For the 1st semester of studying Optometry I was in 5 days a week Monday to Friday and had about 15 hours of teaching time including lectures, tutorials, lab sessions and practical lessons. For the 2nd semester I had every Wednesday off, but still had about 15 hours of lesson and practical lessons (more practical lessons than the previous semester).
The content of Optometry was varied and interesting - both semesters included Geometrical and Physical Visual Optics (i.e. physics and maths), Ocular Anatomy and Biochemistry (biology and chemistry), Theoretical and Practical Ophthalmic Lenses (a module very similar to the Ophthalmic Dispensing course), and semester 1 had Human Anatomy and Physiology and semester 2 had Clinical Optometry and Interpersonal Skills (my favourite - learning how to perform the tests an optometrist does in the clinic). The course is therefore very mixed in terms of subjects included and theoretical and practical approaches.
In semester 1 there were:
- 2 x 3,000 word coursework pieces for Human Anatomy (weeks 5 and 10)
- a multiple choice question (MCQ) exam in Ocular Anatomy (week 10)
- MCQ exam in Human Anatomy (just before before Christmas, week 12)
- an MCQ exam in Geometrics (just after Christmas, beginning of semester 2)
- an MCQ exam in Theoretical (just after Christmas, beginning of semester 2)
In semester 2:
- 6,000 word coursework for lab practical write-ups in Geometrics
- MCQ exam in Ocular Anatomy and Biochemistry (week 5 of semester 2)
- assessed group presentation in Interpersonal Skills (week 11 of semester 2)
- practical exam in Theoretical (May)
- practical exam in Clinical Optometry (May)
- essay exam in Ocular Anatomy and Biochemistry (May)
- MCQ and long answer exam in Theoretical
- MCQ and long answer exam in Geometrics
Tutorials ran throughout the year, both one-on-one and in tutor groups and I was impressed with the consistency and the quality of the meetings. Tutors were there to make sure you were settling in well and encouraged you to speak to them about any problems you may have about anything. Feedback from lecturers from coursework and exams varied.
The Optometry lectures are held in large classrooms instead of lecture theatres due to there only being 60ish people in the year. The Optometry facilities are great, and the brand new Optometry clinic is fantastic with modern equipment. Also the technician on site will fix and/or replace parts to your own equipment which is great.