Learn the science of eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision devices, and automated refraction while gaining the professional skills needed to work as an optician in Canada.

Tuition: 42420*
Credential: Diploma
Length: 2 0 years
Hours: Full-time
Delivery: Class-based
Program Flyer: Download /media/vancouver-community-college/content-assets/documents/international/flyer-optician-diploma.pdf
Campus: Downtown Downtown
Start Dates: Jan, Sep

What you will learn

The VCC Optician Diploma program has earned accreditation with conditions status with Accreditation Canada/Equal. Accreditation is a rigorous external process designed to provide program quality assurance according to a predetermined set of national standards. Our accreditation is in alignment with VCC’s ongoing commitment to providing each student with the quality programming and skills training they expect from our institution. Graduates from the VCC Optician Diploma program are eligible to write the NACOR exams. 

Graduates of this diploma will have acquired the knowledge and abilities to:

  1. Apply the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians as set out by the National Alliance of Canadian Optician Regulators to provide the best care for patients.
  2. Practice within relevant legislation, Standards of Practice & Guidelines, and Code of Ethics set out by the College of Opticians of BC.
  3. Build and maintain collaborative relationships with patients, colleagues, and industry professionals.
  4. Provide ethical and transparent patient-centred care and service that recognizes and respects the diverse needs of each individual.
  5. Apply essential knowledge of optics, ocular anatomy, physiology, and pathology to make informed decisions about opticianry practice.
  6. Demonstrate safe and competent practice in all aspects of dispensing eyeglasses, contact lenses, and low-vision devices.
  7. Provide patient-centred care and education throughout the dispensing process from initial assessment to follow-up care.
  8. Integrate acquired knowledge and skills to recommend and sell products based on patient's lifestyle requirements.
  9. Apply professional business management skills to opticianry practice.
  10. Accurately perform vision assessments using an automated refraction system.
  11. Recognize the need to engage in continuous learning to maintain and enhance ability to better serve patients.

What to expect

The Optician program is designed to provide students with practical and experiential learning with a focus on active student participation and hands-on practice. 

Theory courses are delivered through lecture, small group discussion, case studies, demonstrations, guest speakers, student presentations and individual/group assignments. Students apply the theory in the lab courses, consolidated practice experiences and final preceptorship. 

The lab components of the program provides the student with the opportunity to integrate practice and theory in a fully functioning Opticianry lab, where students gain hands-on skills in a real-world setting. Lab instructional strategies include videos, demonstration, clinical simulation, and hands-on practice.

Terms two and three are supported by a Consolidated Practice Experience (CPE) which reinforces the learning that has taken place within each term.

Term four includes a final preceptorship which prepares the student for the role and expectations of the graduate. 

In addition to the diploma, students will also receive one or more industry-relevant certifications.

Admission requirements


  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent
  • Knowledge of English demonstrated by one of the following:
    • English 12 or Communications 12 with a minimum 'C-' grade or equivalent, or
    • Academic IELTS 6.0 (no band lower than 6.0), or
    • TOEFL iBT 80
  • Math 11 with a minimum 'C-' grade or equivalent

Upon Acceptance:

  • Criminal Record Check (CRC)
    • Students in this program are required to complete a CRC. The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations will not be able to complete the requirements of the program (e.g. practicums) or graduate. 
  • Prior to first practice experience, students may be required to complete site specific orientation


  • Seats are offered to applicants who have met all admission requirements, on a first-qualified, first-served basis.
  • International applicants must be 17 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program.
  • All VCC applicants are required to function successfully in an English-speaking classroom. English requirements vary by program. For details, visit VCC International - English Requirements.   

Recommended Characteristics

  • Ability to listen empathetically and communicate effectively with a diverse patient population
  • Good computer skills including correct typing technique and experience with the Internet, Windows, and Microsoft Office 
  • A sincere interest in working with patients in a sales environment
  • Ability to act respectfully, decisively, and professionally with patients and colleagues
  • Good organization skills?with an attention to detail
  • Good eyesight (corrected vision is accepted), with excellent hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity
  • Creativity and mathematical aptitude are assets

Courses *


Classes may run for 4 hours per day between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. Class times are subject to change.

This program includes off-campus practice education at sites primarily located in Metro Vancouver. As practice education involves day and evening shifts that can start at 8:00 a.m. or end at 8:00 p.m., students are encouraged to choose accommodations that are close to Skytrain stations or bus stops.


Prior learning assessment and recognition

Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition deposits are payable usually within three weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Tuition Deposit

13100 (10000 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee145
Tuition Tuition 42420
Student union273
College initiative104
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource425
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 374
Temporary Medical Insurance 149
U-PASS 722
Program-specific extra fees0

This is an international cohort program. As international cohorts are exclusively for international students, international fees apply throughout the duration of the program.

Apply now

Jan 2025
(Winter term)
February 01, 2024
Sep 2024
(Fall term)
October 01, 2023


  • Apply Now: Qualified applicants may receive offers of admission if seats are available, or placed on waitlists if seats are full.
  • Closed: Applications are not accepted.
  • For details about application availability based on study permit status and recommendations if the application status is closed, visit the Availability Status page.
Apply to VCC international programs online. Check the application availability status for your desired program and intake before applying.

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