Hundreds of students will don their graduation cap and gown and say goodbye to Edge Hill University to enter an exciting new chapter of their lives.

Students from the Faculties of Health and Social Care, Education and Arts and Sciences will be awarded their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees today.

If you’ve graduated then make sure you keep in touch with the University by joining Edge Hill University Connect – the official networking platform for Edge Hill University alumni. Join now at edgehillconnect.co.uk. 

You can also like the Edge Hill Alumni page on Facebook for all of the latest news, graduate opportunities and reunions at facebook.com/ehualumni

Video: Steve Cram receives Honorary Doctorate

Edge Hill’s first dental students celebrate graduation success

Edge Hill University’s first cohort of dental students were awarded their Masters degree in Dental Implantology at a graduation ceremony today.

The first seven graduates from the course, who all work full-time as dentists, studied the evidence-based clinical and research-based programme part-time over three years.

The aim of the MSc in Dental Implantology is to equip qualified dentists with the core clinical skills and competency in both the restorative and surgical aspects of implant dentistry.

During the course, the students treated a diverse range of patients and developed practical skills and competency in patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment, all under mentor supervision.

The course has a focus on teamwork, collaboration and reflection, with the overall aim of nurturing an evidence-based approach to practice and enhancing the quality of patient care.

The members of the programme team are all experienced clinicians and academics who remain research active within their own specialist areas. Renowned international experts are also part of the team which offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge in all aspects of this specialist area of dentistry.

Karl Walker-Finch, one of the students on the course, said:

“The experience I have gained through the Masters in Dental Implantology course has been invaluable in the development of my career in implant dentistry. I was provided will several patients requirement implant treatment of varying levels of difficulty allowing me to expand my range of experience in a safe environment with mentoring from some of the nations leading implant dentists. The high calibre of internationally renowned lecturers that I have learned from through my time at Edge Hill has given me the platform from which I can provide the highest level of care for my patients.”

The course’s clinical lead Dr Simon Wright added:

“Implant dentistry is widely recognised as an increasingly important aspect of career choice for the dental clinician.

“Along with the theoretical knowledge and practical application of dental implantology the programme meets the General Dental Council FGDP Training Standards in Implant Dentistry.”

The MSc Dental Implantology course is delivered in partnership between the University and Implant Centres of Excellence (ICE Ltd, Salford).

Find out more about the course here.

Steve Cram shares inspirational words with graduates

Steve Cram CBE receives his Honorary Award

Steve Cram CBE, one of the UK’s most well-known sporting individuals and now TV presenter, athletics commentator and coach has been named Honorary Doctor of Science at Edge Hill University.

In his speech, he described the occasion of being given an honorary degree as a bit of of a “Busman’s holiday” as Steve is currently the Chancellor of the University of Sunderland and is more used to giving the awards, than receiving them.

But in his speech he was able to offer words of wisdom to today’s graduates that come with the “benefit of age and experience.”

He said: “My life went in a direction I hadn’t planned. You don’t know what’s ahead of you as I’m here today as a result of running circles around a track.”

In the 1980s, Steve who was nicknamed “The Jarrow Arrow” after his hometown, was one of the world’s dominant middle-distance runners along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett.

He was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1983 and set world records in the 1500m, 2000m and the mile during a 19-day period in 1985. He was the first man to run 1500m in under three minutes and 30 seconds, and won the 1500m gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and the 1500m silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games

Most recently Steve was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours, for services to sport. Now retired, Steve has turned to television presenting, athletics commentating as well as motivational speaking and coaching.

He shared with today’s graduates some examples of advice he’d been given during his training by his coach Jimmy Hedley.

He said: “I didn’t turn up to training one night, it was cold, Top of the Pops was on. It was one of the first times I hadn’t turned up but a couple of days later he (Jimmy) pinned me up against the wall in front of everyone else and said ‘Why weren’t you here?’

“I  replied ‘Oh come on Jimmy, what difference does a day make?’ and he came back with a line I’ll never forget: ‘One day doesn’t matter bonny lad, but every day does.’

“I was 14 and it went over my head. But what he meant was being consistent and sticking to what you do. Yes, today is not that important,  but each day is going past and you’re not going to get them back. As an athlete in training that was important. That stuck with me in later years.”

Steve has now put his expertise and knowledge to use in setting up his own training camp in order to give more people the chance to experience what would normally only be accessible to elite athletes.

In addition, Steve is a key advisor to the British Athletics Endurance Programme and individually coaches up-and-coming athletes Thomas Lancashire and Ross Murray and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Laura Weightman.

He added: “I stand here today because I had something that I had a real passion for. You are graduating today in the Faculty of Arts and Science and you are the people who will forge the futures for others in years to come, to perhaps change other people’s lives.

“It is all about how you think, your attitude. It is about belief; follow that passion.

“If you do that and use the hard work and tenacity you have already demonstrated, you will be successful.”

Star graduate tackles health inequalities in Liverpool through new role

After securing a top role in the health industry, Star Suggitt is graduating from Edge Hill University today with a Masters in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health.

23 year old Star, from Liverpool, graduated with a Sports Therapy degree from Edge in July 2016, and after realising she wasn’t ready to leave education, she registered for a Master’s.

“I’d be lying if I said it was easy, it was a hard year, but was well worth it,” said Star. “The course itself had so many different elements to it and it allowed me to explore different areas to find where my personal interests lie. The extra opportunities that were available, including SafeTalk, ASSIST and Mental and Physical First Aid training, have been so beneficial in the long run.

“All the lecturers are supportive and helpful and they always make time for you throughout the course, and the friends I made are friends for life.”

Star has secured a job with LiveWire Liverpool as a Health Trainer, where her main responsibility is to help people across Liverpool to develop healthier lifestyles and behaviours, through one to one support, guidance and motivation.

“I work with clients to create a 12 week personalised health plan and then carry out follow up reviews. I support people who are seeking to improve their lifestyle including their diet, physical activity, smoking cessation, reduction in alcohol consumption and reduction of stress and anxiety. As a Health Trainer I can also refer clients to other groups, organisations and services in the local area, which involves working within the communities and networking to increase the awareness of the service.”

After four years in higher education, Star has some sound advice for students who hope to secure a job before graduating.

“Do as much as you can whilst you are studying, – any opportunities that come up take them and volunteer. That is one thing I would say gave me that head start. It was through my volunteering, that I saw my current role advertised and so I probably would have missed out on the opportunity had I not been a volunteer.

“Another thing I would say is don’t be disheartened if you don’t get the first job you apply for, it can be a slow and tedious process doing all the application forms but keep going, it’s worth it in the end when the right job comes along.”

Click here for more information about studying a Masters in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health at Edge Hill.

Conservationist says Edge Hill habitat ideal for students

A conservationist has graduated from Edge Hill University with the highest marks not only on her course but across all postgraduate arts and sciences courses this year.

Natalie Hunt, 38, from Southport, wanted to change direction in her career after working in contaminated land remediation for 15 years.  As a project manager, she was responsible for the design, implementation and management of site investigations, remediation schemes, risk assessment and validation for a wide range of client sectors across the UK.

She said:

“I had been looking for the right course for the last few years to change direction in my career and I spotted the MSc Conservation Management course advertised in Butterfly Conservation magazine. I was attracted to the balance between ecological theory and the practical application of conservation management with plenty of fieldwork and the opportunity to do a conservation placement.

“As a ‘mature’ student, I was a bit trepidatious about going back to university so many years after my first degree but I needn’t have worried.  Edge Hill University has everything you could possibly need to make it very easy to get back into the swing of things from an extensive, 24-hour library, easy access to work stations and different study rooms to suit every individual and coffee available in almost every building!  The campus, with all its green spaces and water features makes it a very friendly, pleasant place to study and a university which I would recommend to anyone.”

Natalie completed a work placement at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve (NNR) as part of her course, and has continued to volunteer there since. The placement inspired her thesis, which she hopes will be published in a scientific journal.

