Our Courses - Route 1

Route 1


Diplomas and Apprenticeships


An important focus of AHPO’s education work is to provide education and training for ophthalmic support workers. Ophthalmic support staff can have a number of different job titles such as ophthalmic assistant, ophthalmic technician, visual field technician, ophthalmic photographer and ophthalmic science practitioner. This will soon change as a Department of Health programme called Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) is introducing a career framework, including apprenticeships, for staff at Career Levels 1 – 4. There will be two career levels with training programmes for ophthalmic and vision science support staff in the MSC career framework:


Ophthalmic Associate Practitioner  –  Career Level / Band 4

Ophthalmic Assistant Practitioner  –  Career Level / Band 3


Ophthalmic Associate Practitioners will be able to undertake, without supervision, most routine ophthalmic tests and investigations. Ophthalmic Assistant Practitioners will undertake a smaller range of tests and investigations, generally under supervision. Link


AHPO is providing a work-based distance learning Diploma in Ophthalmic and Vision Science for Ophthalmic Associate Practitioners. Apprentices (who are by definition new to the area of work) and existing support staff will undertake the same courses of study and will have the same job titles.


The Diploma in Ophthalmic and Vision Science is a work-based distance learning course, and course materials are presented in a series of iBooks hosted on iTunesU and accessed on an iPad that the student will have for the duration of the course. The student will be assigned a workplace mentor and assessor.


We will be starting a course for Ophthalmic Assistant Practitioners within the next 12 to 18 months.


Summary of the course structure for Diploma and Ophthalmic and Vision Science























How can I enrol on the course?


Fill out our online application form here


When will the course start?


We will start taking enrolments from January 2015, and the course will start in April 2015


How much will it cost?


The course fees are £3,000 per level i.e. £1,500 per year for the four-year programme. Course fees include the iPad and essential textbooks in electronic format. Modernising Scientific Careers is supported by the four UK countries and applications for funding should be made to Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) in England and the relevant bodies responsible for funding in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.