We are facilitating detection, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of vision disorders through innovative research.

We are improving eye care and education for children with Down's syndrome, working with leading space engineers to detect earliest stages of age-related macular degeneration, undertaking cutting-edge research to understand corneal transparency and development, and investigating the molecular basis for diseases such as cataracts.

Optometry researcher

Our research is focussed around four themes:

Our research falls into two types of activity:

  • Fundamental lab-based scientific experimentation on the eye and visual system
  • Clinical patient-based research

Fundamental lab-based scientific experimentation on the eye and visual system

We are studying new investigative technologies and machines for recording visual function to improve the detection of visual problems and to enhance the quality of life for those with visual defects.

Our lab-based research is mainly in the fields of structural biology, cell biology (including cell culture), and neurosciences. A significant portion involves light and electron microscopy.

Clinical patient-based research

Our academics work with volunteers focusing on visual performance including electrophysiological, neurological, behavioural and societal influences on vision. We also work with in-patients to research pathogenesis of eye disease.


Our academics work with researchers from other Schools within the University as well with other businesses and institutions such as Bristol University and the GW4 (Great Western 4) Alliance, which encompasses the universities of Bath and Exeter. This includes working with other academics at the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair where researchers are investigating corneal transparency, repair and tissue engineering, and the regulation of angiogenesis. We are also very active on the international stage, and collaborate with leading universities in mainland Europe, India, the USA and Japan.

Research Quality

In 2008 Over 40% of our research outputs were rated as 'internationally excellent' or better in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. This resulted in our research being ranked the top School of Optometry in the UK for the percentage of 4* and 3* research.

In the recent 2014 REF (Research Excellance Framework) the School of Optometry & Vision Sciences was assessed as part of the 'Allied Health' unit of assessment, which was ranked 4th in the UK with an environmental ranking of 100%, and with 90% of researched deemed "outstanding" in terms of its impact.

Postgraduate Research

Our postgraduate research programme provides opportunities for students to gain experience working with world-renowned research leaders, their teams and their collaborators, and hopefully gain the skills necessary to pursue an academic career on completion.