Primary Care Ophthalmology (MSc - Online Learning) The University of Edinburgh
This programme provides an opportunity if you are a postgraduate or health professional working in secondary and primary care, including in the following roles:
- dispensing optician
- ophthalmic nurse
- other ophthalmic allied health professionals
This programme is also highly relevant if you are a medical or surgical trainee entering speciality training in ophthalmology, or if you are a general medical practitioner with a special interest in ophthalmology.
The programme is designed to be completed alongside an ophthalmic clinical post.
The MSc supports learning for achievement of the outcomes of the UK’s Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) programme which is based on the Ophthalmic Common Clinical Competency Framework (OCCCF), developed by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in collaboration with the:
- College of Optometrists
- Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
- British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS)
- Association of Health Professions in Ophthalmology (AHPO)
This degree is aligned with the curricula of the:
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd)
- Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth)
This supports learning for their membership and fellowship examinations, making the programme very attractive to domestic and international students.
These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.
An accredited medical degree (MBChB or equivalent), or a UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent, in optometry, orthoptics, dispensing optics, ophthalmic nursing or biomedical sciences.
We will also consider your application if you have 3-5 years of relevant work experience or professional qualifications, such as RGN, with appropriate clinical experience.
Students from China
This degree is Band D.
English language requirements
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
- PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.
Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
Degrees taught and assessed in English
We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English-speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration.
We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English-speaking countries.
If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.
Delivered through an online learning environment, this programme runs on a semester basis over three years and involves approximately 10-15 hours of study each week in a flexible, modular manner. All modules are compulsory and are taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach and involve participation in discussion boards and reflective portfolios.
Students accumulate credits by completing a series of modules leading to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Science degree. The minimum time for completion of the full Master's programme is three years, and the maximum time for completion is six years.
At the certificate and diploma levels, students must attend an end-of-year examination, held in Edinburgh for UK-based students or with a pre-approved partner institution for international students.
Year 1: Certificate
- Basic Ophthalmic Science: Anatomy, Pathology, Physiology of the Ocular Structures
- Basic Examination & Investigation Techniques
- Basic Glaucoma
- Basic Macular Disease
- Basic Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
- eTriage and Referral Refinement
Year 2: Diploma
- Advanced Ophthalmic Science: Anatomy, Pathology, Physiology of the Ocular Structures
- Advanced Examination & Investigation Techniques
- Advanced Glaucoma
- Advanced Macular Disease
- Advanced Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
- Advanced eTriage and Referral Refinement
Year 3: Masters
The final year involves a supervised master's research project, which will be undertaken on an approved topic that reflects your subspecialty interest and will require the submission of a written project report.
Why study an MSc in Primary Care Ophthalmology
This programme is designed for you if you wish to enhance your knowledge with particular regard to diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease as you take on an increasingly expanding role in the management of eye disease as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.
Students come from different health backgrounds, including:
- ophthalmic nurses
- other ophthalmic allied health professionals
- ophthalmology trainees/residents/registrars
This programme may also be of interest if you are a medical or surgical trainee and aspire to specialise in ophthalmology or are a GP or GP Specialist Trainee with a Special Interest in Ophthalmology. The MSc is also relevant if you are a dispensing optician, a family medicine physician, or other eye healthcare professional seeking to advance your understanding of primary care ophthalmology and its interface with secondary care.
The degree supports your learning for professional examinations such as:
- Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd)
- Fellowship of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth)
The award of MSc will highlight your commitment to continuing professional development in your chosen career and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for clinical positions.
The MSc will also help prepare you for an academic or research career.
How the University of Edinburgh can support you
We are committed to helping you to develop skills and attributes that will enhance your ability to compete in the job market, to progress your career, and to achieve your full potential within the global community. In addition to the provision of dedicated support through our award-winning Careers Service, we broker strategic partnerships between academics, industry specialists and other institutions, to enhance your personal and professional development and provide relevant career insights.
Our graduates are ranked 24th in the world by employers, making the University an excellent choice for a postgraduate education with prospects (QS World University Rankings 2023).