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Orthoptics: How to be a Brilliant Allied Health Professional

Explore all aspects of the orthoptic profession – from the conditions an orthoptist investigates to the exciting career prospects.

641 enrolled on this course

An Orthoptist testing Prism Fusion Range

Orthoptics: How to be a Brilliant Allied Health Professional

641 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Start your career as an orthoptist

Orthoptics is an allied health profession in demand worldwide, particularly in the NHS. It is considered a specialist subject, which means students in the UK are eligible for funding throughout their studies.

This three-week course will provide you with accessible knowledge and a comprehensive introduction to orthoptics.

With this understanding, you’ll be able to develop in your career as an orthoptist as you discover what the profession entails, the opportunities available, and the routes into this exciting professional world.

Understand the basics of eye anatomy and binocular vision

An orthoptist has a varied role and treats many fascinating conditions.

On the course, you’ll unpack these conditions, such as binocular vision, and learn the basics of eye anatomy to help develop your clinical skills.

Become inspired by the progressive careers of orthoptists

You’ll delve into the impressive extended roles and progressive careers of orthoptists.

Exploring the NHS bands and salaries, the continuing professional development available, and listening to what patients think, you’ll gain a large-scale picture of orthoptics to understand how you can develop within the role.

Develop crucial clinical skills alongside King’s College London

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the specialists at King’s College London and King’s College Hospital Optical Services.

With their expertise, you’ll finish the course with the clinical skills and knowledge to begin an exciting career in orthoptics.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds Orthoptics is very interesting because if you think about it, the eyes are an exposed extension of the brain so anything that’s going on systemically or in the brain can be identified just by looking at the eyes. We can help diagnose those conditions which would otherwise go unnoticed. I would recommend Orthoptics to anyone who is looking into going into healthcare. It’s a fantastic area of ophthalmology to go into, you see a wide variety of patients. It’s very rewarding looking at the pathway of patients from the initial treatment to discharge. I feel like Orthoptics bridges the gap between a lot of different parts of eyes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds Quite often, we are the only ones who can figure out why a patient is getting double vision. It’s very rewarding actually when you have a double vision patient and you relieve them of that double vision within the clinic on the same day and they go home a lot more happier. It’s just an everchanging field, it’s quite an exciting time to be an Orthoptist. I think an Orthoptist is a fantastic career opportunity. First of all, you get to do something practical which is going to have a massive impact on somebodies life. You get to work in a multidisciplinary team with other people.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 seconds In contrast to some other NHS roles, it’s very much a 9-5 role, which I think is an advantage, especially for somebody who has family or caring commitments. You have autonomy, you’re able to have your own case load. You see all different kinds of patients, including those with special educational needs. There’s a lot of diversity in the role. You’re not limited to the UK, there are loads of places in the world you can go with an Orthoptic qualification. I have worked in other countries, it’s a good profession to get into. It’s also a good career to get into because you have loads of different avenues.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds Obviously, you’ll be a clinician, and then you can further develop your skills and specialise in lots of different areas in Ophthalmology. You can also go into research or management, there’s just so much you can do with your Orthoptic degree. Orthoptics is a multifaceted career and no two patients are quite the same. You might have a child with a lazy eye, and the next patient I see is an adult who have advanced glaucoma with significant vision loss. You really need to adapt to patients as you see them and really take it minute by minute, and that’s really interesting. Orthoptics is a bit of a niche career, but there’s no reason that should hold you back.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 seconds What you need to do is learn and the more you understand, the more interesting everything becomes. It can be challenging, which is a good thing, and thought provoking, and you’ve made an important impact on patient’s lives.


  • Week 1

    What is Orthoptics?

    • Introduction to Orthoptics

      In this activity, we will introduce you to what Orthoptics is and why it is such a brilliant Allied Health Profession.

    • Meet the team at King's

      Hello from all of us at King's College Hospital. We hope that we can give you an insight into what we all do. You'll be seeing some of us throughout the course again soon.

    • Routes into Orthoptics

      In this section, we will go through the different routes into Orthoptics. Each University tells us information about their available courses.

