BMedSci Orthoptics with Foundation Year

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How to apply

To study this course you will need to apply through UCAS.

UCAS code: B521

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Check the eligibility and entry criteria for our courses.

Foundation year

The foundation year of the programme provides students with non-standard entry qualifications and a thorough and supportive academic preparation for successful degree-level study in the School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery. On successful completion of the foundation year, students will progress to BMedSci Orthoptics.

The foundation year to this degree is carefully designed to build your confidence in your abilities, develop essential academic and study skills, and provide the subject specific knowledge essential for success. You will study within the Department for Lifelong Learning, where we have nearly forty years’ experience working with adult learners, helping them to unlock their potential to succeed at degree-level study.

Entry requirements

As well as meeting the standard Foundation Year eligibility requirements, applicants to this programme must hold a recent (within the last 5 years) GCSE grade C/4 (or equivalent) in Maths and English Language.

Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate relevant work or volunteering experience. We advise applicants to contact their local orthoptic department and request the opportunity to observe the work of an orthoptist, although we will also consider voluntary or paid work experience with children, the elderly, or people with disabilities.

During the 3 years of study (following the foundation year) students obtain clinical experience by going on block (usually 4 weeks) clinical placements at hospitals across the United Kingdom. Students must sign an entry agreement prior to commencing the degree that they are willing to go on placements chosen by the department anywhere in the UK.

Applicants will be required to complete a DBS check before entry to level 1 of this course. Please see the BMedSci Orthoptics webpage for more information

Programme details


Over the course of your foundation year you will study a variety of modules that equate to the value of 120 credits. You can check the foundation year programme structure for more information on these modules.

Learning and teaching methods

During the course a number of teaching methods may be used, including:

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Problem solving classes
  • Field studies
  • Independent study
  • Skills and subject-based tutorials
  • Group work
  • On-line activities
  • Revision workshops
  • Laboratory sessions

Programme length

Foundation Year: One year full-time within the Department for Lifelong Learning.

Levels 1-3: Three years full-time within the School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery.

Progression to School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

Students will progress to the School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery after completing their foundation year, subject to meeting progression thresholds which differ across courses and departments. These will be discussed with applicants at interview. These thresholds can also be found by searching for the relevant degree course within the University's Programme Regulations Finder and viewing information relating to 'Year 0'.

Health clearance

All new students must obtain occupational health clearance, which may require an individual assessment. This is to ensure that you meet the fitness-to-practice standards detailed in the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners (HEOPS) guidance.

We offer support to students with additional needs, for example, through the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service or Student Support Services. You can find out more about the network of support services we provide. A very small number of conditions might, on health and safety grounds, affect your registration with the appropriate regulatory body and your ability to practise in certain clinical situations.

If you're offered a place, you'll need to comply with the Department of Health and Social Care mandatory immunisation requirements.

You should have at least two Covid vaccinations to protect yourself and vulnerable people in your placement areas.

University Taster Event

Join us on Wednesday 22nd of May 2024 for our university taster event. This is a free event for anyone 21 or over, without traditional university entry qualifications.  

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.