clinical modules in the following semesters.

Practical Optics

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with knowledge of optics and optical materials, particularly in relation to the eye. Students will learn about applied optics of spectacle and contact lenses and about the physiological optics of the eye.

Clinical Skills 2

Year: 1

Throughout this module the student increases their knowledge of the examination procedures used in clinical practice. They will also develop their practical skills in the use of a wide range of optometric instrumentation and clinical techniques.

Visual Anatomy and Physiology

Year: 1

This module examines the anatomy of the visual system as a whole and the eye as a unique anatomical organ. The emphasis is on sound working knowledge of visual anatomy for the understanding of clinical problems of an embryological, physiological or pathological nature.

Year two

Visual Processing & Perception

Year: 2

This module allows students to gain in-depth understanding of visual processing; through learning of aspects of spatial and temporal vision, the physiology of the retina and the electrophysiological and psychophysical techniques to measure visual function. It will provide knowledge of colour vision, motion and eye movements and visual perception.

Contact Lens Practice

Year: 2

This module will introduce students to both contact lens theory and clinical practice. It will seek to develop within the student, the understanding and skills necessary to practice safely and competently, and provide a basis for further more detailed study and application in third and fourth year of the undergraduate optometry programme and in professional practice.

Clinical skills 3

Year: 2

This module will substantially broaden the knowledge and understanding of clinical optometry and introduce the student to ocular coherence tomography of the posterior segment. It will also develop and refine clinical skills essential to the practice of optometry.

Ophthalmic Dispensing Practice

Year: 2

This module allows students to become competent in the use of a range of techniques appropriate for optical dispensing. It will provide a sound basis for the student to dispense optical appliances and provide appropriate advice and care to patients in the Optometry clinic in future modules. It will provide the student with a detailed knowledge of lens materials and permit the student to develop skills in appropriate lens choice according to analysis of the spectacle prescription and the patients' needs and lifestyle.

Low Vision

Year: 2

This module provides students with an understanding of low vision and in the skills necessary for the optometric care of patients with a visual impairment. The module provides information on causes and epidemiology of low vision, magnification and minification, certification and registration, the psychological loss model and holistic care to include collaboration with multi-disciplinary statutory and voluntary service providers. The module will equip the student with the skills to undertake a clinical assessment of a person's visual impairment, disability and emotional status. The module provides students with training on low vision management plans including refractive error prescribing, dispensing simple optical and non-optical low vision aids, simple rehabilitation strategies and referral guidelines.

Law Management and Ethics

Year: 2

Within this module students will be taught business awareness and how to manage an optometric practice, basics of contract and tort law and how these apply to optometry; and principles of healthcare ethics and how to identify and use these as guidelines in making decisions relating to patient management and care.

Human Disease

Year: 2

This module introduces the student to the principles of human disease in general and in particular provides an introduction to genetics, pharmacology, pathology and microbiology. This module is designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge in human disease to proceed in their course of study.

Ocular Disease I

Year: 2

This module is focussed on two aspects of ocular disease. Firstly students will be concerned with pathology affecting the anterior eye. Secondly students will be taught introductory material on various common retinal ocular conditions. For both aspects, students will be taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms and to understand the aetiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, signs, symptoms and terminology for the conditions. This module is further designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge in anterior ocular pathology needed to undertake management and treatment strategies.

Year three

Binocular Vision and Orthoptics

Year: 3

Binocular Vision and Orthoptics is a third year undergraduate optometry module. This module is designed to provide a grounding in orthoptics and binocular vision anomalies for optometric practice. Teaching methods involve lectures, practicals, tutorials and clinical experience allowing the students to approach the subject from several different perspectives to aid integration and understanding of the material. The module is taught with substantial input from orthoptic professionals to provide, not only expert teaching, but to facilitate future good relations and collaborative management between optometry and orthoptic eye care providers.

Optometric Research

Year: 3

This module provides the students with an opportunity to perform an independent, supervised, original research study in the field of optometry and vision science. The project will include planning a study, collecting and analysing data, and writing a project report in the format of a scientific poster.

Professional and Clinical Practice

Year: 3

This module allows the students to consolidate and integrate learning within their clinical practice so they can examine a range of patients in a systematic manner and make coherent management decisions regarding the patient's needs. This module develops skills to allow an individual to become an effective communicator with patients, peers and others in the optometric healthcare setting and embeds reflective practice into the individual's day to day professional life. This module teaches the importance of high quality, succinct recordkeeping and communication with other health care professionals and provides the opportunity for Inter Professional Learning with others including Dispensing Opticians, Orthoptists, Ophthalmologists, Hospital Optometrists and Rehabilitation support workers. This module allows the student to be prepared and safe for their long placement in Year 4.

Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Year: 3

This module builds on earlier pharmacology teaching in OPT309 and introduces the students to the principles of pharmacology in in relation to the eye and visual system. The module will discuss diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of ocular disease and drug use in optometric practice. This module is designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge in ocular pharmacology and therapeutics to manage a wide range of ocular pathologies building on knowledge and skills gained in ocular health and disease modules.

Advanced Optometric Practice

Year: 3

This module will introduce a variety of advanced clinical procedures and concepts that will expand students' comprehension of modern optometric practice and deepen their knowledge of advanced contact lens fitting techniques.

Paediatric Optometry

Year: 3

Paediatric optometry is a third-year undergraduate optometry module designed to provide undergraduate optometrists with an understanding of the processes that underlie the improvement in visual performance seen during early infancy and childhood. The module will explore what constitutes normal visual development, the risk factors associated with abnormal visual outcome and the role of the optometrist in assessing and managing children's vision and visual status. Students will learn how to apply an evidence-based approach and select and use robust, validated testing techniques and protocols for paediatric visual assessment and management, including refractive amblyopia, hypo-accommodation and myopia. The impact of developmental disabilities on visual function and optometric management will be introduced and the optometrist's role in providing accessible eye care for people with learning and other disabilities described. An understanding of visual stress and vision-related reading difficulties will be conveyed.

Ocular Disease II

Year: 3

This module is concerned with pathology affecting the retina, uveal tract and lens. Students will be taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of various ocular pathological conditions of the retina, uveal tract and lens and to understand the management/treatment strategies for each condition. This module is designed to provide students with advanced knowledge in common retinal disorders in order to undertake management strategies, outline potential treatment and prognosis.

Ocular Disease III

Year: 3

This module is concerned with complex pathology affecting the eye and visual system. Students will be taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of various complex ocular and visual pathway conditions and to understand the management/treatment strategies for each condition. This module is designed to provide students with the requisite knowledge in complex ocular and visual pathway pathology needed to detect, manage, outline potential treatment/s and propose a prognosis for these conditions.

Clinical Competence in Optometric Skills

Year: 3

This clinical skills module requires students to demonstrate the ability to conduct a number of General Optical Council designated core skills in a professionally competent manner.

Year four

Clinical Practice

Year: 4

This module encompasses a clinical placement within optometric practice or hospital. It will ensure students have the appropriate clinical experience necessary at this stage of their career.

Professional & Clinical Skills

Year: 4

This module encompasses clinical placement within optometric practice. It will allow students to competently perform eye examinations on patients and to fit patients with contact lenses in a safe and proficient manner.

Further Clinical Competence in Optometric Skills

Year: 4

This module requires students to draw on knowledge and skills attained from other academic and clinically based modules and professional practice so as to demonstrate the ability to competently complete the General Optical Council Stage 2 Core Competencies.

Critical Case Reviews A

Year: 4

This module will equip the student to develop as an optometrist; managing patients appropriately using the latest evidence-based practice and recommended professional guidelines. It will encourage self-reflection and critical analysis of clinical and communication skills.

Critical Case Reviews B

Year: 4

This module will equip the student to develop as an optometrist; managing patients appropriately using the latest evidence-based practice and recommended professional guidelines. It will encourage self-reflection and critical analysis of clinical and communication skills.

Advanced Clinical Practice I: Therapeutics in Primary Eye Care

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will equip the optometrist with further knowledge and skills to allow appropriate management of a wide range of ocular conditions that commonly present to primary eyecare.

Advanced Clinical Practice 1

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will equip the student optometrist with specialist skills to conduct in-depth assessment of those with cataract and/or at risk of retinal disease and allow them to follow the very latest in management protocols.

Advanced Clinical Practice 2

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module is delivered online and allows the individual, once registered as a qualified practitioner with the General Optical Council, to participate in the appropriate locally-commissioned enhance optometric services (EOS).

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Grades AAB to include two science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics (or grades AB in Double Award Applied Science or Life and Health Science).

Applied General Qualifications

*** To note that only qualifications defined as “Applied General” will be accepted for entry onto any undergraduate course at Ulster University.***

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (2012 Suite)

Award profile of D*DD and including six of the following units:

Unit 1: Fundamentals of Science
Unit 7: Mathematical Calculations for Science
Unit 8: Using Statistics for Science
Unit 11: Physiology of Human Body Systems
Unit 12: Physiology of Human Regulation & Reproduction
Unit 13: Biochemistry & Biochemical Techniques
Unit 20: Medical Physics Techniques

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science (2012 Suite)

Award profile of D*D and any other A-level at grade A.

QCF Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science (2012 Suite)

Award profile D with two A-levels at grade A (one of which must be a science subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics).

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DDD, the following optional units must be included:

Unit 8: Physiology of Human Body Systems
Unit 12: Diseases & Infections
Unit 21: Medical Physics Applications


ANY other optional units EXCLUDING 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26.

