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    Hey,

    I have received and firmed my offer to study Optometry at Cardiff this September, and was looking to find anyone else who has applied to do the same. I'm also interested if anyone can tell me about the course, i.e. its modules and requirements (books and equipment). Just looking to see if there are any people on here, since apparently there are no available vacancies for those applying through UCAS Extra.
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    Hi,

    I'm just coming to the end of my 1st year at Cardiff now so hopefully will see you in September.

    Module wise you will have modules in Dispensing, Basic Clinical Techniques, Cells to Systems, Ocular Anatomy and Physiology (both biology based), Geometrical Optics (physics) and Physiology of Vision. Equipment, unless they change it again, my year paid £150 deposit for starter kit including trial frame and lab coats and have choice to buy later. Other equipment like retinoscope and ophthalmoscope isn't needed until 2nd year but a lot of people have bought them throughout the year. Books - I haven't bought any as library is pretty good but there are a couple of useful ones (both £70+).
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    (Original post by jamaicafan)
    Hi,

    I'm just coming to the end of my 1st year at Cardiff now so hopefully will see you in September.

    Module wise you will have modules in Dispensing, Basic Clinical Techniques, Cells to Systems, Ocular Anatomy and Physiology (both biology based), Geometrical Optics (physics) and Physiology of Vision. Equipment, unless they change it again, my year paid £150 deposit for starter kit including trial frame and lab coats and have choice to buy later. Other equipment like retinoscope and ophthalmoscope isn't needed until 2nd year but a lot of people have bought them throughout the year. Books - I haven't bought any as library is pretty good but there are a couple of useful ones (both £70+).
    Great! Thanks for replying. Are there a lot of people in the first year then, or is it around 70? How much do people from different years interact so to speak? I hope so too if I get the grades.

    For the modules, do you get set 'homework' or anything in the way of regular assessment? I like the sound of all of them. Oh okay, so do other people also borrow books from the library or are there not enough? And how do you (people on the course in general really) find the money for all that? I'm not the wealthiest person around, I'll admit.

    Sorry for all the questions, just hoping you might be able to answer thanks


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    There are about 80-90 people in the first year and there is a fair bit of mixing between the years which is very useful at this time of year as I can ask them all sorts of questions about last years exams.

    Some modules set you weekly questions but they aren't assessed, assessed work is a couple of times a term for each module so every 4 weeks or so(ish). Most people just borrow the books from the library when they need them although some people have bought some of the main ones for a couple of modules, depends on how much money they have and how much they feel they need them.
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    (Original post by jamaicafan)
    There are about 80-90 people in the first year and there is a fair bit of mixing between the years which is very useful at this time of year as I can ask them all sorts of questions about last years exams.

    Some modules set you weekly questions but they aren't assessed, assessed work is a couple of times a term for each module so every 4 weeks or so(ish). Most people just borrow the books from the library when they need them although some people have bought some of the main ones for a couple of modules, depends on how much money they have and how much they feel they need them.
    Okay, that sounds good. Are a lot of optometry students involved with the OPSOC there? I'm thinking about joining it when I get there, since from what I can find out about it, it sounds amazing.

    Okay, so the questions are a way which will help to learn as you go along, and a sort of self-assessment. Also, by 'assessed', do you mean contribute to the overall percentage for that year, or just marked by your lecturer. Is the first year worth 0% or 10% or...?
    Okay, fair enough, but people have started to buy equipment such as retinoscope/ophthalmoscope in their first year? Do you only start the research project in the final year?

    Again, apologies for the incessant questions.
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    Don't worry about the questions.

    First year doesn't count for anything towards the final degree but you need to pass each module with 40% in both coursework and final exam.

    Final year project is just that, just in the final year but you start assessing real patients from the second year so need own equipment for that. Some people just want more time to get used to new equipment and want to use it rather than the 1st year clinic equipment which can be variable but is generally pretty good.

    OPSOC does a lot, most of the first years tend to join and a fair few 2nd years, 3rd years not so much at the moment but we are working on that and what we can do to make it better for everyone.
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    Thanks

    That's good to hear. Although I still intend to do as well as I can in my first year, at least I know I will have time to both do the work and attempt at being social as well hopefully. Do you know what the breakdown of degree percentage is across the second and third year?

    Okay, well I guess that makes sense. I've heard from optometrists at my local Specsavers that you tend to go with whichever equipment works best for you, and it can vary between people. But again, that's a cost matter, will the university be able to support you in buying the ophthalmoscope/retinoscope if you are short for cash or do you need to find the money yourself? If I meet the entry requirements I could also potentially get the £3000 grant, which I'm aiming for, and which should help with equipment etc.

    Do you think it might have something to do with the workload in the third year? Just a thought, but obviously I have no idea, but I hope that you are successful in doing so, hopefully I may also be able to contribute if I join in September.
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    Not sure of the exact breakdown but I think it's about 60% 3rd year 40% 2nd year. It's worth doing well in 1st year as gets you in the mindset and means you have a better understanding of the foundations which then get built on in following years.

    I think part of it is work commitments but also part of it is that a lot of the extras OPSOC offers like cheese and wines are more use to first and second years but that's something for the exec to think about. Active members are always welcome and elections for exec happen in March so if you think you can make a difference that's the time to go for it.

    Regarding equipment there are hardship loans for people in severe financial difficulty but as standard the only help is the major discount we get for being a student - we get them for about 1/3 of the proper retail cost. Costs are fairly similar across the brands so you definitely got for what suits you best. A £3000 grant will help with a lot of things but spend it wisely.
 
 
 
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