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Graduation stories - double degree success for twins

16 July 2015

Twin sisters Ashleigh and Sarah Niblock graduated together on last week, but took slightly different routes to joining Abertay.

Ashleigh gained her degree after studying with us for the full four years, while Sarah was awarded her BA (Hons) in Accounting with Finance after joining us in third year from Dundee & Angus College.

Here they tell us about their time at university, why they chose Abertay, how it feels to graduate on the same day as each other from the same university, and what they have planned for the future.


“From all the universities and life choices we could have made we both ended up attending Abertay. But we joined the university in different years – I started in 2011, while Sarah started in 2013 - so it was pretty special being able to graduate together.”


“I think it is special that we graduated on the same day, as there are many twins but usually they are at different universities from each other. This allowed us to celebrate the end of a life chapter together with family and friends.

“The reason I joined Abertay in 2013 and graduated just two years later was because I was able to go directly into third year from Dundee & Angus College, as the university and the college work closely together to allow entry for those who have completed an HND.

“I found it challenging to come to terms with the way that university worked at first, as college was completely different from the way Abertay works. However, having a small university class allowed the people who were already there to get to know and help the direct entrants with the way the modules ran and anything else which we weren't clear about as well.

“I also had a lot of friends from college who moved to Abertay, so having plenty of other direct entrants around made it a little easier to make the move as well. “


“I chose to study at Abertay as I really enjoyed the open day that I attended, and I chose to study behavioural science as it sounded like a really interesting course.

“One of the best parts of studying at Abertay was the community feel the University has. All the students and staff are friendly. The staff are all very passionate about what they are teaching and were very friendly and always willing to help students who needed or asked for help.”


“The best part about Abertay was the different ways I was made to feel welcome by both lecturers and classmates when I came to university in third year.

“My classmates felt like a small community as we all knew each other well and helped each other through different challenges.

“All of our lecturers knew us by our names which made it much easier to ask for help, if required, and made my time studying at Abertay very enjoyable.


“Being a social worker had always been a thought, but my placement in fourth year confirmed that it was a career I really wanted to pursue.

“The placement was part of the Community Links module I did, and my placement was at the Dundee Food Bank where I continue to volunteer. 

“We see many different types of people there: people who have been made redundant, people who are having problems with their benefits, or people who have unexpected bills and changes to the welfare system to cope with.

“As a volunteer there are many roles to do – there is answering the phone to the different organisations that refer the individuals they are working with; there is making up the parcels for the clients coming; and also there are people who speak to the clients and have a cup of tea and chat to try and point them in the direction of other organisations who may be able to give them more support.”


“I always wanted to work within business, but after I left school, I wanted to try something completely different so I applied for Accounting.

“Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking for a job in which I can complete my professional qualification to become a Chartered Accountant.  

“I would encourage students to come and study at Abertay as although I was only there for two years, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I did my dissertation on traditional methods of budgeting versus beyond budgeting using secondary research and a case study on Svenska Handelsbanken to show how beyond budgeting works for their multi-national organisation. I really enjoyed the experience, although it was rather stressful at the time!

“I completed a placement in the summer of 2014 at MMG Archbold in Montrose, which gave me valuable work experience that I have treasured very much, and I would encourage anyone doing a business course to complete the business competitions on offer as they give valuable business experience.”


“I would encourage anyone to study at Abertay. I had a great experience as a student there, with great staff, great lectures and great modules to study.”

Congratulations to Sarah and Ashleigh on gaining their degrees! We wish them the best of luck with their future careers.

To find out more about our social science and business courses, please visit the course pages:

  • BA (Hons) Social Science
  • BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance
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