- A level requirements: BBB
- UCAS code: B520
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 3 years
Our Orthoptics programme prepares future professionals for an enriching career in a highly significant field within the modern healthcare world.
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.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In year two, you will learn to apply the knowledge gained in year one to a wide range of clinical scenarios. Additionally, you will also gain the fundamental knowledge to enable you to use medicines under exemptions within the orthoptic scope of practice. You will continue to develop clinical skills at the University and at clinical sites throughout the UK (undertaking a total of 11-weeks clinical placement). Throughout year two, you will also learn essential principles for understanding and undertaking research, with the opportunity to undertake an orthoptic based clinical research project.
This module develops the material delivered in the first year relating to concomitant strabismus, near vision anomalies, delayed visual maturation, and amblyopia. This module specifically explores the application of the investigation and management of these conditions. It is the third in a series of six modules that occur in each semester of the programme to deliver the skills and underpinning theoretical knowledge for Orthoptic practice. In order to develop the themes in the module, it will be delivered through a range of core lectures, tutorials to consolidate this knowledge and clinical skills sessions to enhance practical skills. Clinical placements will also be included in this module to allow students to put this new theoretical knowledge in to practice. The assessment of the module will be a combination of an unseen written examination, a 45 minute practical examination, a summative clinical placement mark and a pass/fail reflective clinical portfolio.
Through a series of lectures, tutorials, clinical skills and clinical placements, this module develops the theory of orthoptic investigation and management to the investigation and management of incomitant strabismus related to mechanical, myogenic and neurological aetiologies. The module is the fourth in a series of six modules (including ORTH 137, ORTH 240, ORTH 237, ORTH 330, ORTH 335) that occur in each semester of the programme to deliver the fundamental skills and underpinning theoretical knowledge for orthoptic practice. It is underpinned by the relevant generalised neuro-aetiologies covered in the semester one Neurology module (ORTH236) and the relevant anatomy covered in the semester two Neuroanatomy and Osteology module (ORTH242). The module is assessed by a written examination, clinical examination, and clinical placement.
This module will equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to use medicines under exemptions within the scope of orthoptic practice. This will include the practical and safe use of medicines, underpinning pharmacological theory and drug actions as well as the legal context of prescribing mechanisms. The module is organised to reflect the content of the British National Formulary (BNF) relevant to orthoptic and ophthalmological practice and to meet the standards set by the professional body (HCPC) to ensure that graduates are able to use stipulated medicines safely within the course of normal orthoptic practice.
The module is assessed by a written exam and by practical competencies all of which must be passed in order for the student to pass the module.
This module is the first dedicated module within the theme of research methods (including ORTH241 and ORTH310) that are delivered throughout the programme. It builds on concepts relating to clinical research first introduced in year one (ORTH140) and is designed to develop research skills, as well as introduce new concepts relating to the use of evidence. This will prepare the student for the research project in the second semester (ORTH241) and enable them to develop the necessary skills to review literature critically in year three (ORTH310).
The students will be taught with a mix of traditional and e-lectures, each with a follow up tutorial where students will have the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge of the content provided in the lecture.
The assessment of the module consists of two components: the first is an MCQ exam allowing students to demonstrate their learning of the new statistical and research methodology concepts taught to them. The second is a short notes, seen exam of a research paper. The research paper will be provided to the students earlier in the semester. This exam will assess the ability of the students to understand a clinical paper, and apply their understanding of research methods and statistics to determine if the paper is of sufficient quality for use in clinical practice. Questions will further direct students to compare and contrast research findings between multiple sources, allowing students to develop skills in data synthesis. This will prepare them for their critical assignment in Orth 241 in Semester 2.
This module builds on the neuroanatomical knowledge from year one (ORTH139), to a more detailed understanding of neuroanatomy specifically relating to structures involved in visual processing and control of eye movements.
