A married dad-of-two has combined running takeaways and grocery shops to studying for a full-time for a biology degree.

Mohammed Rahman was joined by Arfathur, 12, and Aqsa, 9, as he took to the stage of UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre to celebrate his graduation.

The 39-year-old, from Rossendale, has been running his own companies since 2006 but in 2016 he sold his first business and decided to use that spare time to gain the GCSEs he didn’t achieve while a pupil at Alder Grange High School.

A couple years later, he wanted to prove to himself and his family that he could succeed further in his education despite having dyslexia so continued on to Burnley College and then UCLan.

But for Mohammed, Covid-19 interrupted his studies and that led to issues.

He said: “The biggest difficulty to overcome was dealing with the waves of Covid-19 right in the middle of my degree. Learning from home and not having the one-to-one support wasn’t ideal and on top of that my businesses were booming as the demand for food being delivered at home, along with having a shop that supplied groceries and home utilities, meant I was really busy.

“There was a point where I considered taking a year out or even calling it a day but the staff at UCLan, especially my lecturer Dr Barbara Tigar, reassured me that doing a degree from home was possible.

“I’m really pleased I stayed the course and it’s a big relief that all my hard work paid off. It was very hard, being dyslexic, being a full-time dad, studying full-time and being a landlord and running businesses.”

While on the course, the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences student took part in a field trip to Portugal and his lecturers praised the valuable contribution he made to supporting and motivating a younger student who was feeling home sick. He also utilised his catering skills by volunteering to prepare meals for the group, which the field team greatly appreciated.

He added: “I’ll look into teacher training and hopefully someday in the future I’ll be able to teach children who had similar difficulties in high school.

“I want my experience to inspire other people, especially mature students, because the hard work and effort is well worth the rewards, and I’ve met lots of new friends.”