2022 start September 

Ophthalmology Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics)

Division of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics, Health Sciences School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

This course ideal for current paediatric eye-care practitioners (orthoptists, optometrists and ophthalmic nurses) who want to advance their specialist ophthalmic practice skills. Clinicians who wish to reach the highest levels of innovative and cutting-edge paediatric ophthalmology practice will benefit from this course.
A child having their eyes examined

Course description

The course is suitable for forward-thinking practitioners, already working in paediatric ophthalmology, who wish to pioneer new or improved services.

You'll gain comprehensive and advanced knowledge of paediatric ophthalmology conditions. As well as studying the core elements of diagnosing and managing a wide range of ophthalmological conditions affecting paediatric patients, you'll learn techniques and management solutions through clinical, work-based learning.

You'll benefit from this course if you are ready to implement patient-led improvements and wish to reach advanced clinical practitioner status in paediatric ophthalmology.

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Accreditation will be applied for when available, from the emerging Centre for Advancing Practice who plan to hold a register of all advanced clinical practitioners.


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core module:

Paediatric Ophthalmology (60 credits - details to be confirmed)

Optional modules - two from:

Critical Evaluation of Clinical Practice (60 credits – details to be confirmed)

Concomitance and Incomitance in Depth

This is based around clinicians re-examining their prior knowledge in relation to clinical practice and recent research and to evaluate their work - emphasising areas in which further examination of techniques/theory is indicated. 

30 credits
Insight into Disease

This module will help the clinician to a wider understanding of diseases which affect ocular motility and which are frequently encountered in clinical practice. 

30 credits
Low Vision

This unit is delivered by Distance Learning with an Introductory day. It aims to give the qualified practitioner the knowledge to expand into the field of low vision assessment and management; also exploring local and national services and policies. It includes the optics of, and types of, low vision aids, and their method of use. The many factors relevant to reduced visual acuity, such as lighting, glare and contrast are explored along with pathology. Relevant literature will inform the unit and the students will be required to critically analyse and synthesise evidence pertaining to the subject as they complete unit exercises throughout. The student will be working in low vision clinics and will be required to provide evidence of reflection on patients seen as part of the assessment. The remaining assessments will be through an assignment and a practical examination.

30 credits

This module will 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. It will advance learning and understanding of the different non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to modifying disease and inform practitioners of the potential for adverse effects and how to minimise them. Students will be enabled to apply the principles of evidence-based practice including clinical and cost-effectiveness. These areas of advanced knowledge and understanding will enable Orthoptists who are registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council, to become registered as qualified to use exemptions to sell, supply and administer specific listed medicines for any condition within their scope of practice. 

30 credits
Eye to Vision

This module examines visual processing. Different visual functions are considered within the brain and this introduces the clinician to processes which are necessary for 'seeing' and for eye movements. 

30 credits
Research Methods

This unit comprises the following sections: The research question; Concepts and indicators; Validity and reliability; Data collection and sampling; Quantitative data analysis; Qualitative data analysis; Critical appraisal; Philosophy of science. 

30 credits
Research Project

The research project allows the student to pursue an area of interest. It involves literature searching to determine previous work in the field and the design and execution of original work. 

60 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


  • Introductory learning sessions (currently delivered online)
  • Online tutorials
  • Self-directed learning units, completion of which contributes to a practice portfolio
  • Approximately 10-12 hours of study, including both theoretical and clinical and work-based learning is expected per week

Clinical commitment for Year 1

Year 1 comprises a compulsory foundation year in paediatric ophthalmology and as such requires that you carry out work-based learning activities in a clinical setting. We anticipate that the combination of academic exercises and assignments, self-directed and work-based learning will take you approximately at least 10 hours per week. You may wish to consider this in planning for the course. You'll need to gain access to additional paediatric clinics to increase your clinical exposure and practise clinical skills under supervision, particularly during this first year of study.


  • Essays
  • Portfolio work
  • Practical work
  • Dissertation or research project write-up


  • 3 years part-time (MMedSci)
  • 2 years part-time (PG Diploma)
  • 1 year part-time (PG Certificate)

Your career

This programme will allow successful students to become advanced clinical practitioners in paediatric ophthalmology, offering a new work stream to paediatric ophthalmology care in the UK.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 honours degree, or equivalent in an eye-care related degree. Applicants must be currently working in paediatric eye care and have the support of a local ophthalmologist or advanced clinical practitioner in paediatric ophthalmology, in order to gain clinical experience under supervision, for a wide range of paediatric eye conditions.

For this course you will need to gain practical experience and clinical exposure by attending paediatric ophthalmology clinics.

You will need to identify at least one local mentor, either Ophthalmologist or Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Paediatric Ophthalmology, who will agree to help, support and supervise you during the programme. You will need to complete and return a Local Mentor Support Form . Please send the completed and signed form by email to at the same time that you submit your application.

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with 6.5 in each other component, or equivalent.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

Applicants may be eligible through learning beyond registration and NHS grants via their NHS Trust.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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