Graduate Clera Rodrigues on Joining Queen Mary via Clearing, Becoming a Journalist and Getting a First Class Degree

We caught up with recent 2022 BA English and Drama graduate Clera to talk about her experience of studying at Queen Mary…

Tell us about your time at QMUL. What have been your highlights?

I’ve had a great time at Queen Mary. My biggest highlight was hosting a stall at the two Welcome Fairs on behalf of Diaspora Speaks magazine and getting to meet hundreds of people!

Tell us about your journey to Queen Mary coming via clearing?

I initially auditioned for Musical Theatre courses at “drama schools” during my gap year following my A Levels, but then had a change of heart and decided I wanted a more academic, general collegiate experience. I discovered the English and Drama course around the June ’19 Open Day, which I attended. I was intrigued by what I learnt and fell in love with the campus, clubs, and the buzzing energy. I contacted Shane Boyle (the academic hosting the Drama info session), made my case in a lengthy email, and was put in touch with relevant staff to begin an application through clearing. I received my acceptance decision reached in early July. And the rest is history.

How has your course at Queen Mary helped you to progress into the world outside? What’s next?

My course allowed me to hone my research and writing skills alongside developing numerous others such as teamwork, presentation, performance, and creativity. These skills are highly transferable and in demand. Up next for me is a Master of Journalism at the University of Southern California in June ’23!

Aside from course content what have been your favourite elements of the experience of studying here as a whole?

Student media outlets were certainly my favourite part of the experience. I loved writing, editing, and just being able to be published online and in print, alongside socialising with other like-minded students.

Tell us about your life outside Queen Mary including any projects, ambitions or jobs you’ve had.

Honestly, QMUL has so many opportunities that almost all my non-academic activities were QMUL-related. Beyond Queen Mary, I learnt French as a second language, undertook a pressed flower project in my art journal, and travelled for 2 months in summer 2021. I am currently building my personal brand as a professional journalist.

What could be improved to enhance future students’ experience at Queen Mary?

All classes, including lectures, must be held in-person on campus, utilising the numerous lecture halls and seminar rooms for QMUL to return to the standard student experience first of all. To enhance the standard experience, I would have loved the opportunity to travel abroad as I could not on my own.

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All Things SED Editor

I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website ( and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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