UNIVERSITY lecturers thought they were seeing double when two of their brightest students each walked away with a top award.

Identical twins Carol and Claire Forsyth, 23, both studied engineering at Glasgow's Strathclyde University and gained masters degrees with distinction.

The pair, from Kilwinning, Ayrshire, got the highest and second highest marks the department had seen in its 88-year history.

Now they have received another honour, by being given the Robertson Medal from scholarship big-hitter, the Carnegie Trust.

After seeing off the challenge of hundreds of other students across Scotland, the twins were each awarded the medal for coming top among the applicants, the first time it has been jointly awarded to twins.

Claire said that they enjoyed studying together - once their lecturers started being able to tell them apart.

She said: "We're really excited about the award.

"We wanted to get involved with engineering as there are good career opportunities in the sector in Scotland.

"Then there is the job satisfaction from learning and problem-solving."

The twins said they became inspired to take up engineering through a love of Lego when they were kids.

And they are also pleased more girls are getting involved with engineering.

Carol said: "There weren't that many girls, only about 20%, in our class but it's a good degree to have as you can go into all sorts of things with it - it needn't be industrial work."

As well as receiving their awards, the girls have had placements with top industry names such as EDF and are about to start their PhDs at Strathclyde.

Principal and vice chancellor of the university, Sir Jim McDonald said: "We're very excited about the achievements of these young women.

"To both get the accolade is a great reflection on them and the education they receive here."