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Ophthalmic dispensing course returns

The degree course will enrol students at Glasgow Caledonian University in September

GCU building

A degree course in ophthalmic dispensing that is being run by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will enrol a new cohort of students in September this year.

The university hopes to be able to offer students on the BSc ophthalmic dispensing programme the option to graduate with an alternative BSc in ophthalmic dispensing management qualification, which would include additional modules in business studies. This option will be considered by the GOC this month.

As the only ophthalmic dispensing course to be offered in Scotland, it aims to “attract new recruits” into the profession, Optometry Scotland explained.

A previous ophthalmic dispensing course run at GCU was suspended in 2017. Optometry Scotland has been involved in the relaunch of the programme to ensure that it was redeveloped as an “attractive” offering for potential students and the profession, it told OT.

While the three-year degree will cover traditional aspects of dispensing such as spectacles, contact lenses and low vision aids, it will also feature management insight in order to support the expansion of the technical abilities of dispensing opticians.

While not a formal part of the programme, the course will enable students to work within the industry during term time. The university has partnered with a range of optical companies to support students in finding paid optical placements during the course.

GCU’s Professor Gunter Loffler said: “We are excited to invite applications for the programme. There is a strong demand from the industry from qualified dispensing opticians and therefore excellent job prospects for graduates.”

Professor Loffler said that the course has been designed with the expanding role of the dispensing optician in Scotland in mind.

“Students will be trained to a level of expertise that supports them to undertake emerging roles in eye care and equip them with the skills and knowledge required to be at the forefront of their profession,” he added.