Identical degrees for twin students
Identical twins have graduated with the same degree after scoring the same marks - and now they are both starting their careers at the same firm.
Hollie and Mel Walker, 22, from Eaglescliffe in Teesside, have achieved first class honours in law at Northumbria University.
They are also celebrating awards for achieving the highest grades in employment law, scoring identical marks despite answering different questions.
Mel said: "It's amazing because we've been there all the way, pushing each other. So to finally graduate, and with a first, is just brilliant. We help each other out and revise together for exams because it can be really tedious."
Hollie added: "We just motivate each other. We naturally get compared because we are twins and we always want to do better than each other. But it's great to get a high achievement together."
The students, who have lived together throughout university, said they would be "looking out for each other" when they enter the world of work.
However, they did not begin university life with the intention of finishing on such similar paths. "We did want to go to the same university because we're close but we had no plans to study the same course," Mel said. "However, when we came to Northumbria we were completely sold by the School of Law."
Away from their studies, both Mel and Hollie also worked in the same jobs, waitressing at Newcastle Civic Centre and helping the university's student recruitment teams, as well as helping with the Newcastle United Foundation.
Both will now start two-year training contracts at Newcastle commercial law firm Ward Hadaway. Jamie Martin, managing partner, said: "It is certainly unusual to have twin sisters starting their legal careers at the same firm and has not happened before at Ward Hadaway. Melissa and Hollie are outstanding students and we look forward to welcoming them and our other excellent trainee solicitors to the firm next September."
Mick Woodley, associate dean of the School of Law, said: "Hollie and Melissa have been superb ambassadors for the law school and the university from the day they set foot on campus. Their achievement in both securing first class degrees is an obvious testament to their hard work and their intellectual capacity. Less obvious is the extent to which they have worked at both school and university level in helping prospective students see what a great environment there is for students at Northumbria. They and their family should be justly very proud of all that they have achieved."