Search for courses or information


Team GB athlete Shannon Hylton graduates from the University of East London

Shannon Hero

World-class runner Shannon Hylton graduates with first class degree

Team GB sprinter Shannon Hylton showed she’s as much of a star in the classroom as she is on the track, earning a first-class BSc Honours degree in biomedical science, from the University of East London.

Shannon, who participated in the graduation ceremonies at ExCeL London on 31 July, is one of the UK’s top track athletes and has competed at multiple world championships, earning the British champion title in the 200m.

Shannon’s main priority after graduating will be athletics. She said, “Right now, I am focusing on training and really putting my all into the build-up for the next major competition. This year will be the World Championship in Doha and next year the Olympics in Tokyo.”

Shannon was joined at graduation by her identical twin sister Cheriece, who graduated from City University of London this year. They are both sprinters and have been signed up to tennis legend Sir Andy Murray’s management company. When speaking about the company, Shannon said, “Andy is a British icon and a great mentor to have; its great to have someone like him in my corner. Even though he is in a different sport to me, the qualities needed to get to the top of your field are universal.”

Shannon, who was born and raised in Mottingham, south east London took a keen interest in sports from the age of two. Starting out with gymnastics and dancing, Shannon moved into athletics after being scouted at a primary school athletics day. At the age of 13, Shannon had outgrown dancing and decided to dedicate all her energy to athletics.

At 16 years old, Shannon qualified to compete at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine. That’s when she realised there was a future in athletics waiting for her.

The University of East London was recommended to Shannon by Sacha Gemili, the mother of British champion sprinter Adam Gemili who also graduated from the University. Shannon said, “The University of East London has supported me with a great work life balance, I knew that I wanted to study somewhere that supported sports, and their biomedical science degree programme is great. I’m glad it was recommended to me.”

Shannon has enjoyed her time at the University and explains how challenging, yet rewarding, it has been. “The third year was probably the hardest year in my academic life, I was exposed to so much, yet I had the best time.” 

She says that her highlights at the University include winning the undergraduate microbiology prize and being part of the sporting team. 

Overall Shannon has no regrets and believes the University has helped with her personal development and sporting career. “It’s an amazing university for sport. Its accolade speaks for itself and it’s an honour to be amongst such great athletes and to try and emulate their success.”