Theory of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists - Online

Ulster University - Belfast

Theory of Independent Prescribing for Optometrists - Online

Learn to increase your scope of practice, and manage and treat a wider range of ocular conditions.

This programme complements and extends our current General Optical Council-approved BSc (Hons) Optometry course, which has been producing high-quality graduates for over 20 years. Designed in collaboration with ophthalmologists, pharmacists, and independent prescribing optometrists, the course consists of two 30-credit modules: Principles of Pharmacology and Prescribing; and Assessment, Management and Treatment of Ocular Conditions.

Each module will comprise 12 online lectures supplemented with additional reading, structured discussion boards and assessment. The second module will be supplemented by a face-to-face teaching session which will help to prepare you for your clinical placement and The College of Optometrists Independent Prescribing Examination (Therapeutics Common Final Assessment).

Assessment will examine both the theory and practice of prescribing, comprising a variety of methods including written assignments, multiple choice questions, Visual Identification and Management of Ophthalmic Conditions (VIMOCs), contribution to structured discussion boards, and case studies.

Work placement / study abroad
Ulster University will provide the theoretical element of the Independent Prescribing programme. It will not be involved with the Clinical Placement element of the course. Ulster will not be responsible for arranging a mentor/supervisor for the student, arranging the clinical placements or examining hospital placement logbooks.

For further information please see "Course Webpage".

Subjects taught

Year one
Principles of Pharmacology and Prescribing
Assessment, Management and Treatment of Ocular Conditions

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

A minimum of two years in clinical practice will be required before starting the clinical placement element of the therapeutic programme. Applicants (irrespective of any therapeutic prescribing qualification they may hold) must supply evidence of their prior experience in the diagnosis and management of the eye conditions for which they will be trained to prescribe. This evidence may be in the form of a letter from an employer or ophthalmologist. It is expected that practitioners will work in fields such as primary eye care and/or the hospital eye service, particularly in glaucoma clinics. The proposed application form outlines the documentation required from the applicants.

If English is not your first language this course requires a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

Visit for more details.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students.

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink").


This is a Distance Learning course and students access learning material via a virtual learning environment. 'eLearning' is an excellent route for postgraduate learning as it gives unique flexibility and ownership of how and when you learn. It is a different experience from traditional face to face learning and is especially suited to adults who like to learn independently and are self-motivated. This course has been specifically designed with the elearner in mind, so learning material is appropriately displayed and students are encouraged to participate in discussion boards, and to contribute to online chats and are given regular small tasks to complete so learning is broken down into manageable segments.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2024

Post Course Info

Career options
This qualification will allow the Optometrist to increase their scope of practice and manage and treat a wider range of ocular conditions.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Certificate at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider