"I’d wanted to do optometry for a long time; wearing glasses and taking regular visits to the opticians sparked an interest. I took A levels in biology, chemistry, physics and maths, applied to the University of Plymouth and came here to study straight after finishing college.
We have a week of placement in the first year and two weeks in the second year in an optician’s practice. This helps give us an idea of the working week as an optometrist, and helps those who haven’t worked in practice already to get an idea of how an optometric practice works. We are allowed to practise on each other and the general public whenever possible; working with people you don’t know very well helps with communication and confidence with others.
The best part of the course is definitely when we get to be in our third-year clinic, testing the general public. Here, all of the things we’ve learnt in the past two years come into practice and it finally feels like we’re ready to go into the workplace!
Optometry at Plymouth is very hands-on and practical; the lecturers are great and always happy to help. My advice, if you’re considering this degree, would be to get yourself your own practice placement, a Saturday job in an opticians over the summer, or time in an ophthalmology unit in a hospital. This will give you a basic knowledge that is always handy!
The University’s sports clubs are great and, personally, I've done rowing for the last two years and have loved it."