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Orthoptics (Pre-registration)

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Related courses

There are twenty-one courses related to Orthoptics (Pre-registration) that you might be interested in.

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Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

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Course overview

Enrol on our two-year, accelerated Orthoptics MSc programme to kickstart a rewarding, varied career in what is an interesting and challenging healthcare industry.


If you are interested in working in healthcare, have an interest in eyes and vision or simply want a challenging, rewarding and varied career, consider this two year accelerated MSc programme in Orthoptics.

You will undertake seven modules over two years which are broadly categorised into three main themes: ‘Orthoptic Clinical Practice and Theory’, ‘Ophthalmology and Optics’ and ‘Research Methods in Healthcare Practice’. Clinical education forms a key component of the programme and this will be delivered by giving students the opportunity to learn whilst on clinical placement and also using a high fidelity clinical simulation experience at the University. The programme will ensure that upon graduation you are able to deliver outstanding patient care by using evidence based practice and continue to grow as an Orthoptist.

This course will provide you with an authentic experience integrating academic knowledge and clinical skills. Students will learn via a mix of home online learning, on campus teaching and clinical placement during specifically identified blocks of time for intensive practical clinical training. At the end of the two year programme you will be eligible to register with the Health Care Professions Council and practice under the protected title ‘Orthoptist’.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you are interested in working in healthcare and have an interest in eyes and vision. You must have a good understanding of the profession and an awareness of the procedures undertaken.

What you'll learn

  • An appreciation of different healthcare themes
  • Numeracy skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Critical thinking and research skills
  • The ability to diagnose and manage different eye complaints


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Course content

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

Year one

In year one, you will be introduced to the fundamental professional theory that underpins the industry. You will also develop primary clinical skills that will serve you throughout your academic and professional journey in Orthoptics.

Modules specifically relate to vital general academic skills like research as well as core subject themes including Neuro-orthoptics and Ophthalmology.

Compulsory modules

Orthoptic Clinical Practice and Theory I (ORTH421)

Credits: 45 / Semester: whole session

This module is for graduate level entry, and forms part of the Orthoptics MSc (pre registration). 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 concomitant and incomitant strabismus. The module delivers the fundamental skills and underpinning theoretical knowledge for orthoptic clinical practice. The assessment of this module will be a combination of practical assessments, a written examination, a clinical placement and a reflective portfolio.

Ophthalmology and Optics I (ORTH420)

Credits: 20 / Semester: semester 2

This module is the first Ophthalmology and Optics module of the Post-Graduate Pre-Registration Masters programme providing students with an introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the eye, head and neck and provides knowledge of common ophthalmic conditions. This module will also equip students with the necessary knowledge related to the use of medicines in ophthalmic practice, prior to learning about the application of medicines under exemptions within the scope of orthoptic practice in ORTH421, Orthoptic clinical practice and theory, which is part of this Masters programme. On successful completion of the programme, graduates will have eligibility to apply for an annotated registration with the regulator (Health and Care Professions Council), enabling their practice to incorporate supply, delivery and administration of selected medicines.

This module introduces students to common ophthalmic conditions and the relevant anatomy and physiology. On successful completion of this module, students will also have developed skills in using the slit lamp biomicroscope. The theoretical content will be delivered via interactive tutorials, which are underpinned by asynchronous learning activities delivered via the University’s online learning platform. All teaching is designed to ensure active learning opportunities throughout the module (UoL Hallmarks, Education Strategy Vision for 2026), with application to the clinical care of patients attending the eye clinic.

The module is assessed via a practical examination, which takes place on campus and designed to ensure an authentic assessment related to their clinical practice (UoL Hallmarks, Education Strategy Vision for 2026). It is comprised of a written examination of the content related to ophthalmic conditions and an online written exam on the content related to the use of medicines, all of which must be passed in order for the student to pass the module.

Neurology and Neuro-Orthoptics (ORTH422)

Credits: 10 / Semester: semester 2

The module will provide students with clinically relevant and applicable knowledge of neurological conditions and relevant neuroanatomy and an overview of neuro-ophthalmic diseases. During the module students will gain an in-depth knowledge of neuroanatomy with specific attention paid to structures involved in or related to vision and eye movements and any surrounding structures and their functions. This neuroanatomical knowledge will then be directly related to neurological conditions seen in orthoptic clinical practice and the ophthalmic clinical consequences of neurological disease processes. The module will be delivered through a combination of asynchronous e-lectures and synchronous interactive tutorials and seminars. The module is assessed via a 60-minute written examination where the student will be required to detail a range of neurological and neuro-ophthalmic conditions, related medical investigations and diagnostic signs as well as potential clinical consequences and related neuroanatomy.

