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Optometry (BSc)

  • B510

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Our three-year Optometry BSc will give you the scientific and clinical knowledge you need to graduate as a pre-registration optometrist and enter your final training under the supervision of a practising optometrist. During your pre-registration period of training you will complete the Final Scheme for Assessment run by the College of Optometrists. After qualifying, an optometrist earns, on average, £26,000, rising to £39,000 after five years.

The course is delivered by one of the UK’s highest ranked optometry schools, in a new purpose-designed building, which includes a clinic open to the public. The course is accredited by the General Optical Council.

Find out more about our students' achievements by visiting our website.

Someone having their eyes tested

Key Facts

UCAS Code B510
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available

The School admits 90 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

Typical applications received 450
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAA
Admissions Tutors Mr Richard Earlam
Tel Number 029 2087 4852 or 20879048
Email address
School website

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who detect any disease that may affect the eye or the visual system, and correct long and short sightedness.

Our course, delivered by one of the UK’s highest ranked optometry schools in a purpose-designed building, will provide you with the scientific and clinical knowledge to enable you to become a fully qualified, practising optometrist.

We place great emphasis on the clinical aspects of the profession, and you will spend considerable time in our clinic, which is open to members of the public who require eye examination. Indeed, clinical practice of optometry is included from your first week, providing vital, hands-on experience to form the foundations for the programme.

As well as working in the clinic, you will have hospital visits and lectures, and in third year you will carry out a research project under the close supervision of a member of academic staff.

The course structure is as follows:

Year One

The first year is an important period for any student. It is a year in which you will discover a new way of life and a new way of learning. Your initial year is designed to give you a sound foundation in the discipline, with clinical and dispensing techniques introduced at the very beginning to enhance your clinical skills.

First year modules include lectures, tutorials, and clinical practice. In the first year, particular attention is given to developing the academic skills that you will need when reading for a university undergraduate degree.

You will study the following modules:

  • Basic Clinical Techniques
  • Optometric Dispensing
  • Geometrical and Visual Optics
  • From Cells to Systems
  • Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
  • Research and Study Skills
  • Physiology of Vision

Year Two

The second year builds on the foundation of the first year, and develops all the main themes of the optometry degree. You will receive lectures on binocular vision, contact lenses, physiology of vision and pharmacology. Clinical studies and dispensing techniques will continue and during the second year you will, with close supervision, be introduced to your first patient.

You will study the following modules:

  • Clinical Studies and Dispensing
  • Contact Lenses
  • Investigative Techniques
  • Binocular Vision and Optometric Neurophysiology
  • Ocular Pharmacology
  • Physiology and Perception of Vision

Year Three

In your final year, you will develop your knowledge and clinical skills further. Modules in advanced optometric topics are introduced, and you will also carry out a project, which may be laboratory, clinical or library based. This will be under the close supervision of a member of academic staff.

You will spend about eight hours per week with patients in our clinic and will attend hospital clinics. Lecture courses in abnormal ocular conditions, binocular vision, visual psychophysics, and paediatric optometry are designed to complete the integrated course.

You will study the following modules:

  • Optometric Practice
  • Low Vision and Contact Lenses
  • Binocular Vision and Special Needs
  • Abnormal Ocular Conditions
  • Occupational Optometry, Law and Business
  • Visual Perception
  • Grand rounds
  • Research Project

Teaching provision at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences has been independently assessed as 'Excellent' and it has been awarded the highest category of excellence for the quality of its research. The School has outstanding facilities that include new and refurbished clinics and laboratories, all fitted with state-of-the-art equipment.

The School is extremely proud of its undergraduate teaching and its contribution through research to the knowledge of how the eye and visual system work. The positive influence of active research on student learning cannot be emphasised enough. New concepts and ideas filter down rapidly to ensure that students are up to date, and teaching is fresh and vibrant. The active involvement of staff in research also ensures that the teaching programme is flexible and constantly changing to equip graduates with the skills needed by a rapidly changing Optometric profession.

The Optometry degree course at Cardiff has been designed to be stimulating, comprehensive and relevant to the needs of a career in Optometry, providing students with the scientific and clinical knowledge needed as a foundation to becoming a fully qualified and practising Optometrist. Great emphasis is placed on the practical aspects and students spend considerable time in the purpose-built clinic, which is open to members of the public who require eye examination as well as children and adults with special needs.

Typical A-level Offer


Two of which would normally be from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus grade A in A-level Biology and one other grade A A-level, from Mathematics, Chemistry or Physics.
Typical Int Bacc Offer 34 points including Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Biology

Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

After your degree you must complete a period of supervised practice if you wish to register with the UK's General Optical Council (GOC) - this is called your pre-registration period. You must gain at least a Lower Second Class degree to enter this training period. Our graduates rarely have difficulty in securing pre-registration positions (subject to visa regulations), a process that begins in your second year. Indeed, many employers visit us to recruit future graduates, knowing that Cardiff students generally do very well. Several of our students are also successful each year in gaining the much sought after hospital pre-registration positions.

You become UK qualified after satisfactory completion of this pre-registration period (normally 12 months), which is run by the College of Optometrists.

In 2010, 92% of the School’s graduates were in employment within six months of graduation while others were in engaged in further study or taking time out to travel. Employers included: universities, various NHS Trusts, optometrists plus companies such as Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Career destinations included: optometrist, medical writer and project manager.

Postgraduates also go on to work in industry, academia and for research councils.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Mr Richard Earlam  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 4852/ 2087 4374 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4859 


School Website:

More information