There were tears of joy and rounds of applause in Great Yarmouth Minster today (Friday, October 13) as dozens of students were handed their graduation certificates.

Graduates from East Coast College's Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft campuses have celebrated their academic achievements in front of delighted family members.

At the graduation ceremony, beaming students were presented with foundation degrees and degrees in a range of courses including engineering, sport, social care, health programmes and wildlife conservation.

East Anglian Daily Times: I've done it! A student beams with pride Picture: NewsquestI've done it! A student beams with pride Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

Professional qualifications in education and training were also handed out.

There were whoops and cheers from the pews from family members and partners as each student graduated at the ceremony, which was organised in partnership with the University of Suffolk.

East Anglian Daily Times: A student collects her graduation certificate Picture: NewsquestA student collects her graduation certificate Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

The Paddy Shaw Prize for Higher Education Student of the Year - named in honour of the late Paddy Shaw, a former member of college staff - was awarded to Megan George, who graduated with a bachelor of arts with honours in creative arts practice.

READ MORE: College students celebrate awards

East Anglian Daily Times: Higher Education Student of the Year Megan George with college principal Stuart Rimmer Picture: NewsquestHigher Education Student of the Year Megan George with college principal Stuart Rimmer Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

The ceremony saw Lowestoft born and bred broadcaster and writer Zeb Soanes made an honorary graduate.

East Anglian Daily Times: Honorary graduate Zeb Soanes addresses the audience and students Picture: NewsquestHonorary graduate Zeb Soanes addresses the audience and students Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

An honorary fellow was also presented to David Fowler, managing director of Code-A-Well, a fabrication engineering company based in Great Yarmouth.

READ MORE: Students celebrate their graduation

The award is presented to individuals who are considered to have supported the college, its learners and the community it serves.

East Anglian Daily Times: A student passes through the pews after graduating Picture: NewsquestA student passes through the pews after graduating Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

Kerry Payne, assistant principal for higher education and access at East Coast College, said: “Congratulations to all our graduates who have worked so hard to achieve their degrees and demonstrated great resilience through their studies.

East Anglian Daily Times: Students waiting to collect their graduation certificates Picture: NewsquestStudents waiting to collect their graduation certificates Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

“For some students it will have been a steep learning curve, pushing themselves into new areas, challenging themselves to write academic pieces of work, deliver presentations and succeed in examinations.

East Anglian Daily Times: A graduate at the Minster ceremony Picture: NewsquestA graduate at the Minster ceremony Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

"For others, it will have involved juggling family responsibilities or the tension between work commitments and study."

East Anglian Daily Times: A proud graduate Picture: NewsquestA proud graduate Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)East Anglian Daily Times: A student beams with pride in the Minster Picture: NewsquestA student beams with pride in the Minster Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)