Press Office


First class honours for university twins


Rebecca and Alexandra Hesketh have now got even more in common after both scooped a first class degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University.

Joining more than 4,000 students at the University’s summer Congregation ceremonies, the 21-year old sisters graduated with BSc degrees in Agriculture from the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.  Alexandra studied Farm Business Management and Rebecca specialised in Agronomy. The sisters are graduating with an almost identical first class degree.

Rebecca said: “It has been such a delight studying at Newcastle University. I have shared three great years with my colleagues and made such priceless friendships.

“The university experience helped us both grow. I found that being prepared to get involved in as many projects and activities as possible helped me make the most of my time in Newcastle.” 

Alexandra added: “We worked hard to get to where we are now but it wasn’t without its challenges. Moving away from home for the first time to a new environment isn’t easy. But through the support of both the staff and our fellow students the transition was a lot easier.” 

The twin sisters are a part of a fast-growing segment of female students choosing to pursue degrees in Agriculture from Newcastle University. The number of first year female students enrolled in School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has increased by 20% between 2012/13 and 2013/14.   

Growing up on a farm in Preston, Lancashire, the duo originally enrolled on separate degree programmes, yet soon realised that their passions lay within the Agriculture degree. 

Rebecca said: “I first started to consider a degree in agriculture when I realised how technical and precise modern farming has become. I'd always loved living on a farm, but when I realised that I could turn it into a career, which was a lot more exciting, challenging and fast-paced than I had thought it could be, then I decided that a degree in agriculture was the right choice for me.”

“There seems to be more and more people who are interested in joining the sector, and a degree in agriculture is the perfect way in.”

Alexandra adds: “The key factor in deciding to enrol in the programme was the excellent reputation of Newcastle University Agricultural department and the opportunity for a more in-depth and scientific understanding of agriculture which Newcastle appeared to offer above all other universities.”

The University’s  School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development equips students with a wide range of skills through its teaching and research activities. These skills extend across the spectrum of food science and human health, agricultural science and management, soil and environmental science, rural economy and society, food and product marketing.

Rebecca has landed a job in the agriculture sector and Alexandra is starting a summer work placement scheme. 

published on: 14 July 2014