University of Portsmouth may establish an optometry course

If established, the university would be the 11th institution in the UK to offer an optometry degree

University of Portsmouth may establish an optometry course
The University of Portsmouth is recruiting two senior optometry lecturers, OT has learnt. 

In an advert published on recruitment website, the university said it was seeking: “Two full-time senior lecturers with experience of teaching optometry in higher education and a sound background in optometric practice.” 

A more detailed job description revealed that the successful applicants would be expected to “co-ordinate and contribute to the design, development and delivery of a Master of Optometry.”

Last year, news of the University of Hertfordshire’s plans to establish an optometry course received widespread criticism within the optometric profession, with a e-petition attracting over 2,500 signatures.

In order to establish the course, the university would require accreditation by the General Optical Council (GOC).

A spokesperson for the GOC told OT: “We’re aware of the job adverts but have not yet received a formal application for an accredited programme. Any application will be considered in line with our usual process.”

The spokesperson stressed: “We are required to consider new applications for accreditation based on whether they meet our standards. We are not able to consider factors such as demand for optometrists or market conditions when considering accreditation applications.”

The university has yet to comment on its intentions to establish a new optometry course after being contacted by OT.