Professor Julie-Anne Little

Research Director

School of Biomedical Sciences

Coleraine campus

Room G159,
Cromore Road,
Co. Londonderry,
BT52 1SA,

Biomedical Sciences Research

Research Director

Professor Julie-Anne Little


Dr Julie-Anne Little is a Senior Lecturer in Optometry and Vision Science.  As a GOC registered optometrist, she has worked in hospital optometry in England and undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship within The Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast, prior to taking up her lectureship position at Ulster University.

Her research interests include the developing visual system and the impact of intellectual disability on vision. She is also interested in how the structure of the eye impacts on functional vision.

Julie-Anne is part of the paediatric vision research team testing the vision of children with and without special educational needs and complex visual problems.

She has supervised PhD and MSc students, and been awarded significant grant funding from a variety of sources. She has been supported with a personal research fellowship by the College of Optometrists.

Julie-Anne is immediate past-President of the European Council of Optometry and Optics. She was returned in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and has produced research outputs making an important knowledge contribution not only to paediatric vision, but also to aspects of vision in special needs populations; including Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Julie-Anne has collaborative links with International researchers and clinicians. She is part of a multidisciplinary clinic providing vision care for those with complex neurological impairment and promotes the functional assessment of vision with emphasis on communication of results to parents and health and education professionals involved with the child. She has developed a web-based resource for improving communication and understanding of functional visual assessment for children with complex neurological impairment. The information is relevant to parents and professionals working with children with special educational needs and the resource is available under the Vision Resources section of the website.

Education / Qualifications

PhD, BSc(Hons), MCOptom, FHEA

Teaching Interests

Julie-Anne is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has developed a successful distance learning MSc programme and a professional short course for postgraduate optometrists.  She is also a core part of the course team for the undergraduate BSc Optometry programme at Ulster University.


In addition to presenting several peer-reviewed abstracts at international and national vision research conferences, Julie-Anne has been invited to speak at several international conferences, including the Child Vision Research Society conference in Prague in 2015.

External Positions

  • Past-president European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO)
  • Governing board member of the World Council of Optometry
  • Association of Optometrists Councillor and member of Policy Committee
  • Member of General Optical Council Educational Visitor panel for Quality Assurance

Commissions of Trust

  • Appointed member of the Board of Trustees of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO).
  • PhD and MSc External Examiner
  • External Examiner Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Member of a regional multi-agency HSC board committee relating to the improvement of optometric services and developing eyecare partnerships