Paul Hanlon has graduated with distinction – and added a medal to his collection

Date posted

25 October 2023


Hibernian captain Paul Hanlon has collected a different kind of silverware – marking his outstanding academic performance – after graduating from Edinburgh Napier University.

The 33-year-old footballer completed his BA Business and Enterprise in Sport with Distinction, and won the class medal in recognition of outstanding academic performance.

After three years of study on the programme, which is designed specifically for athletes, the Scotland international picked up his degree during a ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall today.Hibs captain Paul Hanlon at his Edinburgh Napier University graduation

Reflecting on his time with ENU, Paul said: "Studying has helped massively in dealing with the pressure of sport. It has given me a separate focus away from football.

"The course was a real eye-opener. It took a bit of getting used to. Things like the academic way of writing and reading were completely new to me.

"In football, things are black and white. Suddenly, I had to understand a bit more about dealing with grey areas - forming opinions and backing them up.

"At first it was nerve-racking! I left school a long time ago, so hadn't done anything like this for a while.

"There is that daunting aspect of getting started, but the support you get here is amazing.”

Paul completed his programme as a Dual Career student – which allows athletes, or people working in sport, to fit their studies around their professional career.Hibs captain Paul Hanlon at his Edinburgh Napier University graduation

During his time with ENU’s School of Applied Sciences, Paul won his first Scotland cap, and was named club captain at Hibs, all while competing at the top level of Scottish football.

The 2016 Scottish Cup winner says the course has opened new paths he could take when the time comes to hang up his boots.

He said: "I don't know exactly what I'm going to do once I finish playing, but this helps me cover a lot of bases. I feel well prepared.

“There were modules which helped with leadership and coaching, while others dealt with the business side of the game.

"It has given me a new confidence and determination to keep learning. I'm now doing the Applied Football Management course at ENU because of this – I don't want to stop.

"I don't think I would be like that now if it wasn't for this course."

Dr Tom Campbell, Programme Lead for BA Business & Enterprise in Sport said: “Paul has set a fantastic example to our Dual Career students.

“During his time with us, he has displayed outstanding academic performance, all while competing at such a high level in his sport.

“We have a strong track record of supporting athletes through their studies, and it is pleasing to see Paul develop his thirst for knowledge with us.”