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Picture of Beth

Theatre and Performance student, Bethany, celebrated in style at the annual University Centre St Helens Graduation Ceremony with family, friends and peers, as she graduated from the FdA Theatre and Performance degree with University Centre St Helens.

The 20-year-old student from Warrington studied her GCSEs at Cardinal Newman High School, before venturing to St Helens College to study on the level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Performing Arts. Despite living in Warrington, Beth decided to make the journey to St Helens, as she felt the content of the course on offer was exactly what she was looking for and more suited to her long-term career goals than that of her local college.

Enjoying her college course immensely, and determined to progress her education, Beth began researching degree courses at University that would allow her to take her skills, knowledge and understanding to the next level. Through UCAS, Beth applied for a range of universities, receiving offers from them all, as well as a scholarship offer from a large, well-established university. Despite this, Beth decided to turn them all down and progress with her studies locally, enrolling on the Theatre and Performance Foundation degree with University Centre St Helens.

Explaining the reasoning behind this decision, Beth commented “A key influence of my decision was knowing how comfortable I was here in St Helens. The two years I spent studying the BTEC at St Helens College allowed me to build my confidence and develop strong bonds with both teaching staff and peers. For me, these are important factors in any decision and when coupled with the familiarity I had of the campus and wider area, I knew University Centre St Helens was somewhere I would thrive.”

Right to be confident in her beliefs, Beth graduated, with over 100 other students on Saturday 13th October at University Centre St Helens.  Taking place in the heart of St Helens Town Centre, at St Helens Parish Church, not even Storm Callum could put a dampener on proceedings.

Speaking of her time at University Centre St Helens, Beth said “I absolutely loved the course, I loved how it went beyond the campus, for example we worked on a community project, where we were teaching Year 6 pupils at Eccleston Mere Primary School. We also did a Christmas performance for the school, too.”

Beth’s involvement with external projects allowed her to gain valuable work experience, whilst building industry contacts. University Centre St Helens’ central location means students have immediate access to key players in the industry locally, including St Helens Theatre Royal and the Citadel.

Speaking about her time at University Centre St Helens, Beth said: “I’ve learnt so much during my time on the degree, not just academically but personally. I’ve built my confidence immensely, discovering how to be a leader, rather than a follower; a huge achievement for me.”

Beth believes University Centre St Helens’ smaller class sizes has helped her confidence flourish, making for a more intimate student experience, where students have regular contact with their lecturing team and peers.

The degree also opened up further opportunities to Beth, including a trip to Paris, where students had the chance to tour with a professional company, helping out as lighting technicians, stage hands and extras. In addition, Beth has performed one of her own written pieces externally, in conjunction with St Helens Libraries service as part of their Cultural Hubs programme and has provided a range of technical support at other performances.

Now Beth has graduated from University Centre St Helens, she has progressed onto the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester to spend an additional year studying on the BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance (Top-up).

Beth has aspirations of becoming a teacher within a Further Education setting, teaching drama to 16-18 year olds. Using the skills, knowledge and experience she has developed during her time on the foundation degree at University Centre St Helens, she hopes to progress onto a PGCE after her time at The Arden School of Theatre, in order to make her dream career a reality.

Beth played a key role in Little Shop of Horrors
Beth played a key role in Little Shop of Horrors

She travelled back to the 60s in Hairspray
She travelled back to the 60s in Hairspray