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OPT018: Primary Care Update - Theory

This module provides you with the opportunity to update theoretical knowledge in good, current UK optometric practice.

It is particularly suitable for those optometrists who have had a career break from general optometric practice or who have not practiced in the UK.

The practical skills to complement this module are taught in OPT019 and you will be taught the current recommended management of commonly encountered ocular pathologies, and how modern instrumentation is used in such management.

This module complements OPT019, OPT013 and OPT017.

Start dateSeptember/March
Credits10 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsBarbara Ryan
Tuition fees (2020/21)£620 - Home students
£1155  - Students from outside the EU
*Please contact us for EU fees.
Module codeOPT018

On completion of this module you should be able to:

  • critically reflect a knowledge of complex, controversial and/ or contentious issues related to primary care optometric practice
  • evaluate and apply modern key concepts of primary care optometry 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 primary eye care
  • explore, critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate evidence-based literature, guidelines and underpinning theories for common presentations in primary eye care and apply this knowledge to given scenarios, demonstrating how you would determine the most appropriate solutions for a patient accessing community optometry
  • present balanced and informed arguments, incorporating critical judgment and decision making in written work.

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 are also two webinar case discussions for guided learning.

There is no practical element to this module; the complementary skills training is found in OPT019.

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.

  • The type and structure of questions used in history and symptoms taking and adapting the clinical assessments accordingly
  • The different methods of viewing the patient’s fundus and the advantages and disadvantages of each method
  • The use of cover test in binocular vision assessment
  • The use of fixation disparity in binocular vision assessment
  • Recent thoughts on spectacle prescribing for children and adults
  • The principles of contact tonometry, its uses and why it is gaining importance in primary care practice
  • An update on glaucoma and primary care (recent NICE guidelines and their influence on primary care)
  • The presenting symptoms and signs of dry and wet AMD and its differential diagnosis
  • The difference between treatable and non-treatable AMD and the treatments currently available to patients
  • The different type of Volk lenses available and their particular uses
  • The eye in diabetes and its management in primary care and the latest treatment options
  • Cataracts, identification and management and current pathways in primary care
  • The assessment of children’s vision, including techniques to assess the refraction and accommodation status
  • Assessing the anterior chamber for signs of inflammation and assessing the anterior chamber angle

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


For formative assessment students will complete four exercises of Key Features Scenarios to test clinical reasoning, problem- solving ability and the ability to apply given knowledge. They will also have an opportunity to submit a formative case report and receive feedback.


  • Online Test (50%): There is a EMCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus.
  • Written Coursework (50%): Students will be required to submit one piece of written coursework following a discussion webinar.