Student Stories

A story that started at Inverness College UHI content

A story that started at Inverness College UHI


Ashton McDonald worked as an independent artist in Glasgow, before deciding he wanted to follow another path and return to study as a mature student. He had always been interested in the environment but without any Science Highers he didn’t know what his options were. Ashton did his National 4s and National 5s at Inverness College UHI before going on to do his Highers in Human Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics and English.

Ashton went on to study NPA Woodland Operations at the Scottish School of Forestry and is about to enter an exciting chapter in the third year of the BSc (Hons) Marine Science degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban.

For the first half of year three Ashton will be studying in the Arctic where he will write his dissertation and sit exams between August and December under the blanket of twilight and then complete darkness towards December.


The subject matter is just as fascinating. Ashton and his fellow international students will be studying ice core samples of permafrost to understand the history of the freezing atmospheric conditions and the impact human interference has on the environment.

“The great thing about the course is that you meet a lot of industry contacts so I feel very positive about the future. In particular I’d like to work with the British Antarctic Survey”.