1 Sep 2022

Small Animal Ophthalmology Online Learning


Small Animal Ophthalmology Online Learning


This comprehensive and stimulating course is designed to be practically relevant for the small animal practitioner. The course will provide delegates with a thorough understanding of the anatomy, development and physiology of the eye and will cover the full spectrum of ocular diseases seen in the domestic species. The principles of inherited ocular disease, ocular pharmacology and therapeutics, ocular pathology and ocular surgery will be discussed.


The Small Animal Ophthalmology programme is provided by Improve International in collaboration with the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS) and Harper Adams University.

Complete the one-year programme (all modules) and achieve the General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) by passing the required assessments with the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS).

Continue on to the Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) that combines the GPCert clinical studies, plus reflective practice, and successful completion of the Advanced Practitioner Module with Harper Adams University. The PgC represents Masters Level 7 within the Quality Assurance Agency’s framework for higher and further education. It provides 60 transferable academic credits.

After successfully completing your PgC, you may apply for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner Status. This is subject to meeting all of the other entry requirements set out by the RCVS in the Applicant Guidance Notes.

The Programme Tutor will discuss which learning option you wish to progress and advise the necessary requirements to support you.

All of our PgCs are recognised by the RCVS as eligible entry qualifications for application to Advanced Practitioner status with the exception of the PgC Endoscopy and Endosurgery for which the RCVS has no designated award.

All delegates studying for a PgC will receive a subscription to Harper Adams online e-library providing access to 1,000s of scientific articles and abstracts.

Our online learning management system: Moodle – Provides access to course content, discussion forums and other study resources, including surgical videos and webinars.

A dedicated Programme Tutor will support every individual during their programme to ensure a rewarding and successful learning journey.

Small Animal Ophthalmology Online Learning Modules

Examination of the Eye
31 Aug 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Perform a confident ocular examination by using diagnostic ophthalmic instruments including focal illumination, the direct ophthalmoscope, indirect ophthalmoscope and slit lamp biomicroscope

  • Understand the different types of tonometry, including when and how to perform this technique.

  • Appreciate when and how to perform the more advanced techniques of gonioscopy and electroretinography

  • Revise diagnostic cytology, microbiology and biopsy sampling and appreciate the applications of the different methods of investigation

  • Review imaging techniques including ultrasound, radiography, CT and MRI

  • Describe a systematic approach to the investigation of ophthalmology cases including accurate record keeping and photography

Speaker: Lorraine Fleming BVetMed CertVOphthal MRCVS
Anatomy and Physiology, Basic Embryology
2 Oct 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand basic ophthalmic embryology and post natal ocular development

  • Describe comprehensively the anatomy of the eye

  • Extend your understanding of ocular physiology including the tear film, aqueous production, lens metabolism and retinal physiology

  • Understand basic ocular immunology

Speaker: Lorraine Fleming BVetMed CertVOphthal MRCVS
Ocular Therapeutics and Pharmacology
1 Nov 2022 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the principles of medicating the eye

  • Understand topical and systemic drug administration

  • Explain vehicles and preparations for ophthalmic drug administration

  • Appreciate classes of drugs

  • Choose the correct drug for common ophthalmic conditions

Speaker: Claudia Hartley BVSc CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
The Orbit and Globe, Eyelids and Nictitans Membranes
2 Jan 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the anatomy and clinical conditions involving the orbit, globe, eyelids and nictitans membranes (third eyelids)

  • Review the presenting signs of and differential diagnoses for congenital and acquired orbital disease

  • Understand the effect of facial conformation on globe and eyelid position and its associated effects

  • Appreciate breed predispositions and species differences

  • Become familiar with the aetiopathogenesis of proptosis and its treatment options

  • Recognise the different types of entropion and ectropion and their impact on ocular health

  • Understand the aetiopathogenesis of nictitans membrane disorders

Speaker: Claudia Hartley BVSc CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
The Conjunctiva and Naso-lacrimal System
1 Feb 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the anatomy of the conjunctiva and understand the aetiopathogenesis of conjunctival disease and its treatment

  • Perfect your knowledge of the nasolacrimal system and abnormalities that can affect it

  • Understand secretory and excretory components, normal lacrimation and the components of the pre-corneal tear film.

  • Appreciate kerato-conjunctivitis sicca

  • Discuss the problems associated with nasolacrimal drainage

Speaker: Claudia Hartley BVSc CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
The Cornea, Sclera and Episclera
1 Mar 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe normal corneal anatomy

  • Review normal corneal healing and factors which can affect it

  • Understand how the cornea responds to insults

  • Discuss the different causes of corneal ulceration and its treatment

  • Explain non ulcerative corneal disease

  • Appreciate the anatomy of the episclera and sclera and understand the pathology which can affect these

Speaker: Lorraine Fleming BVetMed CertVOphthal MRCVS
The Uveal Tract and Lens
2 Apr 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise congenital and acquired defects involving the uveal tract and describe the presenting signs of anterior uveitis, posterior uveitis, panuveitis and the approach to diagnosis and treatment

  • Approach non neurological abnormalities of the pupil

  • Understand aqueous opacification

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the normal lens

  • Explain lenticular disease and the range of congenital and acquired disease that can affect the lens and understand cataractogenesis.

