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Distance learning graduate is a UCLan shining star

16 July 2015

Press Office

Slawomir Bucki graduates with first class honours  

Living thousands of miles away hasn’t stopped Slawomir Bucki from graduating from The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with first class honours.

The 52-year-old lives in Cincinnati in Ohio, but completed a BSc (Hons) in Astronomy through UCLan’s distance learning programme and travelled to Preston with his family to accept his degree.

Bucki, who is originally from Poland but lived in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil before settling in the United States in 2004, also juggled University around his family life and full-time role as a mechanical engineer for Procter & Gamble (P&G).

 

"Astronomy started out as a hobby and originally I planned just to study the modules I was particularly interested in. I got about half way through the course and decided I wanted the degree."

Bucki said: “When I first began the course I wasn’t really thinking about graduating. Astronomy started out as a hobby and originally I planned just to study the modules I was particularly interested in. I got about half way through the course and decided I wanted the degree, astronomy is something I’m passionate about and it made sense.”

The flexibility of the distance learning programme meant that Bucki could study for his degree over a period of eight years, which also allowed him time to further his knowledge of astronomy by volunteering at the Cincinnati Observatory in his hometown.

 

“I really liked the idea of distance learning and I had a lot of fun doing the course. I especially enjoyed the collaborative investigation aspect where I worked with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand."

He added: “I really liked the idea of distance learning and I had a lot of fun doing the course. I especially enjoyed the collaborative investigation aspect where I worked with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand, although navigating the time differences was a bit of a challenge!”

Bucki now plans to spend two weeks sightseeing around the UK with his family before returning to the United States and continuing his volunteering work at the Observatory, alongside his daughter.

The BSc (Hons) in Astronomy is the first and only distance learning astronomy degree available from a UK university, allowing undergraduates to develop the full range of scientific skills through experimental and observational work undertaken at a distance.

Bucki is one of 4,000 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall this week.