Research Methods in Healthcare Practice (HEAL417)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will enable students to develop a research proposal for either a review of evidence, empirical project, clinical audit or service evaluation that will contribute to the development of evidence-based healthcare practice.

The module is aimed at graduates from a range of different disciplines/subjects who have a range of knowledge and experience of research methods at undergraduate level and are looking to develop their research knowledge and skills further and prepare for a masters level research project in their own area of clinical practice e.g. diagnostic radiography, mental health nursing, occupational therapy or physiotherapy. The likely range of research skills in students from different undergraduate programmes is recognised and this module is designed to raise them all to the appropriate master level in the subject.
At the end of this module, students will be able to understand and appropriately critique the elements of ‘the research journey’ from conception of research question, through development of a proposal. They will be both consumers and producers of research who will meet the requirements of the standard of proficiency, for each profession, as laid down by the Health and Care Professions Council and the requirements of each professional body for evidence based practice.
The proposal produced in this module will then be undertaken as the students’ dissertation in the final year of their pre-registration master programme.

The syllabus for this module is aligned to the Curriculum 2021 Hallmarks and demonstrates active learning and authentic assessment, designed to create students with greater confidence to understand research evidence, contribute to that evidence and be able to develop research in their own area of professional practice.

The module delivery will use a blended approach with face to face and online delivery supported with synchronous and asynchronous lectures, quizzes and profession specific interactive discussion boards and tutorials.

The assessments for this module will be a Research Proposal. The assessments can be tailored to focus on the student’s area of interest and area of speciality and will include consideration of the ethical requirements of the selected project.

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.

Placement opportunity

This course offers a placement opportunity so you can combine your studies with practical experience with industry professionals. It is a great way to develop key employability skills and get a head start in your career with key industry partners. View more information on the course page.

Explore more about Careers and Employability at Liverpool.

Your experience

The School of Health Sciences has been at the forefront of healthcare education and training for over 100 years. We place particular emphasis on cross-School education and research activities, and the diversity of disciplines we specialise in has created a stimulating environment which enriches our student’s academic experience.

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Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study

  • Major centre for education and research in health sciences
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Opportunities for in-depth study and development of advanced clinical skills
  • Flexible programmes for postgraduate study
  • Active research environment
  • Provides specialist training with taught and clinical placement components.

Careers and employability

Graduates in Orthoptics are key to the National Health Service healthcare workforce as this field is a highlighted skill shortage area within the NHS.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

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We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Qualified orthoptists have the opportunity to develop into ‘specialist’ and ‘advanced’ professionals who can become consultant orthoptists and team and department managers.

Furthermore, upon graduation, this degree will allow individuals to pursue a range of general graduate and research careers in health sciences or the wider healthcare industry.

Employment opportunities are available nationally and internationally.

Fees and funding

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

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
International fees
Full-time place, per year £27,200
Tuition fees are for January 2025.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

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 could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

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 could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of up to £5,000 off your tuition fees.

This includes £2,500 if you have a first-class degree, or equivalent qualification, and £2,500 if you’re from a Commonwealth country.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.


  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.


  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit:

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Women in STEM
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

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

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You should include a personal statement of no more than 700 words in support of your application. This should reflect on your understanding of the profession and relevant qualities valuable to a healthcare professional.

You will normally need a 2:2 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. While science subjects are preferred, we will consider graduates from a range of disciplines.

Applicants with a non-science degree will be considered with supporting information outlining relevant recent experience or further study. Each application will be assessed on its own merits.

GCSE requirements: a minimum of grade 4 or C in English Language and Mathematics.

You must demonstrate a good understanding of the orthoptist profession, including an awareness of the procedures undertaken. You are encouraged to arrange a clinical observational visit to an orthoptic department in support of your application.

An interview forms part of the selection process. The interview follows the values-based recruitment (VBR) process and you will be expected to demonstrate the relevance of the NHS’ values and pertinent skills required within the orthoptic role.

Please note: meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee a place on the programme as competition is high. You are encouraged to present the strongest possible application.

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. Please visit the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners website for further information.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MSc, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

Please note – whilst we do accept IELTS qualifications, we do not accept IELTS qualifications that have been sat and gained online. We only accept qualifications that have been sat and gained in person.

English language qualification Requirements
View our IELTS academic requirements key.

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 application 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.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Orthoptics (Pre-registration) MSc

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.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.

18 April 2023: International qualifications update

English language requirements have been updated – IELTS.