Higher qualifications in glaucoma

The College’s higher qualifications in glaucoma enable optometrists to take on greater levels of responsibility in glaucoma clinics.

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Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (Prof Cert Glauc)

This higher qualification is designed to prepare you to participate in formal ‘referral refinement’ and OHT/ suspect COAG monitoring schemes.  You will develop your clinical expertise and decision-making skills with regard to managing glaucoma in clinical practice, and manage and advise your patients with confidence. 

Topics covered include: 

  • taking a comprehensive ophthalmic history of patients with diagnosed OHT or suspect COAG and appropriate diagnosis and management
  • measuring IOP using a slit-lamp mounted Goldmann applanation tonometer, and interpreting the results 
  • assessment of central corneal thickness 
  • assessing the optic nerve head by non-contact slit-lamp binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy 
  • performing and interpreting the results of the van Herick test for the assessment of anterior chamber depth 
  • informing patients and the public about glaucoma.

Learning outcomes 

Providers

University of Bradford

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists and registered allied health professionals 

Course length: Three months 

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, one day of practical  workshops 

Placement: No placement

Assessment: Written assessment (theoretical examination), practical assessment (OSCE)

Masters level credits: 20

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Cardiff University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists and registered allied health professionals 

Course length: Four months 

Course delivery: Online interactive learning, webinars and discussion boards, practical workshops including case discussions

Placement: No placement

Assessment: Written assessment inc online KFS, VRICS, MCQs and webinars, practical assessment (OSCE)

Masters level credits: 20

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City, University of London

Entry requirements: Community or hospital based optometrists 

Course length: One term

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, three practical sessions(inc workshops and lectures), three face-to-face sessions.

Placement: No placement

Assessment:  Written assessment (inc MCQ, SAQ, PMCS), practical assessment (OSCE)

Masters level credits: 15

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University of Manchester/Manchester Royal Eye Hospital

Entry requirements: Postgraduate optometrists and other eye health care professionals

Course length: Six months 

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, three practical sessions, inc workshops and lectures 

Placement: No placement

Assessment:  Written assessment (incMCQ, SAQ, PMCS, practical assessment (OSCE)

Masters level credits: 15

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Moorfields Eye Hospital/University College London

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists 

Course length: Three months 

Course delivery: Online learning and one practical day inc lectures, tutorials, and workshops.

Placement: No placement

Assessment: Written assessment, practical assessment (OSCE) and formative assessment and observation 

Masters level credits: 15

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Ulster University

Entry requirements: Postgraduate optometrists and other health care practitioners with relevant clinical glaucoma experience

Course length: Three months 

Course delivery: Online learning inc lectures and peer discussion plus self-directed study, one or two days inc tutorials and workshops. 

Placement: No placement

Assessment: Written assessment (inc MCQ, VRICS, SAQ, plus online discussion board participation), practical assessment (OSCE)

Masters level credits: 20

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Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma (Higher Cert Glauc)

This qualification is designed to prepare you for participation in community or hospital-based schemes involving the diagnosis of OHT and preliminary diagnosis of COAG. It will further develop your ability to detect change in clinical status, and subsequent decision making, as well as your management of patients with glaucoma.

Topics covered include: 

  • gonioscopic examination of the anterior chamber angle to identify anatomical structures, accurately grade the angle width and 
  • interpreting the significance of clinical findings
  • diagnosing OHT or COAG through an integration of clinical observations/results of clinical investigations 
  • making appropriate management decisions in a patient with OHT 
  • contraindications of anti-glaucoma medications and drug-induced side effects 
  • communicating with and counselling patients 

Learning outcomes

Providers 

University of Bradford

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists and other healthcare professionals who hold the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma

Course length: One term plus placement (guideline six months)

Course delivery: Online learning with course leader support, practical workshops and case based discussions, optional additional practical workshop

Placement: Placement in a hospital glaucoma clinic to gain150+ cases (recommended minimum one session per week over six months). A limited number of placements are available at Leeds teaching hospitals

Assessment: Coursework and assignments, written assessment (theoretical examination)

Masters level credits: 20

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Cardiff University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists with a Professional Certificate in Glaucoma with a minimum of four months experience of working in a glaucoma clinic

Course length: Two terms including clinical placement

Course delivery: Online lectures, webinars and discussions,  three one-to-one meetings, one practical day(inc workshops and case discussions)

Placement: Placement in a hospital glaucoma clinic to gain150+ cases (plus option to log up to 50 patients in practice within six months of course start) 

Assessment: Written assessments inc MCQ and extended case reports), practical assessment (OSCE). logbook of patient episodes from placement/practice 

Masters level credits: 20

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Moorfields Eye Hospital/University College London

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists with a Professional Certificate in Glaucoma and more than two years’ post qualification experience 

Course length: One year or six months with APL placement 

Course delivery: Online learning and self-directed study, two practical days inc lectures, workshops, tutorials and case discussions 

Placement: Placement in a hospital glaucoma clinic to gain150+ cases (recommended minimum one session per week over six months) Moorfields can provide help with arranging placements 

Assessment: Written examinations (inc MCQs and PMCS) and practical assessments (OSCEs).

Masters level credits: 30

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Professional Diploma in Glaucoma (Dip Glauc)

This course aims to prepare optometrists to provide either a community glaucoma service, or to work with a high degree of autonomy within a hospital glaucoma clinic, making appropriate evidence-based management decisions.

Topics covered include: 

  • pathogenesis of glaucomatous optic neuropathy 
  • normal tension glaucoma and secondary glaucomas 
  • monitoring and management of open angle glaucomas, primary angle closure (PAC) and primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) 
  • surgical techniques and laser therapy in the management of open and angle- closure glaucomas 
  • clinical decision making in the management of COAG, PXF glaucoma, and treated PAC/PACG 
  • clinical governance in the management of established glaucoma 

Learning outcomes

Providers

Cardiff University

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists with a Professional and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma and more than two years’ post-qualification experience 

Course length: Two terms or one academic year

Course delivery: Online lectures, three one-to-one Skype meetings, two practical daus (inc workshops and case discussions) 

Placement: Minimum of six months (one day per week) placement in a hospital glaucoma clinic (250+ cases).

Assessment: Written assessments incl coursework assignments, MCQ, practical assessment inc 
OSCE and viva, peer presentations, logbook/portfolio of 250 patient cases from placement/practice

Masters level credits: 20

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Moorfields Eye Hospital/University College London

Entry requirements: GOC-registered optometrists with a Professional and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma 

Course length: One academic year 

Course delivery: Online learning, two practical days

Placement: TBC

Assessment: Written assessments inc MCQ, PMCS, SAQ, KFS, case study assignments, practical assessments inc OSCE, peer discussion of case studies, viva, portfolio of 250 patient cases and mini-CEXs. Candidates may need to do a placement to fulfil the patient case requirement for the workbased portfolio.

Masters level credits: 30

 

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Key

KFS – key feature scenarios
MCQ - multiple choice questions
OSCE - objective structured clinical examination
PMCS - patient management case scenario
SAQ – short answer questions
VRICS - visual recognition and interpretation of clinical signs

 

Case studies

 

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