Skip to main content

OPT001: Low Vision 1 - Theory

This module aims to equip you with the comprehensive theoretical knowledge to provide a high standard of low vision service. It includes the role of the multi-disciplinary team.

There is no practical component to this module.

Start dateSeptember and March
Duration20 contact hours over one academic term
Credits10 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsMarek Karas  (Leader)
Rebecca Bartlett (Leader)
Barbara Ryan
Tuition fees (2020/21)£620 - Home students
£1155  - Students from outside the EU
*Please contact us for EU fees.
Module codeOPT001

This module, along with OPT002, is accredited by The College of Optometrists for the Professional Certificate in Low Vision.

Exemptions: Practitioners in the UK may be eligible to apply for an exemption from this module and begin at OPT002 if they have completed LOCSU Low Vision within the last three years. To receive the College of Optometrists’ Professional Certificate, students must complete one written case discussion which is part of the coursework requirement of OPT001. Students who take the exemption route will therefore be required to submit this piece of coursework during their time on OPT002.

There are CET points available on completion of applicable elements of the module.

Learning objectives

On completion of the module, you should be able to:

  • critically reflect a knowledge of issues related to low vision practice
  • evaluate and apply modern key concepts of low vision rehabilitation and be able to apply them to challenges within your own environment and practice
  • address and reflect on the benefit of inter-professional teamwork in the delivery of low vision rehabilitation
  • explore, critically analyse, synthesis and evaluate evidence-based literature, guidelines and underpinning theories in low vision rehabilitation and apply this knowledge to given scenarios, demonstrating how you would determine the most appropriate solutions for a patient with sight impairment
  • present balanced and informed arguments, incorporating critical judgment and decision making in written work.

Syllabus content

  • Definitions of visual impairment and epidemiology of low vision
  • Certification and Registration
  • Affects of visual impairment on visual function, activities of everyday life and psychological well being.
  • Measuring visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and functional visual fields in low vision patients
  • Measuring contrast sensitivity, refraction and visual fields in people with low vision
  • Definition of magnification
  • How to prescribe magnification
  • Basic optics of the different types of magnifiers
  • Consideration of uses, ergonomics, dexterity, field of view, magnification ranges and spectacle requirements when prescribing magnifiers
  • Reducing glare in low vision patients
  • Aids for peripheral visual field loss
  • Making things bigger and improving contrast
  • Lighting: general lighting, task lighting
  • Sight substitution using sound and touch
  • Braille and moon
  • Computers and visual impairment, and non-optical aids
  • Liaison with other professionals and services

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via lectures (Powerpoint with audio) and Xerte tutorials, delivered via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There is an introductory webinar, and a webinar on establishing magnification. This is a distance learning only module.

Discussion boards accessed via Learning Central will provide a platform for students to discuss any questions or queries that come up throughout the term with both the course tutors and their peers.

Skills you will practise and develop

Academic skills

  • Advance your own knowledge and understanding
  • Collate and synthesise information from several resources to improve learning
  • Write concisely and clearly for the academic and clinical community
  • Interpret data

Subject-specific skills

  • To be aware of recent research in visual impairment and accepted clinical practice in the discipline
  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level
  • Develop empathy with people who have visual impairment
  • To develop the holistic approach to supporting people with visual impairment

Generic skills

  • Manage projects and time
  • Work independently
  • Use a range of IT software packages and online resources
  • Problem solve