Orthoptics BMedSci

2024-25 entry
School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

This course will prepare you for an interesting and fulfilling career in orthoptics, specialising in the diagnosis and management of a range of eye conditions. It’s approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Orthoptics student giving an eye test to a patient

    Become a specialist at diagnosing, managing and treating eye movement disorders and visual impairments. 

    A degree in orthoptics from the University of Sheffield can take you in so many directions in healthcare – from an NHS hospital or community eye clinic, to a rehabilitation centre for patients with neurological conditions.

    This orthoptics programme is designed to give you a deep understanding of the human eye and different eye conditions.

    We’ll lay the groundwork, introducing you to the basic anatomy and physiology of the human eye, before going on to explore topics such as ocular misalignment (strabismus), eye movement disorders, ocular diseases and medical microbiology. You’ll also learn how the NHS works, and explore topics such as medical ethics and law.

    You’ll go on to work with patients and clinicians in specialist departments throughout the UK, developing the skills you need to flourish in a multidisciplinary eye care team.

    Why study this course?

    • Hands on clinical experience - placements in orthoptic departments across the UK and Ireland give you valuable personal and professional experience. Over the three year course you’ll spend 32 weeks on placement, learning from the experts and spending vital time with patients with a range of eye disorders.
    • Delve into research - in your final year, you’ll put everything you’ve learned into practice with a research project or literature review on a topic that interests you. You might have the opportunity to present your findings at a conference or have your work published in a medical journal.
    • £6,000+ annual NHS training grant - annual NHS grants are available for all eligible UK home students to help you with your studies, as well as funding to cover the cost of placements.

    Modules

    We’re making some changes to this course and we’re in the process of confirming the modules. The information on this page gives you an idea of the areas we expect the course to cover. There may be changes before you start.

    From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Title: Orthoptics BMedSci 2024
    UCAS code: B520
    Years: 2024, 2025
    First year

    Participation and Society

    This module aims to introduce students to issues related to understanding persons as individuals, and as members of society. Content includes: theoretical models of disability; psychosocial impact of disability across the lifespan; concepts of self and identity; concepts of attitudes and their measurement; health beliefs and behaviours and the role of gender, socioeconomic and cultural factors in healthcare and education. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences, attitudes and interpersonal skills in the context of their impact on interactions with clients, their families and other professionals.

    20 credits
    Clinical Orthoptics

    This unit introduces the clinical testing techniques required to assess ocular alignment, binocular vision and ocular motility. Expertise is gained by demonstration and practice on normal subjects at the University. Clinical skills practice provides an opportunity to use these techniques and apply the findings to diagnose and form a management plan for concomitant. This subject also incorporates development of the interpersonal skills for clinical practice.

    20 credits
    Optics

    To introduce the student to the principles of geometric and physical optics, with particular reference to the eye.

    20 credits
    Anatomy and Physiology

    This unit covers the basic anatomy and physiology of the human body. It provides an overview of how the normal body functions giving a basis for understanding what happens when something goes wrong.

    10 credits
    Ocular Anatomy, Physiology and Neuroscience

    This unit gives detailed anatomy and physiology of structures and functions of the eye and brain. It provides the detail of the function of the eyes and their neural control. It introduces a number of common pathologies encountered in eye clinics.

    10 credits
    Associated Professional Studies

    The associated professional studies forms a compulsory part of the BMedSci (Hons) orthoptic degree. It is divided into two parts: Professional ethics taught in the Autumn semester and the organisational structure of the NHS and health policy in the UK in the Spring semester. Professional ethics provide awareness and discussion of medical ethics, law and appropriate professional behaviour as a health care professional including wider issues affecting clinical practice, research and appropriate use of social media. The organisational structure of the NHS and health policy in the UK introduces students to management structures and practices within the national health service and an appraisal of a screening service.

    20 credits
    Strabismus and Ocular Motility

    The strabismus and ocular motility unit will further the understanding of basic orthoptic concepts, binocular single vision, concomitant strabismus and heterophoria. Knowledge of the investigation, diagnosis and management of ocular motility defects and disorders of accommodation and convergence will be developed.

    20 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.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You will learn through lectures, independent study and clinical placements.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Assessment

    You will be assessed by exams, coursework and practical tasks.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB
    including a science subject

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    BBC, including B in a science subject + B in a relevant EPQ; BBC, including B in a science subject + B in Core Maths (not applicable if Maths is taken at A Level)
    International Baccalaureate
    32, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Applied Science
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + B in an A Level science subject
    T Level
    Distinction in the Health, Healthcare Science or Science T Level, including grade B in the core component
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    ABBBB + B in a science subject
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + BB, including a science subject
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths, English and Science grade 4/C

    • Science subjects include Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, or Physics

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBC
    including B in a science subject

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    BBC, including B in a science subject + B in a relevant EPQ; BBC, including B in a science subject + B in Core Maths (not applicable if Maths is taken at A Level)
    International Baccalaureate
    31, with 5 in a Higher Level science subject
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDM in Applied Science
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Applied Science + C in an A Level science subject
    T Level
    Distinction in the Health, Healthcare Science or Science T Level, including grade B in the core component
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    BBBBB + B in a science subject
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + BC, including B in a science subject
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 15 at Distinction and 30 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths, English and Science grade 4/C

    • Science subjects include Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, or Physics

    English language requirements

    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 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    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 on 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.