The module will address management options for clinical ophthalmological conditions. It will be the second in a series of three modules (including ORTH 142 and ORTH 334) that relate to wider ophthalmological conditions encountered in orthoptic practice. The module builds on the knowledge delivered in first year (ORTH142) where the signs, symptoms and investigation of the same conditions are covered. On completion of this module, students will be able to apply their knowledge of ophthalmic management to a wide range of conditions, identifying appropriate types of treatment for specific cases. This module will deliver the teaching material relating to management principles and the application of this knowledge to a range of specific conditions. This will be done through a combination of face to face teaching methods (seminars and tutorials) and online materials (electures and interactive learning tools to assess knowledge eg using Quizlet). University lecturers from orthoptics and ophthalmology will provide teaching relevant to their expertise. Specific clinical skills sessions will be incorporated to teach the students how to use the slit lamp. The assessment of this module will be a combination of a short notes written paper and a clinical skills assessment using the slit lamp.
The module will provide an introduction to general neurological conditions. This will include the aetiologies/ pathogenesis and the medical management of the conditions covered. In addition the module will include the use of neuroimaging techniques to support content taught in semester two. The module will be delivered through a range of face to face interactive tutorials and seminars, as well as electronic lectures. The module is assessed via a 90 minute short notes exam where the student will be required to detail the features and pathogenesis of neurological conditions and describe the features of various neuroimaging techniques.
This module focuses on the application of research. Students will plan a project in small groups, the same basic project idea will be allocated to all students but each group will have the opportunity to develop their own research protocol and make some evidence based decisions. Each group will be given a set of data from the project idea. At the start of the module there will be some lectures and tutorials to develop their project in small groups. The students will have the opportunity to develop the project plan and protocol in their groups and discuss with the tutors to critically evaluate their design. They will also spend time designing the spreadsheet for data collection before the data is given to them to refine and organise. Students will learn to analyse the data using appropriate statistical methods. Throughout the module there will be computer labs (either face-face or online) to support the students, from making evidence based decisions regarding the methodology, to data entry and subsequent statistical analysis and presentation of their data. A large component of this module will be planning the protocol and data analysis where students will be required to work in groups and collaborate with each other. Support is provided throughout the module to ensure appropriate decisions are being made, with either online or face-face small group tutorials where students can be guided in the development of their project and choices of statistical tests.
In year three, you will focus on an evidence-based practice approach to their clinical care. During this year you will undertake a 12-week clinical placement, where you will prepare to become an autonomous practitioner. On completion of this year, you will be able to:
This module deepens knowledge with critical evaluation of the investigation and management of concomitant and incomitant strabismus and amblyopia. It is one of two modules in the final year ( and part of a series of six throughout the programme) that address content related to orthoptic theory and practice. During the course of the module, additional orthoptic theory will be delivered alongside the evidence base that underpins orthoptic clinical practice. On completion of the module, successful students will be able to critically evaluate their own clinical practice as well as critique the practice of the orthoptic profession more generally, supporting this with reference to published research. In order to develop these themes, the module will be delivered through a range of asynchronous re-cap lectures and on campus clinical skills sessions that reinforce material relating to fundamental orthoptic principles covered in Year One and specific orthoptic conditions covered in Year Two. As the module progresses, a combination of interactive synchronous seminars and tutorials will be utilised to develop the student’s ability to evaluate clinical practice and critique published literature relating to specific conditions and clinical practice in order to become a competent practitioner. The assessment of the module will be a combination of a clinical case scenario practical examination (computer based), an un-seen written examination and an oral presentation.
Through acombination of lectures and clinical skills sessions, this module willenable students to develop their understanding of optics andrefraction introduced earlier in the course (ORTH138). Students willdevelop knowledge from modules in year one and two, inorder to learn subjective and objective refraction techniques, aswell as develop a detailed understanding of the optical principles thatunderpin clinical refraction and prescription of spectacles. The module willalso introduce students to low vision assessment, and the legal aspects ofprescribing optical corrections relevant to orthoptic clinical practice. Assessment of thismodule consists of a practical exam that tests the student’s ability to performsubjective and objective retinoscopy to a competent level, and a written examdesigned to assess detailed theoretical and legal aspects of the module.
