A RECENT graduate of Glasgow Caledonian University is thought to be Scotland's oldest. 

Dr Alastair Maxwell-Irving has been studying historical architecture in his spare time for decades and has now been awarded a PhD in the subject. 

His work was recognised two days after his 85th birthday after completing his studies over Zoom. 

READ MORE: Royston Youth Action boss warns firebugs will hold Glasgow's North East back

Alastair said: "People ask me what I'm going to do with a PhD at 85-years-old but I have plenty of other projects to keep me occupied.

"It is the culmination of many years of research on a subject that has fascinated me since childhood.

"I love the countryside and for years spent most of my weekends visiting sites, photographing them, and taking notes - through summer, winter, snow, and sunshine.

"Everyone at GCU has been so helpful, I can't thank them enough. The award is truly an honour."

An honourary assistant of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Alastair lives in Stirling and retired from Glasgow-based firm Weir Pumps in 1991. 

READ MORE: 'An utter shambles' - Pensioner faces taking six buses to receive her flu vaccination

Professor John Lennon, Dean of GCU’s School for Business and Society, said: "Achieving a PhD at any age is a triumph but this is a truly exceptional case and reaffirms our view that higher education should be accessible to all irrespective of age or any other factors.

"We are so pleased Dr Alastair Maxwell-Irving chose GCU and my thanks to the supervisory team and academics involved in this noteworthy process. Heartfelt congratulations from myself and all at GCU.”