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Don’t look Gown! Alton Towers hosts graduation ceremony – on a rollercoaster

Students graduating from Staffordshire University, on what is believed to be the only degree course of its kind, were flying high this this July as they launched into their careers on board one of the world’s most iconic coasters.

The Visitor Attraction and Resort Management foundation degree students were joined by academics, family and friends at Alton Towers theme park, as they took part in a graduation ceremony on Oblivion, the World’s first vertical drop coaster, led by the Dean of Staffordshire University Business School.

The students, who all complete placements at the theme park as part of the course, received their graduation certificates in traditional cap and gown, before taking their seat on the coaster. It then ceremonially climbed 65ft before overhanging the 197ft drop, then free fell vertically at 68mph to the ground below.

In 2016, a report by VisitEngland showed that the visitor attractions sector is experiencing tremendous growth both in the UK and overseas, with the most notable increase being in visits made to family attractions. The course was launched to help staffing levels within leisure/theme parks, anticipated to increase to meet this growing demand.

“I studied Visitor Attraction and Resort Management at Staffs University in partnership with Alton Towers. It has been a really great mix of hospitality and management, paired with placements get us ready for the world of work. – I even have a permanent job here now which is really exciting. It’s been a totally unique course, with a unique graduation all together to top it off. ’’

Charlotte Hall, Human Resources at Alton Towers Resort