A student who suffers from a degenerative eye condition has spoken of his pride at landing a prestigious position with the BBC.

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate Mohammed Salim Patel blogs as ‘The Blind Journalist’.

He suffers from retinitis pigmentosa but, despite this, he has been successful in gaining a place in the BBC’s Journalism Talent Pool.

The 21-year-old said: “This is a great step into the door of the BBC which I intend to fully utilise in order to impress the managers and producers there and hopefully secure a job working for the BBC.

“I feel I have proved to myself that I am capable of succeeding and achieving big things.

“I want to build on this momentum and become a role model and inspiration for other disabled people out there who may be lacking in confidence. If I can do it, anyone can.

“With being blind I wanted to show other blind people that anything is possible and hopefully with me graduating I can inspire someone to try and succeed.”

Mohammed, who received his first class honours degree at Preston’s Guild Hall, said: “I’ve always believed that hard work pays off and for me the grade that I obtained is proof of that.

“I coined a motto of ‘I may be blind but I have a vision’ and I feel I have proved that vision by gaining a degree.”

Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina. It can lead to difficulty seeing at night and loss of peripheral vision.

The former Blackburn College student added: “Due to the nature of my disability there were some tasks I couldn’t do like designing a magazine cover or laying out a story in a newspaper but I used my initiative and produced podcasts or audio packages to go alongside printed material.

“In general I always had to give myself a head start to other students because it would take me longer to produce certain pieces of work but this actually gave me an advantage because I could get feedback and redraft my work so that my final submission was the best it could be.

“In many ways my disability was an advantage as opposed to a disadvantage whilst on the course.”

He added: “I enjoyed the freedom I had to pursue fields which interested me, for example broadcast journalism modules and local politics.”

He collected his award during the UCLan winter ceremonies.