A day in the life of an Optometry student: Umme Hanie

Umme with an ophthalmoscope
Umme Hanie with an ophthalmoscope

Umme Hanie Raja is a student on the BSc Optometry course at Manchester. Here, she takes us through a typical Year 2 clinic day on the course…


Alarm goes off.  I get ready to leave for the Optometry Examination clinics at 9:30am.


I wait for the bus at the bus stop (a 15-minute car ride can take up to an hour in early morning traffic!).


I reach the locker room in Carys Bannister building and start preparing my equipment and notes, put on my tunic and get ready to be debriefed by the supervisor.

Patient clinics and tutorial clinics are every other week, when volunteer patients come in. You must be punctual, or else you will not be allowed inside the clinics.

Clinic begins


The clinic session begins. When with a patient, students are required to perform the refractive routine on them and to further develop any newly acquired skills.

If it’s a tutorial clinic, students learn and practice a new skill on one another whilst being advised by the supervisors.


Morning clinics finish and it’s time for students to grab a bite to eat and/or prepare for the dispensing lab.


Dispensing lab begins. We examine lenses and frames, and utilise different equipment to measure the prescription of different types of lenses and their properties.

Dispensing lab


Dispensing lab finishes. It’s time to prepare for the contact lens clinics and get another bite to eat to keep us going (food/drink besides water is not allowed inside clinics).

Contact lens2:00pm

Contact lens clinics begin with an hour-long debrief on inserting and removing different types of lenses and how to examine a good fit.


The contact lens clinic begins.


The contact lens clinic finishes and a day of clinics is officially over! All of our stuff is packed into lockers and we head home.


Evening traffic is also very busy, so travelling home by bus can take up to another hour.

Head home


I prepare and eat dinner.


I go over my clinic notes from the day and learn from any mistakes I made, and prepare for the next day of clinics or lectures, and complete any assignments/assessments.

Clinic days and lectures are separate from each other; you either have one or the other, but never both. Other days of the week can consist of a full day of lectures or a half day of lectures. Based on the clinic rotation, you can get one day off per week or have a full week.


I have a shower and get ready for bed! Zzzzzzzzzzz.

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