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This two year part-time Masters programme in Clinical Ophthalmology taught entirely online, is offered by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh, and was developed with the support of NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

Based on the curricula of the FRCSEd (Ophth) and FRCOphth in the United Kingdom and Ireland, this vocational ChM programme provides the opportunity for advanced trainees in Ophthalmology to select those modules relevant to their declared subspecialty, and supports learning for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) examinations.

This programme aims to provide high standard, flexible advanced training for the next generation of medical and surgical ophthalmologists approaching consultancy, linking an academic degree to the fellowship exams.  It also offers an alternative to clinical/laboratory research training for those students who do not wish to take time out of training.

Students will be taught by experienced tutors, all leading clinicians in their field, and will have access to a large structured learning resource of educational materials, including an unparalleled online library facility.

In the first year of the ChM programme, compulsory core modules cover the basic elements of subspecialist ophthalmology practice, modules will be taught and assessed using a clinical problem-based approach.

In the second year, students will have the opportunity to undertake a tailored academic module that reflects their subspecialty interest.

Academic modules will explore research and teaching methodology, as well as develop skills to ensure an ability to analyse published evidence and explore interactive and written communication skills.  Students will be required to complete an academic critique in an appropriate subspecialty area of work undertaken during the two year period such as that resulting from a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

On completion of this programme, trainees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of their chosen surgical subspecialty, and be able to apply this knowledge to the systematic assessment and management of surgical patients in the elective, urgent and emergency clinical setting;
  • Recognise the leadership contribution and responsibilities of the surgeon in the multidisciplinary management of complex surgical disease;
  • Critically reflect upon day-to-day surgical practice in the context of recent advances, and engage in critical dialogue with peers and experts in other sub-specialties;
  • Apply the general principles of clinical study design, ethics, and statistics to critically evaluate the scientific literature in surgical research, and make informed judgements on new and emerging issues in surgery;
  • Exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional activities at a level of independent surgical practice.


Find out more about the ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology in this short film presented by Professor Baljean Dhillon. 

Eligibility Criteria

Prospective entrants must hold a basic medical qualification recognised by the General Medical Council and be based within a supervised training programme at the time of commencing the course.

UK trainee applicants will be expected to have completed initial ST1/2 (Specialist Training Years) or CT1/2 (Core Training Years) and early intermediate ST3 phases of their training programme and will normally be commencing intermediate phase (ST4) of their training.

Candidates from outside the UK or those not within a recognised training programme will be required to demonstrate that the course is directly relevant to their ophthalmic surgery training.

Applicants should have completed a minimum of 24 months of core training in the surgical specialties and 18 months of specialty training in ophthalmology before enrolling for the ChM.

Applicants from established, independently practising ophthalmologists will also be considered.

Ready to apply?

Find out how to apply and submit your application.

Programme Structure of ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology

Year 1

Semester 1
September to January
Ophthalmology 1
10 credits
Core Ophthalmology
10 credits
Applied Basic Sciences, Examination & Surgical Strategies
10 credits
Clinical Decision Making, Therapeutics, Avoiding & Managing Complications
10 credits
Semester 2
February to June
    Diagnostics & Technologies in Clinical Practice
10 credits
Acute Ophthalmology, Trauma & Advanced Surgical Techniques
10 credits

Year 2

Semester 1
September to January
Ophthalmology 2
10 credits
Core Academic Activity
20 credits
Semester 2
February to July
Specialist Academic Activity
30 credits

Fee information

ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology Fees for academic year 2023/24

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.

Please see the scholarships page for full information on the range of Edinburgh Surgery Online Scholarships available. 

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
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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Interested in this course?

To find out more about ChM in Clinical Ophthalmology [at] (Email us today)

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