Shakespeare-mad Archway woman set for Master’s degree...aged 91

Patricia Bishop will tomorrow graduate from Birkbeck, University of London, with a Master�s degree i

Patricia Bishop will tomorrow graduate from Birkbeck, University of London, with a Master�s degree in Shakespeare and contemporary performance. Picture: Birkbeck, University of London - Credit: Archant

An Archway woman is to receive her third university degree tomorrow – at the age of 91.

Patricia Bishop will be presented with a Master’s in Shakespeare and contemporary performance from Birkbeck, University of London.

For her dissertation, the grandmother watched 37 performances of Shakespeare’s work at the Globe Theatre in the space of six weeks.

Patricia, who throughout her career worked as a clinical psychologist, including at Holloway Prison, already had two degrees: psychology from Bedford College in 1945 and English from Birkbeck in 2010.

It meant she wasn’t daunted by the classroom enviornment: “Of course I was one of the older ones, but most people were in their 20s and 30s, which was nice. I have always worked with young people as a psychologist.

“In fact the contact with people from different backgrounds and with younger minds was most enjoyable and refreshing. It was good for my morale that younger students often told me that they found my enthusiasm and effort a source of encouragement.”

In the audience tomorrow at Senate House, Bloomsbury, will be granddaughters Violet, 16, and Leila, 13.

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“They think it’s great. They’re very happy and proud. Last time I graduated at Christmas time in 2010, my granddaughters came to the ceremony and absolutely loved it.

“So they were impatient for me to finish as I have been rather slow in completing my Master’s, and they have been looking forward to the next ceremony,”

Though tireless Patricia has ruled out studying for a fourth degree, she thinks people should not be afraid to give it a go, regardless of age.

“I would say go for it,” she said. “Choose what you really want to study or learn more about. To succeed, you need to learn to focus.”

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