Cambridge success for former Oulder Hill pupil after fantastic A-level results

Date published: 20 August 2019

A former Oulder Hill pupil will be studying a degree at Cambridge after achieving fantastic A-level results.

Emily Cavanah, 17, of Rochdale, will be studying a degree in English literature at the prestigious St John’s College, part of the University of Cambridge, after achieving an A* and three A’s in English literature, English language, theatre studies and an extended project at Holy Cross Sixth Form College, Bury.

Emily, who has aspirations of becoming an actor, said: “I decided to go to university to study for a degree because it is so important to have security. It is so hard to break through with acting, and my chances of getting into drama school at this age were slim.

“I do plan to pursue a career in acting after university, and there are loads of opportunities in Cambridge which will help with this."

Emily’s love of acting sparked her interest in English literature, especially plays.


Emily Cavanah
Emily Cavanah


“I adore Shakespeare. Playing Juliet was one of the most magical experiences, and it was so honest and truthful. It is a classic because it transcends and is relevant today with the hatred and love in society,” she explained.

“I’ve learnt so much with the four years I have been with the North West Theatre Arts company, which has been completely amazing. They have really nurtured me as a person and always put education first. I have loved doing that and the fulfilling amateur performances I have been involved with.”

The teenager first set her sights on St John’s College after a year 11 trip with Oulder Hill’s gifted and talented programme.

Emily said: “Cambridge encourages students from all backgrounds, and after we visited St John’s, I decided I wanted that. My parents never made me believe I couldn’t do anything I set my mind to.

“I feel like it may be less overwhelming to come at an English literature degree from an acting perspective, as the text, especially plays, can be more relevant and accessible with this viewpoint and experience.”

She added: “It doesn’t seem real, but I am really excited.

“I do want to thank my family; without their never-waivering support, I would not have applied and had this belief in myself that I could do it.”

A spokesperson from Holy Cross College said: "Emily was an exceptionally able student and her intellectual curiosity promises a great deal for her future studies at Cambridge.

"She at all times displayed genuine enthusiasm and considerable ability across her A level subjects, where her love and passion for literature and performance was evident throughout her time here at Holy Cross College. We wish her every success in the future."

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