The UCC Optometry training programme was established in 2002 in the then Faculty of Science by admitting its first class of five students. The department’s first batch of Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degrees were awarded in June, 2008. Formerly part of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, we are now part of the college of Health and Allied Sciences, under the School of Allied Health Sciences.
We employ a variety of teaching methods and have a variety of teaching venues to support the Doctor of Optometry (OD) programme. A total of 205 semester hours is required for graduation in the OD program. The program includes both didactic and clinical training that comprises visual sciences, physical and visual optics, general anatomy and physiology, systemic diseases, general and ocular pharmacology, clinical optometry, refraction ocular disease diagnosis and treatment, low vision, paediatric optometry, contact lenses, public health and epidemiology as well as research methodology and orthoptics. Students undertake their clinical training at two on-campus clinics which serve the entire university community as well as the people from the Cape Coast Municipality. Additional clinical training is conducted at the Eye Department of the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital and the Christian Eye Center both in Cape Coast. Our final year clinical students are posted for long vacation clinical to various eye clinics across the country which provide additional clinical exposure to the students as well as regular community outreach clinics. In addition, our students conduct research on topics in a variety of areas of Optometry and Vision Science as partial fulfilment of the OD award.
Our graduates are lauded by the ophthalmic industry to represent the best. We produce highly skilled and considerate optometrists who care about the patients they serve, the communities in which they practice. After graduation, the majority of optometrists in work in private practices as licensed optometrists, after passing exams conducted by the Allied Health Professional Council. However, a growing number of optometrists also work in the Ghana Health Service, the Police, and Military and in specialised low vision centers. The Department in the near future has plans to offers courses towards the award the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Optometry and Vision Science.
The vision of the Department of Optometry and Vision Science (DOVS) is to train qualified specialists in optometry and to serve as a center of excellence in optometric education and vision science research.
- To produce highly qualified Optometrists with OD degrees who are capable of working independently in the healthcare profession.
- To produce specialists in optometry who will be capable of manning the optometry units of various hospitals and health Centers.
- To produce graduates who can undertake research in optometry and create new ideas and concepts in Vision Science.
- To provide a solid foundation for students to pursue advanced and specialized training in optometry up to graduate level.
The Department of Optometry and Vision Science (DOVS) is ideally positioned to advance and further the cause of optometric and vision science education through evidence-based research that can be translated into clinical and industrial applications for the benefit of an all-inclusive society.
Excellence: We produce graduates who are at the leading-edge of evolving optometric practice and are competent to offer alternative solutions to complex situations in all clinical settings.
Empowerment : We contribute immensely to fast-tracking the progress of universal eye health coverage by offering opportunities to students in a way that empowers them to expand access to integrated community-centered eye care.
Equity, Diversity and Community: We create an environment with a sense of family fostered through promotion of cultural diversity, equal opportunity, and inclusive internationalization.
Empathy : We share in the sentiments of the under-privileged and provide compassionate patient care to medically underserved communities, especially eye care professional shortage rural areas through our outreach programs.