GCU has an ambition for the new Ophthalmic Dispensing programme to broaden the appeal and to extend the range of skills available to Dispensing Opticians (DO), applicable everywhere but particularly in Scotland to help serve the ever-increasing requirements of GOS services. OS and FODO Scotland are jointly supporting the redesign of GCU’s DO course with the objective to deliver a blended learning/correspondence format.
GCU are seeking your feedback, guidance and support, on a blended learning in-practice based course with the bulk of student learning in the workplace.
The aim of the revised programme delivery will be to broaden and enhance DO skills, potentially to enhance skills in the following areas:
• Low Vision
• Contact Lenses
• Minor Eye Conditions (MECS)
The intention is to have the programme delivered in the form of a Graduate Apprenticeship and that eligible student’s fees will be fully funded by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish Funding Council approval will depend on the number of students, placements and employers willing to support undergraduates though their training.
This is why sector feedback and support is critical to the GCU DO programme in Scotland.
As it stands, the key features for the planned course are as follows:
• The course will run as a distance learning programme with small block face to face sessions on campus in Glasgow at GCU.
• It is a 4 year BSc (Hons) degree that will potentially include management or contact lenses.
• It is the only course of its kind in Scotland
• All students will be required to be in employment by the point they enter the course
• Funding will be available for all students, regardless of a previous use of SAAS funding, through the Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
• The course will integrate professional exams and all GOC requirements and seeks to allow student to enter directly onto the GOC register after 3rd year.
• There will be no exam fees.
• The course will continue to offer practical and clinical training in the purpose-built clinical facilities (this will include basic refraction and ocular examination skills)
• Pathways for advanced entry in to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year will be included, to allow student to transfer or top up their current qualification
Given the information above, could you please support GCU by completing a short questionnaire: https://redcap.gcu.ac.uk/surveys/?s=P9NHEXAL7W.
The questionnaire will close on Sunday 12th November.
After the university has collated the initial stakeholder and employer interest with this survey, GCU intend to distribute a longer survey to all DOs, to gauge the wider community opinion on the most attractive and useful course for future DOs in Scotland. It will include questions around specific module and programme content, as well as delivery of the programme (how people would like to learn). The final programme structure is yet to be decided and they want to plan a programme that is attractive to both prospective students and employers.
OS and FODO Scotland fully endorse these new developments and thank you in advance for supporting this exciting new development in Scotland.