Medical Retina (ACO702)

Key features

This module will enable students to extend their theoretical knowledge of medical retina and develop their clinical skills to an enhanced level to support differential diagnosis, referral, management and treatment pathways.
It has been designed to allow applicants to gain recognition against the College of Optometrists Professional Certificate in Medical Retina (accreditation pending) and to support progression through the Ophthalmic Practitioner Training (OPT) framework in Medical Retina.


Module code




FHEQ Level

7 – masters degree


Blended learning approach: distance learning delivery of theoretical content, with one face-to-face clinical teaching day at the start of the module, a live webinar opportunity and one face-to-face assessment day at the end of the module.

Module details

This module will equip students with enhanced theoretical knowledge and clinical expertise in relation to medical retina conditions.
Units of study include:
  • Anatomy and Physiology relevant to medical retina conditions.
  • Clinical investigation of the medical retina patient.
  • Age-related macular degeneration.
  • Vitreoretinal disorders.
  • Further retinal disorders.
  • Diabetes and Diabetic eye disease.
  • Clinical governance, informed consent and communication.
The assessment for this module includes, written examination, clinical examination (OSCE) and a clinical portfolio with viva
Learning outcomes
  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the retina, with emphasis on the macula.
  • Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of common and acute medical retina and macular conditions including differential diagnosis, management, referral and treatment pathways.
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of diabetic screening, grading and referral criteria.
  • Demonstrate the ability to systematically and critically analyse and interpret the clinical findings recorded during the investigation of a patient with a medical retina disorder and produce accurate clinical management recommendations to meet the differing needs of a variety of medical retina patients.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform advanced clinical assessments to aid the diagnosis and monitoring of medical retina conditions.
  • Systematically organise and communicate with patients to elicit comprehensive and complex clinical information and deliver relevant and accessible advice.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.
Access to: 
  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides 
  • student card.


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Module dates

  • Start date: week commencing 19 September 2022 
  • Duration: one academic term
  • End date: 19 January 2023
Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change – always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.
Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers.
In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. 
Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.



Module lead

Entry requirements

  • Applicants will normally have a relevant first degree, BSc (Hons) at 2:1 or above; or a European first cycle equivalent. 
  • Applicants without a first degree, BSc (Hons) at 2:1 or above may be eligible to apply, if combined with appropriate practice related experience relevant to the programme and following submission of a written critical evaluation of advanced practice marked against the Level 7 criteria. 
  • Certified evidence of an appropriate level of competence in clinical examination of the eye, to include slit lamp examination of the anterior eye, slit lamp biomicroscopy assessment of the optic nerve head and retina and tonometry, will be required where applicable, and where necessary for the successful completion of a chosen clinical module.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English through an IELTS average of 6.5, overall minimum of 5.5 in each part. 
  • Due to the blended learning delivery model of this module, it is an expectation that applicants will have access to wi-fi and relevant electronic devices that allow them to engage fully with all aspects of module delivery, teaching, learning and assessment. 
  • In some cases, an interview may be required to assess individual ability to meet the requirements of this module. 

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology

This module can be studied as a standalone 20 credit option or as part of the full MSc Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology.
An innovative and flexible MSc programme supporting the postgraduate development of registered ophthalmic professionals to an advanced level of practice in Clinical Ophthalmology.
Full programme details can be found on our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice in Ophthalmology  page. 



You can contact the Professional Development Unit with any queries

Prospective student enquiries:
Phone: +44 1752 586951
Current student enquiries:
Professional Development Unit, Level 4 Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.
Monday–Thursday 8:30–17:00 and Friday 8:30–16:30.