What requirements do you need to get into Optometry?

Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Author: Staci Hearnshaw
Posting date: 06/03/2023

From prescribing lenses to diagnosing and treating eye diseases, optometrists are highly skilled professionals with unique expertise that is in high demand. The optometry industry is rapidly evolving, making it an exciting field to work in. 

Becoming an optometrist requires training and education to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to provide first-class eyecare. Here’s what you need to be successful in this rewarding profession: 

Register as a student 

The General Optical Council (GOC) are the regulatory body for optical professions in the UK. Before you begin your journey to qualification, you’ll need to register with the GOC. 

The purpose of the GOC is to maintain standards of education, conduct, and performance of optical practitioners. This helps to keep patients safe as well as maintain the integrity of the profession. 

Don’t forget that you need to register as a student by law on any GOC-approved training courses. 


To qualify as an optometrist, you’ll need an undergraduate degree in optometry on a course that the GOC has approved. 

Entry requirements for an undergraduate degree are usually: 

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, Maths and Science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 Science

With those entry requirements in the bank, you’re ready to start your degree. You can expect to learn about the optics of the eye, ocular anatomy, contact lenses, practical methods in dispensing, low vision management and so much more. 


Your pre-registration year is about putting the knowledge you’ve learned into practice. 

To progress to pre-registration optometry, you’ll need a minimum of a 2:2 classification in your optometry degree as well as a certificate of professional competence (also known as certification of clinical competence). 

With the supervision of an optometrist member of the College of Optometrists, you will work towards passing your OSCE examinations. 

The OSCE consists of 16 tasks that are designed to test your knowledge and skills so that you can practice independently. 

At Vision Express, we are proud to deliver a highly recommended pre-registration programme. You’ll be matched with a supervisor, have training tailored to your needs, and access to self-development tools. 

We’ll support you in a career that you enjoy. The fact that first-time pass rates for our students is above the national average reflects the experience and expertise of our supervisors and tutors.

Register as a fully qualified optician 

Congratulations, you’ve qualified as an optician. To start practicing, there is one last step. Register with the GOC as a fully qualified optician. As a registered optometrist, you’ll be able to make a positive impact on people’s lives by providing high-quality eyecare. 

Our motto at Vision Express is creating joy in vision. We are looking for people who have a love for optometry, want to make a difference, and progress in their careers. Explore our roles

Ongoing professional development 

To maintain your registration, you’ll need to stay current on any training and qualifications set out by the GOC. Optometry is an evolving industry and staying up to date with the latest developments allows you to make a real difference and practice safely. 

We are committed to your professional development at Vision Express. The level of support you receive won’t stop after you qualify, whether you want to develop into management or specialise in a niche area.

Optometry at Vision Express 

The journey to becoming fully qualified is a rewarding one where you’ll gain all the practical and theoretical experience you need to start practicing. If you are an aspiring optometrist who is dedicated, hardworking, and passionate about vision care, there is a place for you at Vision Express. 

Develop your skills with a job you enjoy, surrounded by a high-achieving team and learn more about optometry roles today.