Therapeutic Prescribing for Optometrists (PgCert)

This course will provide optometrists with a broad education in prescribing practice that will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance their career and contribute effectively to extended professional roles.

The specific aim of the programme is to prepare optometrists to practise as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register.

The School of Optometry will provide a supportive environment for you to advance your professional and personal development, offering high quality modules relevant to optometry that are informed by research and taught by leaders in the field.

The programme provides a flexible pathway to level 7 qualifications. It will cultivate an understanding of evidence-based practice in eye care and enable you to safely practice at the forefront of your profession to an appropriate level of competence.

Distinctive features

The course meets the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register.

Learn with one of the leading Optometry Schools in the UK, ranked 1st in the Complete University Guide 2018.

It will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance your career and contribute effectively to extended professional roles.

The involvement of research-active staff in course design and delivery.

The only ‘Therapeutic Prescribing for Optometrists’ course available in Wales.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration18 months
QualificationPgCert
ModePart-time - distance learning
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Final award title           Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic prescribing for optometrists

Teaching Institution    Cardiff University

Home School                School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Location of Study         Blended Learning

Minimum Duration        1 year 6 months

Starting Point(s)            September and March of each year

Exit Point Award           n/a

Mode of Study               Part-time Blended Learning

The Postgraduate Certificate in Therapeutic Prescribing for Optometrists consists of three taught modules of 20 credits each. The modules are taught principally using distance learning: A series of articles (on the diagnosis and management of relevant eye conditions as well as on the principles of medical prescribing), webinars in which cases are discussed and online lectures. Contact days (one session of two days per module) enable clinical hands-on workshops and face to face case discussions.

Upon completion of the third module, a clinical placement is required and the passing of a final exam set by the College of Optometrists for registration for candidates who are aiming for 'Independent Prescriber' registration (IP) with the GOC. For international candidates not wishing to register their qualification in the UK, a clinical placement is not mandatory. In line with other UK courses, the placement is not part of the University provision.

Credits accumulated in this course can be used in the future for further study towards Masters-level qualifications.

The programme will be held over 1 year and 6 months, with typically 20 credits being studied each semester. The academic semesters are defined by the entry points for the postgraduate taught programmes:

September

March

An Examining Board will be held at the end of each semester to confirm results and allow progression from one module to another where the former is pre-requisite, as appropriate. The course takes a minimum of three semesters to complete.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Ocular TherapeuticsOPT03420 credits
Practical PrescribingOPT03520 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Independent PrescribingOPT03620 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Each module offers a variety of teaching and learning methods, making extensive use of the Virtual Learning Environment and online resources. There are online lectures and online articles. Webinars enable remote case discussions. Practical face to face days allow skills workshops and face to face case discussion.

Authors and teachers include optometrists (IP), ophthalmologists, Pharmacologists, GPs, Microbiologists, Ophthalmic & clinical pharmacists.

How will I be supported?

You can enrol online, but you are required to attend an induction day in person, held at the start of the programme. This will provide the opportunity to meet other students on the course as well as the teachers. The student handbook and module catalogue offer some additional guidance.

Throughout the course Module Leaders and Tutors are available via email. They also hold regular online webinars which will allow you to interact with other students and the module leader.

A personal tutor is the first contact for any difficulties, academic or personal. As an alternative, you may contact the Director of the PGT programmes.

The Student Support Service at Cardiff University is able to help with many diverse issues should you feel unable to approach staff in OTOM.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods will be used on the programme in order to reflect the high level of decision making skills and knowledge required for advanced clinical care in optometry.

The programme utilises a combination of formative and summative assessment in all modules, where the assessment tasks are aligned with learning outcomes.

Students on this programme will be provided with an assessment guide which includes marking outlines. For case based learning, you can take self-directed formative assessment prior to taking the marked elements.

You are required to submit case records in every module. You have the opportunity to submit a formative case record to receive detailed feedback prior to submitting your summative report.  Timed, written examinations allow assessment of knowledge and skills. All modules require some participation in online discussions to optimise learning – this is particularly important to draw distance learners together and provide a support peer network, at the same time as improving communication skills.

What skills will I practise and develop?

This programme will:

Encourage initiative, self-reliance, independent learning and commitment to scholarship of the highest quality

Develop an appreciation that learning is a lifelong activity

Enhance students’ powers of inquiry, critical analysis and logical thinking

Enhance core skills in computer literacy, problem solving and communication

Further develop good communication skills

Further develop professionalism towards colleagues and patients

Exercise problem solving and IT skills

Access and utilise information form a variety of resources

Appreciate alternative viewpoints

Other information

This modular postgraduate course is designed to enable fully qualified optometrists to gain Independent Prescriber status. The course consists of three modules held over 1 year and 6 months (3 semesters). Each of the three modules carries 20 postgraduate credits. These credits count towards further postgraduate qualifications such as the Diploma and MSc in Clinical Optometry.

The specific aim of the programme is to prepare optometrists to practise as independent prescribers and to meet the standards set by the General Optical Council for entry on to the appropriate specialist therapeutic prescribing register.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Fees for entry 2018/19 are not yet available. Please get in touch if you want to be notified when they become available.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Fees for entry 2018/19 are not yet available. Please get in touch if you want to be notified when they become available.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

As the majority of the course is delivered online you will need access to a computer with high speed internet access

The University will provide all equipment which is required for the practical day training within the clinic.

Upon completion of the Certificate at Cardiff University, you will need to arrange a clinical placement as required for registration as an 'Independent Prescriber' (IP) with the GOC.

For international candidates not wishing to register their qualification in the UK, a clinical placement is not mandatory.

This placement is not part of the University course.