A MUM of two who underwent a lifesaving transplant operation has just graduated with a first class degree.

Mandy Murray received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Humanities with Literature at a ceremony last week.

The 55-year-old was forced to give up her job as a project manager at Tesco due to ill health.

A kidney transplant and a long period of hospitalisation took its toll on her and her family and she found herself isolated at home until she started studying with The Open University.

Mandy was among 664 students who had their degrees conferred at the Open University (OU) degree ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall last Saturday.

Mandy Murray said: “I pretty much lost the confidence to even leave the house, becoming ‘institutionalised’ owing to my lengthy stay in hospital.

“I used The OU website and the brilliant OU support team online to build a plan of courses to achieve a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree.

“My kitchen became my university.

"We have a kind of breakfast area and I commandeered the table and had all my books out.

“When I got my results, a first class Honours Degree, I did shed a tear.

"I stand a little taller now, my confidence is still growing. My kids and husband are so proud."

Mandy has already signed up for another course.

She added: “I was dragged by the hair through my courses, with support and challenge by some amazing tutors. They showed a confidence in me I didn't have in myself.

“I’ve now started my postgraduate degree. Bring on round two!”

Honorary degrees were presented to musician Edwyn Collins, charity founder Maria Macnamara, sculptor Andy Scott and writer Ruth Wishart.

Susan Stewart, director of The OU in Scotland, said: “Our students come from all kinds of backgrounds and from all over Scotland and they study for lots of different reasons, but what they all have in common is a fierce desire to fit learning into their busy lives.

“Mandy is a fantastic example of that commitment and dedication and I’m extremely proud of her and everyone else that graduated with The Open University in Scotland today.”