James Malcolm, Mechanical Engineering student and Glasgow Warriors rugby player

James Malcolm

Mechanical Engineering (MEng)

Although most people associate going to university with campus life and attending lectures with lots of other students, there are many other ways you can study for a degree. A lot of our students take advantage of part-time, flexible and distance learning programmes, which help them fit their studies around very busy day-to-day lives. Some students will be caring for a loved one or family member, others may be studying online from another country. Some students combine their studies with another career. One such example is James Malcolm, who combines studying Mechanical Engineering (MEng) with a blossoming rugby career with Glasgow Warriors.

Elite Athlete programme

James is part of the University’s Elite Athlete programme, which enables gifted sportsmen and women to balance training and competition with their academic courses. He made his debut for Glasgow Warriors last year and has represented Scotland at the under 20s Rugby World Cup.

Although James hopes to play at the top level of rugby for as long as possible, he’s keen to ensure he’ll have other opportunities available in the future. "I’m hoping to have another 10, or maybe even 15, years playing rugby but it could be one or two, you never know, so I want to have options available to me for when I finish playing," he said.

Excellence in engineering

James chose to study at Strathclyde because of the University’s excellent reputation in the engineering field. He said:

When I was applying, Strathclyde was rated as the top university for engineering degrees, so it was somewhere I really wanted to go and do my course at.

"There’s a lot of hands-on lab work, which I enjoy doing – you get the chance to visualise what you’re putting all the technical hours in for. It helps you understand more where you’re working towards and why you’re doing the classwork that you do."

James Malcolm, Mechanical Engineering student and Glasgow Warriors rugby player

As James’ involvement with Glasgow Warriors has progressed, it has, understandably, become more difficult to fit in all his University work alongside training, matches and other duties. This is where the University’s Elite Athlete Programme, which is supported by Strathclyde’s Alumni Fund, helps such students. James said: “When I’ve had tournaments that I’ve had to go away for, periods during term time, the University has been very accommodating and allowing me to carry out my work away from the University. As the opportunities in rugby have come about, Strathclyde have been brilliant at accommodating me and allowing me to follow these opportunities.”

James’ long-term goal is to represent Scotland at international level. We look forward to seeing his career progress and supporting James in achieving his goals.