    • Student Orthoptic Ambassadors

      Hear from some student Orthoptic Ambassadors who let us know what it is like to study Orthoptics at the different Universities.

    • Learn the basics: Eye Anatomy

      Learn the structures of the eye and visual pathway. We will also delve into anatomy of the cranial nerves and extraocular muscles.

    • Learn the Basics: Binocular Vision and Eye Movements

      Discuss the core ideas of binocular vision and eye movement. Why do we have two eyes? Why do some animals have 3D vision, whilst others don't? Why do we never see our eyes move when we look in the mirror?

  • Week 2

    Clinical Orthoptics

    • Clinical Skills and Equipment

      In this section, we will teach you some clinical skills, such as how to take a good history, and the different tests and equipment that Orthoptists use to diagnose and treat ocular conditions.

    • Conditions We Investigate Overview

      See our overview presentation on some of the conditions that we investigate with core Orthoptics.

    • Conditions We Investigate: Amblyopia

      In this section, you will learn about amblyopia diagnosis, treatment, management and monitoring.

    • Conditions We Investigate: Strabismus

      Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes. There are many different causes of strabismus. Often, this is benign and congenital. For others, strabismus may be a sign of a nerve palsy or brain lesion.

    • Conditions We Investigate: Nerve Palsies

      There are 12 main cranial nerves in the brain. Three of them are involved in eye movement. In this section, you will learn how an Orthoptist can diagnose damage to these nerves, a diagnosis which may save someone's life...

    • SCOPE: Lids and Tears

      In this section, SCOPE teaches us all about conditions effecting the lids and tears. This includes Blepharitis (inflammation of eyelids) and Dry Eye Disease (DED).

    • What do our patients think?

      Orthoptists impact lives every day. Hear what some of our patients at King's have to say about their experience. Also meet Jemima, who was an orthoptic patient as a child, and now has become an Orthoptist!

  • Week 3

    Brilliant Career Prospects

    • Extended Roles at King's

      There are many opportunities for Orthoptists to expand their knowledge and expertise. They may specialise within an ophthalmology clinic, take part in research and education, or focus on service improvement and management.

    • Further Extended Roles

      We reached out to colleagues across the country to find out further opportunities for extended roles within the profession. In this activity, inspiring Orthoptists kindly share with us their areas of specialty.

    • Post-Graduate Qualifications

      There are many opportunities for Orthoptists to develop skills and expand knowledge within ophthalmology. Learn from Universities and students about some of the post-graduate options available.

    • Advanced Clinical Practitioners

      Advanced Clinical Practice is the long term solution in the NHS to alleviate the growing demand within Ophthalmology. Orthoptics is continuing to grow and become a great career alternative to medicine.

    • Progression

      There is a lot you can do with an Orthoptics degree! In this section, we look at career progression, both in and out of Orthoptics. We discuss NHS bands and salaries, progression into management, and alternative careers.

    • Orthoptics at a Large Scale

      Behind every Orthoptist, there are those who standardise practice, manage high quality teaching, research new ideas, promote the profession, and establish united organisations globally.

    • Reflection and Quiz

      We hope you have gained knowledge on what a career in Orthoptics is like from the many great experts and organisations that were involved in the making of this course. It is now time to reflect on what you have learnt...

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • To develop an understanding of what a career in Orthoptics is like
  • To explore different routes into Orthoptics
  • To demonstrate basic knowledge of eye anatomy, binocular vision, and clinical skills
  • To be able to identify the fascinating conditions that Orthoptists investigate
  • To describe the different career pathways and opportunities for Orthoptists
  • To reflect on the profession at a national and international level

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in orthoptics and expanding their knowledge of different allied health professions.

You may be a prospective or current student, or a current orthoptist wanting to learn from other departments and organisations.

You may also be a member of the eye department and you’re interested in learning more about what orthoptists do.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Specialist Orthoptist at King's College Hospital and I want to promote my brilliant Allied Health Profession. Please get involved and ask questions along the way!

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 11 Aug 2024

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