OPT024: Ophthalmic Public Health

More than half of visual impairment in older people in the UK is caused by conditions that can be treated, such as refractive error and cataract.

Those who lose their sight have an increased risk of falls and depression and reduced quality of life and life expectancy. Due to the aging population, sight loss is set to double by the year 2050. Hence, visual impairment is a major public health challenge.

Optometrists play a vital role in detection and management of many of the blinding eye diseases. Therefore, it is important for optometrists to engage in planning of eye health services locally and nationally. This module aims to provide optometrists with the basic knowledge and skills required in participating in eye health programmes which aim to reduce the burden of blindness and sight loss.

Start DateDurationCreditsPre-requisitesModule TutorsModule Code
September 201620 contact hours over one academic term10 CreditsNoneNita OdedraOPT024

 Complements: OPT016, OPT020, OPT013, OPT008.

  • To have a basic understanding of public health and understand its role in eye health & prevention of blindness
  • To be aware of the tools used in assessing and planning public health programmes
  • To be able to engage & communicate with other public health professionals.

The course will be a taught course via distance learning consisting of PowerPoint with audio lectures through Central Learning, the University's virtual learning environment.

There will be a practical day at WOPEC towards the end of the module. Supporting learning material and references will be provided. This module consists of 7 lectures and will take one academic term to complete.

  • Basic concepts of Public Health & Epidemiology
  • Epidemiology of eye diseases
  • Ageing and eye health
  • Lifestyle & eye health
  • Preventative Strategies
  • Screening in Eye care
  • Eye health promotion

Written coursework (40%)

Students will be required to submit two pieces of written coursework & one group assessment.

Practical session (20%)

This will consist of a group work assessment during a contact day in Cardiff. This session is mandatory.

Online Examination (40%)

There is a MCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series for final assessment.

Academic skills

  • The interpretation of data
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning
  • The ability to critically analyse research

Subject specific skills

  • Understanding of basic concepts in public health
  • Understanding of main causes of blindness & visual impairment
  • Develop the ability of apply population health sciences principles to eye health in order to reduce the burden of blindness & visual impairment in your community

Generic skills

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Problem solving