Ophthalmic Dispensing - Level 6 Diploma - CCCG
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Ophthalmic Dispensing - Level 6 Diploma

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Start Date: 3 September 2024
Attendance: Part Time
Location: Angel (K Block)
Most suitable for: Adults
Duration: 3 Years
Level: Level 6
Time of day: Daytime


This course offers the exciting opportunity to gain an ABDO Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing alongside your job, attending just one day per week. The day-release model provides you with all the knowledge and skills required to become a General Optical Council (GOC) registered Dispensing Optician.

As a Dispensing Optician, you will form an integral part of the optical team working with other optical professionals to provide excellent primary eye care. Your responsibilities include interpreting ophthalmic prescriptions, taking facial measurements, advising patients on frame and lens choices, spectacle repair and patient aftercare. You will often be the point of contact for patients and will need to be able to advise them on how to best use their spectacles.

The course follows the syllabus of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and the General Optical Councils (GOC) outcomes for registration. You will be assessed in college, and your workplace during the course and complete two professional exams with ABDO.

Following successful completion of the association's exams, a student can register with the General Optical Council as a Dispensing Optician at Level 6.

For information on our Higher Education policies including admissions, fees, and student contracts, please see the links below:

For our full list of policies, governance and fees please see our website Capital City College Group (capitalccg.ac.uk).


You will develop the theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and professional standards necessary to become a Dispensing Optician in your practice. Your knowledge of the prescription of ophthalmic lenses and the dispensing of ophthalmic frames will be advanced during the course.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Theory of General Optics
  • Theory of Ophthalmic Lenses
  • Patient Centred Care
  • Theory and Practice of Ophthalmic Lenses & Dispensing – Elementary & Advanced
  • Paediatric Dispensing
  • Professional Conduct and Communications
  • The Assessment and Management of Refractive Errors
  • The assessment and Management of Visual Impairment
  • Ocular Anatomy and Pathology
  • The Principles of Contact Lens Wear
  • Practitioner Development

You will need to attend college 1 day per week for in-person theory and practical lessons. Alongside this, we recommend that you complete at least 10 hours per week of self-study


You will need:

  • To be employed in an optical practice, and have a work-based supervisor*
  • Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (or A*-C), including Maths, English Language and Science

Applicants without the necessary qualifications but who have a significant amount of experience (10 years) will be interviewed to determine suitability for the course.

Upon enrolment, learners must register for student membership of GOC and ABDO and maintain registration for the duration of the course.

* A work-based supervisor must be a GOC-registered Dispensing Optician, Contact Lens Optician or Optometrist, qualified for a minimum of 2 years. A supervisor can only supervise a maximum of three students at one time


The theoretical components of the course will be assessed by City and Islington College during two examination periods throughout the year, December and May. The practical skills developed will be formatively assessed at assessment points throughout the academic year.

Professional practical summative assessments are conducted by ABDO in Birmingham (further information will be available at the interview).


Adults - Level 5 and Level 6

If you will be aged 19+ before the start date of your course and you plan to study a Further Education course at Level 5 or Level 6, you may have to pay fees.

You may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Please see here for the documents you will need to show us.

Some courses are free of charge as they are funded by the Greater London Authority (Mayor of London). Please contact us to confirm if you are eligible.

Some courses will have other associated costs, such as specialist materials and trips. Many of our students are eligible for financial support, see here for details.

Tuition Fees

£4,000 per year

Please note that this course is not eligible for funding by a Student Finance England Loan or an Advanced Learner Loan.

Additional Costs

In addition to the annual tuition fees, there will be additional costs associated with your programme including:

  • Two professional examinations with ABDO
  • General stationery
  • Ophthalmic Rulers
  • Reading material

Further information on these costs will be given at Enrolment/Induction.


Successful completion of all theory and practical elements of the course will enable you to apply for GOC registration as a qualified Dispensing Optician, and work within community practices.

Additional courses are available to specialise in Low Vision, Therapeutic Dispensing and Glazing.

You could also progress onto further Higher Education programmes.


of people went into Higher Education after completing the course
of people went into Employment after completing the course


Sarah Castree

Sarah Castree joined the City and Islington College Optics department in 2010. She is a passionate Dispensing Optician working in the profession since she was 16 years old as an optical assistant before becoming fully qualified in 2008 after studying for a degree in Optical Management at ARU.

Since joining the college, she has completed her PCGE and external examiner training with ABDO, the awarding body. Whilst teaching at college, Sarah also examines for ABDO in the U.K. and overseas, locums in practice and volunteers for Vision Care for the homeless. Sarah has a particular interest in practical dispensing skills and visual optics.

Ashley Robinson

Ashley has been a lecturer in the field of optics since 2018, building on a decade of hands-on experience in the industry. Her teaching covers a variety of subjects, including geometrical optics, ophthalmic dispensing, anatomy, professional and academic development, and practical skills.

With a PGCE qualification in higher education, Ashley strives to create a friendly and inclusive learning environment. She welcomes students to join her on their educational journey, fostering a collaborative and supportive atmosphere for growth and discovery in the world of optics.

The teachers listed may change, these shown are an example of the teachers who teach on these programmes.

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