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First-class achievement for young Preston mum

Posted on - 28th July, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan, University campus
Chelsea Edwards graduated with a first degree in BSc Biology (Hons) from UCLan
Chelsea Edwards graduated with a first class degree in BSc Biology (Hons) from UCLan

The life-changing experience of a university education is well documented but for one University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate, life change came about in an unexpected way. 

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In 2016, Chelsea Edwards, from Preston, enrolled on the foundation year of UCLan’s BSc (Hons) in Biology.

The Preston-based graduate said: “I wasn’t sure what career I wanted to follow but the UCLan biology programme offered the flexibility to study a variety of science-related topics.” 

Read more: UCLan graduate hopes to help companies make a ‘positive difference’ to employees

The 25-year-old excelled on the foundation year programme but became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter Holly. She said: “I took a couple of years out to look after Holly and then returned to UCLan.

“Looking after a toddler while my partner was working full-time was certainly challenging. We utilised UCLan’s Pre-School Centre as much as we could and split our weekend days so we could both complete our work.

“I was also anxious that when I returned to full-time studies with a younger cohort of students, I wouldn’t be able to make friends, socialise or perform academically to the best of my ability. I shouldn’t have worried. I’ve made some great friends and relationships that I hope to take through life.

“In addition, my lecturers were very understanding and supportive which made all the difference. Without them I wouldn’t have broken out of my shell and become the person I am today.”

Chelsea’s hard work and dedication has now paid off as she graduates with a first-class honours degree. 

Read more: Wigan Warriors rugby star Liam Farrell graduates from UCLan

Dr Barbara Tigar, senior lecturer and course reader for UCLan’s biology programme, based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, said: “Chelsea was an outstanding student who was always considerate to others as well as hardworking and high-achieving.

“She not only performed exceptionally well in her academic studies but by working outside her comfort zone as a UCLan ambassador and intern she’s grown as a person and achieved her full potential.”

The mum-of-one is now planning to use the knowledge gained in her degree to study for a PGCE qualification, focusing on primary school science. 

Chelsea said: “In some ways I’m sad to be leaving behind all the wonderful relationships I’ve built with people now setting off on their own journeys. However, I’m really looking forward to graduating and excited at the prospect of moving on to my own new career chapter.”

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