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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:

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

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  • 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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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.

Introduction

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

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 Allied Health Professions and Nursing 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

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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

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

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.

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Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re an 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 master’s tuition fees, if you haven’t studied with us before.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students

If you’re a University of Liverpool graduate starting this master’s degree with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off your master’s tuition fees.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

If you’re a Chilean student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with an ANID Chile Scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re an international student from an eligible country, joining a one-year master’s course, you could apply to have your master’s fees paid, up to a maximum of £18,000, and receive additional help with living costs.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 30% discount on your tuition fees with a CONACYT Award.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FIDERH graduate loan, you could benefit from a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a FIDERH Award.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining a master’s degree, you can apply to be considered for a tuition fee discount of £20,000 with a Fulright Scholarship. One Fulbright Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a Mexican student joining a master’s degree and you’re in receipt of a FUNED loan, you can apply to be considered for a 20% tuition fee discount. A total of up to ten awards will be available to master’s and PhD students per academic year.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

If you’re a master’s student from Hong Kong or the People’s Republic of China who can demonstrate academic excellence, you may be eligible to apply for a scholarship worth up to £10,000 in partnership with the Tung Foundation.

HRH Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

If you’re a student from Thailand joining a one-year master’s degree, you might be eligible to apply to have your tuition fees paid in full and receive help with living costs. One award is available and only students who are new to the University will be considered.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

If you’re a resident of the state of Guanajuato in Mexico joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible for a 10% discount on your tuition fees with a JuventudEsGto Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • United States

If you’re a USA student joining an eligible master’s with us, you could apply to be considered for a Marshall Scholarship. If your application is successful, your master’s tuition fees will be paid in full. One Marshall Scholarship for master’s study is available in each academic year.

Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary

  • Home students

If you’re a UK University of Liverpool graduate joining a master’s degree with us, you could be eligible to receive £3,000 off your tuition fees. You must have graduated in the last two years and received a widening access scholarship during your undergraduate studies.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

If you’re a Turkish student joining a master’s degree, you could be eligible to apply for a 20% discount on your tuition fees with a Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship.

Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

Do you have recognised status as a refugee or person with humanitarian protection outside the UK? Or are you a Ukrainian who’s sought temporary protection in the EU? You could be eligible to apply for the full payment of your master’s fees and additional financial support.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

Completed a Pre-Master’s at University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC)? We’re offering a £5,000 fee discount off the first year of master’s study to some of the highest achieving students joining one of our non-clinical master’s courses from UoLIC.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

If you’re a University of Liverpool International College student awarded a Kaplan Impact Scholarship, we’ll also consider you for an Impact Progression Scholarship. If selected, you’ll receive a fee discount worth £3,000 off the first year of your master’s course.

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for Mainland China

  • International students
  • China

Are you a high-achieving graduate from the People’s Republic of China with a degree from a Chinese university? You could be eligible to apply for a £5,000 fee discount if you’re joining an eligible master’s course. Up to 15 eligible students will receive this scholarship.

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 an allied health professions and nursing 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 Allied Health Professions and Nursing 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

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no component below 6.5
TOEFL iBT 100 overall, with minimum scores of listening 21, reading 21, writing 21 and speaking 23
Duolingo English Test 130 overall, with no component below 120
Pearson PTE Academic 69 overall, with no component below 61
LanguageCert Academic 75 overall, with no skill below 70
PSI Skills for English C1 Pass in all bands
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.5 overall, with no component below 6.5 6 weeks On campus
6.5 overall, with no component below 6.0 10 weeks On campus and online options available
6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 12 weeks On campus and online options available
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 20 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.0 30 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no more than one component below 5.0, and no component below 4.5 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 7.0, with no component below 6.5, for further details.

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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Accommodation

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.