  • Be familiar with the approach to cataract surgery together with patient selection, aftercare and potential complications

  • Appreciate primary and secondary lens luxation

Speaker: Pedro Malho DipECVO CES OphtVét DVM MRCVS
Glaucoma and Neuro-Ophthalmology
30 Apr 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Describe the production and drainage of aqueous humour and the pathophysiology of the normotensive globe

  • Define glaucoma and understand the different types of primary and secondary glaucoma and species differences

  • Appreciate treatment options for glaucoma

  • Devise a logical approach to the investigation of neuro-ophthalmic problems and understand the relevant neurological pathways and the autonomic nerve supply

  • Recognise normal and abnormal nystagmus

  • Investigate and offer treatment options for blindness of central origin

  • Understand disorders of ocular motility

Speaker: Roser Tetas Pont LV MSc Dip ECVO FHEA MRCVS
The Retina, Vitreous and Optic Nerve
31 May 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the normal anatomy of the retina, species differences in retinal vascular patterns and the pathological changes which can occur and their manifestation

  • Describe the process of chorioretinitis

  • Recognise both inherited and acquired retinopathies

  • Appreciate the anatomy of the vitreous, congenital and acquired conditions and different types of vitreal degeneration

  • Describe the anatomy and physiology of the normal optic nerve, explain congenital and acquired conditions of the optic nerve and understand the investigation of optic nerve disease

Speaker: Kerry Smith BVetMed CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
Ocular Neoplasia and Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Disease
2 Jul 2023 | Online

Key learning objectives:

  • Recognise primary and secondary ocular neoplasia and explain its management

  • Discuss the ocular manifestations of systemic disease including infectious, metabolic, nutritional, toxic immune mediated or vascular aetiologies

  • Understand the work up for suspected systemic disease

  • Appreciate treatment options for systemic disease in general practice

Speaker: Kerry Smith BVetMed CertVOphthal DipECVO MRCVS
Ophthalmic Surgery I
31 Aug 2023 | Online

This is the first day of a two-day practical session, please see module 12 for additional objectives.

The modules must be attended as a pair.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Recognise commonly used ophthalmic instruments and understand their use

  • Use loupes and understand operating microscopes for surgical magnification

  • Select appropriate suture material and needle designs

  • Discuss pre and post- operative care of surgical patients and appropriate anaesthetic regimes

  • Understand the basic surgical principles as they pertain to ophthalmic surgery

Speaker: Ben Blacklock BVSc DipECVO MRCVS
Ophthalmic Surgery II
1 Oct 2023 | Online

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Perform common surgical techniques for treating disease of the orbit, globe, eyelids, third eyelid, conjunctiva and cornea

  • Practise reconstructive eyelid surgery

  • Understand and perform different methods for enucleation

  • Appreciate the principles of intra ocular surgery

Speaker: Pedro Malho DipECVO CES OphtVét DVM MRCVS
The Histology and Pathology of the Eye, Inherited Ocular Diseases and a Problem-Solving Approach to Ocular Disease
1 Nov 2023 | Online

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Appreciate the normal and pathological appearance of histological samples including the significance of abnormalities detected

  • Understand inherited ocular disease, the principles of genetics and modes of inheritance and pedigree data analysis.

  • Appreciate different methods of reducing such disease including eye testing schemes and genetic testing

  • Explain the different conditions which affect different breeds of dog

  • Clinically recognise congenital inherited conditions encountered such as collie eye anomaly, congenital cataract, retinal dysplasia, goniodysgenesis and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous

  • Clinically recognise non-congenital inherited conditions such as hereditary cataract, primary lens luxation, generalised progressive retinal atrophy and retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy

  • Develop a problem-solving approach to ophthalmic cases

Speaker: Emma Scurrell BVSc, DipACVP, MRCVS, RCVS Recognised Specialist in Pathology
Speaker: Sally Turner VetMB MA DVOphthal MRCVS
Comparative Ophthalmology
2 Jan 2024 | Online

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Approach the ophthalmic examination of the rabbit, bird and reptile

  • Have a basic understanding of the evolution of the eye

  • Appreciate species differences in ocular anatomy

  • Be familiar with common diseases seen in rabbits, birds and reptiles

  • Discuss the role of various species in ocular toxicology

Speaker: David Williams MA VetMB CertVOphthal PhD FRCVS

Booking Options

Payments Initial
Payment Options All prices exclude VAT
GPCert Programme 12 monthly payments £469.00 £1,249.00 £6,877.00
GPCert Programme 18 monthly payments £326.00 £1,249.00 £7,117.00
GPCert Programme deposit and remaining balance £5,250.00 £999.00 £6,249.00
PgC Programme 12 monthly payments £660.00 £999.00 £8,919.00
PgC Programme 18 monthly payments £452.00 £1,249.00 £9,385.00
PgC Programme deposit and remaining balance £7,250.00 £999.00 £8,249.00

To book any option please click the "Book Now" button and select your preferences in your shopping cart.

Payment Terms & Conditions

  1. Payment for the course can be paid by credit card or bank transfer.
  2. Please contact us for pricing relating to corporate veterinary groups and multiple booking discounts.
  3. Full details regarding the course cancellation procedure can be found here: https://www.improveinternational.com/uk/terms-and-conditions/

Registration Information

  1. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.
  2. Where all available places are full, applicants will be offered first refusal for the next available date.
  3. Confirmation and enrolment details will then be sent to confirm your booking.

Key information

Small Animal Ophthalmology Online Learning
1 Sep 2022
31 Jan 2024
14 Day Course
Ben Blacklock, Claudia Hartley, David Williams, Kerry Smith, Lorraine Fleming, Sally Turner, Pedro Malho, Roser Tetas Pont, Emma Scurrell
From £6,499.00 + VAT