Course syllabus for

Global Optometry and Vision Screening, 7.5 credits

Global optometri och synscreening, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2021.
Course code
Course name
Global Optometry and Vision Screening
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Education committee CNS
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2021

Specific entry requirements

Passed results of at least 55 higher education credits from The Optometry programme's semester 1 and 2 and at least 45 credits from semester 3 and 4.


After the course, the student should be able to

a) identify the principles of organisation of eye care in the country that student visits together with the association Vision for All (VFA)
b) account for the outcome of the current contribution compared with earlier years
c) carry out simple vision screening and screening under poor conditions
d) present patient cases in relation to different social, economic and cultural preconditions from an optometric perspective
e) discuss how economic, political and social factors as well as environmental factors determine the health and access to health-care services on a population level and among individuals
f) compare the differences within and between countries in regard to access to different forms of healthcare and the quality of the care, and compare this to the Swedish health care system   
g) identify how different professions collaborate and share tasks in healthcare within weak health systems with poor resources compared to high-income countries.
h) discuss how the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG:s) and human rights can affect health in a population.


During the first part of the course the growing amount of information about global health is presented and discussed. During the second part the student will travel to a low- or mid-income country together with optometrists and assistants from the VFA, where they all will carry out simple vision screening and provide visual aids to those in need. The second part gives the opportunity to get an experience-based understanding of different preconditions for people's health and healthcare in a low- or mid-income country, as well as an understanding for the roles of different professions within a healthcare system that has another structure and another resource level than our own. The combination of learning to understand and interpret global health in theory with the personal experience is an important eye-opener to adopt an evidence-based, up-to-date view of the world.

The last part of the course includes a written report of patient cases in relation to different social, economic and cultural preconditions from an optometric perspective, in the country visited.

Teaching methods

The course contains self-studies, theoretical overviews, seminars, workshop, portfolio and written assignments. The students must take a great responsibility themselves to enable their participation in the study journey.

Participation in seminars and workshops are compulsory.

Code of Conduct
All students are required to sign the Code of Conduct of Karolinska Institutet (KI) before they participate in the journey with the VFA. Signing the Code of Conduct implies that the student commits to

  • follow the advice and instructions given in terms of personal safety, and hence avoid exposing themselves, fellow travelers or hosts to risks
  • follow the instructions given before travelling and while staying abroad, as well as the rules that apply at the educational institution, hospital, place of work or equivalent
  • show respect for the host country's culture and traditions, social structure and religion, and respect the dress codes and codes of conduct that apply in the country in question
  • show respect for other students, teaching staff, patients, families and health-care staff
  • provide a good example for other students, and not jeopardise KI's relationships with its partners.
  • follow the agreed course programme and respect the local pedagogical tradition and teaching methods
  • take personal responsibility for his/her own learning and follow the agreed course programme and safety instructions.

Should a student fail to comply with the code of conduct, it may result in a failure to pass the second part of the course.
The examiner can also immediately interrupt a student's stay abroad if the student shows such serious shortcomings in knowledge, skills or attitudes that the safety, the trust of other students, the reputation of Karolinska Institutet or the collaboration with our local partners is deemed to be at risk. Should the second part of the course be interrupted in this way, it will result in the student failing this part of the course and that the student may be forced to return home.


The course is examined in the following way:
a) active participation in vision screening during the stay abroad, is graded U (Fail) or G (Pass)
b) written report of patient cases in relation to different social, economic and cultural preconditions from an optometric perspective, is graded U or G
c) participation in compulsory seminars and workshops according to instructions

The course is graded U or G. The grade G requires G on examination task a) and b), as well as fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in or fulfilled compulsory course elements, or compensated for any absence/ failure to fulfill in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from or unfulfillment of a compulsory course element may imply that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus' regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

If the course is cancelled or goes through substantial changes, information about interim regulations will be stated here.

Other directives

Course evaluation takes place according to KI's local guidelines. Students are informed of the results and any measures taken on the course website.

Teaching in English may occur.

Literature and other teaching aids

Mandatory literature

Schwab, Larry Eye care in developing nations
Course compendium will be handed out during the course.