A love of horses was the inspiration for Kate Livesey’s postgraduate study and helped her prove her critics wrong.
The Leyland woman is celebrating graduating with a Masters by Research degree from the University of Central Lancashire.
The 26-year-old left high school with no qualifications but was determined to succeed in the academic world. She studied at Myerscough College and, through UCLan, graduated with a first class honours degree in machinery management and logistics.
With her life -long love of horses, she had a strong interest in agricultural history and wanted to take that further.
She was awarded a UCLan scholarship and spent her time researching the shift from horses to tractors in the immediate period after World War II.
Kate said: “I had the privilege of travelling up and down the country interviewing people about their memories in agriculture and being on their farms. I also have to thank the Farmers Guardian as they allowed me to do research and go through their archive.
While she was studying at UCLan though, her father died just before her thesis was due.
Despite this being a difficult time for her and her family she was determined to not let it affect her studies.
While undertaking her MA she also completed a teaching certificate at UCLan. Alongside all this, she worked at Myerscough College where she is now the assistant head in agriculture mechanisation.
She said: “Balancing my working life whilst studying was difficult at times as I was working 100 plus hours a week.
“But I’m addicted to the buzz of it all and would like to carry on doing my PhD. It feels good to finally finish but it was such a big part of my life that there now seems to be a gap missing.”
Kate was among 1,500 students who graduated during the winter ceremonies in Preston’s Guild Hall this month.