Skip to content
Middlesbrough College logo

Former actor Suzy prepares for her next role

21 Sep 2023
Suzy Corrigan

52-year-old Suzy Corrigan, a former actor and Middlesbrough College student is preparing for a new chapter as she begins her PHD in literature at University. 

The mum-of-two came back to education after enjoying a successful career in the entertainment industry with ambitions to become a qualified teacher. Now, 5 years after enrolling on her Access to Higher Education Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences, Suzy is stepping into the world of academia as she embarks on a three-year PHD to become a doctor, specialising in nineteenth century literature. 

Suzy said: “I moved to London when I was 16 years old to fulfil my ambitions of becoming an actor. I trained at ArtsEd and worked as a professional entertainer across the globe. I worked on a huge range of projects including being a showgirl in Europe, performing in pantomimes, working for the English National Opera, on cruise ships, in the West End and working as a voiceover artist. 

“After meeting my husband, I decided I wanted to have a family, so I settled in Whitby, had my two children, and worked full-time opening my own performing arts school.  

“It was only when my children reached secondary school age and I started helping them with their homework that I decided I wanted to become a qualified teacher. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a degree and having been out of education for some time, I was anxious about my next step. That’s when I found out about the Access to Higher Education courses offered at Middlesbrough College.  

“The Access courses are studied across one-year on a part-time basis and help students prepare for the step to University. The course seemed like the perfect option for me, so I enrolled and was eager to get started. 

“However, I was nervous about returning to education and the whole experience was daunting, especially being a mature student. I did struggle for the first week or so as it was a huge lifestyle change, but I received amazing support from the team at the College who helped me every step of the way. I loved studying at Middlesbrough College. My classmates and my tutors had the upmost respect for each other, and we all supported each other.  

“I was given the tools and techniques I needed to succeed at University, and the College helped me rediscover my love for literature. I initially set out to become a drama teacher and the course at Middlesbrough College catapulted me in a different direction. I’m grateful to the College for that; they opened doors for me that I didn’t think would be possible.” 

After completing the Access to HE Diploma Suzy progressed to University to study for a degree in English Studies, she then progressed to master’s degree in English Literature and is now set to embark on her PHD studies, specialising in nineteenth century literature. She said: “The College supported me with my University ambitions and I’m thrilled to be studying for my PHD. I’m now working on some exciting research uncovering an unknown author. I’ve also had the opportunity to speak at conferences in Italy and America which has been exciting, and I’m learning how to deal with my imposter syndrome too!  

“I can’t thank Middlesbrough College enough for supporting and encouraging me, and for being the starting point of this new exciting journey. My goals for the future are to continue working in academia and publishing. 
“The Access to HE course at the College opened doors for me and gave me a second chance at a whole new career path. My advice to anyone considering returning to education or wanting to change careers is to do it. It doesn’t matter your age or background, take that next step. You will be supported, and it is so worth it.” 

Click here to find out more about our Access to HE Diplomas.

Related News

View all news