UK routes to registration

The routes to registration as an optometrist or a dispensing optician in the United Kingdom are below.

Optometrists

To qualify as an optometrist you must:

  1. Complete a GOC-approved undergraduate degree in optometry (Stage 1) or an integrated four years Master’s degree in optometry (Stage 1 and Stage 2). Please visit the What to study and where page to find out where you can train to become an optometrist.
  2. Students with a Stage 1 GOC approved qualification (normally a undergraduate degree in optometry) must graduate with at least a 2:2 honours degree and achieve the Stage 1 competencies required for entry to the pre-registration period. The pre-registration period is carried out under the supervision of an optometrist member of the College of Optometrists, or a supervisor approved by the University of Manchester. If you have not achieved one or more of these criteria, you must successfully complete the GOC’s optometry progression scheme before you may enter the pre-registration period. More details are available on application.
  3. Successfully complete a pre-registration period of training under supervision. This includes work-based assessment and a final assessment on the GOC-approved Stage 2 qualification for optometry.

  4. Register with the GOC. Please note, students must be registered as student registrants from the beginning of their studies, for which a fee applies. 

Dispensing opticians

To qualify as a dispensing optician you must:

  1. Complete and pass a GOC-approved qualification in dispensing optics. There are three modes of study to choose from:
    1. A two-year full time training course at a GOC-approved GOC qualification followed by one year’s salaried work in a practice under supervision or
    2. A GOC-approved three-year day release training course combined with suitable employment or
    3. A GOC-approved three-year distance learning qualification, combined with suitable employment.

Please visit the What to study and where page to find out where you can train to become a dispensing optician.

  1. Pass all parts of the GOC-approved qualification, offered by either ABDO Exams or Anglia Ruskin University, depending on which training course you choose to follow.
  2. Register with the GOC. Please note, students must be registered as student registrants from the beginning of their studies, for which a fee applies.