University of Leicester eBulletin

Like Father Like Son

July 2003

When Matthew Mobbs receives his BSc in Physics with Space Science and Technology from the University of Leicester on Friday, July 11, 2003 he will be following in his father’s footsteps.

Nearly 30 years ago Richard Mobbs, now Head of Learning Technology within the Computer Centre at the University and Warden of Digby Hall, graduated with a degree in Physics, and went on to take a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Leicester. He intended to take a space technology masters degree, but in 1976 received three years funding to take a PhD instead.

The Leicester Department of Physics and Astronomy now houses one of Europe’s major space research centres and these days offers Physics with Astrophysics as well as Physics with Space Science and Technology at undergraduate level, so Matthew was able to indulge his special interest a few years earlier than his father.

He, too, intends to take a PGCE at Leicester, since he would like his future career path to include an element of user contact and training.

While studying at Beauchamp College in Oadby, Matthew developed an interest in science, computing and IT - as well as football. Having gained A-levels in IT, Physics, Mathematics and Economics he applied to study Physics with Space Science and Technology at the University of Leicester.

He commented: “The Leicester course is one of the best in the country and all the lecturers were friendly and very approachable. The course allows students to work at a variable pace - high-flyers can take extra modules and achieve higher goals.

“I particularly liked the part of the course that allowed us to give public presentations on our subject specialism at the local museum.”

Another highlight of his student years was meeting people from diverse backgrounds and the comradeship of working together on project work. Higher education, Matthew feels, has taught him both to work independently and as part of a team.

With his father then in charge of Beaumont Hall, Matthew opted to spend his first year in neighbouring Stamford Hall and subsequent years in private accommodation with friends, enjoying the best of both worlds. He said: “Hall life is absolutely ideal for new students, providing organised social events and sports societies where everyone can soon get to know each other.

“Living in a private house has taught me how to fend more for myself. I have become a good cook - though I’m still a bad cleaner. Still, my football skills have improved and I now play golf and use the University gym.”

Richard Mobbs added: I'm obviously very proud of my son's achievements and I know how much he has enjoyed studying and working at the University. However, in 1971 I received a full grant of £342 and the Hall Fees were £118 for the year - Matthew hasn't told me what his student debt is!”

Note to editors: 

Matthew Mobbs will receive his degree at the De Montfort Hall at 11 am on Friday, July 11 2003. Further information is available from Matthew Mobbs, mobile 07966 461947, or from Dr Richard Mobbs, Head of Learning Technology, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2247, email

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Last updated: July 2003
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