For four University of Aberdeen law graduates, last week’s ceremony marked the end of a long educational journey they have undertaken together.
Arlene Elder 37, Morag Evett, Davy Reid, 41, and Nicky Webster, 38, began the HND in legal studies at Aberdeen College together in 2006.
The group then decided that they all wanted to continue their legal education and enrolled at for the LLB at the University of Aberdeen on completion of the two-year course.
Arlene, from Newtonhill, says the support network which came from studying together for so long has helped to ensure their success.
She said: “Doing a law degree is tough and having friends around you to share things with when you are finding things difficult is a great help.
“Being a more mature student those early days on the campus were quite nerve-wracking. You worry about how you are going to fit in so having some familiar faces in the lectures was a big help.
“In the end though, there was nothing to worry about and I felt quite at home. Despite being hard work, it has been a wonderful experience.”
Davy, who lives in Fettercairn, also says his achievement would not have been possible without the support of those around him.
“I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy great support both at the University and between the four of us, and at home.
“Undertaking a degree is a big commitment and it has an impact not only on the person studying but all those around them.
“Without the support of my wife Debbie, who took over all of the day-to-day tasks at home and looking after our son Donan during busy periods like exam time, I would not have been able to gain my degree.”
Nicky, from Sheddocksley, Aberdeen, said having others around her keen to embark on the LLB had given her the push she needed to go for a degree.
“At first I did not contemplate university but I enjoyed the course so much that I started to think about it and found out that Davy, Arlene and Morag were also considering doing the LLB, so thought ‘why not, it’s better to try than think what if’. Knowing there would be others there from the course made the decision easier.”