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Oliver Kerr

BSc (Hons) Computing, 2017

There were several factors that attracted Oliver Kerr to choose UCLan as the place to study his BSC (Hons) degree in Computing. The quality of course, the treatment of commuting students and the considered, helpful approach of tutors all persuaded Oliver to make the weekly trip down from his home in Barrow.

Oliver used his time commuting to prioritise extra revision during his travels which greatly benefitted his studies throughout his degree. He has also given credit to his tutors at the university, highlighting their contribution as a key factor in his development.

“I wanted to continue with my job whilst at university so I chose to commute from Barrow,” said Oliver. “UCLan’s location made commuting relatively easy and when I visited on the Open Day the atmosphere from the staff and students made me feel very relaxed, and I knew I’d be happy at UCLan.

“I was attracted to the computing course as it allowed me to create my own path, instead of following an individual role – i.e. Software engineering, networking etc. UCLan tutors are incredibly supportive, staff are always happy to answer questions via email even at weekends. If staff see you are putting in the effort they will always go above and beyond to help you.

Nicky Danino supervised my final year project and she was fantastic – she gave me the freedom to explore my own topics and research methodologies, whilst always encouraging me to look at different options and to push myself further. She also proofread my project multiple times to ensure it was the best it could be.

“In the first year we were taught how to research papers as an assignment for the Practitioner Skills module. My paper was published in UCLan’s journal – Diffusion. I went on to present the paper at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2016, in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. A condensed research paper was written with Nicky and submitted to the World Congress of Education who will be publishing it. I’m hoping to continue the line of research to PhD level. Initially I thought commuting would be the hardest part, however, sitting on the train for 1hr 30 at a time gave me time to go over my notes or work on assignments without being distracted, which I believe helped me achieve my high grades."

Oliver’s advice to both current and future students is loud and clear – make yourself known and make the most of your opportunities.

“Get to know your tutors and build relationships with them, they wants you to succeed and are always happy to support you if they see you are putting in the effort. You’ll be surprised at how many opportunities come up because tutors know you.”

10 April 2018