Boy, 15, who studied degree in his spare time is accepted for PhD course

Wang Pok Lo who has graduated with distinction in his masters MSc in Statistics with Medical Applications (Picture: SWNS)

Are you ready to feel just a little bit more inadequate than you did this morning?

Okay, here we go.

A 15-year-old boy has been accepted onto a PhD course after graduating with a Masters degree in Statistics with Medical Applications – which he studied for part-time while still at his local comprehensive school.

As if that wasn’t enough, he plays piano and guitar too and loves classical music.

Well done to Wang Pok Lo, who will be starting his PhD in population health science at the University of Edinburgh in September next year.

Known as Pok to his friends at Queensferry Community High School, in South Queensferry, West Lothian, he is still en route to complete his schooling.

Pok is ‘quite unique’ (Picture: SWNS)
He will be starting his PhD in September (Picture: SWNS)

But unlike most Scottish Highers pupils, he has already earned a first class honours degree in Maths through the Open University in 2017 when he was just 13-years-old.

Pok then went on to enrol at Sheffield University to study the part-time masters degree online – only having to complete the 550 mile round trip to Sheffield for exams.

The genius, who moved to Scotland from Hong Kong in 2006, was doing sums when he was just two-years-old and passed his advanced higher maths exams when he was only 12.

In primary school, Pok zipped through the entire pre-Higher maths curriculum by the time he was eight.

He started studying with the Open University when he was nine and is currently completing his advanced highers in maths, physics, biology and chemistry.

The PhD course will take three years, with Pok being only 19 by the time he graduates.

Wang Pok Lo aged 11 after he got an A in his Advanced Higher Maths exam (Picture: SWNS)

Prior to being accepted he had to complete an interview and prepare slides, competing against people much older than him and with industry experience.

Pok said: ‘I found out in May. I was really happy.

‘I didn’t expect to be accepted due to my age and I expected other candidates to be more competent than me – especially because they had experience in the workplace.

‘That was a great moment.’

After his PhD he is hoping to go on to study medicine, with interests in cardiology and neurology.

John Wood, headteacher at Queensferry Community High School, said: ‘The whole school community are extremely proud of Pok and his tremendous achievements.

‘In thirty five years of teaching, I’ve taught many very able young people but I must say that Pok is quite unique.’


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