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OPT031: Glaucoma 2

This module builds on from OPT010 – Glaucoma 1, to provide training in the auxiliary techniques that are used to monitor and diagnose ocular hypertension (OHT) and suspect glaucoma.

Knowledge and skills are further enhanced to a level which will enable the optometrist to participate in community or hospital-based schemes and be capable of independently diagnosing and managing OHT combined with making a preliminary diagnosis of COAG.

The programme also develops knowledge of medical therapy in glaucoma and OHT to support the monitoring of patients with these conditions who are receiving medical treatment, covering the principles underpinning the management of these conditions.

The module aims to further develops skills in detecting a change in clinical status and decision making in patients at risk of developing glaucoma. Gonioscopy is introduced with extensive tutorials on this essential technique.

The follow-on module, OPT032: Glaucoma 3 - Advanced, completes the portfolio for glaucoma.

Start dateSeptember
Duration24 contact hours over one academic term
Credits20 credits - CET points available
PrerequisitesOPT009 (or exemption via LOCSU Glaucoma/Wales Glaucoma Referral Refinement)
Module tutorsAngela Whitaker
Module codeOPT031

Additional information: This module complements OPT032 and OPT016.

On completion of the module, the student should:

  • have the ability to perform a gonioscopic examination of the anterior chamber angle and to identify anatomical structures, accurately grading the angle width and interpret the significance of clinical findings
  • have the ability to diagnose OHT or a preliminary diagnosis of COAG through an integration of clinical observations/results of clinical findings
  • have the ability to make appropriate management decisions in a patient with OHT
  • have the ability to monitor the response to treatment in a patient with OHT and modify the management plan or refer if necessary
  • have an awareness of the contraindications of anti-glaucoma medications and an ability to detect and manage drug-induced side effects
  • have the ability to inform patients of the rationale for monitoring their conditions and an ability to explain the risk of developing glaucoma
  • have the ability to counsel patients regarding the risk of blindness associated with glaucoma, risk to family members and potential impact of the disease on lifestyle
  • be able to appreciate the relevance of IOP phasing to the diagnosis and management of OHT and glaucoma
  • be able to understand the role of contemporary imaging technologies in the diagnosis and monitoring of OHT and suspect glaucoma.

This module is taught via distance learning lectures, webinars, and supporting resources delivered via Learning Central. The first webinar soon after the start of the course will introduce the module and support students in how to use the clinical placement to develop their knowledge and experience.

There is one contact day at Cardiff University which is the practical station examination during the second semester.  Attendance is compulsory so please contact for more information if you will need advance notice to schedule your attendance.

During the module, students will have two online meetings with their university tutor for detailed case based discussion on their submitted case reports and logbook, and to monitor and support their overall progress.

Students will receive formative feedback from their university tutor at online meetings, when their extended case reports and logbook will be discussed in detail.  This will help ensure that they are evidencing the required progress towards independent clinical examination and decision making.  Students will also receive formative feedback from their clinical placement supervisors and mentors throughout their placement.

Formative case-based presentations are provided on the module website for students to work through – these are key features scenarios to help students apply their knowledge to clinical situations.

Summative assessments:

Online examination (20%): This is an MCQ style test that will assess knowledge and application across the entire syllabus.

Practical assessment (30%): Students will sit a station exam around two months before the end of the module.

Written coursework (50%): During the module, students will submit three extended case reports by specified deadlines.  If the average mark for the three case records is under 50%, the student will be permitted to submit one additional case record during the resit period which follows scheduled completion of the module.

To pass the module
The pass mark for each component is 50%. Students must pass each individual summative component to pass the module overall.

To be awarded the College’s Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma:
Students must pass the OPT031 module with a mark of at least 50% in each component, and the station exam passes must include three mandatory College competency stations. In addition to OPT031 the candidate is required to record their active involvement and experience of at least 150 cases from their clinical placement, with a prescribed case mix, including evidence of a management plan for each case.  

The logbook must demonstrate evidence-based clinical decision making by the student for a relevant range of patients as detailed in the mentor and student handbooks. The log book will be assessed by the university tutor and is zero weighted but mandatory, and must meet the standards of current evidence-based glaucoma practice for the student to pass the College’s Higher Certificate in Glaucoma.

  • Indications for treatment
  • Treatment principles and options
  • Imaging technologies in the monitoring of patients at risk of glaucoma, including HRT, OCT, GDx
  • Detecting glaucomatous damage and progression, with emphasis on the optic disc and visual field examination
  • Anti-glaucoma medication - dosage, contraindications and side effects
    Clinical governance for monitoring schemes for glaucoma suspects
  • It is assumed that the learner also recalls content from the previous modules OPT009 and OPT010

Academic skills

  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning
  • The interpretation of data.

Subject specific skills

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level.
  • The enhancement of clinical examination of disc and corneal thickness.
  • To further develop practical skills to assess and manage OHT and suspect glaucoma cases.
  • Thorough knowledge of glaucoma ocular medication.

Generic skills

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Communication skills

The College's Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma

This module is accredited for the College of Optometrist's Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma. If the student wishes to gain this certificate they must:

  1. Currently hold the College's Professional Certificate in Glaucoma (Pre-requisite)
  2. Build a portfolio of clinical experience in order to gain the Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma

Each student wishing to gain the College's Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma is required to undertake a glaucoma-related placement in a hospital eye department under the guidance of a mentor with appropriate glaucoma expertise. It is anticipated that a six month placement for 1 session per week will enable a portfolio of at least 150 cases demonstrating experience. A guidebook for students and mentors outlines the expectations of this experience.

The portfolio will be checked to ensure that a wide range of clinical scenarios have been included as well as those mandatory cases, with documentation being signed off by the mentor.

On successful completion of OPT031: Glaucoma 2 and clinical placement, the candidate will be awarded the College's Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma.

This is not a mandatory part of OPT031: Glaucoma 2 - students are welcome to study this module without the clinical placement and portfolio but they will not be awarded the College's Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma.