Graduation 2013: Love of the outdoors helps friends feel right at home in Peak District
FOUR students who swapped the south coast's downs for the Peak District's dales to pursue careers in outdoor leadership have graduated together from the same degree course.
After completing a foundation degree at East Sussex's Plumpton College; Tim Hobby, 25, from Brighton, Michael Duggan, 31, from Teddington, Tom Watkins, 20, from Tunbridge Wells, and Sam Woodhouse, 22, from East Grinstead, all chose to enrol at the University of Derby Buxton to complete a BA (Hons) Outdoor Activities Management degree.
Tim, Michael, Tom and Sam collected their degree certificates from the University's Chancellor, the Duke of Devonshire, at its Grade Two* listed Devonshire Dome in Buxton on November 17 last year.
For Tim, it was the range of outdoor activities on offer in the Peak District that initially attracted him to the university.
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He said: "I love climbing and had visited the Peak District in the past, and loved it every time. I realised that if I wanted to pursue a career as an outdoor activity instructor then studying in that environment would be the best possible start."
The University of Derby Buxton was recommended to Tom. He added: "Going to university so far away from home was quite daunting but I think knowing a few people on the course made it so much easier. It was nice that we could support each other through the course, which involved lots of team working."
Sam, who is now working as an Outdoor Education Development tutor for The Prince's Trust, said: "Having both old friends and making new friends made university a great experience. I loved all of the climbing and the field trips."
Peter Gilliver, programme leader on the BA (Hons) Outdoor Activities Management degree, said: "It was wonderful to see this group from Plumpton graduate amongst our other students. We are delighted they all had such good experiences in Buxton and made the most of our unique position in the heart of the Peak District."
For further information on the University of Derby Buxton, visit www.derby.ac.uk/udb.