Two Bishop Auckland students are looking forward to the next stage of their academic careers after performing well in their exams.

Charlotte Murphy, 20, and Eloise Oakes, 18, are both heading off to university next month to study drama and musical theatre.

Charlotte has passed her Level 5 HND Performing Arts at Bishop Auckland College and is to study a degree in technical drama at the University of Lincoln.

The entry requirements were very strict, but this didn’t faze Charlotte, who has worked as a volunteer from the age of 14 for two local drama groups – Shildon Tearaways and Bishop Auckland Theatre Society (BATS). Since April she has also worked as arts facilitator at Daisy Arts on the production of shows including the successfully toured ‘All Hallows’.

Charlotte, who hopes to run her own youth theatre group after completing her degree, said: “I’ve always loved being at Bishop Auckland College; the tutors have been brilliant. If it hadn’t been for their support, motivation and inspiration I wouldn’t be where I am today, nor have the confidence to do my degree.”

Eloise, who has passed her BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3, has been the star of many shows in the last two years at the college. A real all-rounder, she dances, acts and sings.

Eloise said: “Life at Bishop Auckland College has prepared me for my next big step, Cumbria University, where I will study a BA (Hons) Degree in Musical Theatre. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the college; it is a strange feeling leaving and I want to praise my tutors for their encouragement, support and belief in me.

“I initially auditioned in London as the West End excited me, but felt my individuality would be stifled. At Cumbria University it was wonderfully different – it was as if they celebrated everyone’s different approaches and style, and it connected strongly with me.

“During my college course I was involved in a successful film project run by the regional arts organisation Jack Drum. We attended an awards ceremony in Valencia, Spain, and it left a lasting impression upon me as it integrated film, street theatre and drama. It opened my eyes and my ambition now is to travel abroad, to work in the visual arts industry.”

The college is enrolling now for a wide range of Level 3 and Higher Education courses starting in September. For information on these and other courses and apprenticeships, visit or email or call 0800 092 6506.