The best selling author of the Percy Jackson fantasy book and film series, Rick Riordan, will be among around 1,100 students graduating from University College Cork this afternoon.

The Boston-based author undertook his studies online, and will be awarded a Masters in Gaelic Literature from the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Studies.

Mr Riordan said he chose the course in the hope that Irish legends may inspire his next bestseller.

"Before I turned to Irish myth, I wanted to be sure I had done as much research as possible, even though I know the stories fairly well. UCC's online Gaelic literature MA provided me with everything I needed," he said.

Meanwhile, 80-year-old Tom Walsh, an international expert in customs law and practice, is due to be conferred with a doctorate from the College of Business and Law.

Mr Walsh - who played senior hurling and football with Waterford, and came up against GAA legends Christy Ring and Eddie Kerr - said he hopes his study towards a PhD will inspire others towards learning.

"I would like the message to get across that you do not have to be a 'book worm' to start a course of study.  My old teacher used to say, when it came to asking the question that everyone in the class was afraid to ask, that it was 'better to be a fool for one minute of your life, than a fool all your life' ".

In all, 1,115 students are set to graduate in eight ceremonies from all four Colleges, which will be livestreamed from UCC's website from 3pm.