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A Career in Optometry

Optometry is a health care profession and is a rewarding career for those prepared to accept the responsibility of caring for people’s vision.

Optometrists carry out eye examinations to measure visual efficiency and detect visual defects. They may prescribe and dispense suitable visual aids such as spectacles and contact lenses as well as special telescopic and magnifying devices for the visual impaired. Optometrists may also advise patients on eye exercise to improve eye muscles and coordination. They are also trained in detection and diagnosis of eye diseases and may refer patients to ophthalmologists and other health acre professionals.

The most important personal quality required by Optometrists is a liking people of all ages and a genuine desire to help patients. Another important personal attribute is a strong academic background as the optometry courses are challenging and place are not easily gained.

The optometry courses are based on sciences including biology, physics and chemistry. The course also covers subjects such as anatomy, physiology of vision, pharmacology and histology, visual optics, general ophthalmology, binocular vision, contact lenses and dispensing. The final years are devoted to clinical instruction in the management of visual problems. Most of the final year is spent working under supervision in contact with patients.

Competition for entry is high and on average three A-level grades of ABB in science subjects are required.

Universities in the United Kingdom offering 3 years undergraduate in Optometry:

  • Aston University
  • Bradford University
  • City University
  • University of Manchester
  • Universities of Wales College of Cardiff
  • Anglia Polytechnic University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University

After graduation, the candidate must:

  • Complete a pre-registration year – this involves full time clinical experience as a trainee under the supervision of registered optometrist.
  • Pass part 2 of the professional Qualifying Examination (PQE) to be able to register with General Optical Council, UK.

Optometrists may also proceed to higher degrees. (MSc, MOptom, OhD)

Universities in Australia offering a degree in Optometry:

4 year course

  • Queensland University of Technology

5 year course

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of New South Wales

At the moment, there are five local optometrists who have gained their qualification in the UK, and who are currently employed in government hospitals under the Ministry Of Health

Check out the following websites for more information.