The Optometry degree at TU Dublin will provide students with the training needed to become an Optometrist, while those graduating with the Ophthalmic Dispensing degree will work as Dispensing Opticians. Graduates of both programmes are in high demand and go on to careers in community practice, hospital practice, industry, and academia.
Optometrists are eyecare professionals who detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular diseases (diseases of the eye) or abnormality, and problems with general health. They offer clinical advice regarding eye health and vision correction and prescribe spectacles, contact lenses and visual aids.
Dispensing Opticians supply, fit and sell spectacles and contact lenses and low visual aids to a prescription provided by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. They give advice to clients on the best type of glasses for their particular needs.
Optometrists in Ireland practise at Category 3 on the World Council of Optometry Global Competency-based Model of Scope of Practice while Dispensing Opticians in Ireland practise at Category 1 on the World Council of Optometry Global Competency-based Model of Scope of Practice.
To practise either profession, one must register with Ireland’s multi-profession Health & Social Professions regulator, CORU. TU Dublin’s programmes in Optometry & Ophthalmic Dispensing have been approved by CORU and graduates may apply for registration immediately after successful completion of their degree. Many graduates also choose to register with the regulator in the UK, the General Optical Council.
The School of Physics and Clinical and Optometric Sciences offers two fulltime courses in Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing:
The education and training of students on these programmes is supported through experiential learning and clinical practice at the university’s purpose-built clinical training facility, the National Optometry Centre, which is equipped to the highest standard with modern diagnostic technology and provides exceptional patient care across the full range of eye and visioncare services. Students also undertake external placements during their degree programme.
Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians must develop the ability to understand and apply scientific principles and methods, a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail, good organisational and administrative skills, good manual dexterity and strong interpersonal and communication skills.
The School also offers postgraduate opportunities and have had several students graduate with both MPhil and PhD qualifications. The school has a world-leading, dedicated eye and vision science research centre, Centre for Eye Research Ireland (CERI) which is located adjacent to the undergraduate optometry facility on the Grangegorman campus.