Entry requirements, skills and interests (optometrist)

You will need A levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications to get onto an approved degree in optometry

Entry requirements

There are several UK universities which offer approved degree courses and you will typically need a minimum of AAB at A-level, or equivalent, with at least two science subjects.

If you are already working as a dispensing optician, you could retrain in optometry. You would still need to complete the approved optometry degree and pre-registration year, but the University of Bradford has a career progression course that would allow you to graduate with a degree in optometry in around 18 months. 

Skills, qualities and interests needed

To work as an optometrist, you’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • an interest in health and a desire to improve people's quality of life
  • to be able to work with precision
  • an ability to put nervous patients at ease
  • to be able to concentrate while doing repetitive tasks
  • to be able to adapt to new equipment and techniques
  • to be well organised

If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.

The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.

Find out more about the NHS Constitution

Find out more about the training you'll receive and registration to work as an optometrist

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