University of Plymouth hosts optometry taster day

The event saw 50 pupils from schools across the South West meeting academics and students from the optometry programme, as well as experiencing lectures and a practical session

Young people eye test

An event held at the University of Plymouth offered young adults an insight into optometry, aiming to inspire them to consider a career in the profession.

Organised by lecturer in optometry and module lead for Clinical Optometry Skills in the first year of the BSc Optometry programme, Alice Cottle, and sponsored by Specsavers, the taster day was attended by approximately 50 pupils in Years 10 to 13 from schools across the South West of England.

The pupils met academic staff and current students from the university’s optometry programme and attended ‘mini’ lectures on eye anatomy and visual processing.

Students had the opportunity to participate in a practical session using equipment in the optometry lab, including video slit lamps.

The event also provided attendees with the opportunity to meet practising optometrists from a variety of settings to showcase the opportunities available in an optometry career.

Commenting on the taster day, Cottle said: “Optometry is a hugely rewarding profession, and it was great to see so many young people enjoy learning about it.”

Cottle, who is also a graduate of the university, added: “We want to inspire the next generation of optometrists and provide practical learning and opportunities for patient-facing activity to help achieve that.”

Lucy Knock, early careers manager at Specsavers, helped to facilitate the event and was joined by Luke Serle, a pre-registration optometrist from the Plymouth Armada Way practice and also a Plymouth graduate, who participated in a Q&A on life as a pre-reg.

Knock said: “This event was a remarkable success and I want to thank the university for its efforts to inspire students to consider optometry as a career. It was fantastic to see the profession being showcased by Alice and her colleagues, and Specsavers was pleased to be able to support the day, not least because our purpose is to change lives. We may have just done that for some of the young people during the day.”