She said:

“With Natural England at the Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR I work with a small group of dedicated volunteers and we get involved in a variety of tasks from clearing scrub, checking livestock, tree planting, mending fences to surveying many of the unique species of flora and fauna to be found at the reserve.  Seeing conservation in action and being able to put my identification skills learned on the course to the test has proved an invaluable experience. My research project stemmed from this – the study aimed to look at open dune habitat regeneration and the effects of management and distance to existing open dunes on plant community composition within formerly forested pine plantation canopy gaps.”

Natalie said she was ‘speechless!’ when she found out about her top marks. “I had no idea.  It makes all the hundreds of hours reading and researching even more worthwhile.”

And what does the future hold?

“My goal is to turn what was essentially my hobby into a career and this course, together with volunteering as much as possible, are the first steps towards that,” she said. “I am looking forward to progressing my career in conservation management, wherever that may lead.”

Find out more about studying MSc Conservation Management here

Never too late for a change in career

Georgina Spencer

A Mum-of-two has undergone a dramatic career change, swapping working as a manager at a fast food chain for writing her PhD thesis.

After losing her mother in a car accident, 35-year-old Georgina Spencer realised that life was too short to stay in a career that left her unfulfilled. Just four days after giving birth to her second child, she began an access to higher education course in health at her local college.

A year later, she attended an Edge Hill Open Day after hearing about the University’s Counselling and Psychotherapy degree.

“I instantly felt drawn towards the campus,” she says. “The students and staff were all really welcoming and the campus itself is so beautiful and inviting. I knew instantly that this is where I wanted to come and didn’t apply anywhere else, which I knew was a big risk. I remember working harder than I’ve ever worked before to achieve a position by researching counselling and the particular therapeutic approach that Edge Hill teaches in advance and I made sure that my personal statement was the best it could be. I think I did around 20 drafts!

“When I was waiting for my UCAS update, deep down I always felt I wasn’t good enough to make it to University. My schooling experience was not a pleasant one and I felt people did not believe in me, so I really gave up trying and did not get great grades.  When I found out I had been accepted at Edge Hill I was overjoyed, I felt as though someone was giving me a chance, a new start in life. Finally I felt someone believed in me.”

Having felt disillusioned at school, Georgina describes her time at University as an amazing, life-changing experience.

She said:

“Edge Hill tutors really value you as a person and take time to listen and understand your needs and wishes and their support gave me the confidence I needed to push myself beyond my limits. My degree course was absolutely incredible – the experiential and emotion-focused approach really fits with my beliefs; I gained so much knowledge and met some fantastic friends along the way. I am now a fully qualified to practice, competent and confident therapist, who is able to fully integrate theory with practice. I never imagined that I would ever achieve a degree, never mind a first class.”

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Georgina decided she wanted to stay at Edge Hill for further study.

“I remember seeing one of my tutors in their floppy PhD hat at graduation and saying to myself – ‘I want to reach that milestone, I can do that’. I needed more experience to obtain a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position, so I decided to register on the full time Psychology Masters course. Edge Hill had provided me with so much confidence that going anywhere else was not an option!”

During that year, Georgina also worked as a voluntary children’s therapist in a primary school as well as within her own private practice at home. She also acted as a visiting lecturer and guest speaker on several Edge Hill courses including Counselling and Psychotherapy, Child Health and Wellbeing and Nutrition and Health to enhance her CV and skills.

“The Psychology Masters really tested my agility and resilience as an academic and taught me time management, giving me the skills to become a GTA,” Georgina says.

In September this year, Georgina became a GTA at Edge Hill. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) hold a unique position in the Faculty of Health and Social Care, being both registered students and carrying out teaching/teaching support. Graduate Teaching Assistants are classed as full-time PhD students and the position is for three years.

Georgina said:

“I am really enjoying both the teaching aspect and having the opportunity to research one particular subject at such depth.  My project is still in its early stages, but I’m hoping to use Action Research methodology to explore the causes and consequences to stress and burnout alongside a multidisciplinary team in a North West Accident & Emergency department to collaboratively create and develop sustainable solutions.

“I have been teaching within the Counselling and Psychotherapy Program on the Experiential Processes (Personal Development) module with first years. This was one of the key modules that I really valued in my own training, so being able to teach this really helps me to bring passion to my teaching. I look forward to what the future brings.”