Orthoptics BSc (Hons)

Key information


Top 10 Opthalmics - Complete University GuideThe Orthoptics programme aims to develop your knowledge of how the vision system works, binocular vision involving how the eyes work together, and eye movement systems including the importance of assessing ocular motility..

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 and be a valuable member of the eye care team.

The Orthoptic programme will equip a graduate with the skills to diagnose and manage conditions which may present in a range of patients from infants to the elderly, eg strabismus (eye misalignments), amblyopia (sometimes called lazy eye), traumatic injuries, tumours, head injuries, diabetes and strokes.

Programme in detail

Throughout the three years, three themes provide the framework for student studies, in all cases linking theoretical knowledge to clinical conditions. The first theme ‘Orthoptic Clinical Practice and Theory’, consists of modules delivering the necessary theory and clinical skills to develop a competent orthoptist, including the physiology of vision, eye movements and binocular vision. The clinical component is delivered in part at the University, but also on clinical placements.

Another theme is ‘Ophthalmology’, this theme reflects the changing role of the orthoptist, from being involved purely in strabismus (eye misalignment) to their involvement in other aspects of ophthalmology. This includes the underpinning anatomy and physiology, characteristics, investigation and management of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy in both adults and children.

The final theme is ‘Research’, this theme introduces the student to basic concepts of types of data and presentation, study design and an introduction to research ethics. This builds during the programme with interpretation of data, critical appraisal, the opportunity to undertake a research study in Year Two and completion of a literature review in Year Three.

The three themes are supported by modules covering content that is critical to aid understanding, these include Professionalism and scholarship, Visual optics, Anatomy, physiology and normal development and Professionalism and holistic healthcare for orthoptists (involving behavioural science and public health). In addition, there is a specific module covering exemptions to enable graduates to be eligible to have annotated HCPC registration with exemptions for the sale, supply and administration of medicines.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

322 Year One undergraduates the School of Health Sciences in 2018

UK league tables

Ranked 5th for Nursing in the Guardian University Guide 2019 and and 3rd for Occupation Therapy in the Complete University Guide 2020

National Student Survey

100% overall satisfaction for Orthoptics and Physiotherapy programmes (NSS 2018)

Why this subject?

Strengthen your career prospects

Benefit from our experience in delivering more than 100 years of teaching across practical and professionally focused programmes.

Learn from experienced, registered, working practitioners

Our curriculum is developed and assessed by leading healthcare providers throughout the North West. Many such partners across the North West provide exciting placement opportunities.

Bring your learning to life through clinical experience

Gain a breadth of patient-focused practical experience in a region with a particularly diverse population, providing an invaluable insight to future roles.

Prepare for practice by studying with professionals from across the Health Sciences

Interprofessional learning modules reflect the multi-profession, team approach that you will encounter in today’s healthcare settings.