The Student Room Group

Optometry as mature student (39)

Hi there I’m just looking for more information and or advice regarding the optometry course at anglia Ruskin.

I’m currently 39 years old working in the NHS part time as a cardiac physiologist, I’m also a mum to three young children. I have fallen out of love with my job and am desperate to do something else, optometry appeals to me as I feel it will still give me a work - life balance (once qualified) with a decent salary. My current job pays well and I do only work two days a week but it is stressful and both physically and mentally exhausting- I don’t think I will be able to scan patients into retirement age! So I have been seriously contemplating a new career. I have been looking into optometry and think this is something I would like to pursue- although it would mean studying again! I got a 2:1 in my previous degree so I’m hoping that will enable me to qualify for entry to the course. I’m concerned I might be too old to start afresh as my brain does not seem to work like it once did after having three babies 😂 I’m also concerned about the financial implications going back to uni will have- does anyone know what a typical week of study is like? Would I still be able to work alongside studying or is that just out of the question with the volume of work needed? Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
Reply 1
Hi, I don’t have any advice about the optometry course at ARU or some of the other questions you asked. However, I am interested in going into optometry as a mature student as well (25). I already have an undergraduate degree and two postgraduate qualifications. However, I want to start over in a new career as well as I was doing neuroscience research before. So, I just wanted to encourage you that starting over at any age is not a bad thing and I’m sure you’ll do well at it even though you might have to make some sacrifices. Hopefully, someone can add to this thread by answering some of the other questions that you have.
Original post by Anwill
Hi there I’m just looking for more information and or advice regarding the optometry course at anglia Ruskin.
I’m currently 39 years old working in the NHS part time as a cardiac physiologist, I’m also a mum to three young children. I have fallen out of love with my job and am desperate to do something else, optometry appeals to me as I feel it will still give me a work - life balance (once qualified) with a decent salary. My current job pays well and I do only work two days a week but it is stressful and both physically and mentally exhausting- I don’t think I will be able to scan patients into retirement age! So I have been seriously contemplating a new career. I have been looking into optometry and think this is something I would like to pursue- although it would mean studying again! I got a 2:1 in my previous degree so I’m hoping that will enable me to qualify for entry to the course. I’m concerned I might be too old to start afresh as my brain does not seem to work like it once did after having three babies 😂 I’m also concerned about the financial implications going back to uni will have- does anyone know what a typical week of study is like? Would I still be able to work alongside studying or is that just out of the question with the volume of work needed? Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!

Hiya!

I’m a third year mature student at ARU so I might be able to help with some of your questions. Firstly, I’d just like to mention that I’m not studying optometry so timetable will of course be different.

So, I am a healthcare student (ODP) which means I have to complete a certain amount of hours in clinic placement (this takes up most of my uni time) and the rest is academic work. The timetable is challenging for sure but it is manageable. I found using a diary a great way of organising my time.

I don’t personally have children but a number of the other mature students on my course have kids! we are all in our third year now and although they have had a few additional challenges because of kids, they have made it work. From what they’ve told me, it was initially a little challenging organising time but after the first few months they got into the swing of things.

In terms of financial worries - I totally get this. It was something that put me off studying for a long time. However, there is lots of financial help for students out there and I’m sure there’s added extras if you have kids (double check that). So of course my schedule will be different from yours but I am full time in clinical placement (no block placements) and I still work alongside. You can apply for ARU temps and become a student ambassador. There’s also lots of other roles you can apply for, but overall it’s a great place to apply for flexible work. I’d also like to mention that the other mature students I mentioned earlier, all also work in different jobs.

I’m unsure on the entry requirements for the course you’re interested in but you can contact, the ARU admissions team and ask them about all the entry requirements for the course. I done this before applying and found the team super helpful. I actually studied on an access course before applying for uni. I found this a great way to get me back into the swing of studying. It does add an extra year but totally worth it, if that’s something you needed to do.

Last thing, honestly don’t worry that you’re too old and can’t do it! It sounds like you really want this and that’s the most important thing. As long as you’re dedicated you’ll be absolutely fine! I wasted about 2 years worrying about my age and if I’d be able to do it all again but you do just fall back into it somehow. In the end, I just thought I have to go for it or I’m going to regret it and potentially end up in a career I don’t particularly like anymore until I retire 😅

Honestly you will not regret doing this. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I would also suggest going to an open day and finding more about the course at ARU. This really helped me make my decision!

Good luck and I hope this has helped a bit 😌

Sophie (ARU)

Quick Reply

Latest