What to study and where

What to study

There are two professions which you can train for – optometry or dispensing optics.


An optometry course is usually four years in total, although in Scotland it is five years. The course consists of a full-time three-year (in Scotland four-year) degree course followed by a salaried pre-registration training with a practice under the guidance of a GOC-registered optometrist. Find out more information about the UK route to registration as an optometrist.

Dispensing optics

A dispensing optics course is three years in total and there are three modes of study to choose from. Find out more information about the UK route to registration as a dispensing optician.

New Education and Training Requirements (ETR)

All providers wishing to deliver GOC-approved qualifications must do so using the new education and training requirements. Providers with existing GOC-approved qualifications are required to adapt their qualifications to the new requirements. A period of transition is currently underway whilst each provider makes these arrangements.

As of September 2023, a number of qualifications will have been adapted and ready for delivery under the new requirements.

In reviewing our education and training requirements you can find out more about the new requirements and which qualifications have been adapted.

You can also find out more about the qualifications each individual provider offers using the links below.

Where to study

We have approved and provisionally approved programmes offered at the following institutions:


Dispensing optics

International Trainee Adaptation Providers

The following providers offer bespoke adaptation courses for international trainees wishing to undertake modules to complete outstanding competencies as part of the international application process: