Ophthalmic Dispensing Assistants

University Certificate


Course overview

Are you looking to develop your career in optics? Take your first step onto the dispensing career ladder by gaining a recognised qualification through your everyday work with our distance learning course.

We've specifically designed our course to meet the development needs optometric assistants. By studying in your workplace, you'll combine theoretical study with essential practical skills to give you the confidence, knowledge and qualifications you need in your career.

After gaining a general introduction to eye anatomy, visual problems and clinical eye examination techniques, you'll move on to further delegated techniques. Focusing on ophthalmic clinical aspects, you'll specialise in spectacle dispensing, customer relations, merchandising and stock control, to give you the emphasis on dispensing procedures that you need for your career.

During our year-long course you'll take part in online discussions and tutorials with other students and a course tutor. You'll further your knowledge with extra study in your own time.
Core modules
  • Introduction to Delegated Clinical Procedures
  • Delegated Dispensing Procedures

Optometric Clinical Assistants (OCA) or Ophthalmic Dispensing Assistant (ODA)?

Although the first module is the same on both these courses, you'll specialise in your second semester, depending on your career choice. OCA students take a module which elaborates on the more advanced aspects of eye examination techniques and contact lens practice. ODA students study a module directed towards spectacle dispensing, merchandising and stock control.

Associated careers

Ophthalmic dispensing assistants specialise in aspects relating to dispensing and when you've achieved your qualification you'll continue to work in your practice or in the Hospital Eye Service.

We have one of the highest employability rates in the higher education sector and some of our recent graduates have taken up employment with Dolland & Aitchison (D&A), Boots Opticians, Specsavers, Vision Express, Optical Express and independent practices.

When you've completed our course you could also decide to study our Foundation Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing, which leads to registration as a dispensing optician.
These courses are recruited for Anglia Ruskin University by Anglia Distance Learning (ADL) and all applicants must contact ADL directly to apply.

Please call 01695 554209 or email distlearnuk@hotmail.com.

How to apply

To request an application pack or for further details on the application process please contact Anglia Distance Learning - email distlearnuk@hotmail.com or call 01695 554209


  • Distance Learning


1 year

Teaching times*

6 hours per week

Available starts


Fees & funding


Science & Technology


Vision and Hearing Sciences

Contact us

UK and EU applicants:International applicants:


* Teaching days are subject to change each academic year. Timings are also dependent on any optional modules you chose and are for guidance, so we advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around course times.

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