Burnley scientist looking ahead to PhD after record-breaking college year

Tom Clough at B&FCs higher education graduation ceremony last week.
Tom Clough at B&FCs higher education graduation ceremony last week.
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Combining his passion for working with local bands to studying marine biology and coastal management, a Burnley scientist is hoping to combine the two and be accepted for a PhD researching the effects of acoustics on marine life.

Former teaching assistant Thom Clough (31) has always has a love for music, and having worked in the studio producing tracks for local bands and graduating from Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) with a first class honours degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management from Lancaster University, he has lauded his professors before potentially heading to Scotland for a PhD.

“I found the course online and it ticked a lot of boxes for me, having become interested in marine biology through scuba diving," Thom said of Blackpool and The Fylde College’s course. "I was advised early on that you will get out of it what you put in and I’m over the moon with my result.

“I looked at various courses online and this seemed like the right one for me, especially with the college being coastal," he added, after the college record-breaking year in which more than 30% of graduates secure firsts compared to a national average of 25%. "You can do this kind of course inland but tend to just be working in canals and waterways. It was an easy commute with a direct train every day."

Now hoping to be accepted to study for a PhD researching acoustics on marine life in Inverness, Thom said B&FC’s industry expert tutors were a great support during his time at College, saying: “The tutors are excellent and are really knowledgeable about their subjects. One found a scholarship to work for a summer with the Marine Biological Society and encouraged me to go for it. I did and I moved to Portsmouth for three months to work there. It was amazing.”

B&FC offers more than 60 degrees accredited by Lancaster University, a top 10 UK institution and 2018 Times and Sunday Times University of the Year.