Programs and courses

Optics and Optometry

IRSOO offers a post high school three-year course providing high-level tertiary education in optics and optometry, comparable to the higher vocational education in optometry held in other European countries.

Training is divided into:

  • a two-year course leading to the optician certificate: a Licence to practice as an Optician in Europe (this course also is a pre-requisite for the third year);
  • a third-year course to be qualified as an Optometrist in accordance with the provision of the Italian jurisprudence. This course also provides additional skills and competences and it is required to pursue further training in optometry and vision sciences abroad.

Continuing Education

IRSOO runs courses for continuing professional development, offered on a part-time basis, weekly classes, one-day and weekend events. These include courses on contact lenses, low vision, ophthalmic optics, optometric techniques, visual training and advanced courses and training programs in different areas of optometry and vision sciences.

About the Optics and Optometry course

Educational Goals

The three-year course in Optics and Optometry provides:

  • Advanced education in physical and visual optics, psychophysics and psychology, neurophysiology and pathology;
  • Technical skills and expertise in the treatment of visual field defects and eye vision correction;
  • Knowledge of rehabilitation protocols (except those involving the use of drugs and surgery).

At the end of the course, the optometrist will:

  • Fully understand the mechanisms of eye vision, its related processes and refractive errors;
  • Be able to examine patients with optical defects, analysing all aspects of visual function;
  • Be able to prescribe suitable customized corrective eye glasses or lenses;
  • Be able to choose the most appropriate solution (i.e. corrective glasses/contact lenses), based on the patient’s daily activity and preference;
  • Be able to show the patient how to handle contact lenses, how to put them on and off and how to maintain them;
  • Craft prescription eye-glasses, ensure their quality and repair them; handle urgent situations regarding both glasses and contact lenses;
  • Interact with customers and suppliers; interpret the rule of law and apply it correctly in their business;
  • Carry out visual training and visual postural rehabilitation, treat low vision and provide, in general, full-spectrum non-medical eye and vision care.

Educational content

The course in Optics and Optometry offers both theoretical and exercise classes. The latter are held in the institute's clinic, which is equipped with a wide range of both standard and cutting-edge equipment. Practice exercises are carried out in small groups, so that each student has a chance to practice optometric tests.

The course in Optics and Optometry includes the following subjects:

1st and 2nd year: General Anatomy and Anatomy of the eye; Optics and Optics Laboratory; Ocular Pathophysiology and Ophthalmic Tests Laboratory; Optometry Exercises; Contact Lenses Exercises; Ophthalmic Lenses Exercises. Complementary Subjects: Law; Chemistry; Physics and Computer Science.

3rd year: Visual Optics; Optometry; Paediatric Optometry and Visual System Development; Contact Lenses I and II; Optometric Investigation techniques I and II; Psychophysiology of Vision; Applied Optics and Visual Ergonomics; Experimental methods and Statistics; Binocular vision anomalies; Geriatric Optometry and Low Vision; Ocular Pathophysiology and Pharmacology; Visual perception; Optometry Laboratory.

Why choose IRSOO?

IRSOO is a training centre of excellence in a unique environment as the town of Vinci, birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci. The centre is conceived as a real campus, where students can dedicate themselves to study and research, build relationships and learn how to work in a team.

Studying at IRSOO offers a learning experience unmatched in other schools as to the broadness and variety of activities (including extracurricular ones), in support to basic education.

IRSOO is a research centre in vision sciences where students can directly connect with the scientific and experimental research world, with technological innovation and clinical research.

Click here to learn more about the history of IRSOO.

Learning Support Services

Optometric patient visits are held regularly at IRSOO’s laboratories outside regular class time. These represent a good opportunity for the practising students to personally follow the clinical activity and directly perform the visits (under their teachers’ supervision).

Vision Screenings. Third-year students (supervised by their teachers) perform regular vision screenings in local schools.

Tutoring and library services. Outside class time, students are constantly supported by tutor teachers and receive further explanations and insights. The Institute’s Library offers a wide variety of textbooks, scientific publications and specialized magazines, both in Italian and English.

Experimentation and research. Third-year students have the opportunity to actively participate in the experimental research conducted at IRSOO’s new Research Centre. Working in the laboratories and in the clinic will provide students with the opportunity to interact with patients and become familiar with the use of optics and optometry techniques.

Scholarships. IRSOO rewards academic performance offering most meriting students scholarships covering part of the tuition fees (evaluation is based on the profit reported at the end of the first year).