The School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is housed in a purpose-built, state-of-the art building. It is responsible for the teaching of the BSc in Optometry and BSc in Optometry with foundation year, an MSc in Clinical Optometry, as well as postgraduate modular courses for professionals through its Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre. The degree course is consistently ranked as one of the best out of the 11 Schools of Optometry in the U.K. The School also hosts Postgraduate research which feeds into its on going research areas and attracts students from all over the world. Research is on 4 key areas: Structural Biophysics (Cornea, lens, lamina cribosa); Visual Neurosciences (incl. glaucoma); Retinal Degeneration and Aging (incl. AMD); and Visual Rehabilitation (incl. special assessment clinic). All those activities are part of the Cardiff Centre for Vision Sciences. The School hosts 18 research-active staff involved in internationally recognised research in all these areas, with many collaborations at College and University level; as well as with partner institutions such as Bristol. Their work is supported by 12 research associates and fellows, specialised in the use of top of the range specialist equipment such as electron microscopes and OCTs. The school counts about 60 members of staff including 17 professional optometrists who contribute to the outstanding teaching experience. The support staff provides a friendly and supportive framework to academic staff and students which contributes to the School’s framework of excellence in both teaching and research.
In the most recent Higher Education Funding Council assessment of undergraduate teaching quality in UK Optometry departments, our School of obtained one of the highest rankings throughout the UK and was awarded the designation 'Excellent'. Our top quality teaching relies on the academic and clinical expertise of our lecturers and visiting supervisors, and is inspired by the excellent staff-student relations and friendly atmosphere that exists within the School.
In the final optometric Professional Qualifying Examinations our overall pass rates have been consistently in the top two amongst all eight participating UK Universities during the past four years. As a pass in these examinations has been compulsory before becoming an independently practicing optometrist, most students consider it to be the most important examination of all.
Our core undergraduate student recruitment is for 70 UK/EU students each year, plus a vibrant international flavour provided by around 15 overseas students from many countries around the world. This means that there are around 240 undergraduates enrolled, spread over the three years of the course.
In research, the School has an international reputation as a world-class School. This is built on the research expertise of our academic staff and the quality of the research facilities available in the School. The primary objective of the School is to achieve the highest quality vision research in order to facilitate the early detection and diagnosis of eye diseases and their successful treatment. Research is co-ordinated through four research groups, which provides a breadth of research, which enables a truly multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to our investigations of vision and visual pathologies.