Sheffield University child genius, 15, set to become Britain's youngest male doctorate

A child genius who gained a degree from the University of Sheffield at the age of 13 is now set to become Britain’s youngest male doctorate.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 2:26 pm

Wang Pok Lo, now 15, has been accepted onto a PhD course – the latest in a long line of incredible educational achievements.

Known as Pok, he was awarded a first class honours degree in maths by the Open University – and then enrolled at Sheffield University to study a part-time online master's degree in statistics with medical applications.

But he still attends Queensferry Community High School in South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland.

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Child genius Wang Pok Lo. (Photo: SWNS).

Next September he will begin a three-year doctorate course in population health science at the University of Edinburgh after completing Advanced Highers in physics, biology and chemistry and celebrating his 16th birthday.

Before being accepted, he had to take part in an interview and prepare slides, competing against people much older than him and with industry experience.

Pok, who enjoys playing the piano and guitar and socialising with his friends, moved to Scotland from Hong Kong in 2006.

He was doing sums at the age of two and earned an A grade in his Advanced Higher maths when he was only 11.

Speaking about his PhD, he said: '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.

'My friends were surprised when I told them.'

Pok will only be 19 by the time he graduates and hopes to go on to study medicine, with interests in cardiology and neurology.

The news comes after a Belgian child prodigy who had hoped to graduate from university in the Netherlands this month dropped out.

The parents of Laurent Simons, nine, wanted him to graduate before his birthday on 26 December so he could be the first university graduate under 10.

But Eindhoven University told them there were still too many exams Laurent needed to take before then.

His parents refused an offer of a mid-2020 graduation date, and immediately removed him from the course.