Access Courses available from ABDO College are designed to help prospective dispensing optician students to meet the necessary entry requirements. They are also a useful refresher for those who have been out of education for some time.

The entry requirements for the ABDO Level 6 Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing (FBDO) and the Canterbury Christ Church University Foundation Degree/BSc (Hons) in Ophthalmic Dispensing are five GCSEs at grade c or above, which must include English, maths and a science. Each passed access course is accepted in place of one GCSE. The access courses are available in the key subjects of English, General Science, Human Biology, Mathematics, Optics and Dispensing. Access Optics and Dispensing presents introductory level information to facilitate an initial understanding of these important disciplines. It is also therefore a particularly useful course for new staff induction and for practice reception staff.

Access courses run once a year starting in February and each course takes approximately 20 weeks. The timing is designed to align with entry to dispensing courses each September.

Access Courses are currently assessed by continuous assessment only and students are required to achieve an average mark of 70 per cent in their coursework assignments in order to pass.