Courteeners star awarded Honorary Doctorate by University of Salford

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Rock star Liam Fray returns to alma mater for Graduation honour

Courteeners' frontman and songwriter Liam Fray donned his graduation gown today as the University of Salford awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Arts as part of the university's July graduation ceremonies.

11 years ago Liam, from Middleton in north Manchester, was studying Economics and then Creative Writing at the University of Salford.  However as global musical success beckoned he left the University to pursue his dream career.

Since then Liam and the Courteeners have exploded on to the music scene, both in the UK and internationally. Their latest album achieved their highest chart position to date with a number three hit, the band’s fourth top ten album chart success.  Last month the Courteeners played to 25,000 fans in Manchester’s Heaton Park, a show which sold out in just 40 minutes, before going on to play a number of major global festivals including Glastonbury and V Festival. 

Liam said: “It's so very humbling, and somewhat surreal, to be thought of and awarded a Doctorate of Arts by Salford University. When I left my Creative Writing course to dedicate more time to writing music, I never imagined I'd be coming back for something like this so soon. I feel like I'm accepting on behalf of all our fans, so massive love to all of them. And of course, kudos to Salford University for recognising such talent.”

Liam Fray was awarded his doctorate at the Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday 15 July. 

More honours

At the graduation ceremonies, held at The Lowry in Salford Quays from Monday 13 to Thursday 16 July, the University has also decided to honour several other people in acknowledgement of impressive contributions in their respective fields.

Earlier in the week, NHS England National clinical director for diagnostics Professor Erika Denton was awarded a Science doctorate for her outstanding achievements at the Department of Health and her contribution to research at the University of Salford.  Humanitarian and expert surgeon Dr David Nott was also recognised for his remarkable voluntary humanitarian work in conflict zones. Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England will be made a Doctor of Arts in recognition of his contribution across the broadcasting and media sector on Thursday 16 July. 

In addition, Alan Henning, the international aid volunteer who was killed while providing humanitarian relief in Syria was honoured with a posthumous Doctorate from the University on Monday.


University Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall said: “Each of our Honorary Graduates has made an outstanding contribution to their field and deserves the recognition they are rightly receiving from the University.  They serve as inspirations to our students, graduates and the community.  We are very proud of them.”



Hi-res versions of the images included and others of Liam Fray in his graduation gown are available at the University of Salford Flickr page –  Please credit all images ‘Richard Meftah / University of Salford’. 


Notes to editors:

Image Caption 1: Liam Fray speaking to University of Salford graduates after being presented with his Honorary Doctorate of Arts

Full list of honorary graduates:

  • Liam Fray – Lead singer of Courteeners (pictured)
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette - Chair of Arts Council England.
  • Professor Erika Denton, MBBS, FRCP, FRCR - national clinical director for diagnostics at NHS England
  • Mr David Nott OBE FRCS OStJ DMCC BSc MD - general surgery specialist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and international medical aid worker
  • Alan Henning - International aid volunteer who was killed while providing humanitarian relief in Syria


A separate press release was issued regarding Alan Henning’s Honorary Doctorate.  Please email Ross MacRae ( if you would like a copy of this.  


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For further information contact:

Ross MacRae

Senior Press and PR Officer

The University of Salford

Tel: +44 (0)161 295 6363