Course details

A Levels BBB Other entry requirements
UCAS code B520
Duration 3 years
Fee Look up tuition fee and additional costs
Related subjects Orthoptics

Any questions?

Admissions Secretary
Academic Unit of Opthalmology and Orthoptics
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 5540

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

100% said ‘my course has provided me with opportunities to apply what I have learnt’
National Student Survey 2018

Course description

This is a three year, full-time course. The first year gives you the scientific background you need to understand the normal eye, together with an introduction to optics and binocular vision. The second and third years develop this understanding and explore ocular abnormalities and disease.

You'll also study topics related to the profession, such as medical ethics, interpersonal skills and the organisation and structure of the NHS. In the third year, you'll carry out your own research project on a topic of your choice.

Clinical work
The course includes 33 weeks on placement. You'll work in orthoptic departments across the UK, Ireland and Gibraltar. This gives you the comprehensive clinical experience to build on communication skills and develop the practical skills needed to start your career. The final year includes a two-week clinical placement in an orthoptic clinic of your choice.

Over the three years, you'll examine patients of all ages. The most common patient groups are children, the elderly and those with disabilities.

Modules: what you study and when


Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as an orthoptist.

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels BBB, including one of Biology/Human Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics + an interview
A Levels + Extended Project Qualification BBC, including B in one of Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics + grade B in EPQ in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate 32, 5 in either Higher Level Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics + an interview
BTEC DDD in BTEC Extended Diploma level 3 Applied Science
Cambridge Pre-U M2 M2 M2, including one of Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics (Biology is preferred, but not essential) + interview
Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher BBBBB with grade B in either Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics (Biology is preferred, but not essential) + interview
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB, including one of Biology, Maths, Chemistry and Physics (Biology is preferred, but not essential) + interview
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • At least one of your three A Levels should be in acceptable subjects
    Guidance on acceptable A Level subjects
  • GCSE Maths, English Language and Science grade 4 or grade C
  • General Studies is not accepted.
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade C/4; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

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 direct.

Department of Oncology and Metabolism website

First year

Core modules:

Clinical Orthoptics
Participation and Society
Anatomy and Physiology
Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Neuroscience
Interpersonal Communication Skills

Second year

Core modules:

Associated Professional Studies
Clinical Orthoptics
Clinical Visual Optics
Introductory Pathology
Medical Microbiology
Strabismus and Ocular Motility
Visual Optics
Visual Perception

Third year

Core modules:

Clinical Orthoptics
Paediatric Neurology
Research Project
Strabismus and Ocular Motility
Sale, Supply and Administration of Medicinal Products

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.

Learning and assessment

These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 22%
Independent study 44%
Placement 34%

Exams/tests 55%
Coursework 27%
Practical 19%

Department of Oncology and Metabolism

The Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics is a vibrant teaching and research active department. We're dedicated to nurturing students' talents and upholding the core values of the NHS in supporting the highest standards of excellence and professionalism. Our practical teaching facilities and research labs are excellently equipped to perform laboratory and clinical based research.

Department of Oncology and Metabolism website

What our graduates do

Orthoptists work with patients of all ages - they play a key role in the hospital eye service and are also involved in community health.

Orthoptists frequently work with other health professionals such as ophthalmologists, optometrists, paediatricians and neurologists. Our graduates go to work in orthoptic clinics in hospitals, health centres and schools for children with special needs. Others go on to postgraduate research in orthoptics and related fields. The degree is recognised worldwide.

Student profile

"I chose to study orthoptics because I definitely wanted to do something in healthcare. It is such a versatile course: the placements you go on, the types patients that you see of all ages. I thought it was really interesting."

Emma Smyth
Ophthalmology and Orthoptics

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply:

How to apply >

When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website: >

Contact us

Admissions Secretary
Academic Unit of Opthalmology and Orthoptics
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 5540

Department website >

Visit us

University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Book your place >

Applicant open days
If you've made an application to study with us, we may invite you for an interview. If you are then successful in receiving an offer, we'll invite you to one of our applicant open days. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Find out more and book a place online >