Course structure

Year 1

  • Y1 Residential weekend 1 (Introductory)
  • Module 1: Concomitance and Incomitance in Depth (ORT6001) or Stroke (ORT6011)
  • Module 2: Insight into Disease (ORT6002) or  *Low Vision (ORT6022) *with Introductory Day in Sheffield for Low Vision only

Year 2

  • Module 3: Eye to Vision (ORT6003) or Exemptions (ORT6033)
  • Y2 Residential weekend 2
  • Module 4: Research Methods (ORT6100) 

Year 3

See Also:

Stand Alone Modules
Find out more about our residential weekends

Key Facts: 


  • Duration - 3 years
  • Delivery by distance learning with the support of 2 residential weekends in Sheffield
  • Modular course

PG Diploma

  • Duration - First 2 years of the MMedSci course with 2 residential weekends in Sheffield.
  • Modules 1-3 with an option to follow Module 4 (Research Methods) or undertake a literature based dissertation

Module 1

Option 1 - Concomitance and Incomitance in Depth (ORT6001)

Aim: to develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of concomitant and incomitant strabismus with reference to clinical practice and recent literature.

Overview of content:

  1. Investigative techniques
  2. Vergence, vergence adaptation and accommodation
  3. Techniques to investigate visual function
  4. Early visual development
  5. Recording of eye movements
  6. Eye movements
  7. Emmetropisation
  8. Refractive surgery
  9. Adverse effects of prescribed and non-prescribed medications
  10. Management of incomitant deviations; surgical options and botulinum toxin

Option 2 - Stroke (ORT6011)

Aim: To enhance knowledge of Stroke and enable practitioners working in the field of eye-care to have a comprehensive understanding of issues surrounding Stroke in relation to their clinical practice and that of related disciplines.

Overview of content:

  1. Mechanisms of stroke
  2. Stroke neuroanatomy and neurophysiology
  3. Emergency care and later medical treatment of stroke patients
  4. Specific issues regarding communication, speech and swallowing 
  5. Specific issues regarding mobility and cognition 
  6. Ocular motility disorders
  7. Post stroke visual impairment
  8. Post stroke perception deficits
  9. Emotional issues surrounding stroke and recovery
  10. Consent, advocacy and mental capacity in relation to stroke patients; the national stroke quality standards & local services

    Back to top

Module 2

Option 1 - Insight into Disease (ORT6002)

Aim: to gain knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms by which particular diseases affect ocular motility and visual function.  

Overview of content:

1.   The effect of ageing on the visual system
2.   Tumours
3.   Infectious Disease
4.   Vascular disease
5.   Human immunodeficiency disease
6.   Myasthenia Gravis
7.   Diabetes
8.   Multiple sclerosis
9.   Child abuse and the eye
10. Graves' Orbitopathy

Option 2 - Low Vision (ORT6022)

1. To provide information, training and experience of a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to low vision service provision.
2. To enable Orthoptists to become competent low vision practitioners.

Overview of content:

1.   The effect of ageing on the visual system
2.   UK Vision Strategy, policy context and national groups
3.   Visual impairment and the rehabilitation process
4.   Coping with sight loss
5.   Lighting and contrast
6.   Functional visual assessment
7.   Central and peripheral field loss
8.   Low vision aids
9.   Very severe visual loss
10. Children with visual loss

Please note that there is a clinical examination for this module which usually takes place in the second week of July (see KEY DATES

Back to top

Module 3 

Option 1 - Eye to Vision (ORT6003)

Aim:  to develop an understanding of the neuro-physiological processes involved in visual function.

Overview of content:

1. Structure and function of the human brain with special reference to vision and eye movements
2. Cortical processing of visual information
3. Spatial and temporal aspects of vision
4. Normal development of the visual system
5. Colour perception
6. Binocular disparity
7. Motion processing
8. Plasticity of the developing visual system
9. Amblyopia

Option 2 - Exemptions (ORT6033)*

Aim: to facilitate advanced practice in the area of prescription only and non-prescription exemption listed medicines for Orthoptists, by enhancing knowledge of the pharmacokinetics and actions of these specific medicines.

Overview of content:

1. Introduction
2. Legal framework
3. Pharmacology and Anatomy
4. Cycloplegia and Mydriasis
5. Ocular lubricants
6. Local anaesthetics
7. Antimicrobials
8. Communication
9. Administer and supply
10. Record Keeping
11. Continued Professional Development

Please note that successful completion of Exemptions Module (ORT6033) would only lead to HCPC registered Orthoptists being eligible to apply for an annotation on the HCPC register to use Exemptions to supply medicines in clinical practice. No other eye care professionals other than Orthoptists would be eligible to apply to the HCPC for annotation.

Back to top

Module 4 - Research Methods (ORT6100) (optional for PG Dip students)

Aim: The aim of this module is to give you a broad understanding of the methods of research the ethics of research practice and of the use of statistics in testing a simple hypothesis in the subject area of vision and strabismus.

Overview of content:

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature review
  3. Hypotheses
  4. Planning your experiment
  5. Research governance
  6. Ethics
  7. Parametric statistics
  8. Non-parametric statitistics
  9. Presenting data
  10. Writing up

Dissertation (PG Diploma only as an option to Module 4)

Aim: to encourage students to pursue an area of interest independently and to critically appraise the selected topic through literature review.

Back to top

Final Year Research Project (ORT6005) - (MMedSci only)

Aim: to demonstrate a high level of ability in design, implementation, analysis and written presentation of a piece of individual research.

Back to top

Standalone Modules

Please click here for further information on standalone modules.

Back to top