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Tuesday 14 September 2021

Grandfather inspires dad-of-two to follow forensic science passion

UCLan graduate Mark takes career change plunge

A local dad-of-two has taken his career in a new direction after being inspired by his retired police officer grandfather.

Mark Hill graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this week with a first-class degree in forensic science and criminal investigation. The 34-year-old worked for Morrisons, local Garstang family cheese makers Dewlay and at UCLan before he decided to pursue his life-long interest in crime scene investigation.

Mark, from Inskip, said: “My grandfather was a policeman in Blackpool for many years, first as a police constable and later moving into CID. I chose this course because my family history is connected with the police force and crime scene investigation is something that I have been interested in from a very early age.

"The forensic science and criminal investigation degree is very practical as it involves a lot of photography and processing simulated crime scenes. It is this practical element that I have enjoyed the most, it is a more stimulating and enjoyable way of learning."

Forensic science and criminal investigation graduate Mark Hill

“The forensic science and criminal investigation degree is very practical as it involves a lot of photography and processing simulated crime scenes. It is this practical element that I have enjoyed the most, it is a more stimulating and enjoyable way of learning.”

Mark had to juggle his studies with looking after his two children, Evelyn, 6, and three-year-old Ethan, full-time during lockdown whilst his wife Samara went to work.

“I had to look after my children during the week and then cram one week of university work into two days over the weekend” he said. “However, with meticulous planning a strict timetable, I was able to complete all of my work on time.”

"From day one Mark stood out as an exceptional student who worked hard and was always willing to go the extra mile. "

Forensic science and criminal investigation course leader Paul Callaghan

Mark had extra cause for celebration during his graduation, after receiving the Educational Quality Standards Student Award from The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Forensic science and criminal investigation course leader Paul Callaghan said: “From day one Mark stood out as an exceptional student who worked hard and was always willing to go the extra mile. Mark is the first student from this particular course to win a Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences award and I am sure he will go on to have a very successful career.”

Mark added: “I feel proud to be graduating with what I have achieved, and I am relieved that the hard work is now done. However, graduation also means that my time as a student at UCLan is now over and I have enjoyed my time here immensely so graduating feels very bittersweet.”