Nominations open: Honorary degrees, Medals of Honour and national honours

Submit your nomination for an outstanding individual to receive one of the University’s highest awards or a national honour.

Each year the University recognises remarkable individuals that have made outstanding contributions to society that embody our values, improve the lives of people in local communities or have created significant impact in their field of work.

Honorary degrees and Medals of Honour are the University’s highest awards and we welcome nominations from current University students, alumni, staff and members of the Board of Governors or General Assembly for these awards.

In addition, we welcome nominations for a range of national honours.

Our Awards and Honours Group oversees nominations for all honour categories.

Types of honour

Honorary degree

Honorary degrees are intended for those whose distinction and achievements are outstanding and command international or national recognition. Nominees will be expected to have made an exceptionally distinguished and meritorious contribution to their chosen field, or have made an outstanding and exemplary contribution to public life. Consideration will also be given to the extent to which a nominee:

  • serves as an example of ambition and achievement;
  • reflects the honour we are giving in the honour we receive;
  • embodies the aims, values and mission of the University.

A connection with the University, the city of Manchester or the north-west region is desirable but not essential.  

While this list is not exhaustive, successful nominations typically include people who demonstrate an:

  • outstanding contribution to education (in research, teaching, administration, philanthropy, etc);
  • outstanding contribution to business, industry, law, etc;
  • outstanding contribution to cultural life (the arts, sport, etc);
  • outstanding record of voluntary service or community action and engagement.

Please note that the University will not normally honour serving politicians, current or former members of University staff or current members of the Board of Governors.

The University Medal of Honour

The University Medal of Honour is the highest non-degree award bestowed by the University. The award is intended to honour individuals who have made an exceptional and sustained contribution to the work of the University, the city of Manchester or the north-west region, but for whom the award of an honorary degree would not be appropriate.

All entries should set out the nominee’s contributions to the work and aims of the University, city or region and explain why their particular achievements are seen to merit the award of a University Medal of Honour.

National honours

Nominations should highlight how the nominee has:

  • made a difference to their community or field of work;
  • brought distinction to British life and enhanced its reputation;
  • displayed moral courage and vision in making tough choices and hard applications;
  • improved the life chances of those less able to help themselves.

Please be aware that if a national honours nomination is successful, it will take at least 12 to 18 months to be awarded. Nominations should be made while the nominee is still active in their relevant field and, ideally, at least 12 months before they are expected to retire or stand down.

If your nomination to the Awards and Honours Group is considered appropriate, then you will be asked to work up the full nomination using the appropriate form supplied by the Cabinet Office or relevant professional association.

How to nominate

You can submit nominations for the award of honorary degrees, the University Medal of Honour and national honours using the online nomination form.

If you would prefer to submit your nomination by post or email, download a Word version (46KB) of the nomination form and send to the address on the form.

The deadline for the submission of nominations is Friday, 31 January 2020.

A final shortlist of nominations will be agreed by the Awards and Honours Group in April 2020 and submitted to the Senate and the Board of Governors for review.

The names of individuals that will be awarded honorary degrees or the University Medals of Honour will be made public only if the offers have been accepted. You are asked to note that this can take some considerable time (up to two years).

Under-represented groups

Nominations for individuals in under-represented groups (eg women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups) will be particularly welcomed in all three categories;

Eligibility to nominate

In order to submit a valid nomination, you must be a current University student, graduate, member of staff or Member of the Board of Governors or General Assembly;


All nominations must be made in the strictest confidence. Nominees and members of their family must not be made aware that their names have been put forward. Should the Awards and Honours Group learn that a nominee has prior knowledge of a submission, the nomination will be rejected, however strong the case.


All nominations will be acknowledged but, due to the need to uphold strict confidentiality, it will not be possible to keep nominators informed of progress.

If you would like any advice on making a nomination, including confirmation as to whether the person you are thinking of nominating has already received an honour, please contact: