Christopher O’Connor, a recent South West College (SWC) graduate from Moira, has successfully earned a first-class honours degree in Building Services with Sustainable Energy, while progressing in his career as an Electrical Contracts Manager, thanks to part-time study at the South West College Dungannon campus.

Christopher's educational journey began at Lismore Comprehensive school in Craigavon, where he left in 2006 to pursue an NVQ Level 3 in Electrical Installation at Portadown Southern Regional College (SRC). After qualifying in 2010, he actively sought industry qualifications until 2019 when he decided to further broaden his knowledge by enrolling at SWC Dungannon for a part-time foundation degree in Architectural Engineering and Energy.

This enabled him to continue his employment as a Contracts Manager for Greenview while simultaneously studying part-time for his degree. Choosing part time study meant that mature student Chris could balance work and study. He successfully completed the course within two years and chose to continue for an additional two years at SWC to earn a full honours degree in Building Services with Sustainable Energy.

Speaking about his educational journey at SWC, Christopher said:

“I chose SWC to complete the course as they were able to facilitate my needs as a mature student. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and attending SWC. The Dungannon campus was a great location for me with traffic and access never being an issue.

“The support I received from the tutors, course coordinator, and the SWC staff was immense. Nothing was ever an issue and I had everything available to me that was required to complete the course and achieve a first-class honours degree. I would highly recommend the SWC especially for mature students that have limited time.”

Despite his already successful career as an Electrical Contracts Manager, Christopher's decision to pursue a part-time degree at SWC not only opened new doors but also presented numerous career opportunities in his current employment.

Christopher said: “My employer, Greenview have been very supportive throughout the four years I attended SWC. Greenview are now entering into the renewables industry and have begun a new low carbon project with a client which I have been appointed project manager for. Without my degree achieved through the Open University and facilitated by the SWC, I would not have had this opportunity.”

If you are considering a career change, seeking progression or entry into a new sector, or aiming to broaden your knowledge, consider South West College (SWC) the perfect place to Invest in You. To find out more or to apply for a part-time course, visit