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Optometry Adaptation

CPD and short courses (short course)



A bespoke course of lectures and clinical practice tailored to the needs of the applicant. Our Adaptation course is built for you based on the recommendations of the General Optical Council (GOC). It has been created to support optometrists who trained outside the UK but are now looking to practise in the UK and need to register with the GOC.

You will have a personalised timetable combining theoretical lectures and practical clinical sessions, along with regular tutorials and supervision to meet your requirements as set by the General Optical Council (GOC). Dependent on this assessment by the GOC, topics may include:

  • clinical optometry
  • pharmacology and pathology
  • ocular disease
  • binocular and paediatric vision.

You will be required to complete your timetabled sessions in full, along with a logbook, to meet the requirements of the course.

What is the time commitment for the course?

It is generally considered to be a full-time course. Students need to be available for lectures, labs or clinics on any weekday. There may be some days on which there is no formal teaching, but it will not be the same day over the course of a trimester, because of the rotation of clinic days.

Although some part-time work may be possible, the demands of lectures, labs and clinics as well as private study should not be underestimated.

Below we answer some frequently asked questions about this course. If you have any other questions, please contact [email protected]. Please be aware that applications for the course and copies of GOC letters are not accepted through this email address.

Can the course fees be paid in instalments?

Fees can be paid in full two weeks before the start of the course, or in two equal instalments, one before the start of each trimester.

How is the course taught?

The course is taught in modules. Some are theoretical only, taught by lectures and self-study, but most involve a blend of lectures and clinical tuition/ practical skills. Most Adaptation Course students also spend a day each week in the University Eye Clinic, seeing patients under supervision.

Can I do this course without attending the face-to-face sessions?

No – it is not possible to complete any of the modules that have face-to-face teaching through correspondence or as a distance learning student. The onsite learning is a requirement of these modules.

What are the dates of face-to-face teaching?

All of your on-site learning is scheduled to take place in Trimesters 1 and 2 (Trimester 3 has no face-to-face learning).

Application process

Due to high demand, we have put in place a new process for applications to this course, so please read carefully.

Please be aware that this course is not suitable for international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Applications will be open from September to January for the following intake, for example – they will open in September and close in January for consideration for the following September intake.

Applications for the Optometry Adaptation course are currently closed. They will reopen in September 2024.

If we are unable to consider you for the course due to visa restrictions we will inform you, however all other applications will be reviewed after the application period closes in January.

Offers will be made based on the date your letter was issued by the GOC, the prescribed learning you must undertake, and the number of places available. Please note that places are very limited, and availability will vary each year. On average we offer a place to 2-5 applicants each year.

You will need to contact the GOC for an assessment of your prior learning and experience before you apply to us. This letter should be submitted as an additional document, and we cannot consider you for the course without it. Please see our entry requirements section below for further details on what to provide in your application.

We are unable to defer your application to the following year if you are unsuccessful, and so you will need to make a new application when the next cycle begins.

Who should attend?

Our course is suitable for qualified optometrists who trained outside the UK who are not registered with the General Optical Council (GOC). The GOC will need to provide a letter stating the need for an adaptation period for us to consider your application.

Please be aware that possession of this letter does not guarantee entrance to the course, but will allow us to assess your study requirements. Places on this course are very limited and so offers are made on a first come first served basis and according to eligibility and requirements. Please see below about our application process.


The course starts in September and runs through trimesters 1 and 2 of the academic year. Occasionally where the GOC recommendation is for a single module of teaching and assessment, an alternative start date is indicated.

Applications for the Optometry Adaptation course are currently closed. They will reopen in September 2024.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at ARU. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

Total course cost, starting in 2024


Additional costs

Estimated additional costs for this course are:

PD ruler - £20
Pen torch - £10
Occluder - £14
Budgie stick - £10
Retinoscope and ophthalmoscope - £1,500 approx
General Optical Council fees - £30 per annum
Lab coat - £15
Travel expenses for 14 hours of hospital experience: approximately £100
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – enhanced check £44 approx
Printing costs (optional) – an average of £2.50–£5.00 per teaching week.

Contact details

When applications are open, apply online.

When applications are not open, use our 'Register your interest' button to be notified when they are.

Entry requirements

Applicants need to produce a referral letter from the General Optical Council following your prior learning and experience review. Possession of such a letter does not guarantee entry to the course as student numbers are limited.

Successful applicants will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service check and provide evidence that they are registered with the GOC as a student optometrist.

Applicants will need to demonstrate suitable previous qualifications and/or experience.

Applicants must have the right to work or study in the UK. The course does not qualify for a Tier 4 visa.

An English Language Qualification such as an IELTS at level 7.0 or above, with no lower than 6.5 in each component; Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

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Apply now

We'll be in touch when new dates are available. Register your interest