Aston University

Aston University

Optometry / Ophthalmic Science

The Doctor of Optometry/ Doctor of Ophthalmic Science (previously known as the Aston "Ophthalmic Doctorate") is a unique qualification - a professional doctorate - that enables eye care professionals to enhance their knowledge, and critical awareness of current issues, and to be at the forefront of their academic discipline through taught and research elements. The Doctor of Optometry programme is aimed at practising optometrists, who will complete case records where required for taught module coursework, and will undertake a practice- based research project. The Doctor of Ophthalmic Science programme is for eye care professionals who may not be practising optometrists, e.g. medics/ orthoptists/ product designers; these students may complete scientific essays to fulfil the coursework requirements, and undertake a non-clinical research project. This degree is only available as part-time distance learning, so it is vital that the student has access to a good broadband internet connection.

Course modules

Taught modules 20 credits each, nominally equivalent to 200 hours of student learning. Modules consist of remote access lectures with electronic formative assessments and a module coursework assignment such as reflective case records, or an essay/literature review related to the module. There are two study periods per year to complete taught modules; 1st October -31st January and 1st March - 30th June. Module results are ratified at Examination Boards held shortly after the end of each study period. The research project is the major component of the doctorate, supervised by members of the Optometry Subject Group academic staff. Students will develop their research proposals based upon their own clinical interests, or may opt to select a project nominated by an Aston academic. Because this is a distance-learning programme, the research is not normally carried out on the University campus, and it is essential that the student has access to the facilities and resources needed to carry out the research, usually in the student's place of work. The research stage requires a significant long-term commitment, as it is equivalent to around 2 years of full-time work (i.e. 4 years part-time). Candidates ultimately submit a thesis which is examined in a viva voce examination.

Assessment methods

For taught modules, online lectures, available on our virtual environment whenever you chose to view them are accompanied by short tests throughout the module. Each module includes a substantial piece of coursework, e.g. a scientific literature review or portfolio of case records. The pass mark for all forms of taught module assessment is 50%. For the main element of the doctorate, the research project, candidates submit a report and undergo a qualifying report stage within one year of becoming research active. Once this stage has been passed, candidates continue their research, culminating in the submission of a thesis (up to 80, 000 words) which is examined in a viva examination by experts in the chosen field. The degree of Doctor of Optometry or Doctor of Ophthalmic Science is awarded to candidates who successfully defend their thesis.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
DOphSc Distance learning (part-time) October 2018 GBP 1,100 per Module (Home/EU) 4 Years
DOphSc Distance learning (part-time) March 2019 GBP 1,100 per Module (Home/EU) 4 Years
DOptom Distance learning (part-time) October 2018 GBP 1,100 per Module (Home/EU) 4 Years
DOptom Distance learning (part-time) March 2019 GBP 1,100 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 4 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Aston Campus Birmingham B4 7ET West Midlands

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Key information

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