Nearly three-quarters of third-year optometry students from the University of Hertfordshire have now started their pre-registration (pre-reg) placements with Specsavers.

The company has found places for 29 out of 40 students across the region, at stores including Barnet, Crouch End, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Rickmansworth.

The University’s new Master of Optometry course, which launched in September 2015, integrates the pre-reg year within its four-year Masters programme.

Dr Joy Myint, programme lead for optometry at the University of Hertfordshire, said: ‘Specsavers has been fantastic; extremely cooperative and helpful.’

'Valuable collaboration'

Chris Howarth, Specsavers’ director of strategic recruitment, said: ‘The collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire is very valuable. We now have an ongoing relationship with a student body that’s going to result in those individuals working for us in the longer term.

‘Specsavers is widely recognised as having the industry-leading pre-reg programme. By this summer, we expect to have recruited 450 out of around 780 optometry students. We’ve invested very significantly in the quality of the programme.

We’re helped by Professor Steve Parrish and Dr Anna Kwartz, two leading proponents in this area. The quality of the course material and the support offered by the partnerships is also outstanding. We have a proven track record of success and pretty much guaranteed employment somewhere in the estate.’

About the course

Specsavers’ pre-regs benefit from seven days of courses throughout the placement, including a comprehensive induction, workshops, assessment preparation and mock exams.

This year’s students will be the first year-group to graduate from the University of Hertfordshire’s Master of Optometry course, in summer 2019. They will leave as registered optometrists, eligible for full registration with the General Optical Council.

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