Studying Optometry in the UK
If you are interested in studying a medical profession but do not yet know what specialization you would like to pursue then you should follow many Canadians and consider studying Optometry in the UK. With several UK universities offering Optometry degrees you will find a university across Britain and Northern Ireland that suits your needs.
SI-UK knows which universities offer accredited courses, what their requirements and fees are and can help you to apply to these universities. Speak to an SI-UK specialist for a free consultation to discuss your academic options.
What is an Optometrist?
An Optometrist or Doctor of Optometry is a health professional who is trained to examine, diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and disorders of the eyes and visual system.
A detailed examination of the eye can reveal conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Optometrists make a health assessment, offer clinical advice and, when necessary, prescribe glasses or contact lenses. In addition, optometrists can dispense, fit, and supply glasses or contact lenses.
The Optometry Degree
The undergraduate BSc Optometry course is a 3-year degree (some universities offer a 4-year integrated Masters degree).
To become an optometrist, graduates of Optometry BSc programmes must undertake a pre-registration year of supervised, paid practice in either a registered optometric practice or in a hospital. During this year graduates are continually assessed and take professional examinations which lead to membership in the College of Optometrists and registration with the General Optical Council (GOC) as a registered optometrist.
In order to enter the pre-registration year, graduates must have a first or second-class degree in Optometry and have completed the Core Competency requirements stipulated by the GOC.
Returning to Practise in Canada
To practise as an Optometrist in Canada following completion of a UK optometry degree, you will need to go through the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC)'s specific process. You can find more information about this process and FORAC's requirements on the FORAC website (requirements subject to change).
You will likely need to undertake a bridging programme at a university in Canada before you can practice in Canada with a UK degree. We strongly recommend that you investigate the possibility of returning to practice in Canada before applying to an optometry course in the UK. Speak to an SI-UK consultant to learn which universities have accredited Optometry degrees.
Students can apply to study for the BSc Optometry degree from High School and Canadian applicants would normally be required to achieve a minimum of 80% in 2 subjects and 75% in at least 4 subjects in their Secondary School Diploma level 12. Speak to an SI-UK consultant to learn whether your grades will be sufficient to apply for an Optometry degree to a UK university.
Cost of degree and Scholarships
BSc Optometry and MSc Optometry tuition fees - approximately £15,300 per year* (fees are current for September 2022 intake).
*Fees increase annually with inflation.
Many Optometry universities will have scholarships on offer, speak to an SI-UK consultant to learn which universities offer scholarships and what the scholarship amounts are.
Any questions about Studying Optometry?
If you have any additional questions you can read our Optometry FAQ page or you can reach out to your SI-UK consultant who can help answer any questions that you have about studying Optometry in the UK.