Sparsholt College students streamed through the streets of Winchester last week in their mortar boards and gowns as the College celebrated the graduation of its first post-graduate students at its annual presentation day celebration. The College awarded nine Master’s degrees alongside 163 Foundation and Bachelor degrees and a host of Further Education certificates and diplomas. Winchester Cathedral provided the stunning backdrop as families, friends and lecturers proudly watched students mark the successful end of their studies at the College.

Principal Tim Jackson presided over the two ceremonies. During his address he reflected on the College’s achievements throughout the year highlighting the exciting developments within the faculties which specialise in land-based education, supporting students to turn their passion into a career.  He said: “The past academic year has been highly successful for the College. Over 2,000 qualifications have been awarded with around 700 of these being presented at today’s ceremonies. We have an excellent employment rate and many of our students have already secured employment, nationally and overseas.”

Joining Tim Jackson was Guest of Honour and speaker the Earl of Selborne GBE FRS DL who commended the graduands and commented on how their qualifications would stand them in good stead for their future careers, he said: “Farming stands and succeeds on its research foundations and Sparsholt helps us contribute to the future success of our economy, here and around the world.”

Lord Selborne joined a number of special guests including the Earl of Malmesbury Vice-President of the College, Michael Coombes Chairman of the Governors, the Right Worshipful The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Jane Rutter and the Reverend Canon Sue Wallace.

The vote of thanks on behalf of the students was given jointly by Sophie Cookson and Joe Linscott. Sophie, who was awarded a Master of Science in Equine Behaviour, Performance and Training said: “I feel extremely proud to be part of the first cohort of students to graduate with a Master’s degree from Sparsholt. The lecturers are second to none and you finish Sparsholt not only with a fantastic understanding of your chosen subject but with plenty of new found knowledge in other pertinent areas.”

Joe, who was awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Animal Management said: “Sparsholt College is set apart from other colleges and universities.  Here you don’t just learn the theory but get to see, and more importantly, experience first-hand how it can be put into practice. In many ways you feel less like students here and more like an already active member of the wider industry.”

Graduands and visitors to the morning ceremony also witnessed Elizabeth Cox from the RCVS leading the declaration of professional registration from graduating Veterinary Nursing students, a moving moment demonstrating their commitment to the professional health and care of animals.

Degrees are conferred by the University of Portsmouth, while Higher Education qualifications at the Andover campus are awarded by Southampton University, the Chartered Management Institute and the Association of Accounting Technicians.

To find out more about studying for a degree at Sparsholt visit our course pages here. There are still places available through clearing for this September.

Click here to see our Presentation Day 2016 Gallery!