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From the Harry Potter actor to rapping a dissertation - the UEA's quirkiest graduation stories

PUBLISHED: 16:14 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:48 11 July 2019

UEA medical students during their graduation ceremony at Norwich City Football Club's ground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

UEA medical students during their graduation ceremony at Norwich City Football Club's ground. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Next week thousands of students are set to don mortarboards and graduate, celebrating the end of their education.

Prior to studying BA in English Literature and Drama at the UEA, Rohan Gotobed played young Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Photo: Molly BernardinPrior to studying BA in English Literature and Drama at the UEA, Rohan Gotobed played young Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Photo: Molly Bernardin

From a Harry Potter actor to two students who produced an Amazon featured documentary, there are a range of successes as 5,000 University of East Anglia students prepare for the next chapter of their lives.

Here are some of the most weird and wonderful stories from UEA.

Nicholas Uzoka, a BA English and Creative Writing student, whp has always had a love for Hip-Hop music, rapped his 10,000 word final coursework instead of writing it. Photo: Molly BernardinNicholas Uzoka, a BA English and Creative Writing student, whp has always had a love for Hip-Hop music, rapped his 10,000 word final coursework instead of writing it. Photo: Molly Bernardin

Rohan Gotobed traded his wizard's wand for textbooks when he enrolled on the English Literature and Drama course at UEA.

Prior to university the actor was known for his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 where he played young Sirius Black.

Rohan said: "UEA's been a wonderful home and I'm really sad to be graduating. It's exciting to move onto the next phase in my life. I just want to say thank you for an incredible three years."

While studying, Rohan starred in two films and founded a theatre company with coursemates. After graduation he will begin rehearsals for a new show and will later study Theatre Directing.

UEA students Callum Fairhurst and William Shears embarked on a 9,000 mile adventure in a tuk-tuk to learn about the countries that make up the European Union. Photo: supplied by the UEAUEA students Callum Fairhurst and William Shears embarked on a 9,000 mile adventure in a tuk-tuk to learn about the countries that make up the European Union. Photo: supplied by the UEA

Every final year student dreads their dissertation, but instead of writing the 10,000 word assignment this English student rapped his.

Nicholas Uzoka has always loved Hip-Hop, but came to UEA with the dream of becoming an author. During his first year he experimented with rhythm poetry and discovered his talent for rapping.

For his final coursework, Nicholas created a 21-track album, featuring nine songs and twelve poems, for which he was awarded a First.

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He said: "My future will be about music. I want to give it my absolute all over the next couple of years and see how far I can get."

He has already released three EPs under the pseudonym Zoka the Author, toured an album called Words With Friends and has been featured on BBC radio shows.

For Callum Fairhurst and William Shears, there was more to embarking upon a European summer adventure than foreign beer.

Following the referendum, Callum and William embarked upon a 9,000 mile excursion across Europe in a tuk-tuk to learn about the 27 countries which make up the EU. The graduates produced a documentary of their journey which has been featured on Amazon, and hope to launch their own production company.

Medicine is often considered as one of the most intense degrees out there, but Laura Brennan found time to win the regional heat of a surgical competition outside of her studies. Photo: Molly BernardinMedicine is often considered as one of the most intense degrees out there, but Laura Brennan found time to win the regional heat of a surgical competition outside of her studies. Photo: Molly Bernardin

Callum said: "I remember being in first year and thinking graduation was so far away. Now it's just around the corner and I feel sad to be leaving."

"I will definitely miss it, but at the same time I'm excited to see what the future holds," William added.

Since Childhood Tabitha Carr has been fascinated by Japanese language and culture, which led her to her degree in Modern Languages focusing on Japanese.

She struggled as the first person in her family to attend university, the hardest challenge being a fear of public speaking.

To overcome this fear Tabitha gave weekly speeches, attended extra classes, and studied abroad in Japan. Her work paid off when she came first at the annual Nikkei Telecom Japanese speech contest this year.

"Before starting university, I was unsure about what kind of career I wanted. However, studying Japanese has let me discover that I have a love not only for languages, but for the art of translation. My biggest goal when I leave is to become a Japanese and English translator," she said.

Medicine is considered one of the toughest degrees, but graduate Laura Brennan found time to win the regional heat of a surgical competition in Edinburgh unrelated to her studies, and pins her success to rock climbing.

She spent time outside of studies learning to use laparoscopic machines and practicing her surgical knot by tying ropes at UEA's rock climbing club.

"It's a dream come true to be graduating, after seven years of extremely hard work. It has all finally paid off, and I am very excited to start my new job as a junior Doctor," she said.

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