optometry student using eye testing kit
Mode of Study
4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2019


Optometrists are primary eye care specialists trained to examine the eyes and visual system to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular abnormalities and problems with general health.

If you see yourself as a member of this highly skilled profession, then this MOptom Optometry integrated Master's degree course can get you there.

Designed in collaboration with the College of Optometrists, this course gives you the skills, knowledge and clinical experience you need to get started in this rewarding career. 

Professional accreditations

The University of Portsmouth currently holds provisional approval from the General Optical Council (GOC) to provide the MOptom course.

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.

What you'll experience

You can complete the College of Optometrists Pre-Registration programme on this course. When you complete this successfully, you can register with the General Optical Council (GOC) to practice as a qualified optometrist.

If you don't complete the Pre-Registration programme, you may need to do further training with a GOC-approved provider before you can register.

On this course you'll:

  • Get support from our academic team of qualified optometrists, who'll impart their expert knowledge and help you make the most of practical experience
  • Enhance your academic research skills by studying the anatomy and physiology of the eye
  • Have opportunities to apply your knowledge practically in our well-equipped Centre for Simulation in Health and by treating patients in our University eye clinic and community healthcare settings
  • Train on modern equipment and provide advanced clinical care under supervision in our specialist clinics
  • Experience primary eye care and hospital practice first hand, supported by your clinical supervisor and other academic staff

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for

With an ageing population, the demand for Eye Care services is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Our new integrated Master in Optometry course is designed to ensure graduates are confident and have the necessary skill-set to make a valuable contribution to the workforce. The University of Portsmouth has always prioritised a practical approach to teaching and has built a new clinic, creating an innovative learning environment for our Optometry students.

Kishan Trivedy, Optometry Tutor

What you'll study on this MOptom Optometry degree course

Careers and opportunities

As a qualified optometrist, you’ll be able to practice in a variety of areas including:

  • high street practice in a multiple or independent setting
  • hospital eye clinics
  • specialist practice
  • academic research
  • charity roles overseas

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years after you leave the University.

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Foundations of Scientific Inquiry
  • Dispensing and Ophthalmic Lenses
  • Clinical Optometry Skills 1
  • Foundations of Optical Science

There are no optional units on this course.

Core units in this year include:

  • Research methods
  • Altered Physiology
  • Improving Standards of Care
  • Ocular Anatomy and Applied Physiology
  • Contact Lenses
  • Clinical Optometry Skills 2

There are no optional units on this course.

Core units in this year include:

  • Ocular Pathology and Therapeutics
  • Binocular Vision and Paediatrics
  • Clinical Optometry Skills 3
  • Clinical Optometry

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Optical Placement 1
  • Project

Core units in this year include:

  • Optical Placement 2
  • Business and Management Skills
  • Advanced Optical Skills and Practice
  • Optical Research Project

There are no optional units on this course.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Work experience and career planning

This course includes clinical work placements in years 3 and 4, which gives you vital experience working with patients. Recent students have done work placements with companies such as Specsavers and Vision Express.

You'll return to the University regularly during your placement to get support and consolidate your learning.

Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find further relevant work experience during your course to boost your career prospects further. We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • self-directed study
  • virtual learning environments
  • patient treatment simulation

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • academic work including essays, reports, case studies and reflective accounts
  • performance based clinical practice assessments including portfolios and simulation
  • in-class tests and examinations
  • presentations and scientific posters
  • work-based projects
  • online learning activities

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 50% by written exams, 18% by practical exams and 32% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 36% by written exams, 36% by practical exams and 28% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 32% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 56% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 33% by practical exams and 67% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • 128 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a minimum of 2 A levels in a Science subject.

    *Please note: General Studies is not normally accepted.

    See the other qualifications we accept

Selection Process

  • All applicants are subject to interview.
  • All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,700 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £150 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll need to pay for the travel costs for your placements. These costs will vary depending on location and mode of travel. They’re normally around £50– £500. We’ll sometimes provide funding to cover some of these costs.

Student registration with the General Optical Council (GOC) is required throughout the duration of the course. This costs £25 a year. Without this membership, can’t continue the course. You can see the current fees on the GOC website.

You’ll get the clinical equipment you need to learn about optometric practice during the first 2 years of your course. In the third year of the course, and when on placement, you’ll need to use your own clinical equipment. You’ll need to budget up to £1,700 for this.

How to apply

Want to start this course in 2019?

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B510
  • our institution code – P80

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.


How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.