Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Chris Jacobs

Image of Chris Jacobs

Chris Jacobs

BOptom Hons Optometry 2002

1.  Tell us about yourself. 

Hi, my name is Chris Jacobs and I was one of the first cohort of optometrists to graduate at ARU in 2002. I subsequently went on to work in Cambridge for several years in varied positions; ARU optometry clinic supervisor, Specsavers, and Vision Express. The opportunities ARU provided me with were an ideal stepping stone for me to read Medicine at University of Cambridge, graduating in 2011. I have had a range of medical and educational jobs since, and am now settled as a GP academic in the South West.  

2.  What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?

Difficult to recount one as my fondest, as many spring to mind. I remember being dressed in my white lab coat, ready to examine the first patient I had ever seen. The initial anxiety was quickly replaced by a feeling of pride that I was to perform my first sight test.  

3.  What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate? 

I would advise students to not be held back and if it takes several attempts to succeed at their ambition, then it makes the success all that bit sweeter. 

4.  What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?

Getting 8 hrs sleep improves learning by up to 30%. Anything less is detrimental to your wellbeing; both physically and mentally. Add in alcohol and you have a recipe for a sleep disaster. 

5.  How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you? 

It secured me with a vocation that integrated healthcare and the visual sciences. Employment rates are extremely high when graduating in Optometry at ARU and opportunities exist beyond the high street as an Optometrist. Overall, I was instilled with more confidence and self determination to achieve my potential.  

6.  What did you love about your chosen course?

Helping people see. It’s that simple. 

7.  What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU? 

Studying at ARU Cambridge campus is a great location and a great university. The historic city caters for all tastes and the university offers an inclusive experience that remains friendly and open. 

8.  In one word how would you describe Anglia?


9.  Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My dad. He has been a practicing GP for 40 years and his commitment to the health needs of others became a defining role model for me. The selfless service NHS employees give day in, day out is what makes our health system an exemplar worldwide. 

10.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I was fortunate to travel to Zanzibar to donate ophthalmological equipment that was raised with the support of friends. This much needed equipment contributed to the only ophthalmology centre on the island. It was also a humbling experience to assist a team of Norwegian anaesthetists introduce Ketamine as an analgesia to a hospital that had to function on only paracetamol or ibuprofen. We are very privileged in the UK.  

11.  What advice would you give your younger self?


12.  What drives you?

My internal motivator that is powered by caffeine and dark chocolate. 

13.  What’s next?

Spending quality time with my wife, son and dog. Combined with a busy GP job and teaching medical students I will long for the quiet times again!