EXPLAINING evolution in 60 seconds would be a difficult task for anyone.

But biology student Sally Le Page managed to do just that, winning her a short film competition and a prize of £9,000 – enough to fund almost all of her three-year education at Oxford University.

The 20-year-old, from St John’s College, beat off competition from about 100 budding film makers in The Very Short Film competition to win what for her is a year’s tuition fees.

As hers is the last year to pay the lower amount of about £3,500 a year, the prize will effectively allow her to study at Oxford for free.

The contest, run by Guardian Students and Oxford University Press (OUP), asked entrants to make a creative and inspiring one minute film on a subject they feel passionately about.

Ms Le Page, who has been making films on science in her shed for nearly a year, submitted her film on evolution. She said: “It is really exciting because I have just been making videos on my own.

“To have my tuition fees paid off in one go is great and it is nice not to worry about that.

“It was a one minute film about the importance of evolution. I am studying biology at university at the moment, so you can’t understand biology without understanding evolution.

“It is something I want to emphasise to the public... how important evolution is.”

During the film, the third year student – who is originally from Stratford-upon-Avon – talks to the camera and tries to explain things without using evolution – and finds she is unable to.

She uses examples including why we like chocolate, our behaviour and antibiotics and took the video on a camera she had bought.

Ms Le Page said: “Normally I have about four or five minutes for my videos so the hardest thing was getting it done within the time. It meant I had to write a very punchy script.”

Ms Le Page, who has ambitions to work in science documentary filming and science communications, is now studying hard for her final term.

She said: “I am going to take a break during finals, but next year I will be starting a PhD in evolutionary biology. I have so many ideas for videos it would be nice to realise them.”

To watch Ms Le Page’s winning entry, visit youtube.com/shed-science