Meet the grad who did his dissertation in 36 hours, and he got a first

All with a broken leg

If you’re in your final year at uni, you’ll probably know the inevitable mental breakdowns that come with trying to write a dissertation. Most will start it months before it’s due, some even up to a year before – but Leo Howard left himself just 36 hours.

Swansea graduate Leo, now 24, found himself in a sticky situation right before his 10,000 word dissertation was due when he broke his leg on a night out in Cardiff. He didn’t quite beat the Brunel grad who did hers in 16 hours, but he did manage to bag himself a first.

Leo told The Tab: “At our Varsity against Cardiff, me and my mates were really drunk and I ended up snapping my tib/fib/ankle, but I still went out that night in Cardiff as soon as they let me out Cardiff hospital in a cast and crutches.

“Anyway it delayed things as I couldn’t leave the bed or put my leg down, because it swells up if you do. So I was bed ridden and couldn’t collect the necessary data for my dissertation.”

Unlike most dissertation students, Leo seemed to be pretty chill right up until printing: “When I was having to hop to the shop to get it printed and bound, I did start panicking. My crutches were slowing me down and I had lost my wallet the day before so had to borrow money from a friend to pay for it to get printed and then get a taxi into uni to submit it.”

Surprisingly, the broken leg seemed to help the situation: “I couldn’t do much else since I was confined to my bed and I knew that I had to complete this massive document within an allotted amount of time. Music and friends were a distraction so I just shut them out, however I did have a 3kg bag of Haribo yellow belly snakes to go through. I think I went through a lot of monster energy drinks too.”

Our trooper, far left, with the cast.

He added: “It goes to show that you can get a 2:2 in your second year, drink four times a week, break your leg and still get a decent enough degree by the time you finish. Pretty sure Gandhi said that.”

Leo is now a senior recruitment consultant specialising in government and defence, after he graduated with an overall 2:1 back in 2013.

Do you know someone who has written their entire dissertation at the last minute? Email [email protected]