    Disclosure and Barring Service

    All applicants are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure check.

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

    Graduate careers

    Your career prospects as an orthoptist are excellent as it’s a field with plenty of opportunities to specialise or progress. Most of our graduates secure a position in the NHS soon after graduation. You might choose to work in an orthoptic clinic in a hospital, health centre or school for children with special needs. An Orthoptics degree from the University of Sheffield is recognised worldwide – graduates have worked in New Zealand, Australia, USA, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Malta, Cypress, Denmark and Gibraltar.

    The course also provides an excellent foundation for future postgraduate study both within research and advanced clinical practice in orthoptics and related fields. We offer two postgraduate distance learning courses, a Masters in Vision and Strabismus specifically aimed at orthoptists and an Ophthalmology Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) in Paediatrics. We also offer excellent PhD opportunities.

    Orthoptists can progress into more senior positions and clinical management as their clinical experience develops. You might end up taking on a specialist role involving ocular assessment, diagnosis and treatment in fields such as paediatrics, low vision, stroke and neuro-rehabilitation, vision screening, and ocular diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.

    School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

    Our graduates 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. We offer a distance learning Masters in Vision and Strabismus specifically aimed at orthoptists and offer excellent PhD opportunities.

    This orthoptics degree is recognised worldwide. Graduates have worked in New Zealand, Australia, USA, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Malta, Cypress, Denmark and Gibraltar.

    Orthoptists can progress into more senior positions and clinical management as their clinical experience develops. Many orthoptists also take on one or more specialist role which may involve ocular assessment, diagnosis and treatment in example Low Vision, Stroke and neuro-rehabilitation, Vision Screening, and ocular diseases such as Glaucoma, Age Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataract.

    School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

    Male Orthoptics student shines torch in students eye

    The School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery sits in the Faculty of Health and brings together expertise from across three core areas: human communication sciences, nursing and midwifery, and orthoptics.

    We aim to train compassionate, resilient and highly skilled healthcare professionals and support them throughout their working lives. We work closely with organisations such as the Royal College of Nursing, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the Health and Care Professions Council to make sure our teaching meets the needs of the NHS workforce. This means that we're ideally placed to offer you high-quality courses, informed by the latest health-related research.

    If you study with us, you’ll join a diverse and supportive community, led by passionate teachers, clinicians and researchers who help students fulfil their ambitions. We're dedicated to nurturing students' talents and upholding the highest standards of excellence and professionalism. 

    We provide an excellent study environment for health professionals across our main campus. We have a close relationship with the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, which is home to our dedicated Health Sciences Library and high-quality clinical teaching and research spaces.

    Our students also benefit from our internationally recognised Patients as Educators programme, which allows students to learn from real patients. 

    We're part of the University's Health Sciences School in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. Our relationship with the Royal Hallamshire Hospital eye department means that orthoptic students learn within a high-quality clinical teaching environment. Orthoptic students will also work in orthoptic departments across the UK and Ireland, to build on communication skills and develop the practical skills needed to start their career.

    Facilities

    Our relationship with the Royal Hallamshire Hospital eye department means that students get to learn within a state-of-the-art clinical teaching environment. Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to a large range of clinical tests required for orthoptic assessments.

    Our optics room is the location for investigations into the nature of light and the teaching of clinical visual optics such as the fundamentals of static and dynamic retinoscopy, the use of slit lamps and focimetry.

    The vision science room is a clinical research space equipped with a range of clinical orthoptic tests, as well as an autorefractor, pupilometer, focimeter and a PlusoptiX photorefractor.

    The Eye Movement Room is primarily used for research projects. The room houses a high-resolution Eyelink 1000+ eye movement recorder.

    School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery

    The University of Sheffield is within the top 100 in the world for clinical and health subjects

    Times Higher Education (THE) World Subject Rankings 2022


    Orthoptics

    Joint 1st in the Optometry, Ophthalmics & Orthoptics League Table

    Complete University Guide 2021

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Additional funding

    NHS Learning Support Fund

    If you are a UK (Home) student on our Orthoptics course you can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund to help support your studies, which you won’t need to pay back.

    This includes a training grant of £5,000 per academic year plus an additional £1,000 payment (due to Orthoptics being a specialist subject), money back for clinical placement travel costs, as well as extra funding for students with dependent children or those facing hardship.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If we consider offering you a place, we'll invite you to a virtual interview, usually between December and March. The interview will be conducted by academic and clinical staff. An awareness and commitment to the core values of the NHS will form part of the assessment in the interview. There will be an opportunity to meet current students and staff following the interview.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    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:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    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.

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

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025

    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:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    This course will prepare you for an interesting and fulfilling career in orthoptics, specialising in the diagnosis and management of a range of eye conditions. It’s approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.