Ophthalmic Dispensing Assistants University Certificate

Distance learning undergraduate (1 year)

Distance learning

January 2018


Take the first step on the path to a rewarding and fulfilling career with our certificate level university accredited courses (level 4).

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Full description


After completing the University Certificate, you have the option to progress to the Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing, which leads to qualification and registration as a Dispensing Optician. From there? That's up to you

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Introduction to Delegated Clinical Procedures
    We'll introduce the basic concepts required for competent performance by an Optometric Clinical Assistant or Ophthalmic Dispensing Assistant working in optometric practice. Teaching is delivered as a work-based distance-learning module across one semester with engagement with a tutor via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The module begins by describing the basic anatomy of the visual system, which is then applied to the study of common abnormal ocular conditions. The classification of ametropia is studied along with its effects on vision, and the student is introduced to common optometric procedures including objective refraction, oculomotor assessments and ophthalmoscopy. The basic principles of contact lens practice are also taught. These relate to the advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses, the designs and materials of common contact lens types, and the handling, storing and wearing of contact lenses. You'll achieve a basic knowledge of the theoretical principles of clinical optometry.
  • Further Delegated Clinical Procedures
    This module is compulsory and restricted to students on the University Certificate for Optometric Clinical Assistants course. You’ll gain the knowledge required by an Optometric Clinical Assistant working in optometric practice. It's delivered as work-based distance-learning across one semester and combines theoretical study and engagement with a tutor via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. You’ll learn techniques which relate to more specialised aspects of optometry: stereopsis, colour vision testing, visual field examination and tonometry. You’ll also gain knowledge of more advanced aspects of contact lens practice (lenses for presbyopia and astigmatism). You’ll learn about the dispensing of spectacles, including the selection of appropriate lenses and the accurate recording of spectacle lens and frame specifications. You’ll also learn the theoretical principles of advanced aspects of clinical optometry as well as a range of defined delegated clinical techniques, including spectacle dispensing. Assessment consists of a portfolio of coursework and a multiple-choice test in Week 12. The latter is the final assessment task for this module.


During our year-long course you'll spend about six hours per week taking part in tutorials and practical work with your supervisor, who must be a registered optometrist or registered dispensing optician. You'll further your knowledge with extra study in your own time and at the end of the course, your supervisor must confirm that you've gained the necessary practical skills.

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


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For employers considering this course for a group of employees, please call our Degrees at Work team on (+44) 01245 686 707 or email degreesatwork@anglia.ac.uk to discuss your specific requirements.

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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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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  • One pass at A-Level and GSCEs in Maths, English and Science, or equivalent, at grade C or above.
  • As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.
  • If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

Please note: Your work experience may also be taken into account – please contact us if you are unsure.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

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