Higher education graduates at Bath College celebrated their achievements in style after years of hard work spent studying.
More than 80 students dressed in caps and gowns gathered at Bath Abbey for a formal graduation ceremony, followed by a reception back at the college.
They have all completed courses at Level 4 or higher in a wide range of subjects, from accounting and construction to computing and music production.
The ceremony started with a formal procession made up of heads of departments, governors, and The Mayor of Bath, councillor Ian Gilchrist.
It also included a key note speech from Martin Doel, Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at University College London, and former Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC).
Liam Burcombe graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in sport and exercise science, after two years of studying at Bath College.
In September, he will begin a year studying at the University of the West of England (UWE) in order to achieve a full honours degree.
He said: “I was originally going to go straight to university, but the more I thought about it the more I realised studying at college would suit me better.
“You get a lot of support from the tutors and you’re learning in a classroom with a smaller number of students, rather than a large university lecture theatre.
“These two years at college have prepared me academically for the third year at UWE, helping me to build up referencing and researching skills.
“I’m looking forward to getting my certificate, and I’m looking forward to next year as well. I hope to go on to do either coaching or PE teaching.”
Reena Sharma decided to study for a diploma in education and training in order to continue her teaching career after moving to the UK from India.
She said: “In India, the teaching is totally different, it’s more lecture-based, whereas here it’s about involving the students and how you can interact with them.
“It’s been a learning journey, but everyone in my class has made me feel comfortable and helped me to understand things – it has been a very good experience.
“My husband and my family, they are more excited than me! They are excited to see someone from our family graduate in the UK.”
Bath College Principal Laurel Penrose said: “Behind each achievement is a story, a story of hard work, dedication and determination. Without your individual grit and tenacity, we wouldn’t be here today so well done and congratulations.
“Although this is a celebration and it might seem like a conclusion for all your hard work, in many ways it’s just the beginning of future opportunities. By completing these qualifications at such a high level you have demonstrated an obvious determination to do well in the world.
“You are exceptional individuals, I congratulate you on all you have achieved and I’m delighted that the college has been part of your life journey.”