Petroc graduates celebrate outstanding achievements at annual awards ceremony

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Petroc’s Higher Education (HE) students celebrated completing foundation degrees, HNCs, Certificates in Education, CIPDs and BA Honours programmes at the college’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday (October 8).

The students, who studied HE at Petroc in partnership with Plymouth University, paraded through Barnstaple town centre, led by town crier Roy Goodwin and a number of local dignitaries, including Barnstaple Mayor Cllr Julie Hunt and Peter Heaton-Jones MP. A ceremony was then held, in front of proud friends and family, at The Queen’s Theatre.

This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the ceremony being held in North Devon. Over the years, Petroc has significantly expanded its provision and this weekend over 100 students celebrated completing a wide range of degree programmes, including Health & Social Care, Business and Illustration. This year’s cohort produced some fantastic results, with close to 50% of Foundation Degree students gaining either a Distinction or a Merit.

Amongst the graduates was the second cohort of BA Honours degree students. The BA Honours programme was introduced at Petroc in 2013 and the students’ results are impressive; 64% of BA Honours students attained a First or a 2:1.

Addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Principal Diane Dimond said: “What an amazing sense of achievement we are recognising here today. This is your time to shine – your big day – and you thoroughly deserve it for all your hard work. It’s fantastic to see so many of our HE students going on to higher level study or securing fantastic employment opportunities. Petroc students are consistently high achievers and I’m sure you are all excited about what the future holds.”

Speaking on the day, Terri Adams, prize winner for the Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies, said: “I’ve just found out that I’m an award winner, and I’m absolutely delighted! I’ve juggled family life, full time work and placements alongside studying, and it’s been tough at times. It’s so nice to have all that perseverance recognised.”

Kelly Adams, a BA Honours in Professional Development graduate, was the winner of the Best Overall Student Award. Before the ceremony he praised the learning environment at Petroc. He said: “Compared to university, I feel you get far more one-to-one support here are Petroc. The class sizes are smaller than at most universities, so the lecturers know you by name and have a real interest in your aims and ambitions. For me, personally, it was perfect and I couldn’t have wished for more.”

Mark Stone, Head of UK Partnerships at Plymouth University, spoke of future plans for Higher Education. He said: “During the last year, Petroc has played a leading role in a strategic collaboration with the University to develop five new degree-level apprenticeships: one in business and four in the field of digital technology.”

Petroc has also expanded its provision of Foundation Degrees for 2016, introducing four new programmes to meet growing local demand: FdSc Public Services, FdA Project Management, FdA Teaching & Learning and FdSc Healthcare Practice.

Petroc offers quality, affordable university-level programmes in Partnership with Plymouth University, including the area’s first ever BA Honours programme. The college has been offering degree courses in Devon for over ten years and has helped hundreds of students gain university-level qualifications without leaving the area. As well as being able to study close to home, students at Petroc also benefit from small class sizes and one-to-one support, something which isn’t always readily available at university.

To find out more about degree courses at Petroc call the Higher Education team on 01271 852335 or visit