Optometry - Initial Year for Extended Degree in Science

Start Date: 06 September 2021
Duration: 1 Year
Attendance: Full Time
Suitable for: Adults
Location: Centre for Applied Sciences, Angel

Not sure which level is right for you?

Find out more about the courses and levels offered at City and Islington College


Course code: B511 - Institution code: H36

This course integrates theory, research and practice throughout, supporting progression to the University of Hertfordshire’s MOptom, subject to fulfilling certain requirements. You will undertake practice placements, giving you valuable exposure to clinical practice, facilitating the integration of scientific knowledge, evidence and practice, and enabling you to put theory into practice. 

The course comprises human biology, mathematics, problem solving skills, professional conduct and evidence practice. In addition, further modules include an introduction to the theory and practice of subjects and skills relating to optometry and ophthalmic dispensing, including visual optics, optics and ophthalmic lenses.

All teaching on the course takes place at City and Islington College, enabling you to benefit from our expertise in the field of optics and providing access to optics laboratories and a range of specialist equipment and resources.

Our teachers are currently planning for the safest ways to deliver this course from September. We have been delivering all of our courses online since the outbreak of Coronavirus in March 2020, and we are fully equipped to continue this for as long as is necessary. 

We are planning to deliver the course in a mixed format - blending online lessons with face-to-face teaching – as and when we feel that, on the basis of Government advice and our own risk assessments, it is safe to do so. We’ll continue to review our plans and keep you updated on changes as your course progresses.

For this course, our plans for a flexible, mixed format mean that:

  • 75% of this course will be delivered online, with 25% taking place face-to-face onsite
  • Theory sessions (lectures) will be delivered online, by our expert lecturers
  • Group work will continue in online form, allowing you to collaborate with your peers, support each other and produce work together using relevant digital platforms
  • Laboratory and practical activities will happen face-to-face onsite, in a carefully controlled environment to keep you safe (special arrangements will also be made for students in circumstances that don’t allow them to attend onsite)
  • Tutorials and one-to-ones will be delivered online, providing you with a high level of support and the opportunity to work with your tutor
  • You will have access to relevant library services and the digital resources and platforms you need to participate successfully in your course

Further details will be available in August - if you have already been made an offer, you will receive further information in the lead up to enrolment


Compulsory Modules

  • Academic Skills
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Mathematics for Optics
  • Ophthalmic Lenses
  • Geometrical Optics 
  • Ophthalmic Dispensing
  • Professional Development


Teaching comprises a combination of lectures, exercise classes and practical classes, supported by computer-assisted and self-directed study. This approach promotes student involvement, utilising a broad mix of progressive approaches. 

During lectures, you will explore the theory element of the module. You will then complete exam-style questions based on this theory in the exercise classes. The practical classes will allow you to put theory into practice, in correlation with the requirements of your ophthalmic dispensing work placement. You will also be encouraged to attend talks by external speakers from industry.

With small class sizes, you’ll enjoy quality contact time with lecturers, and the attention and support when you need it. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. Contact time varies between modules, but typically comprises of around 2-3 hours contact per week for each module.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library and HE hubs.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning hours, and assessment activity plus field trips (where relevant), with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours. Your actual contact hours may depend on the course you study. An indication of how much time allocated to different activities is included within course specification.


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes academics, professional practitioners with industry experience and technical officers.


You will need:

  • Five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, including English Language, Mathematics and a Science, or equivalent
  • 88 UCAS points, including A Levels in 2 Science subjects; you must also have grade C or higher in Biology or Mathematics
  • A 2-hour group work and competency-based interview
  • An International English Language Testing system (IELTS) minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each category for all international students.
  • Satisfactory occupational health clearance and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks 


Assessment for the course takes place on a module by module basis, enabling you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for each module. 

The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Some modules may contain at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or 'summative' assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Method of assessment

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the modules that form part of your course.


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We normally aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 10 working days of hand-in.


Tuition Fees

£9,250 per year

Additional Costs

In addition to the annual tuition fees, there may be additional costs associated with your programme including:

  • Ad hoc day trips/excursions e.g. visits to employers or exhibitions. Students may incur additional travel costs and on some occasions, entrance fees


Following successful completion of the Initial Year Optometry, you may progress onto Year 1 of the MOptom programme at the University of Hertfordshire, subject to achieving an average pass of 75%, with no less than 50% in each constituent module, and completion of a successful interview. In addition, progression to the University’s MOptom programme requires satisfactory Occupational Health clearance and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

If you do not achieve the required pass grade to progress onto the MOptom, you will have the opportunity to progress onto alternative programmes at the University of Hertfordshire within the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics and the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Centre for Business, Arts
and Technology
444 Camden Road
N7 0SP
Map & Information
Sixth Form College
283-309 Goswell Road
Map & Information
Centre for Lifelong Learning
28-42 Blackstock Road
Finsbury Park
N4 2DG
Map & Information
Centre for Applied Sciences
311-321 Goswell Road
Map & Information
020 7700 9200