This is the final module in a series of three throughout the undergraduate programme dedicated to the theme of research, including ORTH 238 and ORTH 241 as well as clinical research themed topics delivered in ORTH 140. It is the culmination of the series where students will choose a specific area of interest that they would like to pursue, in order to produce a comprehensive literature review of the evidence within that particular topic area. Students will be supported throughout by a specified supervisor who has a particular interest within the student’s chosen field of study. At the end of the module, students will be able to competently search and critically evaluate the literature. This module is assessed by a 6000 word literature review. Students will select a topic from a list provided to them that are within orthoptic/ophthalmological practice in which they would like to conduct an in-depth literature review. Once identified, they are required to begin to conduct a literature search and along with guidance from their supervisor, identify a specific area/ research question that they would like to explore. Students must then produce a critical literature review of the relevant research in that area. Students are assigned an individual supervisor who will meet with them at set times throughout the course of conducting the review in order to provide written and verbal feedback on submitted draft work. Submission of drafts are the responsibility of each student. All submitted reviews are double marked and the pass mark for successful completion of the module is 40%.
This module develops the content delivered in year two relating to the investigation and management of concomitant and incomitant strabismus and amblyopia. The module is one of two in the final year that are part of a series of six modules (including ORTH 137, ORTH140, ORTH237, ORTH240, ORTH330) that occur in each semester of the programme to deliver the fundamental skills and underpinning theoretical knowledge for orthoptic practice. On successful completion of the module students will be able to evaluate the investigation and management options for concomitant and incomitant strabismus in a clinical setting. The majority of the module will be time spent in a variety of clinical placement sites, with this experience being recorded by the student and clinical tutors using an electronic portfolio system. Cinical experiences will be consolidated at university through goal setting and review with academic advisors and small group tutorial discussions. The module will be assessed via a two part practical clinical examination, ongoing practical assessment on clinical placement and clinical portfolio. Students will be expected to actively engage with clinical placement experiences by setting personal goals and objectives, writing up cases seen, reflecting on clinical practice and acting on feedback given by clinical tutors. Students will also be expected to continuously consult academic notes and text books in relation to cases seen to facilitate the integration of academic knowledge with clinical practise. As part of the reflection within this level 6 module, students will be required to refer to published literature where appropriate and evaluate their own practise with respect to that literature.
This module is the final of three delivered across the programme (including ORTH 142 and ORTH 235) specifically related to areas of wider ophthalmic practice. Through a range of seminars, tutorials and discussions, the module will deliver material related to aspects of ophthalmological practice that orthoptists undertake as an extended or specialist role, including the importance of the multi-disciplinary team. They will also learn about ethical and legal frameworks, NHS policy and the significance of clinical governance that affect clinical practice. Teaching will be delivered by a range of external lecturers, experts in their areas, to ensure the students understand the relevance of the material to the specialist and advanced roles within clinical practice. This module will be assessed via a group presentation and a 1500 word assignment. The assignment will be related to personal development and incorporate aspects of professional and development responsibilities such as continued professional development and employability. The group presentation will allow students to apply NHS policy and frameworks to appraise the potential roles available to orthoptists in specialist and advanced areas.
We incorporate a wide variety of activities into our teaching to enable students to become autonomous and continuous learners.
Interactive lectures, practical and clinical skills group work, simulation, directed study, role play, problem based learning, small group work, student-led seminars, collaborative project work and interactive tutorials are key learning strategies of all of the School of Health Sciences’ programmes.
Practical work using state-of-the-art, professional-standard equipment, our Clinical Skills Resource Room and the Human Anatomy Resource Centre complement teaching activities.
Face-to-face interactions between all students will occur at shared lectures, tutorials and group work whilst online interaction will be encouraged and facilitated. There are also inter-professional education and learning opportunities across all healthcare professions programmes.
Using a mixture of coursework and examination, a range of assessment methods can be seen across our Orthoptic programme. These include seen and unseen written examinations, essay assignments with specific word lengths, multiple choice questions, case study presentations, video analysis and interactive practical examinations.
Assessment of the work-based learning element of all School of Health Sciences programmes is an important aspect of our students’ life. You will be required to communicate your views orally and in written form; analyse, implement and evaluate your practice; and to extend the research and evidence base of your chosen profession.
The various methods of assessments have been chosen to provide a balance that will permit the undergraduates to demonstrate their intellectual abilities in all areas to the full.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
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.
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.
Want to find out more about student life?
Chat with our student ambassadors and ask any questions you have.
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.
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.
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:
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
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.
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|
|Full-time place, per year||£24,200|
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.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
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.
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.|
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.
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.|
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.
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.
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.
Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements.
Have a question about this course or studying with us? Our dedicated enquiries team can help.
Live chat is available Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm.