An inspirational Edge Hill University student has beaten the odds to graduate with top marks in her Law degree.

Caroline Preston, from Ormskirk, achieved her dream first class honours degree despite undergoing major surgery prior to her enrolment on the course. The brave thirty-nine-year-old used this as motivation to follow a new career path and pursue a Law degree at Edge Hill University.

“Previously I had a successful career in retail management but I knew I wanted to do something else. I’d always been interested in law and after my recovery I realised that you only have one chance at life, so I decided to just go ahead and do it.”

“I chose Edge Hill University on account of its good reputation and because I wanted to remain in the local area to be close to my parents. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I worked hard at my studies right from the start; My tutors in the law department were incredibly supportive. They provided detailed feedback on my work and always had their door open to me when I was stuck on something or needed a chat. They never gave me the answers; they just pointed me in the right direction so that I could find the answers for myself.”

Caroline supported herself financially while she was studying, which meant holding down two part time jobs which she juggled with her demanding study schedule.

“I had a very strong focus and knew what I wanted, so was able to manage my time well. I would often be on campus from 8am to 4pm throughout the week, catching up on my reading, working on assignments or speaking with my tutors between my lectures and seminars. I set my own deadlines for everything and never missed one during the degree. Evenings and weekends were taken up with my part time jobs. I’ve often wished for 48 hours in a day over the past three years, just to fit everything in more easily!”

After getting through a work-intensive second year, Caroline’s father became ill and was admitted to hospital just four weeks before her final exams.  But again, her focus and ambition helped her to deal with it.

“The department were very understanding and granted ‘mitigating circumstances’ for my exams. However, I battled on and decided to sit the exams at the scheduled time anyway. Thankfully my father made a good recovery and I didn’t need to rely on this in the end.”

Caroline now plans to undertake a Masters at Edge Hill University in International Business and Commercial Law, and then go on to complete her Legal Practice Course to become a solicitor.

Caroline’s personal tutor Professor Richard Parrish, said: “’Caroline is an exceptional student. Her achievement reminds us all that having a good mind plays only a small part in ones success. Being passionate about your study, disciplined and possessing a determination to succeed despite very serious setbacks is of much greater significance. The Law and Criminology team extend our whole hearted congratulations to Caroline. We wish her every success for the future.”