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BSc Optometry / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Contact Lenses A

Unit code OPTO20372
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Optometry
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will introduce you to contact lens practice with a combination of theory and practical content. You will study the history and current use of contact lenses as well as the physiological basis of their use.  You will learn about fitting rigid and soft lenses and the various materials, designs and replacement modalities of each lens type.  We will discuss special lenses such as torics and multifocals in addition to the safe use of lenses and the properties of contact lens solutions.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Functional Anatomy of the Eye OPTO10171 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Optometric Examination A OPTO10190 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Optometric Examination B OPTO20100 Co-Requisite Recommended
Visual Optics OPTO20292 Co-Requisite Recommended


Introduce the students to modern clinical contact lens practice.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the history of the development of contact lenses
  • Appreciate trends of current usage of contact lenses
  • Understand the basic properties of rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Understand insertion and removal of rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Understand fitting of rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Understand the approach to aftercare of contact lens patients
  • Understand the physiological basis of contact lens wear
  • Appreciate alternative contact lens options
  • Devise solutions to contact lens problems
  • Comprehend the significance of new developments in the field
  • Confidently handle contact lenses
  • Insert and remove rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Undertake preliminary measurements for rigid and soft lens fitting
  • Use the slit lamp biomicroscope and keratometer
  • Evaluate the fit of rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Execute an over-refraction with rigid and soft contact lenses
  • Appreciate how to consider and question information provided by manufacturers
  • Undertake a contact lens preliminary assessment
  • Perform a contact lens-related biomicroscopy evaluation
  • Handle, apply and assess the fit of a spherical soft lens
  • Handle, apply and assess the fit of a spherical rigid lens
  • Explain technological issues to patients.


This unit provides comprehensive overview of the fundamental aspects of modern contact lens practice including:

  • Recent contact lens history and developments
  • The preliminary contact lens exam
  • Overview of current contact lens types
  • Biomicroscopic examination of the eye in contact lens practice
  • Soft contact lens overview, design and fitting
  • Rigid contact lens overview, design and fitting
  • Toric lens fitting
  • Bifocal lens fitting
  • Contact lens care systems

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analyse key findings of journal articles; identify key issues.
Group/team working
Practicals require students to work in pairs.
Coursework requires a significant level of creativity as students are required to design their own contact lens and to describe its features and benefits.
Oral communication
Students are encouraged to answer questions during lectures. The course includes clinics in which student are invited to discuss topics covered in lectures.
Problem solving
Problem solving skills are required when it comes to extracting relevant information from a broad range of sources.
For the coursework project students are required to search the literature and provide a number of references to support their work.
Written communication
Coursework assignment (production of a contact lens specification sheet) designed to develop students' writing skills.
Students will learn significant clinical skills which are a key employability requirement for optometry.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 90%

1.5 hour written examination (90%)
10 hour coursework exercise (10%)

The unit is non-compensatable

Feedback methods

  • Post-exam feedback sessions as required
  • Coursework feedback via written comments in Gradebook
  • Feedback during clinical teaching sessions.

Recommended reading

  • Efron, N (2018) Contact Lense Practice (3rd edition). Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
  • Veys J, Meyler J & Davies I (2003) Essential Contact Lens Practice. BH-Optician

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 52.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Philip Morgan Unit coordinator

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