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Orthoptics

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Ready to apply? You can apply for this course online now using the UCAS website. The deadline for UK students to apply for this course is 25 January 2023.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2023.

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Use these details to apply for this course through UCAS:

  • University name: University of Liverpool
  • Course: Orthoptics B520
  • Location: Main site
  • Start date: 25 September 2023

Related courses

There are nine courses related to Orthoptics that you might be interested in.

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Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a bachelor’s degree awarded for an undergraduate programme in the sciences.

Course overview

Our Orthoptics programme prepares future professionals for an enriching career in a highly significant field within the modern healthcare world.

Introduction

Our Orthoptics programme will equip a graduate with the necessary skills to diagnose and manage conditions which may present in a range of patients from infants to the elderly.

These can include strabismus disorders (eye misalignments), amblyopia (sometimes called lazy eye), traumatic injuries, tumours, head injuries, diabetes and strokes.

In addition, you will focus on the fundamentals of the nervous system, neuro-anatomy and physiology, and where it relates to the practice of orthoptics.

This background knowledge will enable a graduate orthoptist to perform as a competent and reflective practitioner, capable of becoming a valuable member of an eye care team.

What you'll learn

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Numeracy skills
  • Science acumen
  • Research gathering
  • Observational skills

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

In year one, a wide range of factual knowledge and basic clinical skills are developed. The whole of semester one is spent in the University. This enables you to develop core knowledge and skills and more specifically the knowledge required to undertake orthoptic practice via profession-specific modules. This provides preparation for the professional practice placement observation week which occurs prior to the second semester. During year one, you will learn about the basic principles of eye movement systems and binocular vision, be able to undertake essential orthoptic assessments and have a total of seven weeks clinical placement.

Compulsory modules

ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY AND NORMAL DEVELOPMENT (ORTH139)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will cover the basic human anatomy and physiology including the ocular system. This module is taught through an active learning process, where the students undertake learning through the use of online resources, followed by online self assessments and supported by the use of tutorials to aid understanding. The content of this module provides the building blocks of knowledge to support the subsequent modules related to the abnormalities encountered in the work place.
The module has two assessment components, an unseen written examination and an online examination. The style of the questions reflects the factual knowledge required and visual nature of the content.

CLINICAL AND THEORETICAL ORTHOPTICS 1.1 (ORTH137)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 1

Through a range of didactic lectures, tutorials and dedicated clinical skills sessions the module will introduce fundamental principles of orthoptics and how to clinically investigate normal binocular vision, visual function and ocular motility. In addition, the module will include essential mandatory training which is required for clinical practice.   This is the first module in a series of six (followed by ORTH 140, ORTH 237, ORTH 240, ORTH 330, ORTH 335) that occur in each semester of the programme to deliver the skills and underpinning theoretical knowledge for orthoptic practice. At the end of this module, successful students will be able to use the majority of orthoptic clinical tests in the investigation of patients. These skills will form the foundation for students learning how to investigate abnormal vision and ocular motility defects later in the course. The assessment of the module will consist of a written exam to demonstrate understanding of the theory that underpins orthoptic practice in addition to a practical exam that will ensure competence in the use of taught clinical skills. 

CLINICAL AND THEORETICAL ORTHOPTICS 1.2 (ORTH140)

Credits: 30 / Semester: semester 2

This module develops knowledge relating to the investigation of orthoptic patients within clinical practice. During this module, practical skills introduced in semester one will be recapped and then developed with additional skills relating to accommodative/convergence anomalies and refractive errors being introduced. Ultimately the module will equip the student with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to enable them to investigate all types of concomitant strabismus, accommodative anomalies and refractive corrections.   In order to develop and introduce these themes, the module will be delivered through a range of synchronous and asynchronous online lectures, online tutorials and clinical skills sessions. The sessions will not only introduce the students to the topic but also allow them to begin to start putting their theoretical knowledge in to practice.   The module will be assessed via a two hour written examination and a one hour practical examination in the University assessment period.

OPHTHALMOLOGY 1 (ORTH142)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Through a range of lectures and tutorials, this module provides an introduction to the signs, symptoms and investigation of common ophthalmic disorders encountered during orthoptic clinical practise, and their aetiology. The students will also be introduced to the technologies that allow the diagnosis of these conditions, and the impact of genetics and biological processes on the eye. This is the first in a series of three modules (including ORTH 235 and ORTH 334)  related to the wider topic of ophthalmology which students will encounter in orthoptic practice.  The module assessment is comprised of two examinations, one written and one online, both 90 minutes duration.

