Leadership Skills

LOCSU’s Leadership Skills for Optical Professionals, is a 20-credit postgraduate module, and part of WOPEC’s MSc programme at Cardiff University.

The module has produced many successful candidates who are now leading the development of primary eyecare services in Primary Eyecare Companies and LOCs, as LOC Officers, as Clinical Governance and Performance Leads, as LOCSU Commissioning Leads and in Local Eye Health Networks.

This course is designed to enable the practising optical professional to become an effective leader at local and national level within the optical sector through the support and development of LOCs and LEHNs, building effective strategic networks, influencing policy makers and enhancing eye health services for patients.

It provides an understanding of current leadership models and theoretical approaches and will give delegates the background knowledge and practical skills that will equip them to provide leadership in the optical sector.

This course is open to BSc-qualified Optometrists and FBDO-qualified Dispensing Opticians.

Applications for 2020 Course

Date for applications will be advised in due course (in January).

Course Dates and Content

Key dates are yet to be advised for assignments and exams:

  • March 2020 – Webinar at (time to be advised) on Introduction & Leadership modules
  • (Dates to be confirmed) March onward – Assessment: weekly blogs (a minimum of 10)
  • (TBA) – Webinar, both dates are at 8pm
  • (TBA) – Assessment: Critical Review Blog submission
  • (TBA) – two practical contact days in London
  • (TBA) – Assessment: Leader Blog submission by 12 noon
  • (TBA) – Essay assignment by 12 noon
  • (TBA) – resit/submission

The Assessment Requirements

This module will be assessed in two ways:

  1. Coursework blogs which is 50% of your final mark, and
  2. an essay assignment which is 50% of your final mark.


Your leader blog will be 50% of your final mark. You will be required to write one blog per week (identified by you), a minimum of six blogs (one to be the critical review) between March and June. Feedback will be provided to each student on each blog post to support continuous improvement.

Blogs will be marked using the following assessment criteria:

  • Reflection on content and practice:
    • your blog needs to demonstrate that you have reflected on the leadership topics covered within the course and your application of the content to your own leadership role/s in the optical sector. We expect to see some progression of ideas and confidence in relating your thinking to your leadership role/s over the course of the module.
  • You need to be posting at least one blog per week during the course
  • Writing style:
    • The blog needs to be written in an engaging style which communicates your message and leadership role/s.

Essay Assignment (1500 words +/- 10%)

You can choose any topic from the leadership course to explore further in your assignment. We are looking for evidence of practical application in your assignment, this could be via participation in your LOC or employer meetings/working groups, or leading a project for your LOC or employer.

  1. You attend a meeting to discuss a commissioning/business opportunity for your LOC/employer.  Use your assignment to critically analyse the strategies discussed and your contribution.
  2. You volunteer to lead a group for your LOC/employer.  Use your assignment to reflect on your leadership of the group, the team dynamics and any outcomes achieved.
  3. Lead a piece of work for your LOC/employer on one of the following:  succession planning, developing talent through coaching and mentoring, engagement with stakeholders.

Assignment Criteria

This is a written essay in which you will be expected to critically analyse the key concepts and literature you discuss.  You also need to demonstrate practical application of the ideas you discuss within one of your leadership roles.