Profile image of Dr Sara McCullough

Dr Sara McCullough

Lecturer in Optometry

Profile image of Dr Sara McCullough


School of Biomedical Sciences


Biomedical Sciences Research


Room G168 Cromore Road Coleraine Co. Londonderry BT52 1SA



Dr Sara McCullough is a research associate in Optometry and Vision Science.

She is currently working on the Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) Study funded by the College of Optometrists.  This study is investigating the progression of refractive error in children and young adults in Northern Ireland.

It is a longitudinal study, commencing in 2006, which aims to predict the refractive error outcome for a child depending on their family history, visual activity and ocular biometry to help inform clinicians of those individuals most at risk of developing significant refractive error in childhood and early adulthood.

This project is also exploring the visual outcomes following school vision screening in primary school children.

Sara completed her PhD in 2011 entitled “Higher Order Aberrations in Children with Down Syndrome” under the supervision of Professor Kathryn Saunders and Dr Julie-Anne Little.

She has an interest in visual optics and has investigated how the structure of the eye in individuals with Down syndrome impairs visual function in this population.


2007 BSc Hons in Optometry, Ulster University
2008 GOC registered optometrist
2011 PhD in Optometry & Vision Science
2015 Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching Interests

Dr McCullough is also a recognised part-time teacher within the Optometry Department at Ulster University.

She teaches the Binocular Vision and Orthoptics module and provides statistical support to undergraduate optometry students completing research projects.

She also supervises and assesses undergraduate optometry students within the teaching eye clinic.

Sara has produced a range of invited continuous education and training (CET) articles for qualified optometrists on the topics of binocular vision and childhood myopia.

External Positions

Sara is a College of Optometrists’ council representative for Northern Ireland and a member of the Optometry Northern Ireland Committee.

She is also Research Advisor to the College of Optometrists and an Examiner for the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration.