Optometry and visual science

MSc in optometry and visual science

Kongsberg - Part time

The programme will give people with a BSc in optometry specialist competency in clinical optometry and visual science. You can choose to specialize in general practice optometry or in orthoptics and paediatric optometry.

Study facts

  • Progression of study: Part time
  • Campus: Kongsberg
  • Teaching model: On Campus
  • Application code: 5143
  • Study level: Master's degree
  • Credits: 120
  • Closing dates: Expired
  • Start up: Autumn 2023
  • Teaching Language: English
  • Semesters: 8
Jonas Luhr Pettersen i optometrilaben til USN
Jonas Luhr Pettersen i optometrilaben til USN

This is optometry and visual science

The MSc programme is designed with an optometrist’s existing and expected challenges in eye and visual health in mind. There will be a requirement for optometrists with special competencies in diagnosing and management of visual problems in children. With an increasing proportion of elderly within the population, there will also be greater needs for optometrists to follow up ocular and visual anomalies in adults and the elderly, and detect ocular pathology.

The MSc degree will enable you to cooperate with other health professions in the following up of ocular and visual function within your chosen specialization. The skills and competencies gained through the degree course will allow you to step into an extended clinical role in eye and vision care, particularly within your chosen specialization.

Two alternative specializations

The study can be completed both as part-time and full-time. If you want to take the study full-time, this can be arranged with your faculty after admission. After admission you will also choose your specialization:

General practice optometry

Specialization in general practice optometry gives competency to examine and be prepared to manage uncomplicated pathology of the anterior segment of the eye, and to communicate and cooperate with other professionals regarding the examination and follow up after treatment of uncomplicated ocular conditions related AMD, glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. This specialization also gives competency in visual ergonomics and occupational optometry.

There is a requirement for increased knowledge in general practice optometry in private practice, and within the public eye care services in hospital eye departments. You could establish your own specialist private practice, where you may offer evaluation of ocular health and visual function in cooperation with other health care professions by following up specific pathology of the posterior segment of the eye and uncomplicated pathology of the anterior segment of the eye. There also an increasing need for assessment of visual ergonomics and fitting and supply of optometric solutions for different professions to optimize the visual environment for people in employment with common and special needs.

Orthoptics and paediatric optometry

Specialization in orthoptics and paediatric optometry gives competency to examine and manage children, young people and adults, with various visual problems. This includes competency to perform extended evaluation of visual function and management in the form of visual training in children, young people and adults with different motor-, neurological and perceptual anomalies of vision.

There is a requirement for increased knowledge in orthoptics and paediatric optometry in private optometric and ophthalmic practice, and within public eye care services in hospital eye departments and at departments for people with special needs related to visual impairment. You could establish your own specialist private practice, where you may offer evaluation of visual function and visual training in cooperation with other health care professions, nursery/school, adult learning institutions and the local educational and psychological services to optimize each individual’s visual situation.

This is what you will learn

You will learn specialist contact lens fitting and further develop skills and competency within clinical optometric practice.

Each specialization consists of three subject courses of 10 ECTS credits. The specialization in orthoptics and paediatric optometry consists of Orthoptics and paediatric optometry part 1, Orthoptics and paediatric optometry part 2 and Vision training. The specialization in general practice optometry consists of Advanced clinical methods – posterior segment, Advanced clinical methods – anterior segment and Visual ergonomics.

In addition, you will learn about scientific research methods and research ethics, and you will complete a master’s thesis. The master’s thesis will give you competency in completing an individual limited research- or development project under supervision. You will have the opportunity to take part in projects that are under development within the institution or you can undertake a project in an external practice.

Exemption from parts of the programme

Applicants who have already completed continuing education courses in occupational optometry, contact lens specialization, or paediatric optometry and orthoptics, or who have other relevant qualifications at MSc level or higher, may apply for recognition for the courses undertaken and exemption from parts of the MSc programme. Applications will be evaluated individually.

Get international experience

You can take parts of optometry and visual science abroad. Studying or taking an internship abroad can give you the opportunity to expand your international competence, language skills, personal qualities and adaptability. It can also make you more attractive in the job market. We have agreements with foreign universities, colleges and internships adapted to your studies.

Study Plan

A study plan describes the content, structure and organization of a study programme. To each study plan there is a set of subject plans that describe the different subjects. In the subject plan you will also find a reading list. Below you will find a study model that shows you which subjects that are taught each term. In the study model you'll also find links to each subject plan.

Study plan for 2023 autumn

Special considerations

If you get admission you will also need to document a certificate of good conduct/police clearance certificate.

Students who have spent more than three months of the last three years in countries outside of Western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Japan must test themselves for communicable tuberculosis. The results of the examination must be negative when you start your degree.

Admission requirements

  • BSc in optometry or equivalent, basic competency in contact lens fitting and competency in the use of diagnostic drugs equivalent to the requirements for authorization of optometrists in Norway.
  • Authorization/license to practice optometry in Norway.
  • The minimum requirement for admission to the MSc programme is an average grade of C or better.

You must also fulfill the English requirements.


In addition to the documents required here: https://www.usn.no/academics/how-to-apply/full-degree-programs-taught-in-english/documentation/ We ask that you upload these documents to make our assessment of your qualifications easier:

  • Program descriptions/course descriptions and Learning outcome for your bachelor degree
  • Documents that verify use of diagnostic drugs (copy of legislation)
  • Documents that verify prescribing and fitting of contact lenses
  • Work experience in optometry

We might also ask for an interview if we find that the requirements are not thoroughly documented.


Any questions?

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Teaching model info

How and where classes are offered.

Progression of study info

Expected progress of study. Full time is programmes with full progress of study (60 ECTS credits per academic year, 30 ECTS credits per semester). Part time is programmes with less than full progress of study (less than 60 ECTS credits per academic year, or less than 30 ECTS credits per semester).

Start up
On Campus
Full time
Autumn 2022