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PhD graduate at 94 marks Australian record

david bottomley

A 94-year-old great-grandfather has become Australia's oldest PhD graduate and says he felt numb by the end of it.

David Bottomley graduated from Curtin University in Western Australia on Tuesday night with a Doctor of Philosophy.

He completed his thesis on the teaching methods of five progressive English educators who introduced an understanding of science into the curriculum from 1816 to 1885.

The father-of-four and grandfather of 13 completed his PhD part-time over seven years.

"The first feeling I had was one of relief and utter numbness - I think that's a feeling shared by most postgraduate students after any big exam or assignment," Dr Bottomley said.

"I had been working on it for so many years and I suddenly had permission to come out of my academic cave and wasn't quite sure what to do with all my free time."

Dr Bottomley, who is based in Melbourne, now plans to spend more time with his wife of 68 years, Anne, but also wants to continue his studies.

"I hope to extend my doctorate finding on the impact of creativity in school curricula and I am already thinking of ways the lessons learnt through my PhD can be applied to today's school students, as well as among Australia's ageing population," he said.

© AAP 2019 Photo credit: AAP Image/Supplied by Jaimi Chisholm