PROFESSIONALISM AND HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE FOR ORTHOPTISTS (ORTH141)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Through a range of lectures and tutorials, this module will develop the student’s knowledge of holistic healthcare issues and behavioural science theories that are relevant to clinical practice. The students will be introduced to issues that will directly influence their clinical practice, but are not fundamental orthoptic topics. They will develop an understanding of public health issues, national initiatives, psychological, behavioural and sociological aspects related to health care and recognition of the importance of their own health and wellbeing in relation to providing the best holistic care for all patients.  Students will be required to complete specific learning tasks through unscheduled hours prior to contact sessions to gain a level of background knowledge to enable them to contribute to discussion based contact sessions. Further self-directed activities may also be highlighted for students to consolidate knowledge further.  The module content will be assessed by a 1500 word assignment and an individual poster assessment at the end of the module during the university assessment period.​​​ ​  ​

PROFESSIONALISM AND SCHOLARSHIP (ORTH104)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

Through a blended learning approach, this module provides students with the basis of ethics, professionalism and communication skills required for clinical practice as well as the necessary study skills for undergraduate study. During the module, students will develop a knowledge and understanding of professionalism, healthcare ethics, types and frameworks of communication and appropriate skills to support studying and academic writing at university. The module is assessed via a written assessment in the form of a 1500 word assignment.    ​

VISUAL OPTICS (ORTH138)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces students to the basic fundamental principles of physical, geometric and physiological optics, which underpin orthoptic practice. These principles are required for orthoptic practice delivered in subsequent modules across the programme (ORTH140, ORTH237, ORTH240, ORTH330 and ORTH335), as well as a module specific to refraction of patients in the final year (ORTH332).   On completion of the module, successful students will be able to apply geometric optical principles to various theoretical calculations and problems, including: reflection, refraction, prismatic effect and lens theory. They will also understand the eye as an “optical instrument”, the basis of refraction and the correction of refractive error. The module is delivered through a series of interactive lectures and tutorials that enable the student to work systematically through a series of concepts, applying principles to various theoretical situations. The student must be able to apply formulae, rearrange equations and ray trace in order solve optical questions. The aforementioned concepts are required when the physiological optic topics are explored later in the module. The assessment of the module is via a one and a half hour written exam, this will involve the student recalling information regarding physical optics, solving a series of geometrical optical problems, and demonstrating understanding of physiological optics.​​​  

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Your experience

Orthoptic students benefit from the School of Health Science‘s experience in delivering over 100 years of dynamic, research-led teaching. As well as crucial skills specifically related to a career in healthcare, we place particular emphasis on developing our students’ scholarship and professionalism which is particularly  important for their future careers.

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What students say...

I knew the degree I wanted to do, so it was really a choice of which university would be best for me. I chose Liverpool as it offered a great sense of community and care.

Jordan Pitt, BSc (Hons) Orthoptics

Careers and employability

A recent National Student Survey awarded the Directorate of Orthoptics and Vision Science a rating of 100% for student satisfaction. Orthoptic graduates are eligible to apply for statutory registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Most graduates choose to work in the National Health Service as an orthoptist in an eye care team. However, there are opportunities to progress within your role as an orthoptist in a number of additional extended roles and advanced practice such as stroke, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and special educational needs. There may also be opportunities to work in a private clinic or even abroad due to the international high recognition of the qualification.

Overall, this programme offers graduates a rewarding career as an autonomous practitioner and part of the health care team with an excellent record of graduate employment.

99% of health sciences students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

As a graduate of this programme, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You can pursue a career in the National Health Service, Social Services or the private sector.

Preparing you for future success

At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:

  • Embedding employability within your , through the modules you take and the opportunities to gain real-world experience offered by many of our courses.
  • Providing you with opportunities to gain experience and develop connections with people and organisations, including student and graduate employers as well as our global alumni.
  • Providing you with the latest tools and skills to thrive in a competitive world, including access to Handshake, a platform which allows you to create your personalised job shortlist and apply with ease.
  • Supporting you through our peer-to-peer led Careers Studio, where our career coaches provide you with tailored advice and support.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.

UK fees
Also applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £24,200
Fees stated are for the 2022-23 academic year and may rise for 2023-24.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This may include a laptop, books, or stationery. Additional costs for this course include Orthoptic equipment and travel to placements.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This may include a laptop, books, or stationery. Additional costs for this course include Orthoptic equipment and travel to placements.

