BSc (Hons) Dispensing Optician Registerable Award

How to apply Come to an Open Day


Optometry student working on glasses Hear from our students

Studying to be a Dispensing Optician at ARU

Train to become a General Optical Council-registered dispensing optician. Study by distance learning while you work, and on residential placements in Cambridge.

Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023 logo

Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Dispensing Optician at ARU?

  • Our course is developed in partnership with representatives from Specsavers, Boots Opticians, Hakim Group and many independent optical businesses to ensure it meets the needs of a wide range of optical businesses.
  • Accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC). When you successfully complete your studies, you’ll be able to register with the GOC as a Dispensing Optician.
  • Learn in the workplace and develop your skills in the optical sector, whilst completing a series of clinical tasks, formative online assessments and clinical scenarios.
  • Attend four residential placements per year. Take part in seminars, lectures and practical workshops facilitated by qualified and experienced GOC registered Dispensing Opticians alongside your fellow students.
  • This course is designed for working professionals in the optical practice wishing to apply the skills and knowledge gained within their workplace.

Train as a Dispensing Optician and take the next step in your career.

Dispensing opticians have a vital role to play in community eye care. Our BSc (Hons) Dispensing Optician (Registerable Award) course will provide you with in depth knowledge of ophthalmic lenses to enable you to give specialist advice in the selection and fitting of spectacles. With a focus on professional ethics, you will be given opportunities to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and use your creativity to solve problems. You will be trained in the theory of refractive management, contact lens practice and low vision. Upon successful completion of our three-year course, you will gain direct entry to the register.

Earn while you learn on our accredited blended learning course, which features residential sessions in Cambridge.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

Looking for different course options?

Entry Requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Fees and Paying for University


An Optometry student testing a client's eyes in the University Eye Clinic

Specialist facilities

In Cambridge, our facilities include:

  • 16 fully-equipped optometric consulting rooms
  • specialist facilities in contact lenses, low vision and visual stress
  • industry-standard equipment
  • a dedicated dispensing laboratory
  • the University Eye Clinic, a working clinic that’s open to the public.

Take a guided tour and meet our students.

A female optometry student stands in the University Eye Clinic, with rows of glasses and customers in the background

Outstanding student support

Join our education community and:

  • learn from supportive, expert staff who are registered opticians
  • benefit from award-winning learning facilities, including extensive library and IT resources
  • develop your brilliant business ideas though our Student Start-up Support Hub
  • access support, should you need it, with study skills, careers advice, health and wellbeing, and more.


General Optical Council logo

General Optical Council

Our course is accredited by the General Optical Council (GOC). When you successfully complete your studies, you’ll be able to register with the GOC as a Dispensing Optician.


Our BSc (Hons) Dispensing Optician course is specially designed for eye care professionals who will be registered with the General Optical Council (GOC) ) through the duration of their study and beyond.

As an accredited course, it will equip you with the skills you need to work in an optometric practice as a Registered Dispensing Optician. ARU students have gone on to work for companies such as Specsavers, Vision Express and many independent opticians.

We also encourage students to do CPD modules as although they don’t count towards your degree, they are bonus certified modules.

It can also prepare you for further study. You may be able to progress onto our MOptom Optometry degree.

Employability and personal career development

ARU ranked in the top 10% in the country for graduates in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes Survey 2024), and 5th in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 10% in the country for graduates who agree they are using what they learnt during their studies.

We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates that agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Ruskin Modules in your second year.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

Ophthalmic Dispensing student Max in front of optometric equipment


"It really helped me develop, not only as a professional but as a person, I've really grown my confidence in myself ... it was a massive stepping stone in building a career for myself in optics."


FdSc Ophthalmic Dispensing

Apply now for BSc (Hons) Dispensing Optician Registerable Award

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Buildings and courtyard on Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus

Life in Cambridge

Our friendly, bustling campus is a stone’s throw from the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore Cambridge
Student using her laptop to do work

Learn while you earn

With support and mentorship from your current employer, you can study on this course while you work.