College of Optometrists announces first higher qualification at The University of Manchester

  • 2 Mar 2018

The University of Manchester, together with Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH), has been accredited as a provider of the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma by the College of Optometrists.

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The course aims to prepare optometrists to participate in formal referral filtering and ocular hypertension (OHT)/suspect chronic open-angle glaucoma (COAG) monitoring schemes and will be the first higher qualification available to optometrists at the university. 

Jackie Martin, Director of Education at the College of Optometrists, said: “It’s exciting to accredit The University of Manchester/MREH with their first higher qualification, and to make a glaucoma qualification available to optometrists in the area. The College’s higher qualifications allow optometrists to take full advantage of opportunities to deliver community services and they are proving very popular. This is the tenth higher qualification in glaucoma that is available to optometrists across the UK. The courses are all designed to fit in with the lives of busy professionals, with the aim that they enable optometrists to develop professionally and progress in their careers.”

Dr Catherine Porter, Senior Lecturer in Optometry at the University of Manchester said: “I’m delighted that we have been accredited for the College’s Professional Certificate in Glaucoma. Our students will have the opportunity to undertake a mini placement at MREH in the optometrist led glaucoma clinics. The profession is well placed to extend beyond its traditional role and courses such as the Professional Certificate in Glaucoma enable optometrists to do so. We welcome applications from Optometrists, orthoptists, nurse practitioners and any other health care professionals working in an extended glaucoma role.”

The Professional Certificate in Glaucoma is part of a growing collection of higher qualifications developed by the College to enable optometrists to provide extended services in key areas such as contact lens practice, paediatrics, low vision and medical retina. Courses are undertaken on a part-time basis and are designed to fit with life in a busy practice or hospital department. 

For more details on the content of this new course please contact Catherine Porter or Patrick Gunn via email:;

For enrolment information contact:  

Find out more general information about College-accredited higher qualifications



Notes to Editors

  1. The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.
  2. The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK’s largest single-site university with more than 40,000 students – including more than 10,000 from overseas.It is consistently ranked among the world’s elite for graduate employability. The University is also one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (REF 2014). World-class research is carried out across a diverse range of fields including cancer, advanced materials, addressing global inequalities, energy and industrial biotechnology. 
  3. The Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University of Manchester comprises over 150 academic staff, just over 50 research associates/fellows and roughly 80 professional support staff. We were one of the first universities in the UK to offer a degree in pharmacy over 100 years ago and optometry has also been taught in the city for a similar time period. There are commonalities between the two regulated professions which are being explored and exploited in our teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. There is scope for expanding the roles of both optometrists and pharmacists and we are ideally placed to push forward in Manchester and take advantage of the devolved health and social care budget linking in with our local professional groups. 
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