Former Aylesbury school pupil Sinead Morris had plenty to celebrate as she collected her degree this week from Buckinghamshire New University, having given birth just as she was completing her studies.
Sinead, 22, of Aylesbury, has gained a degree in BSc (Hons) Computing from the High Wycombe University, even completing an exam on the day she was due to give birth to daughter Ariyah.
The two-month-old, and Sinead’s mum Linda were in the audience at the Wycombe Swan Theatre to see an extremely proud Sinead receive her degree during a week of graduation celebrations.
“I’m very pleased to have completed the degree because at times when I was feeling ill and heavily pregnant I thought it might not happen,” said Sinead, who attended The Aylesbury Vale Academy in Paradise Orchard, Aylesbury.
“It took more dedication to ensure I completed assignments and followed the degree through and I was studying right up to my due date, even taking an exam the day Ariyah was due to arrive.”
Sinead said the University had been ‘very understanding and supportive’ and she’d been allowed to hand in her final-year project early so it didn’t add to any worries as she drew closer to giving birth.
“I love being a mum and when Ariyah was born was by far the best day of my life,” added Sinead.
“Collecting my degree is also a hugely proud achievement, and the University have been very supportive in helping me achieve this.
“The lecturers were always on hand by email to answer any questions I had in relation to completing the course so close to my due date.
“They also made enquiries on my behalf, checking exam dates and times and providing me with a plan of how I could complete my work in case I went in to labour early. Nothing was too much trouble and I appreciate all their support.”
Now Sinead says she is settling in to life as a mum and spending plenty of time with Ariyah while she considers what to do next.
“Ariyah is growing incredibly quickly and I’m cherishing every single minute with her,” added Sinead.
“I wanted to study a degree to gain further knowledge in computing. I’ve always been interested in the subject and wanted to open up career opportunities within that field.
“Now, I plan to spend some time with my daughter and will be looking for career opportunities once she hits a year old.”
Senior Lecturer Jon Jackson said: "Sinead has done an excellent job of managing her responsibilities inside and outside of university and can be very proud of her achievement here at Bucks."