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BSc Optometry / Overview

Year of entry: 2017

Degree awarded
BSc (Hons)
3 years
Typical A-level offer
Grades AAB.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
35 points overall including 6 points in two sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths) at Higher Level.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

We do not recommend that you apply for both the BSc Optometry and the MSci Optom course as applications for these courses are considered together. Students cover the same course units for the first two years of both these courses and only exceptional students are invited to continue on the second two years of the MSci Optom.

Apply through UCAS
UCAS course code
UCAS institution code

Course description

Optometrists work in high street practice or hospital eye clinics, where they prescribe and dispense spectacles, contact lenses, and low vision aids, treat problems with binocular vision, and increasingly work alongside ophthalmologists to monitor the treatment of ocular disease.

Until recently, the optometrist's formal responsibility was to recognise and refer abnormality, stopping short of diagnosis and management. In the last few years, however, there has been a steady increase in optometrists being involved in the primary care of patients with diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma. This has given rise to more emphasis on the study and management of these conditions.

Optometry is regulated in the UK by the General Optical Council, and you will need to be registered by them to practice. This involves a three-year BSc degree followed by a pre-registration period of one year in a hospital or high street practice during which your clinical skills will be examined. 

Alternatively, you can register directly following the four-year Master of Optometry degree , which is unique to The University of Manchester.

Through our course, you will discover the scientific principles that underpin optometry, including the properties of light, the anatomy of the eye and the processing of vision in the brain.

You will learn about ophthalmic appliances, such as lenses, and instrumentation, such as retinoscopes. You will also be introduced to general eye examination techniques and start to meet patients in your second semester. 

In your second year, you will further develop your knowledge of ophthalmic appliances and optometric instrumentation, and discover a broad range of new topics, including human disease processes, pharmacology, contact lens practice and binocular vision.

You will develop your clinical skills so that, by the end of the year, under supervision, you will have the competence and confidence to examine members of the public.

In addition, you will spend one week full-time at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital during your summer vacation, gaining a wealth of practical clinical experience in all hospital departments. This is a unique element of our degree courses and is not offered at any other UK university.

If you wish to proceed to the MSci Optom course at the end of Year 2 and are selected based on good academic performance and communication skills, you embark on the final two years, which include a year of practical experience in both private practice and at an eye hospital, plus an advanced project and lecture courses.

Otherwise, you take Year 3 of the BSc, including further lectures on clinical subjects and pharmacology, extensive experience in the clinics, time at hospital, and a dissertation.

Open days

The University runs several open days per year.

Open days

We also operate campus tours, which are available most days. These are with a student ambassador who can tell you all about life at The University of Manchester. It may also be possible to meet with admissions staff (subject to staff availability). These tours are open to anybody thinking of applying to us for any of the biological and biomedical sciences. Family and friends are welcome too.

To book, please contact the Admissions Office on tel +44 (0)161 275 2411 or email


Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2017 will be £9,250, subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases. Tuition fees for international students will be £21,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Additional expenses

The General Optical Council student registration fee is currently £20 (renewable each year). At the beginning of your first year, we provide you with a lab coat and suggest you buy a trial frame (up to £300). By the end of your second year, you are encouraged to purchase your own ophthalmoscope and retinoscope, which can cost between £800 and £1000.

Contact details

Academic department
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Undergraduate Admissions
+44 (0)161 275 2411
+44 (0)161 275 5456
Academic department overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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