Now with University of Hertfordshire rolling out an integrated Masters of Optometry courses, Vivid Optical’s Danny Alaimo caught up with lecturer Dr Joy Myint and student Niraj Shah to ask a few questions. Here’s what followed:
Why did you choose University of Hertfordshire, and why this course?
(N.S): I chose University of Hertfordshire after seeing the new course advertised. The idea of an integrated masters appealed to me as it was a different and unique programme. Being a new course also meant that all the clinics were fully equipped with the latest equipment.
Wanting to study optometry after my grandmother lost her sight to Glaucoma. I’ve worked in practice over the last 10 years as dispensing optician and the university gave me an opportunity to continue my studies and advance my career.
What is the accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire like?
(N.S): The accommodation has been redeveloped in the last few years. Plenty of different options to choose from between the two campuses. The rooms are fairly spacious with a good size common room and kitchens. Also having the options to live with friends.
How many people are in your course this year?
(J.M): There are 185 across four years.
Can you tell us how this course differs from a generic Optometry course?
(N.S): It is an integrated Master’s programme.
Do the teaching methods differ from a generic Optometry course? (Factor in the quality of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical classes)
(J.M):: We use a variety of different techniques, including blended learning, flipped classroom and simulation.
(N.S): The main thing that I felt that was different to other courses is that they had a big focus on practical skills seeing patients from the first year meant we had a lot more exposure to real life earlier which made me feel better prepared for pre-reg.
Can you tell me what the benefit of having an integrated pre-reg is spread across two years instead of doing it in a single year?
(N.S): The pre-reg is spread between two school years but it still one calendar year. Doing the pre-reg whilst still a student meant the university was there still to help you throughout including mock OSCE’s
What benefit is there in having a masters as opposed to a degree when the jobs post qualification will be the same?
(J.M): It as higher level than a Bachelor’s degree.
What are you hoping to do post qualification
(N.S): Once qualified I would like to continue with Independent Prescribing, given the way optom roles are changing more conditions will be more likely treated in the community. Eventually, I would like to have my own practice.
I’d like to thank Dr Joy and Niraj for contributing to the Vivid Optical Blog!
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