School of Health Professions

MOptom (Hons) Optometry with Integrated Foundation Year

Do you want to pursue an exciting career as an eye-care professional? Here at Plymouth you will benefit from a forward-thinking clinically focused degree. Our course allows you to engage in the industry while equipping you with the core clinical skills, professional training and confidence required for a successful career as a registered optometrist.

Careers with this subject

Optometrists are trained to detect defects in vision, signs of injury or abnormalities and ocular disease, through undertaking eye examinations. They help to identify problems with general health, to make a difference to people with sight loss or visual impairment.
During eye examinations they assess ocular health and prescribe spectacles, contact lenses or low vision aids, where appropriate. Optometrists offer clinical advice to help manage and treat certain eye conditions. They interact with other clinicians within the optometry field, such as ophthalmologists and orthoptists, and work in close-knit teams. They are key in referring patients to other healthcare professionals when further treatment is required.
Eye conditions that optometrists may work with:
  • short and far sightedness (myopia and hyperopia)
  • astigmatism
  • glaucoma
  • cataract
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • retinitis pigmentosa
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • stroke.
Within the optometry profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • multiple chain or community practices
  • hospitals
  • visiting patients at home
  • specialist optometry roles
  • industry
  • education and academia
  • research
  • leadership roles
  • voluntary roles.

Key features

  • Become part of a pioneering clinical degree programme – the first to bring optometry to the South West.
  • Develop your clinical and communication skills while working with real patients at our Centre for Eyecare Excellence (CEE) optometry practice throughout your third year.
  • See your studies in a real-world context, with regional practice placements during Years 1, 2 and 4 and a hospital placement in Year 3.
  • Explore the theory side of the course at InterCity Place (new from 2023) with brand new clinical facilities, equipment and learning spaces.
  • Join a close-knit team of staff and students and benefit from an open, supportive environment.
  • Boost your employability through learning in a way that’s based on solving problems, working together and communicating well with others.
  • Graduate with the scientific and clinical knowledge, as well as the professional training, required by the General Optical Council (GOC) to practise as an optometrist.
  • To complement your formal learning we offer regular PALS sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Course details

  • Year 0

  • Our Integrated foundation course prepares you for the undergraduate degree in MOptom (Hons) Optometry. Taught by University lecturers on campus, you’ll be part of the University from day one. If your current qualifications don’t allow you direct entry to degree level, this course is for you. Students completing the MOptom (Hons) Optometry with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of the MOptom (Hons) Optometry course.

    Core modules

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

    • Learning Skills for Health and Social Care Professions (SOHP001)

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the learning environment of higher education by developing an independent, reflective and managed approach to learning and professional development.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

MOptom Hons with Integrated Foundation Year Programme Specification 24 25 7770

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

80 - 96

Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:  
  • English (Consideration may be given to equivalent literacy qualifications)
  • Mathematics (Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics)
  • Science 
Students not achieving mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 on application may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications or experience as outlined below: 
A level
Typical offer 88 points from a minimum of 2 A-levels including grade C in a Science subject. Excluding General Studies.
Applications from students with non-standard qualifications, including those without science qualifications at level 3, are welcomed and are assessed on an individual basis. This course is also suitable for those returning to study who can offer work or other related experience in place of formal qualifications and who have the equivalent of basic mathematical, English and science skills (i.e. the equivalent of a grade C/4 at GCSE level).
International Baccalaureate
25 overall to include 3 at Higher Level science subject. English and mathematics must be included.
MMP in a science related subject.
T level
Accepted, a minimum of a Pass (C or above in the Core) preference pathways would be Health or Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
Pass an Access to HE Diploma (e.g science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing) with at least 33 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction.
Other qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Interview may be required, please refer to institution for individual consideration.
English language
We are aware of the various education systems throughout the world and make offers based on equivalent qualifications to those listed in our entry requirements. You should be able to possess the ability to study in the English language and be familiar with this in a scientific context. To that end, we ask for a minimum IELTS score; of at least 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each section. English language requirements
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Extended entry requirements
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.
Further information

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A £9,250
International N/A £18,100
Part time (Home) N/A £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.
NHS bursaries are available from stage 1 of MOptom (Hons) Optometry, for more information please see the MOptom (Hons) Optometry course page.

Additional costs

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases, students will stay away from home for the duration of that placement. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to their chosen course of study.
It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.
Despite these costs, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.
Further information
More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are included in Faculty of Health additional costs

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2024 for entry in September 2024. 
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email
Optometry clinical equipment and techniques


Whether you decide to work in high street practices, alongside other healthcare professionals in hospitals or make your mark in vision science research, throughout your degree we’ll help you plan for a successful career.


We introduce you to working with patients and encourage you to start thinking like a healthcare professional right from the start. Practice placements in the first, second and fourth year and hospital experience in the third and fourth year provide you with the exciting opportunity to engage with your future profession and put your learning into a real world context. This combined with the fantastic hands-on clinical experience you gain at our state of the art Centre for Eyecare Excellence (CEE) throughout the third year of the programme, helps to ensure that you graduate with the clinical ability and confidence required to be a successful clinician, capable of thriving within the evolving and expanding world of optometry. 

The moment I realised... I wanted to be an optometrist

Jumanah Akhtar's experiences in her first year of Optometry made her certain of the career path she wanted to follow.
“I first felt like I was becoming an optometrist when I was performing pre-screening tests during my placement near the beginning of my first year.”
Jumanah Akhtar optometry student



Vision is responsible for more than 80 per cent of input to the brain, so our research encompasses how we see, what we see, and in turn how these processes affect other parts of the body and mind.
Our lecturers are working to make a difference for patients with a range of eye health problems and visual impairments.
Eye and vision, eye test.
PALS training session with current student leaders

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