Vision and Strabismus FAQs

Frequently asked questions for MMedSci Vision and Strabismus distance learning course.


How much of my time will this take?
Students should expect to undertake between 10 and 14 hours of study weekly although this will vary depending on prior knowledge and experience.  Each module is worth 30 credits and the University guidance on study time for this is 300 hours.

What will I be expected to do?
You will work through the prepared units building up a portfolio of your work, developing knowledge, understanding and critical appraisal skills. Each module has specific assignments which must be completed.  The Low Vision module also has a clinical exam, and Exemptions has an online ‘virtual’ exam.

Are there any exams?
The assessment for the course is through a variety of assignments for all modules except for the Low Vision and Exemptions modules, which both have an online 'virtual' exam.

How will I be supported with my studies?
You will be in regular contact with a named member of staff at the University (telephone or email) and are encouraged to form links with fellow students for peer group support.

Do I have to come to the residential weekends?
Yes, unless illness or other mitigating circumstances make this very difficult. The majority of students find the face to face contact with tutors and opportunity to mix with fellow students invaluable and view the residential weekends positively. There are two residentials in total, one at the beginning of Year 1, and one at the beginning of Year 2. 

Are there any other times I will need to attend?

For those choosing the Low Vision option to Module 2, attendance for an Introductory Day in Sheffield will also be required (virtual attendance may be possible and you should contact the department to discuss this). 

If I want to stop after 1 year and leave with the PG Certificate, can I?
Yes.  If you successfully gain 60 credits by completing 2 modules in year 1 you may leave the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate.

If I want to stop after 2 years and leave with the PG Diploma, can I?
Yes.  If you successfully gain 120 credits by completing 4 modules in years 1 and 2 you may leave the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Diploma students undertake a dissertation rather than the Research Methods module).  

The library where I work isn´t very good. Will this be a problem?
It shouldn´t be. You have online access to essential reading material for each module but may need additional references for assignments. The University of Sheffield Library has a specific service for distance learning students and gives access to many journals and publications online.  You will also have access to University libraries via the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Access Scheme.  Check to see if your nearest University / College is a member at

Is funding available for this course?
The University of Sheffield does not provide funding for this course. Some students gain financial support from their employer. Funding is also available in some regions through Learning Beyond Registration (LBR).

I haven't studied for a while, can I still apply?
Yes.  All students will be fully supported whether or not they have had opportunity for recent study.

When is the MMedSci course run?
The MMedSci course has an intake of students every year in September.  Standalone modules may run more frequently with some beginning in the Spring semester, please enquire for details.

When can I apply for the MMedSci?
Applications for the September intake are invited from mid-October of the year before, and should be made before 31 May of the year of intake.  Applicants are invited to apply sooner rather than later in case the course is oversubscribed.  

Can I just study one module?
All modules can be studied individually. Please see details under ‘Individual modules and continuing professional development opportunities’ for further information on the dates for the particular module you are interested in.

When can I apply for a standalone module?

Applications usually close one month before the start date of the chosen module, but we advise submitting your application as early as possible to avoid disappoint should the course be over subscribed.  

Can I combine any 30 credit modules to gain a qualification?
Yes. Any two modules studied as standalone modules can be combined to gain a postgraduate certificate and some 30 credit modules can be combined to gain a PG Diploma.

I have a 2:2 degree.  Can I still apply?

If you gained a 2:2 in your previous degree, we will still consider your application to study with us.  In such cases if you have undertaken any further postgraduate study already, have gained any specialist clinical skills, or have research experience, this will support your application and you should provide evidence of this at the time of applying. 

Do I still need an academic reference if it has been some years since I studied?
If you haven't studied for a considerable time, it may be that an academic reference would not be the most appropriate means of endorsing your application.  In such cases we would advise asking a professional colleague who can testify to your academic ability instead.

I'm applying for a standalone module - will accommodation be provided for the Introductory Day?
No, accommodation is not provided*. If you are attending an Introductory Day, and wish to stay overnight in Sheffield either before or after, you will need to arrange your own accommodation. For students taking the Low Vision module, there is also a clinical exam held in Sheffield, and again, you would need to arrange your own accommodation if you wish to stay in Sheffield.  Lunch and refreshments will however be provided on the day.

*For the Stroke module only: we offer the opportunity for those studying the Stroke standalone module to attend the whole residential weekend (including accommodation on the Saturday night) in Sheffield.  Please contact the department for further information.

Is there a dress code for the residential weekends?
There is no specific dress code for the residential weekends, other than casual / informal attire.

Do I need to bring anything to introductory days or residential weekends?
It would be extremely helpful if you can bring a device, ideally a laptop, in order to participate in the virtual tour of how the course is delivered. If this might be a problem, please contact the department to discuss.

Are there any other course requirements I should know about?

For the Exemptions module, a remote exam is delivered which requires use of a computer including a webcam and a microphone.  If you think this will be a problem please get in contact with the department. 

I am going to take an English test later in the year, can I still apply now?

Yes you can apply before you have your English test result. However, please note that your offer would be conditional on receipt of our required English standards and your offer would only be converted to unconditional if we receive proof that you have met our English language requirements.

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