Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type
Optometry patient fitting a contact lense

Optometry BSc

Take your first step towards becoming an optometrist, a healthcare professional specialising in eye care.

Optometry Overview

Year of entry: 2017

View tabs | View full page


Why is this course for me?

  • Study in our outstanding optometry facilities, which have recently had £4 million of refurbishment.
  • Gain clinical experience at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, one of the largest eye teaching hospitals in Europe.
  • Take the option to study for our MSci in Optometry, which incorporates the pre-registration year into your degree.
UCAS course code
UCAS institution code
Degree awarded
BSc (Hons)
3 years
Typical A level offer
Grades AAB.

Full entry requirements

Typical International Baccalaureate offer
35 points overall including 6 in two science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Mathematics) at Higher Level.

Full entry requirements

Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0)161 275 2411
How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

We do not recommend that you apply for both the BSc Optometry and the MSci Optom course as applications for these courses are considered together. Students cover the same course units for the first two years of both these courses and only exceptional students are invited to continue on the second two years of the MSci Optom.

“The thing that I most value about Optometry at The University of Manchester is that we are given the opportunity to see real life patients. We begin to see patients in the second semester of the first year. This allows us to become comfortable working with patients from very early on and prepares us for work after graduation.”

Aashni Amin

Course description

Optometrists work in high street practice or hospital eye clinics, where they prescribe and dispense spectacles, contact lenses, and low vision aids, treat problems with binocular vision, and increasingly work alongside ophthalmologists to monitor the treatment of ocular disease.

Until recently, the optometrist's formal responsibility was to recognise and refer abnormality, stopping short of diagnosis and management. In the last few years, however, there has been a steady increase in optometrists being involved in the primary care of patients with diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma. This has given rise to more emphasis on the study and management of these conditions.

Optometry is regulated in the UK by the General Optical Council, and you will need to be registered by them to practice. This involves a three-year BSc degree followed by a pre-registration period of one year in a hospital or high street practice during which your clinical skills will be examined. 

Alternatively, you can register directly following the four-year Master of Optometry degree , which is unique to The University of Manchester.

Through our course, you will discover the scientific principles that underpin optometry, including the properties of light, the anatomy of the eye and the processing of vision in the brain.

You will learn about ophthalmic appliances, such as lenses, and instrumentation, such as retinoscopes. You will also be introduced to general eye examination techniques and start to meet patients in your second semester. 

In your second year, you will further develop your knowledge of ophthalmic appliances and optometric instrumentation, and discover a broad range of new topics, including human disease processes, pharmacology, contact lens practice and binocular vision.

You will develop your clinical skills so that, by the end of the year, under supervision, you will have the competence and confidence to examine members of the public.

In addition, you will spend one week full-time at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital during your summer vacation, gaining a wealth of practical clinical experience in all hospital departments. This is a unique element of our degree courses and is not offered at any other UK university.

If you wish to proceed to the MSci Optom course at the end of Year 2 and are selected based on good academic performance and communication skills, you embark on the final two years, which include a year of practical experience in both private practice and at an eye hospital, plus an advanced project and lecture courses.

Otherwise, you take Year 3 of the BSc, including further lectures on clinical subjects and pharmacology, extensive experience in the clinics, time at hospital, and a dissertation.

Open days

The University runs several open days per year.

Open days

We also operate accommodation tours of our Fallowfield Halls of Residence every Wednesday morning between October and March, which last about 45 minutes. These are with a student ambassador who can tell you all about life at The University of Manchester. For more information and to book a place visit our webpage or contact for more information.


Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2017 will be approximately £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £21,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate student finance pages.

Additional expenses

The General Optical Council student registration fee is currently £20 (renewable each year). At the beginning of your first year, we provide you with a lab coat and suggest you buy a trial frame (up to £300). By the end of your second year, you are encouraged to purchase your own ophthalmoscope and retinoscope, which can cost between £800 and £1000.