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Overview

This three year part-time Master’s programme in Primary Care Ophthalmology, taught entirely online, is offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh and leads to the degree of Master of Science in Primary Care Ophthalmology (MSc).

Developed in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland (NES), this programme supports the optometrists’ and early career ophthalmology trainees’ acquisition of applied knowledge in the basic ophthalmic sciences, equipping them with the key academic tools to support their lifelong learning throughout their training and ophthalmic career.

This programme provided the opportunity for optometrists to enhance their knowledge with particular regard to diagnosis and treatment of ocular disease as they take on an ever expanding role in the management of eye disease as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team.  The MSc clearly signals the medical or surgical trainee’s aspiration to specialise in Ophthalmology and supports their professional accreditation by contributing to learning for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) examinations in the UK and Ireland.  The award of the MSc will highlight the student’s commitment to continuing professional development and will ensure a competitive edge when applying for optometry or ophthalmology positions.

Students will be taught by experienced tutors, all leading clinicians in their field, and will have access to a large structured learning resource of education materials, including an unparalleled online library.  Illustrative cases will cover technical skills and procedures as well as core knowledge.

This programmes aims to provide high standard, flexible learning for the next generation of optometrists and medical and surgical ophthalmologist, linking an academic degree to the fellowship examinations and to develop the student’s academic portfolio and facilitate ophthalmic research projects.
 

Eligibility Criteria

The MSc is aimed at optometrist, Family Medicine Practitioners, GPs and trainees who are entering specialty training in Ophthalmology (ST 1/2 [Specialty Training Years] in the UK or equivalent outside the UK).

Minimum entry requirement to the programme is a UK 2:1 undergraduate degree in optometry, a medical degree or its international equivalent.  Applications from health professionals involved in eye care with a 2:1 or higher result undergraduate degree in orthoptics, dispensing optics, ophthalmic nursing, biomedical sciences or international equivalents, will also be considered.

Applicants who fall below these entry requirements but who have relevant work experience (3-5 years) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Applicants from those with non-University qualifications such as RGN with appropriate clinical experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Prospective UK applicants would normally be expected to be registered with the GOC or GMC, or their regulatory equivalent and be working in a community practice or recognised hospital optometry or ophthalmology department at the time of commencing the course.

Ready to apply?

Find out how to apply and submit your application.

Programme structure

Year 1

Semester 1
September
to January
Basic Ophthalmic Sciences
10 credits
Basic Investigation & Examination Techniques
10 credits
Basic Glaucoma
10 credits
Basic Macular Disease
10 credits
Semester 2
February
to June
    Basic Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
10 credits
eTriage & Refinement Of Referral Criteria
10 credits
  Examination MCQ and EMI

Year 2

Semester 1
September
to January
Advanced Ophthalmic Sciences
10 credits
Advanced Investigation & Examination Techniques
10 credits
Advanced Glaucoma
10 credits
Advanced Macular Disease
10 credits
Semester 2
February
to June
    Advanced Acute Eye Disease & Vision Loss
10 credits
Advanced eTriage & Refinement Of Referral Criteria
10 credits
  Examination MCQ and EMI

Year 3

Assessment is via a Masters Research Project with project milestones which involve the planning, execution and development of a research paper, potentially involving clinical or laboratory research.

The phases leading up to hand-in of the Masters Research Project are outlined below.

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4
Outline Project Approval
10%
Detailed Summary Submission
20%
Formal e-Poster Presentation
20%
Masters Project Report
50%
September October March May

 

Fee information

Fees for academic year 2018/19

Students on full-time and part-time programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that annual tuition fees are subject to revision and are typically increased by approximately 5% per annum. This annual increase should be taken into account when you are applying for a programme.

Year 1: £3,835
Year 2: £3,835
Year 3: £3,835

Please see the scholarships page for full information on NHS Education for Scotland (NES) scholarships available for the MSc in Primary Care Ophthalmology. 

Programme team

Professor Baljean Dhillon

Professor Baljean Dhillon
Programme Director

BMedSci(Hons), BMBS, FRCS(Ed), FRCPS(Glasg), FRCOphth

I am Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Edinburgh and honorary ophthalmic surgeon with NHS Lothian at Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh.  I have been a Consultant Ophthalmologist since 1991 after training posts in Birmingham, Plymouth, London, Edinburgh and Singapore.

I have been involved in postgraduate training, teaching and examining for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and external assessor for examinations boards for Glasgow Caledonian University (BSc Optometry), University of Manchester (MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science) and UCL (MSc Clinical Ophthalmology).

I have supervised MSc, MD and PhD students in a range of basic science and clinical ophthalmology projects and am familiar with the challenges of gaining postgraduate education, passing professional examinations and acquiring research experience whist holding down a full-time job!  Our distance learning programmes have been designed with this in mind and allow students to enhance both their learning and professional profile ultimately for the benefit of patients with eye disease.

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Dr Roshini Sanders

Dr Roshini Sanders
Co-Director (Ophthalmology)

MBChB, DO, FRCSOphth(Ed), FRCOphth(Lond)

Roshini Sanders is currently honorary clinical senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.  She is a graduate of Glasgow University and completed her ophthalmology training in Glasgow, Dundee and London to take up a consultant ophthalmology position with special interest in glaucoma at NHS Fife's Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline.

She has an established interest in postgraduate education.  She was chair and founder member of the Scottish Glaucoma Club in 2004 and has organised the annual Scottish Glaucoma Symposium at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh since 1999.

She is also co-founding member of the annual glaucoma surgery wetlab that has taken place since 2008.  She is examiner with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians Glasgow. Her main areas of research are glaucoma, cataract and electronic communication and in 2012 she was appointed Research Speciality Lead for Ophthalmology in Scotland by the Chief Scientist Office, Edinburgh.  She currently chairs SIGN guidelines for glaucoma in Scotland.

Her pioneering work in clinical electronic communications led to the Scotland wide Eyecare Integration Project of which she is current Chair.  This project is set to electronically connect community optometry to hospital ophthalmology departments.  This enables clinical digital image transfer for referral and education purposes.  For this work she was given the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Award for Innovation in 2010 (London).
 

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Donald Cameron

Donald Cameron
Co-Director (Optometry)

BSc (Hons), FCOptom, DipCLP, DipTp (IP), FBCLA

Donald Cameron is an honorary clinical senior lecturer with the University of Edinburgh's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the optometry lead for this Master's programme in his capacity as national programme director for optometry with NHS Education for Scotland.

Donald Cameron qualified as an optometrist in 1976 and worked in his own independent optometry practice for 35 years, specialising in medical contact lenses and medical retinal disease.  During this time he was also a sessional clinical optometrist at Edinburgh's Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion (PAEP), specialising in acute anterior segment disease, medical retinal disease and fundus imaging. Donald holds the College of Optometrists' Diploma in Independent Therapeutic Prescribing, specialising in Glaucoma and Primary Care Optometry.  This Common Final Assessment case-based examination grants the successful candidate the right to prescribe for any disease of the eye or adnexa.  He served from 2007-2009 as Chairman of the Investigation Committee of the General Optical Council (GOC), the profession's UK regulatory body, and was closely involved in reviewing Fitness to Practise cases.

In 2009, he was appointed as one of two national programme Directors (Optometry) by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), along with his colleague Dr Janet Pooley, to lead on the development of a Scottish Government funded, structured postgraduate training programme for the Optometry profession with the aim of improving standards of postgraduate optometric education in Scotland.  As part of NES Optometry's impressive programme of work, Donald established the first Optometric Teach and Treat Clinic in the UK in Edinburgh to enable community Optometrists to manage eye disease in NHS patients under ophthalmological supervision.  This training clinic, the Lothian Optometric Teach and Treat Clinic (LOTT), opened its doors to patients in 2010 and is managed for NES by NHS Lothian.  Donald championed the development of the MSc in Primary Care Ophthalmology and currently serves as the MSc Programme Team's Co-Director (Optometry), representing NHS Education for Scotland's interests and investment in this postgraduate degree programme.

Donald has lectured extensively around the world in a variety of clinical topics and his special areas of interest are medical contact lens works, independent prescribing and retinal imaging.  In 2008 he was awarded honorary membership of Association of Optometrists for services to Optometry.  In 2011 he was awarded Honorary Life Fellowship of the College of Optometrists and in 2012 was awarded Honorary Life Fellowship of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.
 

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