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Routes into Orthoptics and Work Experience

In this video, Teni describes what Orthoptics is, the routes into the profession, and work experience opportunities.

To become an Orthoptist in the UK, you will need to complete a degree in Orthoptics at one of the following:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Sheffield
  • If you already have an undergraduate degree in a related subject, the MSc courses at UCL and University of Liverpool offers a fast-track route into the profession.
  • University of Sheffield also offers a BMedSci Orthoptics with Foundation Year. This povides students with non-standard entry qualifications a thorough and supportive academic preparation for successful degree level study in the Health Sciences School. On successful completion of the foundation year, students will progress to BMedSci Orthoptics.
  • University of Liverpool also offers a year zero foundation programme, designed for mature students who have typically been out of formal education for some time or who have taken non-traditional qualifications, which leads to access onto an Orthoptics BSc programme.

Courses include both theory and clinical practice. You will apply theoretical knowledge of neuro-anatomy and physiology to a wide range of clinical scenarios during practical placements, where you will prepare to become autonomous practitioners. You will also learn essential principles for understanding and undertaking research, with the opportunity to undertake an orthoptic based clinical research project.

Learning Support Fund:

If you’re eligible, you’ll receive at least £6,000 a year to help fund your studies while at university. Your personal circumstances may mean you could receive more. And the good news? You’ll never have to pay it back!

University places for Orthoptics is competitive.

At your interview, you should have a good understanding of what Orthoptics is and are advised to observe an orthoptist in practice before applying for a place. This will show your interest in, and commitment to, the profession.

Work experience is really important to find out if Orthoptics is the right fit for you. Here are Teni’s top-tips for work experience:

  1. Try to shadow an orthoptist to see if this is the career for you. If you can’t visit your local orthoptics department, you can speak to an orthoptist virtually to find out what their role is really like and the impact they have on patient’s lives.
  2. Attend an orthoptics open day at a University to find out more about the course, and speak to lecturers and students.
  3. Attend some local careers events.
  4. Experience in care work, volunteering with the elderly, children, and those with special needs is also useful.
  5. Prepare by thinking of questions you’d like to ask an Orthoptist about the degree, the job prospects, day-to-day roles and career opportunities.
  6. Reflect on your work experience with the following questions: What patients did you see? Babies? Adults? Elderly? Those with special needs? What conditions did you see? Squints? Amblyopia? Nystagmus? Nerve palsies? What types of treatments did you observe and hear about? Prisms? Orthoptic exercises? Botulinum Toxin? The list is endless!

Visit to find out more about the difference between eye care professions, common eye conditions, and read our orthoptic career profile with all the essential information.

If you’d like help to shadow an orthoptist local to you, or arrange a call with an orthoptist, then just email us at

Remember to include details of relevant work experience in your university application.

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Orthoptics: How to be a Brilliant Allied Health Professional

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