Applied Vision Science MOptom

Postgraduate ( distance learning)

Distance learning

September 2016

Course duration: 2.5 years. Years 1 and 2 are each completed in two semesters. In Year 3, the Major Project takes approximately 3-4 months.

Overview

Designed by practising optometrists with specialist expertise and research interests, our Masters in Applied Vision Science is delivered entirely online and managed by our Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences.

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Full description

Careers

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Our Employability Service is here to help give you the best chance of landing the job you want. We’ll help you improve your skills and bulk up your CV to improve your career prospects. As a distance learning student, you’ll still benefit from help and advice on CV writing, interview techniques, job hunting, and general careers advice.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Introduction to the Basic Processes of Vision
    This module introduces the students to functional anatomy and physiology in man. A knowledge base and appropriate terminology to study human anatomy and physiology at a macroscopic, microscopic and biochemical level is provided. Throughout the module, the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms is discussed, the perturbations of which underlie dysfunction and disease. A brief overview of cell biology (covered in more detail in Foundations of Cell Biology) is followed by an introduction to histology, which emphasises the importance of tissue design in relation to its role. The anatomy and physiology of the following organs and systems are then discussed in detail: the brain, nervous system and the special senses, the heart and cardiovascular physiology, the respiratory system and the lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. The module has a large component of practical work, which reinforces the concepts discussed in the lectures. Both anatomy- and physiology-based practicals are carried out, which develop practical skills in class, and are then assessed in coursework. The module introduces concepts that have a strong medical bias, focussing on the maintenance of health.
  • Analysis of Advanced Investigative Techniques in Optometry
    This module will provide you with detailed technical knowledge of the clinical investigative techniques for examining the anterior and posterior eye, to improve identification and monitoring of ocular pathology. New subjects will be introduced on a fortnightly basis to build up your knowledge in a systematic manner, with constructively aligned online exercises. We'll begin with an overview of the visual pathway and introduce you to independent critical analysis skills. We'll present different pathological and/or clinical scenarios, and hold detailed discussion of new technologies in the assessment and management of patients presenting with ocular disease, as well as introducing techniques relevant to evidence-based research. You'll benefit from online lectures from experts in their respective fields along with tailored tutorials, and explore current and recent research literature, designed to challenge and develop your skills to critically evaluate research material. You'll engage in the discussion forums, read relevant articles and other supporting documents which will be available on the module virtual learning environment (VLE) site. We'll assess your learning through written work, which will require critical analysis and review of clinical scenarios, cases and literature.

Year two, core modules

  • Binocular Vision - Applications for Optometrists
    In this module we'll cover the contemporary areas and issues in binocular vision relevant to practising optometrists. The overall aim is to develop your knowledge of evidenced based binocular vision practice and allow you to develop skills to evaluate current and past theories and practices in order to improve your own patient management processes. We'll begin by reviewing important theories in binocular vision and discuss the main contemporary issues relevant to practice. We'll pay particular attention to the dual interactive model of accommodation and vergence and practical applications; vergence eye movements; the assessment of heterophoria and fixation disparity and treatment of non-strabismic ocular deviations; fusion, suppression and stereopsis; investigation and optometric management of amblyopia and strabismus. You'll be expected to read the relevant texts and literature and to engage with the course material via the module tutor and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). We'll assess your learning through written submissions of work including case analysis that will require you to demonstrate critical review and analysis of relevant literature.
  • Research Methods
    Gain support and foundations in the research skills needed for your Masters level dissertation. You’ll investigate research activities including project management, research project design and analyses, ethical considerations and dissertation preparation.
  • Evidence-Based Advances in Contact Lenses
    This module introduces the student to the most recent evidence based literature relating to advances in contact lenses. Students will gain advanced, specialist knowledge in the areas of contact lenses and anterior eye. A variety of topics relating to recent advances in the field of contact lenses will be explored: instrumentation that can be utilised to assess the performance of advanced contact lens designs; lens availability and fitting approaches for complex cases; the potential application and evidence for effectiveness of contact lenses in the control of refractive error; progress in the investigation and management of contact lens related discomfort and dryness. The topics will be introduced via online lectures with units relating to a topic area introduced every two weeks. Lectures, supporting materials and relevant peer reviewed literature will be available on or accessed via the module virtual learning environment (VLE) site. Students will be expected to engage with fellow students and the module leader via the VLE discussion forums. Students will be expected to independently critically analyse the most recent and relevant peer reviewed literature leading to formulation of an evidence base applicable to contemporary contact lens practice and develop strategies to integrate this into their own practice. Ideally, they should be actively participating in contact lens practice in their workplace.
  • Low Vision
    This module introduces the students to functional anatomy and physiology in man. A knowledge base and appropriate terminology to study human anatomy and physiology at a macroscopic, microscopic and biochemical level is provided. Throughout the module, the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms is discussed, the perturbations of which underlie dysfunction and disease. A brief overview of cell biology (covered in more detail in Foundations of Cell Biology) is followed by an introduction to histology, which emphasises the importance of tissue design in relation to its role. The anatomy and physiology of the following organs and systems are then discussed in detail: the brain, nervous system and the special senses, the heart and cardiovascular physiology, the respiratory system and the lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. The module has a large component of practical work, which reinforces the concepts discussed in the lectures. Both anatomy- and physiology-based practicals are carried out, which develop practical skills in class, and are then assessed in coursework. The module introduces concepts that have a strong medical bias, focussing on the maintenance of health.

Year three, core modules

  • Major Project (online)
    This module introduces the students to functional anatomy and physiology in man. A knowledge base and appropriate terminology to study human anatomy and physiology at a macroscopic, microscopic and biochemical level is provided. Throughout the module, the concepts of homeostasis, set points and feedback mechanisms is discussed, the perturbations of which underlie dysfunction and disease. A brief overview of cell biology (covered in more detail in Foundations of Cell Biology) is followed by an introduction to histology, which emphasises the importance of tissue design in relation to its role. The anatomy and physiology of the following organs and systems are then discussed in detail: the brain, nervous system and the special senses, the heart and cardiovascular physiology, the respiratory system and the lymphatic and immune systems. There will also be an introduction to haematology. The module has a large component of practical work, which reinforces the concepts discussed in the lectures. Both anatomy- and physiology-based practicals are carried out, which develop practical skills in class, and are then assessed in coursework. The module introduces concepts that have a strong medical bias, focussing on the maintenance of health.

Assessment

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our Virtual Learning Environment.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

Distance Learning, 2016/17 (total cost)

£6,250

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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support
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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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The minimum qualification needed for admission to an Anglia Ruskin postgraduate award is one of the following:
  • a UK honours degree in optometry
  • an academic qualification or professional qualification approved by the University senate as being equivalent to a UK honours degree in optometry
  • extensive, relevant practical experience with or without other qualifications that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to an honours degree in optometry.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language either through an approved course (eg, being taught or examined through the medium of English) or IELTS score of 6.5 (overall) or TOEFL 600 (standard score) or 250 (computer score).

Please note: this course is a non-registerable degree.

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