Optometric Clinical Assistant University Certificate

Distance learning undergraduate (1 year)

Distance learning

January 2018, September 2018


Are you looking for a satisfying and rewarding career in optics? Take the first step thanks to our certificate level, university accredited courses (level 4).

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Full description


When you've achieved your qualification you'll continue to work in your practice or in the Hospital Eye Service as an optometric clinical assistant.

We have one of the highest employability rates in the higher education sector and some of our recent graduates have taken up employment with Dolland & Aitchison (D&A), Boots Opticians, Specsavers, Vision Express, Optical Express and independent practices.

When you've completed our course you'll could also decide to study our  Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing which leads to registration as a dispensing optician.

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

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Fees & funding

Course fees

Distance learning, 2017/18


How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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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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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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