Six reasons to be a vision scientist

Ophthalmic and vision science is a little-known career, but one that offers you a great future. These specialists assess the structure and function of the eye and the visual system. They are experts in disorders of vision, eye diseases and the visual pathway.  This is a great choice for many reasons. Our top six are: 1. Combine science and technology with people skills  You need to be able to help and reassure patients and work with the wider, multidisciplinary healthcare…

Choosing the right sixth form college for you

If you are doing your GCSEs, you also have to think about what next. Do you want to go to a sixth form college or stay at your school if it offers a sixth form? You could also look at apprenticeships. In this article we look at how to take your next steps when applying for sixth form colleges. Sixth form colleges offer several open days. If you are in year 10 you may get the chance to do a…

Choosing your highers – your questions answered

If you’re at school in Scotland, and in S3 or S4, you might be thinking about choosing your Highers. You normally need to study towards four or five Highers in S5 – and may then go on to take Advanced Highers in S6. Scottish Higher qualifications (known as Highers) are subject-based qualifications. After taking Highers, you can go on to university, further study, training, or work. You can study for your Highers over one to two years, and will usually…

Applying for student finance in England

If you want to do a degree in medicine, ophthalmic dispensing or optometry, and you have been offered a place, make sure that you apply for student finance too. New students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan - for your fees - and a Maintenance Loan - for your living costs. https://youtu.be/I-ohAdv5CiY Here are some useful links for students in England: Find out what type of funding is available and if you can get any extra help Get an…

Applying for student finance in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

In Northern Ireland, students can apply for: Help with tuition fee costs Help with the costs of living Some students in various circumstances, such as students with a disability or long-term health condition, can et additional funding, or to help pay additional costs for childcare. Visit Student Finance NI to explore what might be available to you and apply. In Scotland, the Student Awards Agency Scotland is responsible for student finance. If you live in Scotland and you are going…

Top tips for choosing your GCSEs

If you are coming up to the time when you need to choose your GCSEs, you can feel under pressure. Don't panic: instead, read on for some tips to help you. When choosing your subjects, you could pick subjects you are good at or those you enjoy. You might want to do subjects your friends are doing, or ones where you like the teacher. These are all good reasons to pick a subject, but they are not the only things…

How and when to apply for accommodation for your course

Have you applied to uni to study courses like dispensing optics, medicine or optometry? For some people, going to uni is as much about the life experience as it is about the course – so you want to get your choice of where you live right. There are a number of options open to you: Live at home and study a full-time degree at a local uni. With the rising cost of living, staying at home can seem like the…

What to consider when choosing subjects for sixth form

Are you ready to choose your subjects for sixth form? Whether you are staying at school or moving to a sixth form college there are lots of options open to you. It can seem overwhelming – but don’t panic - here are tips to help you. First, you might want to think about the sort of job you would like to do. Look on a careers website like Careers in Eyecare and explore careers you might like and what you…

New BTEC for optical assistants

Specsavers has created a BTEC qualification to develop the skills of thousands of optical assistants (OAs) working in its community practices.    The new Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate includes units from the existing Pearson BTEC Level 3 certificate for optometric clinical assistants and dispensing assistants. Learners choose additional units to fit their roles, providing a tailored learning experience.   Jodie Glanville (pictured) is the first person to complete the new qualification, works at Specsavers’ Plymouth practice: “I use the knowledge I gained completing the Cert 3…