Mature Student Overcomes Challenges to Graduate with a First

Hope Clayton graduated from Robert Gordon University at 10.30am on Tuesday 12th July with a first class BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science.

Hope ClaytonHope (30) studied for her degree while bringing up two young boys aged 9 and 10, and worked during the summer months to earn enough money to continue her studies.

Hope left school at 16 with poor standard grades and at 23 went to Aberdeen University to complete the summer school for access. Once both her children were at school she used her qualifications from Aberdeen University to gain a place at RGU - and she hasn't looked back.

Hope said, "One of the first challenges was getting used to studying. I felt like I was starting from scratch but that meant that from day one I put in a lot of effort to ensure I kept up. Time management was another significant challenge, fitting university work in with spending time with my children, looking after their everyday needs, school commitments and housework. Again I found that this became a strength as I needed to be very organised from the outset."

Financially things were also challenging as during term time Hope could not work due to the course being full time so the family lived off her student loan and then she would work all through summer.

She said, "The four years was quite relentless as I was never really able to take a break, but this certainly taught me how to manage a budget more effectively and spurred me on to get the best degree I possibly could."

Hope's hard work was rewarded with a first class honours degree and she is now going on to do a teaching qualification at Aberdeen University to become a secondary school biology teacher.

Hope said, "I found my four years at RGU a very positive experience. Although it was very hard work completing my degree with two children, they kept me going and gave me a positive attitude when I was struggling and gave me the determination to do my very best. I would say to any mature student considering returning to university to go for it. It's never too late and with a bit of determination and hard work you can achieve any goal."


Andrew Youngson

Communications Office

Robert Gordon University



AB10 1FR

Tel: 01224 262389