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science (2016 Suite)

Award profile of DD

- with optional units EXCLUDING 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26

- acceptable in conjunction with one other A-level at grade B.

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science (2016 Suite)

​Award profile D

acceptable in conjunction with two A-levels at grades A, to include one science A-level from Biology, Physics and Mathematics.

The following BTECs are not acceptable: Applied Health Sciences, Applied Science (Forensic).

Irish Leaving Certificate

136 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at Higher Level). English at minimum of H6 at Higher Level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

This course also requires you to achieve Grades H3, H3 from two science subjects from Chemitry, Physics, Mathematics or Biology. If Mathemattics is not passed at H3, you will be required to achieve a minimum of H6 if studied at Higher Level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is ABBBC to include grades AB in two subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths.

English and Maths required at Standard Level 1, 2 or 3.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades BBB to include grades BB in two subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths.

English & Maths required at Standard level 1, 2 or 3.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 28 points to include 14 points at higher level to include 2 science subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

NI, 120 credit Access Course - overall profile of 73% (Level 3 modules), science based courses only accepted.

GB, 60 credit Access Course - overall profile of 39 credits at distinction and 6 credits at merit.


You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first-degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

You must also hold GCSE passes at grade C or above (or equivalent) in Mathematics and Double Award Science. Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in ‘regulated activity’ involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI or other relevant authority. There is a cost for this service. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at http://www.dojni.gov.uk/accessni

Health screening: You are required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course by completing a ‘Declaration of Health’ form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. You may also be required to undertake a vaccination programme and more information regarding this will be available prior to registration.

Acceptable alternative entry qualifications include:

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 120 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units may be specified

Exemptions and transferability

Qualified Dispensing Opticians may be eligible for exemption from specific modules including OPT102 Optics and Optical Materials and OPT306 Dispensing Practice.

A student who has successfully completed Year 1 of BSc (Hons) Optometry is eligible to transfer to our BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences and other programmes within the School subject to approval by the relevant Subject Committees. This student would usually be exempt from the two common Year 1 modules.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Boots Opticians
  • Specsavers Opticians
  • Vision Express

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Pre-reg Optometrist
  • Optometrist

Career options

Our graduates have an excellent record of employment and have secured clinical, research, academic and managerial roles in the public and private sector and have progressed to higher degrees (taught or research) in the UK and Ireland. In addition to challenging and rewarding clinical roles as an optometrist in either hospital or high street practice, a degree in Optometry will also offer you career options working with charitable bodies, in industry, government service, teaching and research.

To become an optometrist, graduates of Optometry BSc programmes must undertake a pre-registration year of supervised, paid practice in either a registered optometric practice or in a hospital. During this year graduates are continually assessed and take professional examinations which lead to membership of the College of Optometrists (http://www.college-optometrists.org/) and to registration with the General Optical Council as a registered optometrist. In order to enter the pre-registration year, graduates must have a first or second class degree in Optometry and have completed the Core Competency requirements stipulated by the General Optical Council.

Ulster University offers graduates the opportunity to study for higher qualifications including PgCert/PgDip/MSc Advanced Clinical Optometry, studies to doctoral level and professional qualifications including the College of Optometrist accredited Professional Certificates in Glaucoma, Medical Retina, Paediatric Optometry and Low Vision.

Professional recognition

General Optical Council (GOC)

Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC).


Start dates

  • September 2022

Fees and funding

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees


England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees


International Fees


Scholarships, awards and prizes

The following annual prizes are awarded:

The Association of Optometrists Prize: Best performance in the Law, Management and Ethics module.

The Binocular Vision Prize: Best performance in the Binocular Vision and Orthoptics module.

The Boots Opticians Prize: Best overall final year student

The Northern Ireland Optometric Society Prize: Best performance in the Patient Management module.

The Johnson & Johnson Prize: Best overall performance in 2nd and 3rd Year Contact Lens related modules.

Additional mandatory costs

There is a charge for health screening and vaccinations. Last year’s costs ranged from £35 to £155 depending on the vaccinations required.

The criminal record check through AccessNI currently costs £33.

Whilst a wide range of optometric equipment is available within the University clinics for students to use, you will normally be requested to purchase personal testing equipment during the course of your studies.

In Year 1 such items are small and inexpensive and include occluders and measuring rulers. In later years, students also require a volk lens, retinoscope and trial frame. Arrangements are made for optometric instrument suppliers to speak to students about their products and significant student discounts are available. Though costs may still range from approximately £1000-£2000, such equipment is required for professional practice and will provide the practitioner with many years of service. In addition, white coats are usually required for laboratory and clinic use.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


Admissions Office
T: +44 (0)28 7012 3210
E: admissionsce@ulster.ac.uk

International Admissions Office
T: +44 (0)28 7012 3333
E: internationaladmissions@ulster.ac.uk

Optometry Course Director

Dr Raymond Beirne


For more information visit


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.