Gareth Kennedy, a mature student from Enniskillen, has successfully completed his Degree in Computing Science, thanks to part-time study at South West College’s Erne campus.

After starting his degree nearly two decades ago and facing various obstacles along the way, Gareth is now delighted to finally achieve his degree, which he says would not have been possible without the flexible study options available at his local college, which allowed him the flexibility to work and study part-time.

Speaking about his journey, he said: "I had always wished to complete the degree I had started two decades ago, but never got the chance. When the opportunity arose to pursue it part-time through South West College, I eagerly enrolled on it, as it offered the flexibility and progression I needed as a working father."

Juggling full-time employment, family responsibilities, and coursework, Gareth overcame the challenges of a busy life to complete the Open University degree course part time in just two years. Reflecting on the pressure to meet assignment deadlines, Gareth admitted that it wasn't always easy. However, he emphasized that with proper structuring of the day and clear goals, it is very achievable and all worth it.

As a mature student returning to education, Gareth expressed initial hesitancy, but he soon found it proved to be an advantage.

He said, "As a mature student, you know what you want to do, and you just get your head down and complete the assignments. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course, and all the modules were relevant to my career and aspirations.

“The staff at the College were all amazing, and the tutors are all very supportive and helpful. I couldn’t have asked for more, the course just fitted into my work pattern and my employer was very accommodating, helping me balance work and study."

Gareth now encourages others to follow in his footsteps and pursue their academic ambitions, regardless of their age or circumstances.

"With the range of flexible learning options available close to home, other parents, or those with responsibilities can now achieve their educational dreams without sacrificing their current responsibilities," he said.

For mature learners, aiming to get their degree, considering a career change, seeking progression or entry into a new sector, consider South West College the perfect place to Invest in You. To find out more or to apply for a part-time course, visit

Gareth Kennedy - Winter Graduation 2023

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