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BSc Optometry / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Optometric Examination B

Unit code OPTO20100
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Optometry
Available as a free choice unit? No


Optometric examination B will develop your refractive skills: your ability to perform basic eye tests on individuals who suffer from problems with their vision caused by errors in the focusing of light by the eye - myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism. By the end of the year you will be able to competently examine, under supervision, members of the public and have increased exposure with OSCE-style examinations


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Optometric Examination A OPTO10190 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Instrumentation OPTO20091 Co-Requisite Recommended


The unit aims to develop students’ refractive and clinical skills so that by the end of the year they can competently examine, under supervision, members of the public

Learning outcomes

Understand the distribution of refractive error and emmetropisation, how to communicate with patients and the principles of ophthalmoscopy, binocular and monocular refraction.

       Evaluate and interpret patient symptoms and clinical signs. Formulate tentative diagnoses. Compare different methods of: controlling ocular accommodation; viewing the ocular fundus; binocular balancing.

       Undertake a subjective refraction routine using a refractor head (phoroptor) including methods specific to this instrument e.g. for checking near add and ocular muscle balance.

       Conduct a thorough routine eye examination (using a trial frame) on pre-presbyopic and presbyopic patients including history and symptoms, preliminary assessments, determination of distance refractive error via objective and subjective means and visual and refractive findings at near. Inspect the structures of the eye using direct ophthalmoscopes and have rudimentary skills with indirect ophthalmoscopes.

       Ability to perform a complete refraction and examine and evaluate the anterior and posterior ocular structures.

       Ability to prepare contemporaneous records and understand audit procedures for clinical practice.



Unit includes significant practical components and builds on knowledge of refractive methods gained in Optometric Examination A and extends these to encompass the completion of a full binocular refractive routine. Students are given additional tuition on: use of the refractor head, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy techniques for checking of ocular health, various preliminary investigations, the taking of clinical histories and experience in clinical audit.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Initial training in taking a clinical history, suggesting appropriate follow-up questions and suitable further investigations.
Group/team working
Co-operative working in pairs and small groups during some tutorial sessions.
Oral communication
Regular practical sessions requiring communication with volunteer patients including training in the taking of clinical histories during second semester sessions.
Problem solving
Clinical scenarios are used during skill review sessions and students are required to evaluate information presented and determine an appropriate course of action.
Written communication
Via regular record keeping during practical sessions.
Practical skills (including time management skills to complete a full eye examination routine and OSCE stations efficiently). Clinical audit and self-reflection.

Assessment methods

Practical coursework (50%) including:
   Supervised ophthalmoscopy assessment (5%).
   Optional end of first semester formative OSCE (0%).
   Peripheral fundus diagram assessment (5%).
   End of second semester OSCE station assessments       


   Second semester group assignments (10%)
Unseen examination paper (50%)

Formative assessment in terms of mid-course OSCE circuit and some group activities.

Feedback methods

Formative OSCE feedback session, feedback via blackboard on supervised ophthalmoscopy assignment, peer feedback on direct ophthalmoscopy assignment, grades returned for individual stations of end of semester OSCEs.

Recommended reading

  • Grosvenor, T (2006) Primary Care Optometry. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
  • Ettinger, E.R & Rouse, M.W (1996) Clinical Decision Making in Optometry. Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Eperjesi, F., Bartlett, H. & Dunne, M. (2007) Ophthalmic Clinical Procedures: A Multimedia Guide. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
  • Elliott, D.B (2013) Clinical Procedures in Primary Eye Care.  Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
  • Bennett, A.G & Rabbetts, R.B (2007) Clinical Visual Optics. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 32.5
Practical classes & workshops 44.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 121.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Caroline Thompson Unit coordinator

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