MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc
Duration
MSc 1 year FT, up to 4 years PT
Entry requirements

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent in: 

  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Orthoptics
  • Clinical and biological sciences
  • or other science subjects.

 Intercalating students

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students studying at Manchester, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if you are in your third year) or have no fails in third year if you are in your fourth year.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
20 places
How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Update your knowledge to ensure you are at the cutting edge of modern ophthalmology if you are an ophthalmologist, optometrist, orthoptist, biological scientist or nurse.
  • Prepare for a related research or academic career.
  • Benefit from the research expertise of the University and the clinical expertise of Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.
  • We offer some units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). See the Ophthalmology and Optometry CPD units page for further details.
  • This course will be delivered using a variety of blended learning methods.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2023, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £12,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £30,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £6,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £15,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Additional expenses

The University permits applicants with comparable previous experience to submit an application for consideration of AP(E)L - Accreditation Prior (Experiential) Learning. The maximum AP(E)L is 15 credits to a Certificate, 45 credits to a Diploma and 60 credits to a Masters.

If an AP(E)L application is successful, the University charges £30 for every 15 credits of AP(E)L. The overall tuition fee is adjusted and then the administrative charge is applied.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 529 4563
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/optometry/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent in: 

  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Orthoptics
  • Clinical and biological sciences
  • or other science subjects.

 Intercalating students

This course is also available for intercalating medical students, both from the University of Manchester and other UK universities, upon completion of their third year. For St Andrews students studying at Manchester, this includes the three-year course plus the following one or two years spent in Manchester. Intercalating medical students need to have passed all assessments at first attempt (if you are in your third year) or have no fails in third year if you are in your fourth year.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS: minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing 
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 22 in each component)

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University pre-sessional English language course, if your current IELTS scores are:

  • Minimum 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing plus enrolment and attendance on the 5-week pre-sessional course (PS5)
  • Minimum 5.5 overall with 5.5 in writing plus enrolment and attendance on the 10-week pre-sessional course (PS10)

See further information about requirements for your country.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

CAS Information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until, which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. This means that if you intend to begin a course on 19 September 2022, we will not issue you with a CAS number before 19 June 2022.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

Your application form must be accompanied by the following supporting documents:

  • two academic references on letter headed paper. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than three years. Unfortunately we cannot request references from your referees on your behalf;
  • official academic certificates and transcripts of all your current and previous studies (with fully certified translations by a professional translator if not in English);
  • personal statement;
  • CV;
  • a scanned copy of the photograph page of your passport;
  • proof of English language proficiency (if appropriate).

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or if this is not possible, sent directly to pgtaught.optometry@manchester.ac.uk . After applying, please do not submit documents in any other way without telling us first so we can provide you with the most efficient service.

Please make sure you include your University ID number on any correspondence and do not send any documents before you have submitted your application.

If you have any problems with the application process, please contact us at pgtaught.optometry@manchester.ac.uk .

How your application is considered

Your application will be reviewed by the relevant course director on receipt of all required supporting documentation. Applicants are considered on an academic and relevant professional experience basis, based on all information provided.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

For clinical placements, a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) check will be require for UK residents. Overseas students are required to provide a Police/Government Office Certificate of Good Conduct. This is usually completed once students have arrived at the University. Please contact  pgtaught.optometry@manchester.ac.uk for further guidance.

Deferrals

Deferrals are considered on an individual basis. Successful applicants may defer entry to the course for up to one year.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved.

We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences course brings together the research expertise in vision from The University of Manchester and the clinical expertise of Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

The course is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists and nurses from the UK and overseas. It is suitable for:

  • individuals who are considering undertaking a research degree in the vision sciences;
  • those interested in professional development;
  • those interested in conducting research as part of their clinical training;
  • ophthalmologists wishing to expand and extend their training into specialist areas;
  • optometrists considering a career in the hospital eye service.

This course will provide you with a firm grounding in the knowledge needed to pursue a higher degree and to conduct high quality research in ophthalmology, optometry or vision sciences.

It also gives an opportunity for vision-related professionals to advance their knowledge of the scientific foundations of ophthalmology and vision sciences.

Aims

This course aims to provide those working within the ophthalmic professions (ophthalmologists, optometrists, vision scientists, orthoptists and ophthalmic nurses) with an opportunity for professional development.

