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 - ABDO College

Fellowship Dispensing Diploma - Year Three



This the final year of the 3 year course

Course Structure

Students study via 'blended learning'. This refers to a combination of distance learning, teaching at the College as well as learning in practice. Students complete 32 weekly distance learning assignments (all online) and attend the College in Godmersham, Kent, for 2 residential blocks each lasting a fortnight, each academic year. Students also complete in practice tasks to re-enforce and demonstrate the skills learnt.


Year 3 = £4940 - exams are not included. (Assessments are booked through ABDO Examinations and Registry directly)

Course Requirements

Students must have completed their 1st and 2nd Year of study on the programme. Students are required to be working in practice for a minimum of 30 hours per week under a GOC registered supervisor. Students must apply to the GOC for student membership and retain this registration, along with complying with all relevant GOC regulations throughout their studies - this includes ensuring that all patients are made aware of their student status. Students must also be ABDO members for the duration of their study. The distance learning element of the course requires some essential textbooks. The booklist is available at the bottom of this page as well as the prices and order form for ABDO College Bookshop.

Assessment methods

Students must attain an average of 40% or higher in each module and submit all weekly assignments in order to gain entry into the ABDO FQE exams. Formal assessment is then carried out via these 4 examinations, 1 set of practical exams, 3 theory papers. Students also receive an in practice visit.

Application Deadline


Course start date



The third year course incorporates 32 weeks of coursework (delivered online) with four weeks of block release (2 x 2 week blocks).

Students must work in practice as a trainee Dispensing Optician under the supervision of a suitably qualified and registered professional for a minimum of 30 hours per week. A Practical Training Timetable will be provided to guide students and their Supervisors through the practice based learning elements of the course.

The third year course prepares students for their final qualifying examinations, success in which will lead to the Fellowship Diploma of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (FBDO). Please note that all ABDO practical examinations can only be taken in the UK or Malaysia.

The dispensing courses are periodically reviewed by the General Optical Council (GOC) who have recorded their approval of the College as a recognised training institution in accordance with the Optician’s Act.

Submission of assignments and continuous assessment

All students should be aware that if their work is submitted late, reduced or no marks will be
allocated in line with the ABDO College Late Submission Policy. Students unable to achieve course schedules will be withdrawn with no refund.

There are 32 weekly assignments to complete. The pass mark for each assignment is 40%.
In order for students to be eligible to sit ABDO theory and practical examinations, 100% of
assignments need to be submitted on time and, gain an average mark of 40% or more in each module.

Block release course studies
All ABDO College students in the UK and the Republic of Ireland are required to attend ABDO
College for two separate fortnights study each academic year, as instructed by the GOC. Failure to
attend for your blocks will result in removal from the course.

Theory exams are online. Advice from ABDO Exams regarding the computer setup to run the assessment system is below:

  • Laptop / computer with 4GB of available memory. The app will not work on phones, chrome books, or iPads/tablets. We cannot guarantee service on touchscreen devices as some devices might be incompatible with the app. We recommend that candidates source a non-touchscreen device for their exams.
  • A Windows v7.0+ or Mac10.10+ operating system, and MacOS BigSur users need to upgrade to 11.3+.
  • Intel Core i3 (or equivalent).
  • A working webcam that can be used to scan the room, microphone and speakers.
  • Minimum candidate internet speed of 2 Mbps.
  • Recommended screen size of at least 13″ and a resolution of 1024 x 768.