Historian with a bright future: Owen Emmerson

Owen Emmerson

Owen Emmerson left a career in hotel management to study history at the University of Sussex. Now, as he graduates with his first degree at this summer's ceremony, he is already planning what he'll be doing for a Masters degree and doctorate in the subject.

The 27-year-old, who failed A-level  history at sixth-form college, is grateful that Sussex gave him a chance to study  - and shine - in his favourite academic field.

'I think the gap between college and university really helped me ,' says Owen, who lives in Furners Green, East Sussex.  'I let myself down at college, but by the time I applied to Sussex, I really knew what I wanted to do. I had to write an essay as part of my application because I didn't have the right A level grades.'

For his dissertation, in which he re-examined events that led to the publication of the Wolfenden Report  in 1957 on homosexuality and prostitution and secured a rare interview with Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, he received the department's highest mark.

Dr Lucy Robinson, one of Owen's tutors, describes him  as  "an inspiring student to teach,  producing genuinely original research in Contemporary British History."

Owen is returning to Sussex to study for his MA, and hopes to secure funding for a doctorate in which he'll be studying materials in the University's archive.

Last updated: Friday, 15 July 2011