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Newry student is bound for Africa

25 July 2014

Rachel Atkinson

Emily Shaw has graduated with a First Class Honours degree and has landed a role as a volunteer teacher in Kenya

Emily Shaw, who graduated with a First Class Honours degree in English literature from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

A Newry student will experience teaching of a different kind when she travels to Africa after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with a First Class Honours degree.

English literature graduate Emily Shaw, who donned her cap and gown at last week’s ceremony, is flying out to Kenya in September to work as a volunteer teacher.

“Teaching in Kenya this year will be a great start to my career,” she said. “Ideally in the future I’d love to become a lecturer at University but I can’t wait to get out there and meet the children.”

Having enjoyed studying English Literature at A-level at Our Lady’s Grammar School she knew she had to study it further at University. Emily chose to fly over to UCLan, in Preston, to study her favourite course.

The 21-year-old said: “I’ve always had a passion for books and reading and I wanted to expand on that with a University degree.”

"I really enjoyed the freedom that my course offered and relished the chance to choose my own research project"

One of Emily’s main reasons for choosing UCLan was the vast variety on modules that the BA (Hons) English Literature degree offered. One module on particular caught her eye: Victorian Women’s Literature.

In her second year of study, Emily even got the chance to spend an entire year studying abroad. With the help of the UCLan’s International Office, she spent the year in Canada as part of an exchange trip. There she attended Kwantlen Polytechnic, in Vancouver, where she studied, took exams and broadened her knowledge of her degree.

She said: “I really enjoyed the freedom that my course offered and relished the chance to choose my own research project. I loved writing my dissertation about ‘James Joyce’s Ulysses - the relationship between gender and language’.”

Emily, who praised her academics for their support during her three years on the degree course, was one of a record-breaking 4,600 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall last week.