Students Urged To Set Sights On Eyecare Career Through GCU

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Youngsters with their sights set on a new career are being urged to consider working in the world of eyecare – with up to 20 places still up for grabs in the New Year intake of a course that is one-of-a-kind in Scotland.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is recruiting students for its full-time Ophthalmic Dispensing BSc course which is taught in the country’s only recognised Centre of Excellence for Vision Sciences.

Applications are being accepted until the end of January for the course, which gives students the chance to gain clinical expertise with a variety of employers.

These include Specsavers, with the company playing a unique role by offering students support just a few weeks into their course – helping them to develop their clinical and managerial skills from an early stage while supplementing their income.

Robin Mitchell, Divisional Chair, Specsavers Scotland, explains: ‘We are huge supporters of this excellent course at GCU, which produces managers, business leaders and even practice owners of the future.

‘We are proud to have played a part in the career development of many students through offering work experience and placements and have gone on to employ many of the course’s skilled graduates.

‘Time is ticking to get applications in so I would urge potential candidates who don’t know much about ophthalmic dispensing to find out more, as this course provides fantastic support and offers great job opportunities after graduation.’

The BSc equips students to become dispensing opticians – the professionals who fit and supply specs and manage optical practices. GCU has a modern, purpose-built dispensing clinic on campus which provides students with excellent preparation.

20-year-old, Madiha Azhar is currently in her third year of the course and loves the hands-on experience it provides.

She says: ‘GCU has a good reputation, especially in the ophthalmic industry. You get to see things in a more practical setting, so it’s not just classroom based work all the time.

‘After university I see myself going into management and eventually opening a practice of my own – that’s my ultimate goal.’

Applications for the 2016 GCU course will be accepted until the end of January, with the course commencing in September.  Find out more by visiting the GCU website.


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Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers


Julie Yeudall   Tel: 07730415019      Email:


Specsavers notes to editors

  • Specsavers is a Partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve
  • Each store is part-owned and managed by its own directors who are supported by key specialists in support offices that provide a range of services including marketing, accounting, IT and wholesaling, among others
  • There are currently more than 1,200 partners in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone, of whom over 500 have been with the Partnership for at least ten years
  • Specsavers was founded in 1984 by husband and wife team, Doug and Dame Mary Perkins, who pioneered the optical joint venture partnership model and also revolutionised the industry with their innovative concept of affordable, fashionable eyecare for everyone
  • Specsavers is a champion of the National Health Service – of its 192m customers in the UK, 60% are from the NHS and the company is the largest provider of free NHS digital hearing aids
  • Specsavers is the largest employer of registered optometrists and dispensing opticians in the UK (around 3,500)
  • Total revenue for the Specsavers Group was over £2 billion in 2014/2015
  • Specsavers stores employ more than 30,000 staff globally
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2013
  • Specsavers has more than a million customers on contact lenses direct debit schemes. Specsavers' own contact lens brand - easyvision - is the most known on the high street
  • The hearcare business in the UK has established itself as the number one high street provider of adult audiology services to the NHS
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country.