Julie Hughes

Acting Deputy Head of Department

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Vision and Hearing Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Health, social care and medical innovation

Julie originally trained as an ophthalmic dispensing optician at City & East London College on the correspondence course, while being employed by Dollond & Aitchison.

Julie has worked for large multiples and independent optical practices as a registered qualified dispensing optician for more than 15 years. She has experience of project management in heavy industry as well as degrees in Physics and Materials Science, Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry.



Julie worked in the Supertension cable industry and obtained her first degree in Physics and Materials Science. Returning to ophthalmic dispensing in 2006 by reading the Optical Management degree, and then subsequently BOptom(Hons) in 2013.

Julie has worked for large multiples and independent optical practices as a qualified dispensing optician. As a student at ARU, she took part in Vision & Hearing Sciences summer research projects and became a part-time research assistant in 2012, while completing her optometry degree. During this time, Julie was involved in the process of accreditation for our FdSc Ophthalmic Dispensing, and teaching the students during their residential periods. 

Subsequently, Julie has implemented automated marking of the FdSc Ophthalmic Dispensing OSCEs (objectively structured clinical examinations) and increased her involvement with the audit and management of the FdSc. She is currently also studying for the Low Vision Honours accreditation for Dispensing Opticians.

Research interests

  • Teaching and assessment methods for dispensing opticians
  • Low vision



  • BSc (Hons) Material Science, Open University
  • BSc (Hons) Optical Management, ARU
  • BOptom (Hons) Optometry, ARU
  • FBDO, Fellow of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
  • PGCert

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)
  • Registrant of the General Optical Council
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Selected recent publications

Siderov, J. and Hughes, J.A., 2013. Development of Robust Methods of Assessment of Clinical Competency in Ophthalmic Dispensing - Results of a Pilot Trial. HSCE, 2(1), doi:10.11120/hsce.2013.00023.

Latham, K. and Hughes, J.A. Is a reading addition necessary for clinical contrast sensitivity measurements? Poster presentation, European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO), Malaga, April 2013.

Waugh, S.J., Formankiewicz, M.A. and Polczyk-Przybyla, J.A., 2011. Effects of imposed Gaussian blur on contour interaction for luminance-modulated and contrast-modulated noisy Cs. Journal of Vision September, 23, 11(11), article 1151.