The entry requirements vary for each university so please check their websites for more detail.
The general requirements are that you must have good GCSE Maths, English and Science grades and A levels/ Highers or equivalent in at least one science subject such as Biology, Maths, Physics or Chemistry. Alternative qualifications are considered and mature students are welcome to apply.
If you do not have the relevant academic background, there are options to study a Foundation Year degree or Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science (link: http://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/Pages/Default.aspx ) prior to commencing the Orthoptic degree. For further details about Foundation Year degrees see following links:
University of Sheffield: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/courses/foundation-year-degrees/full-time/orthoptics
The costs vary depending on which university you choose and if you are a UK, EU or International student. Please check the university websites for more detail.
University of Sheffield: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/prospective_ug/bmedsci/fees
University of Liverpool: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/courses/orthoptics-bsc-hons/fees-finance/
Glasgow Caledonian University: https://www.gcu.ac.uk/study/courses/details/index.php/P02367/Orthoptics/#Feesandfunding
There is a huge amount of information available on student finances. A good introduction, dispelling some of the myths is available on MoneySavingExpert.com.
The NHS Learning Support Fund also offers support for the following:
- practice placement travel and/or temporary accommodation costs (Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses
- students with at least one dependent child (Child Dependants Allowance)
- students experiencing financial hardship (Exceptional Support Fund)
Find out more here.
In the UK most orthoptic graduates take up an orthoptic post in the National Health Service (NHS). They begin as a band 5 or band 6 orthoptist and the starting wage is in the range of approximately £22,000 – £26,000.
There is scope for progression to be a band 7 and 9 and earn up to approximately £90,000 at the highest level. More detail about the NHS pay scale can be found here: http://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/pay-and-reward/agenda-for-change/pay-scales/annual
Orthoptists have excellent opportunities to extend their clinical role and become specialist orthoptists, for example in stroke, neuro-rehabilitation, low vision, vision screening, glaucoma, intravitreal injections.
As UK orthoptic degrees are recognised worldwide orthoptists have the opportunity to work across the globe. Many graduates have gone to work abroad for some time or permanently.
If you are interested in research and keen to enhance your skills. There are many post-graduate study opportunities.
The University of Sheffield offers a distance-learning MMedSci degree in Vision and Strabismus and stand-alone Masters modules: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/prospectivepg/taught/mmedsci
All 3 universities offer MPhil and PhD opportunities and you are recommended to visit their websites for further information.