Top student inspired to take up neuroscience after suffering brain injury in assault

Charlie Spencer will be heading to Exeter University after gaining an A* and two A grades in Systems and Control, Biology and Psychology.

The 18-year-old, from Walmersley, was injured in an assault in 2013 and those traumatic events have proved hugely influential when deciding what career path he should take. He has since discovered a fascination with the workings of the brain, having previously struggled to find a true passion for any of his school subjects. Charlie said: “It is strange to say, but I wouldn’t be here now without what happened. There are always certain events in your life that start you down a particular path and this is how things have worked out for me. “It was a really last minute decision to apply to study neuroscience. “I had been looking at different courses and wasn’t completely certain about any of them, but then I came across this course at Exeter. “I experienced this brain injury a few years ago and ever since then I have been really interested in how the brain works. “That injury made me realise how delicate everything to do with the brain is, and that is really fascinating to me. “I have only started studying stuff around neuroscience in my Biology classes this year and I have discovered a real interest in it in a way that I never have with any other subject. “I thought I was never going to find an area I was really interested in but then neuroscience came along and it just clicked.” After enduring a nervous wait since finishing his exams earlier this summer, Charlie was left shocked at his high-scoring results after being warned to expect lower marks. He added: “I wasn’t expecting these results at all. My biology teacher had told me that I should probably expect a C, but I came away with an A. “I can’t believe that these are actually my results, but I’m glad my hard work has paid off.”
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