Course syllabus for

Low Vision, 3 credits

Synsvagsteknik, 3 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2022.
Course code
Course name
Low Vision
3 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Education committee CNS
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2022

Specific entry requirements

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

Students who have failed their VIL (clinical training opportunity) after demonstrating serious deficiencies in understanding, skill, or professional attitude, and done this to the degree that client or patient safety or client/ patient/ employer trust for the healthcare has been jeopardised, will qualify for a new VIL opportunity only after completion of an individual action plan.


After the course, the student should be able to

1) list and describe medical causes of low vision and how different degrees of visual impairment are defined in a global perspective
2) describe and apply methods for measuring the vison
3) describe and try out different methods of magnification
4) describe different non-optical aids for the low vision patient and how the environment can be adapted
5) list and describe visual field aids and techniques that can be used to optimize fixation behavior (eccentric viewing (EV), steady eye strategy (SES), preferred retinal location (PRL)),
6) demonstrate a high level of knowledge of  relevant constitutions to the subject area.

In addition to the above the student should, in a level-suited optometry-, care- and scientific perspective, be able to

7) show high ability to search, collect and evaluate information at a scientific level and critically discuss phenomenas, issues and situations
8) demonstrate good ability to make assessment in low vision optometry with regard to relevant scientific, societal and ethical aspects
9) demonstrate the ability to follow the knowledge development and identify her need of additional knowledge acquisition to continuously develop her skills in optometry, included knowledge of the scientific foundation of the optometry.

Aim 7-9 should be seen in relation to the document "Vetenskaplig strimma Optikerprogrammet" (Scientific Streak of the Optometry Program).


The course contains: definitions and causes of low vision as well as regulations relevant to the subject area, to measure vision in the event of visual impairment, magnification, filter glass, non-optical aids, visual field aids, eccentric viewing/ steady eye strategy/ preferred retinal location, and adaptation of the environment. The course also contains laws and regulations that regulate the field of low vision technology at national and global level.

In addition to this the course is part of the teaching of general scientific knowledge within the program. In relation to teaching of general scientific knowledge, the students continue to, in a level- and topic-suited way deepen their knowledge related to the scientific base of optometry, science and proven experience and scientific communication. They also develop their knowledge and understanding, skills and abilities, their judgement, scientific thought and attitude, in relation to optometry and a lifelong learning. The teaching of general scientific knowledge is described in a separate document.

The course is divided in the following three modules:

Clinical work, 1.5 hp

Grading scale: GU

The module includes laboratory sessions, seminars and study visits.

Theoretical understanding, 1.0 hp

Grading scale: VU

​The module includes theoretical understanding and renewal of the topic-specific contents of the course.

Scientific development, 0.5 hp

Grading scale: GU

​The module includes assignments in KI's virtual learning environment, the scientific streak and written assignments.

Teaching methods

The course includes self-studies, demonstrations, test, laboratory sessions, theoretical overviews (in the form of e.g. lectures, seminars, flipped-classroom, case methods) and written assignments.

Some course elements are compulsory, see heading "Examination".


The course is examined in the following way:

Module 1, Clinical work
a) compulsory laboratory sessions
b) compulsory seminars and study visit as per schedule

The module is graded U or G. The grade G requires fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Module 2, Theoretical understanding
a) written examination, graded U, G or VG
Re-examination may take place orally.
b) compulsory seminars and demonstrations as per schedule

The module is given the grade U, G or VG. The grade G requires G on written examination, and fulfillment of compulsory course elements. The grade VG requires VG on written examination, and fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Module 3, Scientific development
a) compulsory assignments in KI's virtual learning environment
b) written assignments, graded U or G
c) compulsory seminars and demonstrations as per schedule, a part of the scientific streak of the programme

The module is graded U or G. The grade G requires G on all written assignments b), and fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Course grade
The entire course is graded U, G or VG. 
The grade G on the entire course requires G on all modules 1-3. The grade VG requires G on module 1 and 3 and VG on module 2.

Absence from or unfullfillment of compulsory course element
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.

Limitation of the number of VIL (clinical training opportunity)
Regarding VIL, the number of times a student has the right to participate/go through the course and thus be assessed on the same is limited to two (2) times.
Guidelines in case of failure of VIL
The examiner may, with immediate effect, interrupt a student's clinical placement (or equivalent) if the student demonstrates such serious deficiencies in knowledge, skills or attitude that patient safety or patient confidence in healthcare is at risk. If a clinical placement is interrupted in this way the student is deemed to have failed that element and to have used up one clinical placement opportunity. In such cases, an individual action plan should be set up stating which activities and tests are required before the student is qualified for a new clinical placement on the course.
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's 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 knowledge, skills 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 guidelines established by Karolinska Institutet. Compilation of the students' answers in course questionnaires and the course coordinator's analysis of these are published on KI's public course web.

Some teaching may be in English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Mandatory literature

Dickinson, Christine Low vision : principles and practice