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 - ABDO College

Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians

Overview

The Level 4 Diploma for Optical Technicians is regarded by many as the ‘Gold Standard’ for the industry. Holders of the qualification are entitled to use the letters SMC (Tech) after their name. It is tailored to the needs of those who aspire to become senior technicians and supervisors. Holders of this qualification may be able to apply for some exemption from Year 1 coursework of the ABDO College Fellowship Dispensing Diploma course.

The course is aimed at anyone who wants to progress within manufacturing. It gives the underpinning knowledge required to understand the principles behind many of the tasks undertaken within surfacing and glazing.

The programme

This is a two-year blended learning course, which starts in September each year. Students are assigned a personal tutor, and work through a series of assignments at their own pace (in general, at least six to eight hours of work per week is required). The course is supported by three workshops during the year and a revision workshop; these are optional.

The learning outcomes

The aims of each unit, together with the number of credits, are shown below. In the second year, students choose a surfacing or glazing ‘pathway’ (either unit 8 or unit 9).

The assessment

Students are assessed at the end of the first and second years. Candidates must pass the year 1 examinations before continuing to year 2.

Year 1 examinations

  • Unit 1: written paper
  • Unit 2: written paper
  • Unit 3: written paper

Year 2 examinations

  • Unit 4: written paper
  • Unit 5: written paper
  • Unit 6: written paper
  • Unit 7: written paper
  • Unit 8 or 9: practical project, viva examination and practical examinations
  • Unit 10: written paper
  • Unit 11: written paper

Year 1

UNIT 1: MATHEMATICS FOR OPTICAL MANUFACTURING (7 Credits)
The mathematical principles used in the optical workshop.

If the learner has already achieved this unit at Level 3 they will receive exemption from this unit at Level 4.

UNIT 2: THE EYE AND THE PRINCIPLES OF OPTICS (9 Credits)
The structure of the eye and the principles of sight-correcting lenses.

If the learner has already achieved this unit at Level 3 they will receive exemption from this unit at Level 4.

UNIT 3: THE PROPERTIES OF OPHTHALMIC LENSES (12 Credits)
Properties of spherical and astigmatic lenses, prisms and prismatic effects.

Year 2

UNIT 4: THE THEORY OF LENS SURFACING (10 Credits)
Surface generation of spherical and toroidal lenses; processes and standards.

UNIT 5: THE PROPERTIES OF OPHTHALMIC LENSES (12 Credits)
Design principles of spectacle lenses and how these relate to manufacture.

UNIT 6: SPECTACLE LENS MATERIALS (9 Credits)
Properties of spectacle lens materials and what makes them suitable.

UNIT 7: THE PROPERTIES OF SPECTACLE FRAMES AND GLAZING (12 Credits)
Properties, applications and the process of manufacture; glazing techniques.

Glazing Pathway
UNIT 8*: OPTICAL WORKSHOP TASKS AND GLAZING SPECTACLE FRAMES
(12 Credits)
The full range of tasks in an optical workshop; non-routine glazing.

Surfacing Pathway
UNIT 9*: OPTICAL WORKSHOP TASKS AND SURFACING SPECTACLE LENSES (12 Credits)
The full range of tasks in an optical workshop; non-routine surfacing.

*Students will need to take one of these Year 2 practical units

UNIT 10: SPECTACLE LENS TREATMENTS (10 Credits)
Spectacle coating and tinting; ISO standards.

UNIT 11: THE SPECTACLE INDUSTRY AND STANDARDS (5 Credits)
How the processes work to produce high standards for the UK consumer.

Exemptions

A

Yes. You may be exempt form units 1 & 2 if you passed these at Level 3.