Module Overview

Visual Science

This module introduces students to the eye as an optical instrument and the optical basis underlying disorders of refraction – myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Image formation in the eye and the effects of refractive errors and aberrations are discussed. Factors influencing the development of refractive error are outlined. Concepts of geometrical optics are applied to the eye. The roles of the optometrist and other eye care and healthcare practitioners are described. The student will also develop learning and information literacy skills. Students will also complete an assignment to develop the key skills of teamwork and the ability to judge scientific evidence

Module Code

OPTO 1801

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Optometry and other health professionals, Optometric terminology and conventions

Optics of the eye: schematic and reduced eyes

Dioptrics of the eye, axial length, ocular and spectacle refraction, effectivity

Ocular dioptrics and catadioptrics: cardinal points, the far point, Purkinje-Sanson images, ocular axes and included angles

Ocular aberrations, resolving power, entoptic phenomena

Refractive errors: ocular growth and emmetropisation, classification of refractive errors, development and causes of refractive errors, statistical distribution of ametropia and ocular components, refractive ametropia, axial ametropia

Retinal image size: image formation in refractive and axial ametropia, spectacle and relative spectacle magnification, size ratios, anisometropia and aniseikonia, aphakia

Form vision: detection, resolution and recognition acuities, grating, vernier and other hyperacuities, factors influencing form vision: illumination, pupil size, contrast vision in uncorrected ametropia, blur circle, minimal angle of resolution, central versus peripheral acuity.

Retinoscopy: instrumentation, image formation, reflex movement and velocity in retinoscopy, neutralizing retinoscopy reflexes and estimating refractive error.

Accommodation and presbyopia

Code of conduct for students - CORU Optical Registration Board Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Optometrists


The CORU Standards of Proficiency for Optometrists are covered, wholly or in part, in this module within the following domains: 1. Professional Autonomy and Accountability, 2. Communication, Collaborative Practice and Teamworking and 5. Professional Knowledge and Skills.

Learning skills and development tutorials

Information Literacy skills: information tools, library catalogue, CD ROM and electronic databases, on-line and electronic journals, indexing and abstracting journals, internet access and on-line researching, evaluating sources, effective search strategies, avoidance of plagiarism and the use of an appropriate citation style.

Learning skills: transition to third level education, effective note taking and reading skills, time management and goal planning, essay writing, examination preparation and completion, support services.

Lectures, E-learning, directed study, self-directed study, tutorials, seminars.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50