TU Dublin students laughing outdoors on grangegormancampus

Ophthalmic Dispensing / Dáiliúchán Oftalmach

Course Title: Bachelor of Science in Ophthalmic Dispensing

2022 CAO Points: 298

Leaving Certificate Requirements:

Minimum Number of





Minimum Grade in

Maths/Applied Maths

English OR Irish



Other Grade Requirements

At least O4/H7 in one of: Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Home Economics, Applied Mathematics, Home Economics (General), Home Economics (Social Sciences) or Engineering.

Additional Requirements/Information:
TU Dublin students of this course must undergo Garda Vetting. They must complete the required documentation, including a full list of all previous addresses, in order for clearance checks to be made. Currently, Irish addresses are vetted by the Garda Vetting Bureau at no cost to the student. Additionally, as this course involves interaction with patients in the provision of healthcare/eyecare, students should have the capacity to perform key skills and tasks so as to be able to succeed in this course and practice in the profession.

QQI/FET Requirements:

QQI/FET Award Required

Additional Requirements

Level 5:


  • CASLT / 5M3807 Laboratory Techniques
  • CASFX / 5M5267 Food Science



C20006 / 5N2746 Biology
D20001 / 5N0749 Anatomy & Physiology
C20048 / 5N1460 Physics
C20041 / 5N0737 Microbiology
C20140 / 5N2006 Nutrition
B20029 / 5N2066 Statistics
C20011 / 5N2747 Chemistry 



C20139/5N1833 Mathematics 


Leaving Certificate Mathematics 03/H7 / Applied Mathematics

Level 6: Full level 6 award in a relevant discipline

Further details at www.tudublin.ie/qqi

Mature Applicants:

Applications from mature students (23+) are welcome. Further details at www.tudublin.ie/mature

English Language Requirements:

If English is not your first language you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as detailed on our website. Applicants for this course should have a minimum IELTS (Academic Version) English Proficiency of 6 overall (or equivalent) with nothing less than 6 in each component.

Course Description

Dispensing Opticians are eye care professionals who are trained to interpret prescriptions issued by optometrists or ophthalmologists and to dispense spectacles and other optical aids. They advise patients on the most appropriate spectacle frames, lenses or other optical aids based on their individual needs taking into account the prescription, occupation and lifestyle of the patient. They are trained to take the measurements required for the fitting of such optical appliances. Dispensing Opticians also check spectacles and other appliances to ensure they match the patient’s specification and meet the required standards. They advise patients on how to get the best from their eyewear and play an important role in aftercare and the maintenance of such appliances.

Dispensing opticians play a vital role in providing the best low vision aid for partially sighted patients and the best fitting frame and lens design for children. They are also trained to advise on sports and protective eyewear. Subsequent to further qualification, they may fit contact lenses. Dispensing opticians are often involved in optical practice management.
A career as a dispensing optician is extremely rewarding. It offers great variety and will deliver a high degree of job satisfaction to those attracted to a career in an allied healthcare setting, who have an interest in maths and science, relish problem solving and enjoy interacting with the public.

All Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing undergraduates are required to insert drops, contact lenses and probes (with ocular anaesthetic) into fellow students’ eyes and allow fellow students to insert the same into their eyes during the course of their course. All procedures will be carried out in a safe, clean, clinical environment under the supervision of an optometry faculty member.

Contact hours:

This is a fulltime course. Students should expect to be on campus up to 5 days per week. The average number of contact hours per week is approximately 24.

Professional Accreditation:

The profession of ophthalmic dispensing is regulated in Ireland under CORU (the Health and Social Care Professional’s Council). This course is approved by CORU.

Irish Dispensing Opticians practice at category 1 on the World Council of Optometry Global Competency-based Model of Scope of Practice. They can work in the UK and Australia. To work in the USA or Canada, you may be required to undertake a national certification test and/or an adaption period of state-registered apprenticeship.

Work Placement:

You will spend all of third year on placement.

Dispensing Optician. Most newly qualified dispensing opticians enter practice as employees of other dispensing opticians/optometrists, but you can also own and operate your own business.

Graduate Job Titles:

This is a relatively new but unique course in Ireland with our first graduates graduating in 2018. However, there are currently almost 200 dispensing opticians working in Ireland who have gained their qualifications abroad. Dispensing opticians are in high demand so job prospects are excellent. Most dispensing opticians work in private practice, often in a management capacity. However, there is a diverse range of employment opportunities. Dispensing opticians often set up their own practices or enter joint ventures with large multiples. At present in Ireland, dispensing opticians are also employed with spectacle lens manufacturers, frame manufacturers, glazing houses, hospital eye departments, practice management software providers and as college lecturers.

Graduate Employers:

Starting salaries for newly qualified dispensing opticians (as at January 2020) are as high as €35k per annum in the Republic of Ireland.


This course is 3 years in duration. The first two years of the course are delivered in the laboratories and lecture theatres on campus. The third year of the course is a structured work placement. The first year focuses on the relevant science and maths necessary for your training. The second year’s practical and theoretical work is more tailored towards the specific skills and knowledge required of a Dispensing Optician. You will learn about spectacles lens and frame, design and manufacture. You will also learn how to take frame and facial measurements, how to interpret prescriptions and carry out a detailed task analysis to ensure patients receive the most appropriate optical aid. Students are also introduced to the fundamentals of optical practice management. Your work placement in year three allows you to learn how to apply your knowledge and skills in a practice setting.

  • Anatomy and Physiology of the eye
  • Cell Biology
  • Geometrical Optics
  • Mathematics
  • Ophthalmic Optics and Dispensing
  • Physical Optics
  • Physics for Health and Science
  • Quantitive methods for Dispensing
  • The Human Body and Disease
  • Vision Science 1
  • Case Analysis & Advanced Ophthalmic Dispensing
  • Contact Lens Practice and Anterior Eye Disorders
  • Intercultural Health Communication for Eye Care Professionals
  • Introductory Vision Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Vision
  • Optical Dispensing
  • Optical Practice Management
  • Physiology of Vision
  • Professional Development
  • Vision Science 2

The entire of the third year is spent on placement covering the modules:

  • Optical Dispensing Case Studies
  • Ophthalmic Dispensing Practice Placement

Advanced Entry applications are accepted to this course. For further information on how to make an Advanced Entry application, please visit our CAO Hub.  A full list of courses open for Advanced Entry is detailed on the CAO website

Because the class is small you make friends very quickly, but you still have the benefits of a large class too because we spend so much time with the optometry students. Right from the start we are learning and practising skills that are directly applicable to the job of dispensing and even getting a weekend or summer job is fairly easy because there is such a shortage of dispensing opticians out there. The course wasn’t my first choice but I’m so glad that I ended up on it.

Dispensing Opticians can gain additional qualification by means of further study in the UK. Subsequent to further qualification, they may fit contact lenses. Further study is also available in the areas of low vision management, workshop practice, lens design and geometric optics. Most of this further study can be undertaken via distance learning while working in practice. As mentioned above this course is relatively new to TU Dublin. It was set up to fill a gap in the Irish education system and because there is a shortage of dispensing opticians. The profession of ophthalmic dispensing is growing and developing and with that will come further opportunities for advanced qualification

TU Code



Level 7


Bachelor of Science (Ordinary)


3 years

Number of Places



City Centre: Grangegorman


EU Fees

Non-EU Fees