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David Lucas

BA History

David Lucas has always been interested in history, but never thought about studying the subject until his daughter Sarah began a course at Birkbeck, University of London. He was so impressed by what Sarah was learning and her university experience in general that he decided to follow in her footsteps. Aged 53, David signed up for a four-year part-time BA in History in 2011 at Birkbeck – a year before Sarah Chamberlain (née Lucas) graduated from her BA in History and Archaeology.

He said: 'I left school at 16 with no qualifications and I always wondered if I could have achieved more. I followed my daughter Sarah’s progress with real interest and she was so enthusiastic about studying at Birkbeck. She was being helped and encouraged, and I was impressed by the calibre of her lecturers and the reputation of the university. I decided that I wanted to follow in my daughter’s footsteps and enrol at Birkbeck. It was a no-brainer. Birkbeck’s reputation and its history also made me want to study here.'

One of the main attractions of Birkbeck for David was the face-to-face tuition, which he said is ideal and far better than distance learning. He has praised staff for their support and feels more confident as a result of his studies and his progress.

David added:  'The course is enjoyable, and has boosted my confidence. I can read and appraise text and make my own mind up about whether I believe it or not. The staff really encourage you. If you are going to study later on in life, this is the place to be.'

David’s love of history grew from his former job as a London taxi driver. He said: 'When I was doing the Knowledge and driving around London, I found it very interesting to see all the Blue Plaques and learn out about the capital’s history.' David is now a technician and driver for the London Ambulance Service, so still very familiar with London’s streets.

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'I decided that I wanted to follow in my daughter’s footsteps and enrol at Birkbeck. It was a no-brainer.'