Initial Year Optometry
About the course
This course provides a thorough grounding specific to the professions of optometry and ophthalmic dispensing. It prepares students for study at undergraduate level.
Integrating theory, research and practice throughout, the Initial Year Optometry supports progression to the University of Hertfordshire’s MOptom, subject to fulfilling certain requirements.
Practice placements provide valuable exposure to clinical practice, facilitating the integration of scientific knowledge, evidence and practice, and enabling you to put theory into practice.
The course comprises human biology, mathematics, problem solving skills, professional conduct and evidence practice. In addition, further modules include an introduction to the theory and practice of subjects and skills relating to optometry and ophthalmic dispensing, including visual optics, optics and ophthalmic lenses.
All teaching on the Initial Year Optometry takes place at City and Islington College’s Centre for Applied Sciences, enabling you to benefit from the College’s expertise in the field of Optics and providing access to optics laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and resources.
With good job prospects, this career is interesting, rewarding and can make a genuine difference. The career is suited to those who enjoy working with people.
The standard entry requirements for the programme are:
•A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 5 or above, including English Language, Mathematics and a Science, or equivalent.
•88 UCAS tariff points, including A Levels in 2 science subjects, which equates to CCD at A Level. A minimum grade C must be obtained in either Biology or Mathematics A Level.
•A 2-hour group work and competency-based interview to assess the suitability of applicants.
•An International English Language Testing system (IELTS) minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each category for all international students.
- Academic Skills
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Mathematics for Optics
- Ophthalmic Lenses
- Geometrical Optics
- Ophthalmic Dispensing
- Professional Development
Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, exercise classes and practical classes, supported by computer-assisted and self-directed study. This approach promotes student involvement, utilising a broad mix of progressive approaches.
During lectures, you will explore the theory element of the module. You will then complete exam-style questions based on this theory in the exercise classes. The practical classes will allow you to put theory into practice, in correlation with the requirements of your Ophthalmic Dispensing work placement. You will also be encouraged to attend talks by external speakers from industry.
With small class sizes, you’ll enjoy quality contact time with lecturers, and the attention and support when you need it. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. Contact time varies between modules, but typically comprises of around 2-3 hours contact per week for each module.
When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library and HE hubs.
Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning hours, and assessment activity plus field trips (where relevant), with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours. Your actual contact hours may depend on the course you study. An indication of how much time allocated to different activities is included within course specification.
Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes academics, professional practitioners with industry experience and technical officers.
Please read this PDF for examples of extra costs that may be incurred.
Assessment for the course takes place on a module by module basis, enabling you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for each module.
The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Some modules may contain at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.
There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.
Method of assessment
The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the modules that form part of your course. The majority of the courses offered at the College use coursework as the main method of assessment. Further information regarding the methods of assessment for your course can be obtained from the Course Manager.
You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We normally aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 10 working days of hand-in.
Following successful completion of the Initial Year Optometry, you may progress onto Year 1 of the MOptom programme at the University of Hertfordshire, subject to achieving an average pass of 75%, with no less than 50% in each constituent module, and completion of a successful interview.
In addition, progression to the University’s MOptom programme requires satisfactory Occupational Health clearance and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
Students who do not achieve the required pass grade to progress onto the MOptom will have the opportunity to progress onto alternative programmes at the University of Hertfordshire within the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics and the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.
Working in Optics is very rewarding
Studied: Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing
Destination: Working as a Dispensing Optician
Helena Stengel came to London wanting to train as an optician after taking the German equivalent of A Levels. She was sponsored to study Ophthalmic Dispensing Theory at City and Islington is now building on her skills and experience by studying a course on contact lenses at the College while working for an independent opticians called The Eye Place in Belsize Park.
She said: “Working in Optics is very rewarding as you are able to give professional advice and expert customer care to clients. You also work a lot with children and are able to identify any eyesight problems from an early age.”