Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Application process: Optometry (BSc) (3 years)

Some applicants find the interview for our three-year Optometry course daunting. We've tried to make the interview process as clear and transparent as possible through this step-by-step guide to what we are looking for in successful applicants.

How to apply

All applications for entry to undergraduate study in the UK must be directed through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

UCAS application forms can be obtained from schools or directly from UCAS. This should be done nine to 12 months before intending to start the course (21 to 24 months in the case of gap year students).

Please refer to the UCAS website for further information on key dates and the application process.

How your application is considered

We will review your entire UCAS application to determine whether you have satisfied the criteria for interview selection.

For applicants based in the UK, Republic of Ireland and the Channel Islands, the interview will be held at The University of Manchester.

For applicants residing outside the UK (international and EU), this may involve a Skype/Zoom interview.

As a general rule, applicants who are given the opportunity to attend an interview will have:

  • a good set of GCSE grades, with Grade 5 in Mathematics and English Language;
  • predicted A-levels at a minimum of ABB (or equivalent qualifications). The Grade A must be in a science subject;
  • a well-written personal statement that confirms your interest in studying optometry;
  • a supportive academic reference.

We receive approximately 1,100 applications each academic year and hold 7 interview dates per session from November to March. Skype/Zoom interviews will be arranged on an ad hoc basis.

All offers are based on a combination of predicted/achieved A-levels (or equivalent), personal statement, reference and interview assessment.

Candidates whose primary choice of course is Medicine or Dentistry

Because of the high volume of applications we receive, we will not consider those applicants who choose Optometry as a second option and whose personal statement is geared towards a different discipline.

However, if you find at a later stage that you have not been made an offer for Medicine/Dentistry, please contact our admissions team for advice by emailing

About the personal statement

Your personal statement offers an opportunity for you to stand out from other applicants. A well-written statement that demonstrates enthusiasm and commitment to optometry will improve your chances of success.

You should include details of outside interests, work experience and any position of responsibility you have held.

Please note: we have a zero tolerance policy on plagiarised personal statements. Any statements that are flagged by the UCAS Similarity Detection Service will be automatically rejected.

About the interview

Because of the visit day timetable, you are expected to attend the full session, which runs from 1pm to 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon and will include:

  • welcome presentation;
  • interview with an academic member of staff;
  • demonstrations and a tour of the Carys Bannister Building campus tour;

You will also have the opportunity to talk to current Year 2 students.

There is also a parallel programme organised for parents/carers that includes a tour of the campus, a presentation by an academic member of staff, and an opportunity to talk to student ambassadors.

Please note that the interview is an essential part of the application process and those who fail to attend, without prior explanation, will have their application withdrawn.

Students living a considerable distance from Manchester

If you live in the north of Scotland, in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or the Channel Isles, you will still be expected to attend the interview, but you will be offered a wide choice of interview dates as long as you apply in good time.

Students with non-standard or non A-level qualifications

We understand that not all applicants will have taken A-levels, and we may still offer an opportunity for interview to an applicant, even when a gap in their entry qualifications means their proficiency in one or more subjects has not been proven.

After the interview


While our aim is to inform applicants of our decision as soon as possible after the interview, there will be a number of cases when our decision will be delayed, and we will need to wait until ALL interviews have been completed before we are able to update UCAS Track.

In this scenario, we will inform applicants of a potential delay and the timeline of when we expect to be able to confirm our decision. All decisions are based on the assessment of your interviewer.


The overwhelming majority of unsuccessful applicants are rejected because they do not satisfy our entry requirements, but requests for reconsideration of a decision can be made.

Requests should be made via email to the Admissions Manager ( while also being supported (again via email) by the applicant's tutor/academic advisor.

Advice to applicants

Conditional Firm (CF) and Conditional Insurance (CI) choices

We have a non-academic requirement that all CF and CI applicants must fulfil. This is the completion and submission of a health questionnaire that is assessed by the University's Occupational Health Service (OHS).

The health questionnaire will be sent to you via email after you have selected Manchester as your firm or insurance choice.

Following assessment, OHS will issue your Certificate to Commence Studies and, at this point, we will confirm that you have satisfied this (non-academic) requirement.

You should choose your CF and CI choices with care. Ideally, the CF choice should be at the university where you really want to study.

However, you should be aware that if we are able to offer any leeway on the requirements for entry, this will be given to CF applicants only.