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BSc Optometry / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Vision in the Real World

Unit code OPTO20282
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Optometry
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit aims to use the foundation knowledge gained in earlier courses, to show how the environment and vision of the individual can be optimised for the efficient performance of visual tasks.

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

·    Demonstrate an understanding of photometric principles and the ability to relate these to measurements of light in the working environment.

·    Demonstrate the ability to be able to advise patients regarding the visual aspects of their work and leisure activities, and to know about relevant standards

·    Recommend appropriate eyewear in a sporting or occupational context, and to understand the relevant standards.

·    Demonstrate a working knowledge of visual problems encountered in the workplace and the general environment.

·         Demonstrate the ability to apply these general principles to novel examples



·    Light: fundamentals of measurement and the electromagnetic spectrum; photometric vs radiometric units; light sources and their characteristics (efficacy, spectral power distribution); interior lighting design

·    Visual performance: effect of lighting on practical tasks; avoiding disability and discomfort glare; occupational visual standards and visual task analysis; visual screening and visual training (eg for sport); the importance of vision in falls

·    Hazards: Mechanical, chemical and radiation; recommendations and standards for eye protection; DSEs and occupational advice

·    Colour vision: the design of appropriate tests to offer vocational advice

·    Vision and driving

·         Lighting for low vision

·         Blue light and its role in ocular hazards and circadian rhythms



Assessment methods

1.5 hour (+15 minutes reading time) computer-based open-book examination (80%), Poster (16%), a calculation exercise (2%), and blog post (2%).

Feedback methods

  • Feedback  on poster available at preliminary stage before hand-in. Feedback offered on student answers during seminar sessions.    

Recommended reading

  • Boyce, PR (2003) Human Factors in Lighting (2nd edition). Taylor & Francis
  • North, RV (2001) Work and the Eye (2nd edition). Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Christine Dickinson Unit coordinator

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