Honorary doctorate degrees
An honorary degree is one of Higher Education's most significant accolades. The University grants honorary degrees to individuals of superior merit. Awarding honorary doctorates supports the process of extending our network of prestigious contacts and supporters. The Committee particularly welcomes proposals that reflect the cultural diversity and international character of the University and promote its commitment to gender equality.
The Honorary Degrees Committee is a joint committee of Senate and Council and is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. Senate will approve the awards.
Who can nominate
The Committee invites staff and students to submit nominations for honorary doctorates. Nominations from external proposers cannot be accepted unless the nomination is supported by a University member of staff. Students should also seek a University staff member to second and support their nomination before submitting the form to the Committee.
Nomination criteria and eligibility
The Committee will consider whether nominees meet the following criteria:
- Honorary doctorate degrees are an academic award celebrating excellence in thought-leadership and the resulting impact, in a field that is recognised nationally or internationally.
- Persons nominated should be active in an area of activity that is highly relevant to the University of Bath.
- Awards should reflect the values of the University.
- Awards should recognise the importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity.
Further guidance on the above criteria is included within the nomination form
The following individuals are not eligible for honorary doctorate degrees:
- Serving Heads of Government
- Self-nominations (unless supported by a member of University staff)
Former staff (or those approaching retirement) and alumni are eligible for an award, provided they meet the criteria and have shown excellence in thought-leadership and impact on a national or international level. Individuals with celebrity status would require evidence of their personal, ongoing and longstanding commitment to relevant work or service.
Awards can be made posthumously.
Before submitting your nomination, you need to check whether a person has already received an honorary degree. You can review the University's directory of Honorary Graduates
Make a nomination
Please do give thought to those whom you have encountered in your own sphere of work and who have made a significant contribution to the development of research, education, the arts, sciences, public services, business, student opportunity or supported our own institution.
You can submit a nomination using the nomination form. Guidance on completing the form can be found within the document.
Nominations can be made at any time during the year. The deadline for submitting nominations ahead of the next meeting of the Honorary Degrees Committee is Friday 6 October 2023.
Find out more about recent honorary graduates and read their profiles.
Before submitting your nomination for an honorary doctorate degree, you may wish to consider the other awards that are bestowed by the University, as follows:
- Honorary Master’s Degrees are academic awards celebrating University staff who have made exceptional and direct contributions to the life of the University community, as perceived by its community.
- President's Awards honour individuals who have made an exceptional and sustained contribution to the University, the city of Bath or the region. The award also aims to recognise members of the University community who have had a significant impact on other people’s lives whether locally, nationally or internationally.
The Honorary Degrees Committee also recommends to Senate the award of the Chancellor’s Medal; an annual award which rewards outstanding service to the University by individuals who have made a valuable contribution to its life and work that is not directly academic in nature.