Five essential subject areas

Higher qualifications reflect the latest research and thinking on key topics and conditions, enabling you to provide the highest standards of patient care.

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The structure and learning methods may vary from provider to provider, but the learning outcomes and high quality standards are always the same. Higher qualifications are currently available in:

  • Contact lens practice - suitable for optometrists selecting and fitting contact lenses for common eye conditions, as well as those providing complex contact lenses for refractive management, ocular surface abnormalities and disease.  
  • Glaucoma - enabling you to manage glaucoma and related conditions effectively, and participate in glaucoma clinics at varying levels of responsibility.
  • Low vision - helping you to progress from assessment and providing advice and guidance in non-complex cases, to dealing with more complex low vision cases and specialist populations and developing your skills in patient assessment and management.
  • Medical retina - enabling community and hospital-based optometrists to make accurate and appropriate clinical decisions. These qualifications will prepare you for working in photography-based diabetic retinopathy screening services and/or working under supervision in medical retina triage clinics and AMD treatment clinics. (The Professional Certificate has been mapped to the new Level Three Diploma for Health Screeners (Diabetic Eye), and successful candidates will be automatically exempt from the majority of the NHS England DESP training).
  • Paediatric eye care - increasing your knowledge of the development of vision and the eye, and common ocular conditions encountered in childhood to enable you to adapt your routine to meet the specific needs of younger patients and provide high quality paediatric eye health care in a hospital or community setting.


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