Skip to main content

OPT016: Evidence-based Eye Care and Clinical Audit

This module will provide the skills to enable you to do a clinical audit in optometric practice including planning, implementing and reporting an audit.

Clinical audit is a frequently neglected area of activity in community practice – especially personal clinical audit.  Many practices monitor sales activity, and some monitor record keeping, but few look at anything beyond that.

This module will provide the skills to enable you to do a clinical audit in optometric practice including planning, implementing and reporting an audit. It will also cover searching the literature, understanding a research paper and summarising the evidence.

The module aims to give you an understanding of the reasons for clinical audit and research, and the differences (and overlap) between them.

There is no practical component to this module.

This module complements OPT008, OPT013, OPT021, OPT060.

Start dateSeptember
Credits16 credits
Module tutorsTrevor Warburton (Leader)
Barbara Ryan
Tuition fees (2020/21)£620 - Home students
£1155  - Students from outside the EU
*Please contact us for EU fees.
Module codeOPT016

Learning objectives

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

  • critically reflect a knowledge of complex, controversial and/ or contentious issues related to quality in UK optometry and healthcare
  • evaluate and apply modern key concepts of research and audit in optometry and health care practice and be able to apply them to challenges within your own services and/ or practice
  • explore, critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate evidence-based literature, clinical guidelines and standards in optometric practice to inform the development of an audit plan of ophthalmic care or services
  • contribute via your own audit to the development of your profession, demonstrating independence of thought through innovation
  • present balanced and informed arguments, incorporating critical judgment and decision making in written work
  • effectively reflect on and evaluate learning
  • problem solve and develop recommendations based on evidence, audit results and sound professional and clinical judgment.

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via lectures (Powerpoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There is an introductory webinar, and discussion of potential audit topics. There is also a one-day online workshop where key skills are taught and practiced, and an outline audit plan developed, with direct guidance.

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.

You will conduct your own clinical audit and there will be one online workshop day which is usually held between mid-October and mid-November.

Syllabus content

  • Conducting a literature search and critical appraisal of a chosen topic
  • Using endnote
  • Definition and history of clinical audit
  • Examples of audit in optometry
  • Audit design
  • Collection and analysis of material for audit
  • Writing up an audit
  • The audit cycle and making changes to practice highlighted by clinical audit
  • The differences and overlap between clinical audit, advanced clinical audit and purpose-designed research.
  • Ethical and legal considerations for clinical audit and research

Skills that will be practised and developed

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

Generic skills

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

How the module will be assessed

Formative assessment

Students will receive feedback on elements of their audit plan.

Summative assessment

Students will be required to undertake and audit and submit two pieces of written coursework:

  • an audit plan (30%)
  • the final audit result and write up (70%)


Postgraduate team

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences