Graduation review: Thursday 13 July 2017



Graduands standing on the Liverpool Cathedral steps

The sun was out on Thursday 13 July as Graduation week continued, with students from the School of Humanities and Social Science celebrating their achievements in the morning, while those from the Schools of Law and Education graduated in the afternoon.

Morning ceremony

Image of Luke Chadwick

Luke Chadwick graduated with a Policing Studies BA(hons) and explained his reasons for choosing LJMU:  Liverpool John Moores University was one of the few universities to offer a course associated with policing. The University has a direct link with Merseyside police offering fast-track entry into the Special constabulary, giving students relevant experience and knowledge to help them with the course whilst helping the local community. I was familiar with Liverpool before university and it offers great nightlife and is classed as a student city.  I never thought I would have the confidence to be a police officer and see the general public at their worst moments and be able to help. LJMU equipped me with the fundamental knowledge of police duties and criminal law which I use every time I put my uniform on and serve the public.” 


Image of Charlotte Wooding-Smith

Charlotte Wooding-Smith also gained a First Class Honours in the Policing Studies BA and was the joint winner of the Blackstone’s Policing Prize for the dissertation scoring the highest mark. She praised the policing degree course, particularly for opportunities to travel which included a trip to Slovenia.



Image of Emily Boyle

Emily Boyle is now training to be a Special Educational Needs Teacher after graduating with a degree in English and Media and Cultural Studies. She praised the LJMU lecturers for pushing her in the right direction and spoke about the great group of friends she’s made while at university.



Image of Cassie Walker

Cassie Walker’s next step is a Masters in HR Management, and she graduated with a BA (Hons) in English today. She commented: “There is something for everyone at LJMU and a fantastic balance of studying and the social side to university life. I’ve also had lots of guidance from on the wide range of career routes I can now take with my degree.



Image of Emma Vickers


Senior lecturer in History Dr Emma Vickers, was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal at the Ceremony, in recognition of her leading and internationally recognised work in the field of LGBT history.



During the morning ceremony, the University welcomed two new members to its Fellowship family Roger Webster, Former Executive Dean of APSS and Professor of Literary Studies at LJMU and Linda Grant, one of Britain's leading fiction writers and multi-award winning author.


Image of Roger Webster

Roger received his fellowship for outstanding contribution to arts and cultural education. His citation was presented by Roger Phillips, LJMU Honorary Fellow and BBC Radio Merseyside broadcaster.

Professor Webster, who has recently written a History of the University, a book focusing on the origins of Liverpool John Moores University, stated that he was “very humbled” to receive a Fellowship. He spoke warmly of LJMU staff and students as some of the “most connected, inspiring, caring and entertaining people I’ve come across.” He also referred to the “DNA of Liverpool”, and how at the heart if this is the city’s ability to innovate and deal with the pressures of a changing world, something the graduates could take forward from their time here.

“The skills, knowledge and experiences you gained here will serve you throughout your lives…this is a very empowering moment and you have all crossed a line successfully and can now put theory into practice..."

He concluded by quoting the Latin motto; “Non nobis solum sed toti mundo nati: We are born not just for ourselves but for the whole world…go out and make a difference.”

You can read the full oration for Professor Roger Phillips here


Image of Linda Grant

Linda Grant received her fellowship for outstanding contribution to literature. Her citation was presented by Ramsey Campbell, LJMU Honorary Fellow and acclaimed horror writer. 

Speaking at the Ceremony, she expressed her pleasure at returning to the city of her birth and told the graduates, “Art is not created in the vacuum of imagination…we need people…we need memories…Liverpool has been my imaginative rock.” She also spoke of the tremendous architecture of the city and the expressive culture and language. Additionally, Linda talked about how Liverpool gave refuge to her grandparents and how important this was to her family, and how she has explored identity and belonging in her writing. She concluded by saying to the students, “The spirit of Liverpool will stay with you for the rest of your lives.”

You can read the full oration for Linda Grant here


Afternoon ceremony

Image of Jennifer Higgins

Jennifer Higgins gained a First Class on the LLB Law program showing a natural ability to critically evaluate the law from various perspectives. She is now undertaking a Masters of Research in Criminology. Jennifer talked about the help lecturers and staff at LJMU offered during her time here. “The lecturers and staff at LJMU cannot do enough to help their students. Unfortunately, during my time at LJMU I had some health issues, and the staff and tutors helped immensely by providing me with extensions or extra help as needed. All of the law school staff and lecturers are willing to help in whatever way a student needs, which enhances the educational experience and enables students to fully engage with their education.”


Image of Marc Tyler

Marc Tyler won the Liverpool Law Society prize winner for best overall performance on the LLB course. He also spent time in America at Southern Connecticut State University as part of an exchange programme with LJMU.

“I had wanted to change career by studying law for quite some time. However, a combination of work, children and less than stellar A Levels repeatedly proved to be a barrier to ambition. Fortunately, LJMU not only took account of my career experience during the application process, but also offered the opportunity to study law on a part-time basis. Studying over four years, rather than three, allows mature students like myself to balance the demands of being a working parent with an academic schedule.

My time at LJMU has been a genuinely life-changing experience. As a mature student, the thought of being 10-15 years older than most of my cohort was a daunting prospect at first, but I really need not have worried. LJMU really is a community. I’ve met some truly fantastic people and with support from both lecturers and students, I’ve benefitted from some incredible opportunities. At the end of four years, my CV boasts experiences and achievements that mature law students outside LJMU would be unlikely to benefit from.

“My dream when I first started was to take the Bar course at the end of my degree, though I had no idea how I would fund it. Thankfully, the support I’ve received at LJMU, and the links the Law School has established, has placed me in the enviable position of being awarded a full scholarship by Inner Temple, along with an advocacy scholarship by the course provider. These past four years has quite honestly been the most inspiring period of my life, and I find myself in a better position than I dared think possible.”


Image of Retunya Sa

Rentuya Sa graduates with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Mathematics and Education Studies. She plans to stay in Liverpool to do a MA degree in Aesthetics, Arts and Culture Institution. She commented: “I really enjoyed my studies in LJMU. One of the main reasons is because the University not only invested in our academic life but also our personal wellbeing such as bringing dogs into university during the exam period as a therapy to help us destress, the free gym membership and free tickets to enter all these cultural activities in Liverpool. Because of all these free opportunities LJMU has offered me, it enriched my university experience tremendously. Another highlight is the opportunity to assist lecturers’ project as a student researcher and present my findings in a conference. It was the most rewarding and valuable experience. I have learned so much about quantitative research and the presentation skills which is extremely meaningful for my future career. The work experience and World of Work which allow me to implement what I have learned from university into practice. It is extremely insightful for me.”


image of Tessa Moon

Tessa Moon has a BSc in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice (Hons). She chose to study at LJMU because of positive reviews from previous students. “I enjoyed my time at LJMU and have met some amazing friends and was offered the chance to learn from experts in the field of criminal justice and psychology. There are also so many sports clubs and societies to choose from being part of the equestrian society in second year was so much fun. During a lecture in my first year I was inspired to start volunteering for ChildLine, I can honestly say this is one of the best and most rewarding things I have ever done and wouldn't have happened had I not been in that lecture. Studying at LJMU has taught me so much from how to write academically to filling in job applications and how to conduct yourself at interviews.”


Image of Imogen Appleton

Imogen Appleton leaves with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. She won the Student Rep award from the LiverpoolSU and also successfully achieved an internship to develop links with the charity Early Education. Imogen has now gained a place on the PGCE course at Durham University.



Kathryn Sweetlove gained a First in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice. She talks about her student experience in this video:

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Image of Rachel Alison Tay


Rachel Alison Tay from Singapore, praised the lecturers and facilities at LJMU as she leaves with a First Class BA(Hons) in Mathematics and Education Studies




Image of Mike Martin with his family.

Mike Martin, a lecturer from the School of Education, graduated as a Doctor of Education and is pictured with his family.


Image of John Patterson

Receiving a Corporate Award in the afternoon ceremony was St Vincent’s School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, for their outstanding contribution to community engagement and education.

Speaking at the Ceremony, Principal Dr John Patterson said:

“Thank you so much for this honour. I encourage you to remain part of the university as alumni. Share where you go, and share your knowledge and skills that you acquired from your time at LJMU.”

“Thank you to LJMU, for your collaboration, your volunteer students and the interns that have helped St Vincent’s and young visually impaired children.

“I look forward to seeing LJMU students in collaboration with St Vincent’s in going around the world to generate better opportunities  for blind children wherever they may be. Thank you, and congratulations.”

You can read the full oration for St Vincent’s School here 


For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page



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