Stationery and equipment

Orthoptic equipment: £50

Travel to placements

This will vary due to geographical location, but is likely to be between £40 and £200 per week of placement (year one: seven weeks, year two: 11 weeks, and year three: 12 weeks).

* Home students are able to apply for reimbursement of travel/accommodation costs in relation to placement from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.

Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

NHS Values will be assessed in all areas of an application including UCAS Personal Statement and at interview. For more details, please download our explanation of Value Based Recruitment.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

BBB to include one of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology or Mathematics.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to complete a foundation year which would allow you to progress to this course.

Available foundation years:

GCSE 5 GCSE subjects at grade A*-C or grades 9-4. Subjects to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science. Core and Applied Science GCSEs will not be considered. All GCSEs should be obtained at one sitting. Science Dual Award is acceptable. Applied GCSEs will not be considered.
Subject requirements

For applicants from England: Where a science has been taken at A level (Chemistry, Biology or Physics), a pass in the Science practical of each subject will be required.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate: Accepted at a minimum of Distinction accompanied by 2 A levels at grade B (A levels must include one of the following: Biology, Maths, Chemistry or Physics).

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (120 Credits) in either Health and Social Care or Applied Science at Grade DD, PLUS 1 additional A Level at a minimum of Grade B.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care will be considered at Grade DDD.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Applied Science will be considered at DDD.

International Baccalaureate

30 points to include 3 Higher Level subjects at minimum of Grade 5. Biology must be offered at a minimum of Grade 6.

European Baccalaureate 74% overall with a minimum mark of 8 in biology and no subject mark below 6.
Irish Leaving Certificate 6 Higher Level subjects to include English and Mathematics and one of the following Science subjects: Biology, Physics or Chemistry. Two subjects should be graded at H2 or higher (this should include a Science subject) and the remaining four subjects should be graded at H3 or higher.
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

Highers: BBBBB (must include Biology, Physics, Maths or Chemistry).

Combination of Advanced Highers and Highers will be considered. A mixed presentation must include Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths at a minimum grade B. Advanced Highers must be in different subjects to those of Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Grade BB at A-Level ( which must include one of the following: Maths, psychology, Biology, Physics or Chemistry), plus the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate at Grade B
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma Will be considered.
AQA Baccalaureate Will be considered.
Graduate application

We welcome applications from graduates holding a minimum of a 2:2 classification. If your degree is not science related, contact the admissions tutor direct. Experience in health care is also an advantage.

The degree qualification should be supported by a sound academic background, with a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grades A* – C, which should include English Language, Mathematics and Science.

Access Essential: 45 credits at Level 3 in Biological, Psychological, Mathematical, Healthcare or Physics based subjects. 30 credits passed at distinction (Must include a minimum of 15 credits in a Biological or Physiological Science) and the remaining 15 credits must be passed at merit or higher. 5 GCSE subjects graded A*C and must include: English Language, Mathematics and Science.
Profession-specific knowledge and skills required

Candidates must show evidence, in their UCAS Personal Statement, of a good understanding of the profession.  It is highly recommended that a candidate should observe a state registered Orthoptist, but where this is not possible a visit to a clinical department involving discussion with the Orthoptist is required.  The experience gained should be discussed in their UCAS Personal Statement, and the applicant must show evidence of a good understanding.

Candidates should be able to discuss in lay terms the conditions/examination procedures etc observed. They must also be aware of the differences between Orthoptics and Optometry.

Candidates should have experience of working with the general public and especially children, people with special needs and the elderly.

Careers conventions, information leaflets, and websites may also provide helpful background information.

Declaration of criminal background

You will understand that as a health sciences student, and when you qualify, you will be asked to treat children and other vulnerable people. We therefore need information about any criminal offences of which you may have been convicted, or with which you have been charged. The information you provide may later be checked with the police.

If selected for interview you will be provided with the appropriate form to complete.

Health screening

The University and the School of Health Sciences has an obligation to undertake health screening on all prospective healthcare students. Any offer of a place to study is conditional on completion of a health questionnaire and a satisfactory assessment of fitness to train from the University’s Occupational Health Service. This will include some obligatory immunisations and blood tests.

Disability information

If you have, or think you have dyslexia or a long term health condition or impairment that may have the potential to impact upon your studies and/or your Fitness to Practice duty, please complete the Disability form‌. We will contact you to discuss your support needs.

International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Orthoptics BSc (Hons)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.