A SCOTTISH rugby star has been awarded a first-class honours degree after a nine-year academic journey and a career in international sport.
Jamie Farndale, 27, was able to complete his degree whilst competing in rugby due to Edinburgh Napier’s dual career approach which allows athletes to balance their studies with their sporting schedule.
Graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Business management, Farndale also competing in under-20 world cups, playing for Edinburgh Rugby, captaining Scotland 7s and finishing top try scorer at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Farndale, who also has the role as director of rugby Players Scotland, said: “The university I was supposed to go to told me I had to choose between university or rugby, but at Edinburgh Napier lecturers have gone massively out of their way to accommodate me.
“Training or competing abroad almost always clashed with lectures, tutorials and exams, and I had to work hard to catch up, and even had to re-sit entire modules due to missing exams.
“What made a difficult task possible was the eagerness to help which I experienced. Lectures were recorded so I could catch up in the evenings, some academics met with me to provide one-on-one tutoring, and others set me different exam assessments to cover times when I was abroad.”
Farndale was a Scottish Schools Cup winner at under 15 and under 18 level, gained his reputation as an attacking threat from the wing.
During his studies at Edinburgh Napier University, he scored the winning try for the national 7s team in 2017 with the clock in red which allowed them to complete a comeback from 21-0 down and become the first Scotland side to beat team from New Zealand.
Jamie said: “Having been able to study towards a degree while playing at the highest level instead of having to wait to complete my studies first has given me such a head start and allowed me the best chance in my rugby career. I am forever grateful to everyone at Edinburgh Napier.
“I hope I still have three or four years left of professional rugby, but I will use the time I put into studying to try to get involved in some work-based projects, perhaps in sustainability. Long term, I may look to continue my studies with an MBA or maybe some professional qualifications such as a CA.”
Dr Stephen Robertson, lecturer in Edinburgh Napier’s Business School and Jamie’s dissertation supervisor said: “amie was often on the other side of the world and working with him over the years taught me what is possible with remote learning. As a second year he used lecture recordings originally created to support dyslexic students to stay up to date with his class and actually finished with the highest scores.
“What Jamie has achieved in his studies is outstanding. What he’s achieved on the field is incredible. That he’s managed to do both at the same time says a lot about his focus, attention to detail and work ethic.”