AOP Student Conference educates and entertains

Annual conference draws optometry students from across the UK

The annual AOP Student Conference, 26-27 November, drew third and second year optometry students from across the country, with delegates benefitting from new tailored career and clinical advice.

The 2016 event was the first to feature a program stream designed specifically for third year students, in addition to the existing education aimed at second year students and below. Many attendees returned to the conference for a second time; Aisha Saddiqa, a third year student from Ulster University, said:  “[the event is] a great opportunity, I came last year and I came again this year”.  Describing what she had found most useful as a third year student, Ms Saddiqa said: “the highlight for me was gaining a different outlook on specific clinical skills, so looking at them from a different angle that I wouldn’t have done normally”.

The big hit of the event, among all years, was optometrist and comedian Sarah Morgan, whose key note lecture and presentation on ‘Top 10 communication tips for exceptional optometrists’ brought together practical advice and humour. Networking, particularly meeting potential future employees, was also popular. Niraj Shah, a second year student at the University of Hertfordshire, commented: “[there are] a lot of good companies, including some you wouldn’t think of. It’s been a great weekend – really diverse”.

Mr Shah was also one of many attendees who highlighted a desire to know more about different paths within optometry, saying: “your career... it’s not one straight line”, and described the guidance provided on different roles as a huge benefit of the event.

The event also included a drinks reception and gala dinner on Saturday evening, where Manchester University were awarded this year’s AOP Film and Television Award (AFTA).


High resolution images are available via this link. The winning AFTA entry from Manchester University can be viewed here.

For more information, please contact Emily Campbell, PR and Marketing Officer, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.


Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of more than 16,500 members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good. For more information, visit

Optometry Today

Optometry Today (OT) has a readership of 15,000 members and subscribers. OT was named as the ‘Best Professional Association or Royal College magazine’ at the MemCom 2016 Awards. Organised by MemCom – the networking organisation for membership marketing professionals – the awards recognise and celebrate excellence within the membership sector. The OT website offers subscribers exclusive access to over 65 CET exams per year, including bi-monthly CET video content. For more information, visit