New Zealand's Scott Base carpenter has been doing more than just maintain the research base over the past six months, he's also been studying for a degree.

Killian Russell, of Ireland, has been studying for the final two papers of his bachelor in Business Studies degree at the University of London.

Having spent the past four years studying, Russell sat his last two exams under the watchful eye of invigilator, Bill Henriksen from the US National Science Foundation, at McMurdo Station.

"I had two papers to finish: Mathematics and Core Management Principles. I would do a full day's work, then sit down to study" Russell said.


"It's almost the perfect environment to study as your meals are cooked for you and you obviously don't lose time commuting. It's hard to study when the Auroras are kicking off though."

The paperwork was sent down with the last flight there in April and Henriksen had to watch Russell complete the exam under the usual exam procedures.

The exams were scanned back to London and the hard copies will be flown back this month - Russell will have to wait until August for his results.

"I was worried that I wouldn't be able to finish my degree this year but the chance to work and live at Scott Base for a year was worth the risk," he says.

"I've found my degree really useful here, especially the psychology and management papers. There are only 12 of us that run Scott Base through the seven dark months of winter, so we have to get along!"

Russell hopes to graduate with his business degree in March next year and plans to continue his studies with a Master's degree in sustainable development.

"It'll also be great to finally meet my online classmates after four years of study. Finishing my degree down here really does embody the University of London's saying: 'Studied Everywhere, Valued Anywhere'!"