A UNIVERSITY'S optometry degree has been accredited and granted degree-awarding powers by the General Optical Council (GOC).

The landmark decision means the University of Central Lancashire’s first students in optometry will now be able to graduate this summer.

UCLan’s Academic Lead for Vision Sciences at the School of Medicine, Rupal Lovell-Patel, said: “It’s fantastic news to receive this accreditation from the regulator for optical professions in the UK.

“This is the culmination of years of hard work from colleagues in the School and I’m delighted for everybody involved.

“Our optometry courses are going from strength to strength, and we look forward to seeing our first graduates don their UCLan academics caps and gown in July.”

In 2020, the MSci Optometry was split into the undergraduate BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Dispensing course and the renamed MSc Optometry, which continued to teach the masters’ level academic programme.

The first student to complete the MSci Optometry course is Katie Vickers, an optometrist at Specsavers Opticians.

The 26-year-old said: “I feel proud that I have completed the course, but more so for the fact that I am in the first cohort to complete this course.

“I wouldn't be in the position I am in without the help of all my course mates, so I want to also thank them for all the amazing teamwork we put in to get us through the course.”