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Ophthalmic Dispensing, Pre-Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #801 (QS) Canterbury, United Kingdom
Dispensing Opticians need to be able to interpret prescriptions (as issued by an optometrist or opthalmologist) to correct a refractive error of sight abnormality and use this information to advise patients on spectacles or contact lenses to improve their vision.
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Based on their extensive practical skills, combined with applied technical and product knowledge, a Dispensing Optician will recommend the use of specific frame types, lens forms, tints, coatings etc, taking into account the patient's anatomical features to ensure a comfortable fit. It's also important that the patient is happy with the way their spectacles look, and that they fit their lifestyle needs. Dispensing Opticians therefore need excellent communication skills to work with their patients during consultations.

Dispensing Opticians work closely with optical laboratories who they commission to make up bespoke orders; and need to be able to carry out rigorous checks against the original specifications before final fittings with the patient.

Programme Structure

In Year One you'll be introduced to:

  • the basic optical principles of the nature of light, formation of images produced by plane surfaces and the behaviour of light when meeting different media at interfaces that are not plane
  • the structure of the eye, vision, the colour sense and photometry
  • the form and material properties of ophthalmic lenses and the behaviour of plano-prisms and prismatic lenses
  • the interrelationships of frame and facial measurements
  • communication with patients and a patient-focused approach to decision making utilising information in the workplace to support professional development in theory and practice.

In Year Two you'll be introduced to:

  • the legal, professional and ethical responsibilities of optical team staff
  • a detailed knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the human eye
  • critical review and analysis related to work practices
  • optical considerations of complex prescriptions and the solutions that can be adopted when dispensing

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    360 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test

General Requirements

  • Applicants must be employed as a trainee Dispensing Optician, for a minimum of 30 hours per week, under the supervision of a suitably qualified professional and have active support of their employer.
  • Students must become members of the ABDO and register their details with the GOC prior to commencing the course.

Tuition Fee

The fees for 19/20 for this programme have not yet been confirmed. 

Living costs for Canterbury

  • 660 - 1140 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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