Ophthalmics is concerned with the study of the medical branch of ophthalmology and deals with physiology, anatomy and any illnesses or diseases that may affect the eye. The study also includes performing operations or surgeries on the eyes. Many diseases are diagnosed through the study and practice of ophthalmics and help to counteract or deter diseases that affect the eyes only, such as cataracts, glaucoma and blindness.
Each institution will ask for varying university entry requirements from their prospective candidates, although most of them will prefer students to hold more than 180 UCAS tariff points. As Ophthalmics is a branch of medicine, the entry requirements will be set higher than other vocational degree subjects.
Students are advised to check with their chosen universities to ensure they understand what to achieve prior to applying.
Studying Ophthalmics offers students great insight into the study of the eyes, physiology and anatomy. Candidates will learn about lenses, biology, mathematics for science, vision management and assessment and optics of the eye, as well as dispensing and contact lenses.
There are a variety of degrees to study if an individual is interested in entering this subject area, with Bachelors of Science degrees including, health and veterinary studies (orthoptics), professional practice and orthoptics or even an ophthalmic dispensing degree.
Students will learn through taught and practical elements throughout their degree, with a balance of teaching methods through lectures, seminars and tutorials, and practical work from clinic work where they will be able to test out their knowledge that they have gained in the classroom.
Each university course will differ slightly in modules and teaching methods than one similar at a different institution, although all of them will provide students with the skills and knowledge to be able to practice in this branch of medicine, so it’s important when choosing the right university for the student’s individual needs.
Degree courses in this area tend to assess individuals in an array of ways, from coursework and presentations to group works and semester examinations. Furthermore, there will be plenty of opportunities for candidates to discuss issues and topics with their classmates and lecturers, as well as gain feedback from practical experience in clinical work.
Individuals who study optometry and/or ophthalmic will develop subject-related skills, including, recognition, diagnosis, detection, prevention and management of diseases and conditions affecting the eye and the surrounding area. Students will develop an understanding of the scientific principles of eye care, and tend to work in specialist opticians, retail stores, researchers or hospitals.
Students will gain transferable skills such as; numeracy, IT, problem-solving, communication and critical evaluation. Also, those who choose to attend university tend to gain skills in time management and organisation from working on deadlines, and social skills from working with classmates on group projects and presentations.
This degree course is ideal for candidates who would like to train as an optician, while also gaining the opportunity to gain practical working experience. Ophthalmics graduates have incredible employment prospects and the chance to be a part of a rewarding career.
After graduation, most ophthalmics graduates continue to pre-registration training for a year, before taking final exams and being able to register and practice as an optometrist. After this, salaries increase, depending on whether candidates choose to enter the National Health Service, high street opticians or into private practice.
This subject area teaches individuals transferable skills, such as research, communication, and rare medical knowledge, combined with the skills, discipline and working with people – which are highly sought after by companies and organisations.
Particular job areas which will be of interest to ophthalmics graduates include; optician, GP, optometrist, orthoptist, hospital doctor or ophthalmologist. There are also graduate schemes available, such as from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
There is an array of Master’s degrees available, both Masters of Arts (MA) and Masters of Science (MSc) degrees available for those who wish to continue with their studies and gain a postgraduate qualification. Candidates can gain an MA, or MSc in clinical ophthalmology, diabetes and the eye, vision research, vision and strabismus, ophthalmic and glaucoma studies.
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