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BSc Optometry / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Ocular Health & Disease Mechanisms

Unit code OPTO21391
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Optometry
Available as a free choice unit? No


Students will expand their knowledge on first year topics from Cell Biology and Physiology to learn about basic eye pathology. Topics include types of microorganisms, transmission and control of infection, genetics and eye disease, introduction to epidemiology and how the body responds to injury and infection


 To outline the different types of microorganisms and pathogens that the eye is exposed to 
 To outline the main diseases that these microorganisms cause and that Optometrists will have to deal with in practice. 
 To describe basic eye pathology from a symptomatic viewpoint.

Learning outcomes

·         To be aware of the different types of micro-organisms, and those that are pathological

·         To understand how pathogens are transmitted and how infection is controlled

·         To learn about the types and uses of epidemiological studies and disease prevention

·         To learn some basic concepts relating to ocular disease

·         To learn about disease classification, cell injury, inflammation, wound healing, genetic disease, environmental disease

·         To learn about assessment of ocular disease and the signs, symptoms and differential diagnosis for a range of presenting ocular disease cases.

·         To learn about the most common systemic diseases with ocular consequences



Types of micro-organisms - beneficial and harmful

• Body defences

• Transmission and control of infection

• Introduction to epidemiology

• Genetics and eye disease

• Introduction to ocular disease

• How the body responds to injury and infection

• Presentation and diagnosis for: sudden loss of vision, gradual loss of vision, the red eye, watering/dry eyes, eyelid and     orbital swellings, eye trauma, systemic disease, squints, the child that does not see and eye emergencies.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be presented with a variety of evidence-based findings regarding pathogen transmission, spread control and diseases caused by these. Students will be also presented with a variety of systemic, and genetic diseases affecting the eye, their causes, signs and symptoms. Students will therefore develop the skills to analyse such scientific evidence.
Group/team working
Students will spend time with a small group preparing topics to present in front of the whole class. They will be encouraged to discuss their findings regarding different genetic diseases and their treatments (i.e. gene therapy).
Oral communication
Students will be presenting a range of topics in small groups in front of the rest of the class.
Problem solving
Students will need to extract information from a broad range of sources in order to put together a presentation and a discussion about a topic that will be assigned to them.
Students will be encouraged to use a variety of resources: websites, journal papers and textbooks. Students will be encouraged to extract the relevant information from trusted sources. Students will be encouraged to use a variety of resources: websites, journal papers and textbooks. Students will be encouraged to extract the relevant information from trusted sources.

Assessment methods

Summative assessments:

1.5 hour written examination (95%),

Flipped teaching/presentation - 5%


Formative assessments:

Online MCQs after every lecture, oral presentation

The unit is non-compensatable

Feedback methods

 Automatic feedback on online MCQs after every lecture
 Short-answer essay feedback questions every week 
•  Questions-answers during the lectures 
 Final feedback and overview session where the students will have the opportunity to look at different answers from past    papers and ask the lecturer any questions and concerns they may have.

Recommended reading

 Kanski, J.J. (1989) Clinical Ophthalmology: a systematic approach. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd
 The Wills Eye Manyal: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and treatment of Eye Dsease by Wills Eye Institute,
    Justis P. Ehler, etc.
  Oxford Handbook of Ophthalmology by Alastair Denniston, Philip I. Murray (Oxford University Press)

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ana Hernandez Trillo Unit coordinator

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