Keeping optometry in the family

15 July 2008 – for immediate release

A Handsworth Wood family are gearing up for a double celebration this Tuesday (15th July) when both mother and daughter graduate from the same Aston University degree course.

Optometry graduands and mother and daughter, Amrat (43) and Gurpreet (21) Bhogal, will be donning their caps and gowns in tandem tomorrow to collect their Bachelors of Science (BSc) award. The pair, who completed all three years of the BSc Optometry programme together, will be ‘keeping it in the family’ by joining husband and father Jaswant Bhogal in the optometry field. Amrat is going to continue working with her husband at their family business, Pickford Opticians in Brierley Hill, West Midlands and Gurpreet joins Specsavers in Rugby. Both graduates will complete the one year Pre-registration period at their respective workplaces before qualifying.

It has been daughter, Gurpreet’s, ambition to become an Optician since she was five, after visiting her father at work for the first time. Amrat was also inspired by her husband to join the profession.

Gurpreet Bhogal, Optometry graduate, Aston University, said:

“My mum and I are like sisters, rather than mother and daughter, so I didn’t feel uncomfortable about us taking the same course together. We sat together in lectures and we and our friends always had lunch together – it was great to have her around.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last three years at Aston University - I applied to the course because of its excellent reputation in the Optometry field – and I haven’t been disappointed. I feel very excited about graduating tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to starting my career in a few weeks.

Amrat Bhogal, Optometry graduate, Aston University, added:

“Gurpreet and I didn’t plan to enrol on the same course together at the same time – it just happened like that. We’ve always had a great relationship and, although I gave her the space I thought she needed, the support we gave each other throughout the three years was invaluable.“

Gurpreet was one of only two Aston University students to give a presentation of her dissertation findings (on the assessment of corneal staining) at the British Contact Lens Association conference held on 30th May 2008 at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, National Exhibition Centre.


For more information contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or prtemp@aston.ac.uk.


A photo call featuring Amrat and Gurpreet Bhogal will take place at 4pm on Tuesday 15th July. Please meet at Birmingham Town Hall’s Box Office and ask for Laura Plotnek or Sally Finn, University Communications Team.

A procession of Victoria Square by students and key academic staff will also take place at the same time. Contact University Communications for more information.


Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research