Cheryl has found it difficult to juggle her course with her commitments at Chez Chez in recent weeks, and the situation comes to a head as her class is asked to enter a business competition.
Under strict instruction to do well or risk being kicked out, the pressure is on for Cheryl - can she prove herself or is she facing a crushing failure?
Digital Spy recently caught up with Bronagh Waugh, who plays Cheryl, to hear about the storyline and her character's future.
How are you finding Cheryl's university storyline?
"It's really good fun! I've always wanted to see what it's like to go to university. I never had a chance to do it myself because I went to drama school, which is a lot different as it's very strict. So I'm really enjoying exploring it through Cheryl!
"It's hard work for her, though - she's struggling so much with it. Cheryl has to juggle her work at the club, studying and her social life, so it's quite tricky."
Why has Cheryl enrolled at university at this point in her life?
"For Cheryl, university is about trying to prove to people that she can do something more. I don't think anyone ever believed that she could run a successful business, but she's proved that she can. Now I don't think anyone believes that Cheryl can succeed at university either! Some of her friends have scoffed at the idea, and Brendan really doubted her in particular.
"So Cheryl is mainly doing this for herself. She wants to show what she's worth, and that there's more to her than getting dolled up and being the dippy one. She's hoping to prove that she's got some smarts about her."
"Yes, it's so much fun! Cheryl, Annalise, Ste and Doug all go up against each other for this competition, which Tony is running. For Cheryl, it's her last chance, because she's struggling so much when it comes to juggling university with work. She's been told by her tutor that she has to pull her socks up and do well in this contest, otherwise it's game over for her. There's a lot of pressure riding on it."
What happens next?
"There's a lot of rivalry to begin with! Ste and Cheryl are great friends, but there's total rivalry going on. Annalise is very competitive as well, and obviously Cheryl's out to prove herself. But I think what you'll see is that everyone really pulls together and tries to help each other out. It's quite a pleasant surprise and it's really nice to see."
"Yes, through it all, Annalise is not very good at letting her hair down as she's a little bit uptight! Bizarrely, though, Cheryl and Annalise become really good friends through this. It's a weird combination, but they can actually offer each other a lot.
"Cheryl teaches Annalise how to let her hair down and have a bit of fun. At the same time, Annalise helps to smarten Cheryl up and make her look a bit more business-like and professional. This might be the start of seeing a more mature and grown-up Cheryl. You'll begin to see that she's learning to put her clothes together in a more appropriate way, and match them a little bit better."
Over at the club, how does Cheryl feel about Brendan trying to turn Joel into a mini version of himself?
"Cheryl's furious about this and she's not having any of it! Cheryl was very dubious about Joel to begin with, but she's taken a real shine to him. She's quite a motherly character and wants to look after people, so she's quite protective over Joel now. She says, 'Brendan, don't you dare turn him into you!'
"I think it's also about laying ghosts to rest as well. Because Joel is Warren's son, Cheryl wants to do some good with him and make him a good boy."
Could there be any romance on the horizon for Cheryl?
"I'd really like Cheryl to find love this year, especially as she's growing up and we're seeing a more mature side of her. I think it would be lovely, and it's her turn to find some happiness. I'd like to see a real genuine love, not just a silly fling. It'd be great if someone could really fall in love with Cheryl and treat her the way she deserves to be treated - with respect."
Could that be anyone currently in the village, or would someone new have to come in?
"I honestly don't know! I'd love to see someone new come in who would sweep Cheryl off her feet. At the moment, I haven't seen anyone in the village who's been particularly gentlemanly towards her. I'd love her to be swept off her feet by a stranger!"
"I think the girl group had a really good reception - it went down really well. I was begging our producer Emma Smithwick the other day, saying, 'Please can we have more?' It was all Emma's idea in the first place and I think she was pleased with the response, so I'm pretty sure there'll be more coming up."
You've been at Hollyoaks for quite a while now. How are you finding your time on the show in general?
"I love it here. I wouldn't change it for the world, as it's a really, really great place to work. I must say, I think we pip the other soaps when it comes to how much fun we have, and I'm really proud of the quality of work. I'm very, very happy.
"I'm not sure how long the producers have got in store for me or where it's going to go - obviously I will have to move on at some point, but I'll stay for as long as I'm happy and as long as they'll have me."
"That's something that we're hoping to explore this year. Both myself and Emmett Scanlan are really keen to delve deeper into the characters of Cheryl and Brendan and their history. I think that's one of the reasons that I'd like to stay - I want to stay for as long as I can explore who Cheryl is about.
"You need to know why characters are the way they are by peeling back the layers, and I think the viewers feel the same way. It's the same with Brendan, so hopefully we're going to be delving a lot deeper this year. There's going to be some really exciting stuff happening for the Brady family."
Would you like to see another return for Declan Brady?
"I hope Declan comes back and I'm sure he will. He's a firm part of the Brady bunch, and hopefully when we look into the family more, there'll be a place for Declan to come back. He's such a hit with the viewers, so I'm sure that beautiful boy will be back!"
Away from Hollyoaks, you and Kieron Richardson are hosting your own radio show on Gaydio. How are you finding it?
"It's brilliant - Kieron and I are really enjoying it. It's great fun to see another side of the industry, and we try to get as many Hollyoaks guests on as possible, to give us some titbits of storylines that are coming up.
"We've got lots of Digital Spy fans who ring in, so we try to give them as many shout-outs as we can. It's really good fun and I think it's something that Kieron and I would like to do more of in the future. We're best friends in real life, so it's a dream job to work with him both on Hollyoaks and on the radio!"
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Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4 with a first look screening at 7pm on E4.