HUNDREDS of fresh graduates flocked to Bournemouth Beach yesterday to formally toast their successes.

The Arts University Bournemouth hosted three ceremonies throughout the day under a marquee put up on the sand opposite West Beach restaurant.

The former students, wearing traditional gowns and proudly donning the obligatory mortar boards, strolled down the promenade before officially being awarded their degrees.

The institution’s marketing and communications officer, Lizzy Maries, said almost 1,000 students were expected to attend the events.

“It has always been at Wimborne Minster in the past, but the university is expanding and we wanted something more central,” she added.

Among those queuing to enter the marquee was 23-year-old Tom Bridges, originally from Brighton, who said he has already secured a number of interviews, including one with Dyson, since finishing the course.

He added: “My mum, dad and sister have come and we’re all looking forward to the ceremony.

“It was a great course and I am actually waiting to hear back from the interview today so I am a bit nervous.”

Ross Green, 22, from Bangor in Northern Ireland, was clutching a cigar as he celebrated with his peers after finishing his three-year architecture course. His former lecturer, Simon Beeson, said he is “incredibly proud” of the students and thinks it was a good idea to move the graduation ceremonies to the seafront.

“It is lovely to be down here by the beach with them,” he added.

“Some of them already have work and I am sure they will all do very well.”