Outstanding students recognised at Petroc’s annual Arts & Science presentation evening

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Petroc students from the department of Arts & Science were honoured at an uplifting and inspiring awards ceremony held at The Barnstaple Hotel on January 8, 2019.

A-level, vocational, GCSE, Access to HE and Creative Industries students who graduated from the North Devon Campus in summer 2018 were honoured in more than 90 awards, sponsored by local businesses, across seven curriculum areas.

The awards reflected personal and academic achievement and were collected as glowing citations were read out in front of friends, family and local dignitaries.

Petroc Principal and Chief Executive, Diane Dimond, opened the ceremony:

“I’m delighted to welcome so many of you here tonight, to celebrate the amazing achievements of our exceptional learners. It is always a highlight of the college calendar.

“2018 was an outstanding year: A-level students achieved a pass rate of over 99% for the seventh consecutive year and we were announced as the number 1 college in the country in the FE Week’s Nicdex league table.

“I am extremely proud of your fantastic achievements, which are testament to your hard work and determination and the dedicated of our staff team, who are committed to helping you get the best possible results.”

Jack Elston won the award for best student in A-level sociology and collected the outstanding achievement award for Social Sciences. Jack, who is studying Psychology at Oxford University, said: “Petroc massively helped me get to where I am today. If it wasn’t for my tutors I wouldn’t be here, the experience was invaluable.”

Callum Stephenson picked up the prize for best student in Performing Arts Level 3, and is now studying acting at the prestigious E15 Acting School. He said: “I’m so proud of this award. I really enjoyed my time at college and taking part in the wide variety of performances prepared me so well for what I’m doing now.”

Kieran Smale was awarded the GCSE English best student prize and has used his qualification to gain an apprenticeship as a farrier for Team GB. He said: “Getting my GCSE has literally changed my life. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to apply for the apprenticeship, which has opened up so many doors for me.”

Alexandra Murdoch won the most distance travelled award for A-level Art, Craft and Design. She said: “I’m really surprised but very happy to win! I’m currently studying the art foundation diploma at Petroc, with the view to progressing to university next year to study fashion marketing.”

Places are still available at Petroc for September 2019. To find out more about studying at the North Devon Campus, visit or attend the next open event on January 22.