It will give you a firm grounding in the knowledge, understanding and skills you will need to pursue a higher research degree or to participate in research programmes and meet a need for researchers who can form a bridge between basic research and applied clinical research.

Through the research modules and dissertation, you will develop skills of systematically analysing and interpreting a body of literature, designing and conducting a research project, and analysing and presenting research findings within a written dissertation.

Teaching and learning

In each unit, learning will be based on a series of formal lectures on topics relating to ocular disease and treatments, and a series of more informal tutorials on current research. You will receive copies of presentations and direction to relevant literature for personal study.

Many dissertation projects have led to peer-reviewed publications in ophthalmic literature. Recent titles include:

  • Optical coherence tomography measures of the retinal nerve fibre layer.
  • Development of a model cell assay to investigate the cellular processing of ARB mutant bestrophin-1.
  • Risk factors for late presentation of patients with primary open angle glaucoma.
  • Molecular analysis of autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies.
  • In vivo analysis of the wettability of silicon hydrogel contact lenses.
  • Can corneal densitometry be used to assess the treatment outcome after corneal transplantation.
  • A contact lens based technique delivering cultured stem cells onto the human corneal surface.
  • The use of corneal imaging to assessing treatment outcomes of LASIK and LASEK.
  • Addressing the physiological cues needed for trans-differentiation of dental pulp stem cells into limbal stem cells.

The course director is Dr Catherine Porter

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is via:

  • written examinations in January and May;
  • coursework set during the taught units;
  • a research project dissertation.

Course unit details

The course has two different pathways and is designed to be blended learning:

  • MSc: Eight taught units (15 credits each) and a dissertation (60 credits).
  • PG Diploma: Eight taught units (15 credits each) 

Units:

  • Medical Retina
  • Genetics of the Eye
  • Contemporary Science of Contact Lenses
  • Low Vision
  • Refractive Management
  • Glaucoma
  • Evidence Based Practice

In addition, you can choose one of the following research modules, depending on your type of project:

  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Fundamentals of Epidemiology

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Dissertation OPTO61262 60 Mandatory
Medical Retina OPTO70301 15 Mandatory
Low Vision OPTO70312 15 Mandatory
Genetics of the Eye OPTO70322 15 Mandatory
Refractive Management OPTO70351 15 Mandatory
Clinical science of contemporary contact lenses OPTO70352 15 Mandatory
Glaucoma OPTO70362 15 Mandatory
Evidence Based Practice POPH60041 15 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Epidemiology POPH60991 15 Optional
Qualitative Research Methods POPH63121 15 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

What our students say

IOVS is a great course overall; excellent content and very enjoyable. - Abid Ali, ophthalmology trainee [UK]

I've enjoyed the insight into new and modern treatments and diagnostic techniques. - Isaac Nunoo, optometrist [Ghana]

I love the way the lecturers teach and explain, and the ease with which you can access information. - Chimdi Emma-Duru, optometrist and PhD student [Nigeria]

Facilities

Ophthalmology is housed within the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, which is located at the southern end of the University campus. Optometry is housed within the nearby Carys Bannister Building.

Most dissertations are conducted within the University and the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Students may, however, embark on work outside these environments (eg an optometric practice or other hospital). This is contingent on the acceptance of the research proposal and the approval of suitable external and internal supervisors by the course director.

You will also have access to a range of library and IT facilities across the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability and Advisory Support Service .

CPD opportunities

We offer six units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). 

Please see the Ophthalmology and Optometry CPD units page for further details.

Careers

Career opportunities

This MSc is aimed at optometrists, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, biological scientists, nurses and those from related backgrounds, and can open up a number of career opportunities.

The course will enable you to develop a systematic understanding of ocular diseases, the complex issues involved in their treatment and a critical awareness of current research. You will also be able to apply clinical problem-solving skills to patient care, where decisions must be made in unpredictable situations, using initiative and taking personal responsibility. You will importantly be able to critically analyse and evaluate literature in order to inform the eye care of your patients.

It is also ideal if you want to conduct research as part of your clinical training or pursue an academic career in ophthalmology, optometry and the vision sciences.

Please note, this course does not allow you to register as an optometrist with the General Optical Council.