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Case Study

Lewis Southall

Middlesborough, UK

BA (Hons) Performing Arts


Going to university was always important to Lewis Southall and he chose to study at the University of Sunderland as it was important to him to be close to his home. He enjoyed the flexible nature of the course, with its wide range of optional modules. After graduation he completed a PGCE to enable him to teach and has taught in both an FE college and a secondary school. He is the artistic director of his own company, Stages, and is enjoying the freedom of working for himself.

University was always important. I worked freelance for a year after college and decided it would be good to go to university – I knew it would open a lot of opportunities to go into teaching. I chose to study BA (Hons) Performing Arts at Sunderland as the University wasn’t too far away from home, and it was really important to me that I could travel easily, so it was perfect for me.

The course was open and designed really well, so you could specialise in the area you wanted. The module choices were very good, you could really personalise it and keep it to your individual needs. The variation was hugely important as it meant no one was spending time doing things they didn’t want to do.

As soon as I finished the course I did a PGCE, taught in college for the best part of a year then moved to a secondary school for a year and a half. I also started my own company, Stages, and I’m the artistic director there now. I love the freedom, being my own boss and working when I want to work. The creativity of it all is brilliant too and working with fresh faces. It’s so exciting to be involved in that creative process.

Study at the University of Sunderland has been a really, really rewarding experience, I learned a lot both academically and about life and it has set me up well for my next steps in teaching and setting up Stages.”

Published 3 June 2020

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