Honorary Doctorate

After been awarded a Doctor of Music DMus honoris causa degree from Lancaster University in July 2023, David Wood is now known there as Dr. David Wood, after becoming only their eleventh recipient of the honorary DMus award since the formation of Lancaster University in 1964.

Commenting on the award, David said, “Recieving this esteemed recognition from Lancaster University is a tremendous honour. Joining previous DMus recipients: Sir Arthur Bliss; Witold Lutoslawski; Sir Michael Tippett; Dame Janet Baker; Sir John Manduell; Sir Edward Downes; Sir Simon Towneley; Yan Pascal Tortelier; Princess Alexandra; and Professor Edward Gregson is an incredibly humbling experience.

Lancaster University award very few honorary degrees each year and they are awarded to people with a recognised international standing in their field and David’s honorary doctorate marks the outstanding contribution he has made to music industry entrepreneurship and business engagement.

David has demonstrated outstanding success, while not losing his geographical roots, and will be an excellent role model for Lancaster University students who are following programmes in entrepreneurship and the performing arts.

You can watch the graduation ceremony online.
– Honorary Degree Trumpet Fanfare: Starts at 1 hour, 2 minutes, 40 Seconds.
– The Oration by Professor Nigel Davies: Starts at 1 hour, 3 minutes, 10 Seconds.
– David’s response begins at 1 hour, 8 minutes, 50 seconds.


The 10 Previous Lancaster University Doctor of Music DMus Honoris Causa Degree Recipients Before David Wood

Sir Arthur Bliss
The late Sir Arthur Bliss (August 1891 – March 1975) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1970. Sir Arthur was an English composer and conductor who was Director of Music at the BBC and the Master of the Queen’s Music.


Witold Lutoslawski
The late Witold Lutoslawski (January 1913 – February 1994) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1975. Witold was a Polish composer and conductor who is considered by some to the most outstanding Polish composer since Chopin.


Sir Michael Tippett
The late Sir Michael Tippett (January 1905 – January 1998) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1977. Sir Michael was an English composer who is widely considered to be one of the leading British composers of the 20th century.


Dame Janet Baker
Dame Janet Baker (born August 1933) was awarded her DMus honoris causa in 1983. Dame Janet is an English mezzo-soprano who is internationally recognized as one of the greatest opera, concert, and lieder singers in the World.


Sir John Manduell
The late Sir John Manduell (March 1928 – October 2017) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1990. Sir John was a South African born composer and BBC producer who was both the founding Director of Music at Lancaster University, and the founding principal of the Royal Northern College of Music.


Sir Edward Downes
The late Sir Edward Downes (June 1924 – July 2009) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1992. Sir Edward was an English conductor who had a long association with the Royal Opera House, the BBC Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra.


Sir Simon Towneley
Sir Simon Towneley (December 1921 – November 2022) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1994. Sir Simon was a British music author who’s seminal study of Venetian Opera in the 17th Century played a crucial role in the revival of the Venetian opera repertoire. He was also the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire for over 20 years.

Yan Pascal Tortelier
Yan Pascal Tortelier (born April 1947) was awarded his DMus honoris causa in 1999. Yan is a French violinist and conductor who has conducted the Ulster Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Iceland Symphony, to name but a few.


Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy
Princess Alexandra (born December 1936) was awarded her DMus honoris causa in 2005. Princess Alexandra was the Chancellor of Lancaster University from 1964 to 2004 and is a patron of the English National Opera, London Philharmonic Choir, Bournemouth Symphony, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.


Professor Edward Gregson
Professor Edward Gregson (born July 1945) was awarded her DMus honoris causa in 2006.
Professor Gregson is a former principal of the Royal Northern College of Music and an English composer known for his work in the areas of brass and wind as well as film and TV. He is also a fellow at the RNCM, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music.


About: The University of Lancaster
Lancaster University was established in 1964 and is now a highly ranked UK university that has been a top fifteen in all three national league tables (for the past 10 year) and received a Gold rating in the Government’s inaugural Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017. Lancaster has circa 2,000 academic staff and circa 16,000 students; and is a member of the N8 Group of research universities, along with Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, and York.

Between 1970 and 1985, Lancaster University was one of the best live venues in the UK.

Many of the greatest names in the history of popular music played at the University’s Great Hall including: The Who, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath, U2, Dire Straits, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Queen, T. Rex, Blondie, Ramones, Pretenders, AC DC to name but a few of over 500 bands that graced its stage.

There is a book called ‘When Rock Went to College’ – written by Barry Lucas and Paul Tomlinson – which tells the story through photos, posters, flyers, backstage passes, programmes, tickets and reviews of the bands that played there.


Today, the university has four academic faculties which include:
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (Educational Research; English Literature; Creative Writing; History; Contemporary Arts; Languages and Cultures; Law; Linguistics; English Language; Politics; Philosophy; Religion; Sociology).
Faculty of Health and Medicine (Biomedical and Life Sciences; Health Research; Medical School).
Faculty of Science and Technology (Chemistry; Computing and Communications; Engineering; Biological Sciences; Environmental Science; Geography; Mathematics and Statistics; Natural Sciences; Physics; Psychology).
Management School (Accounting and Finance; Education, Training and Development; Economics; Entrepreneurship; Strategy and Innovation; Leadership and Management; Management Science; Marketing; Organisation, Work and Technology).


2023 Lancaster University Rankings

– UK Top 15 University

Out of over 120 UK Universities, Lancaster University are a top 15 university in the three major UK league tables… coming 11th in The Complete University Guide 2023, 12th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, and 14th in The Guardian University Guide 2023.

– Global Top 150 University
Out of over 1,000 global Universities, Lancaster University are a top 150 in the two major international league tables… coming 146th in the QS World University Rankings, and 122nd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

– Global Top 50 University for International Outlook
Lancaster University came 49th in the global league table for international outlook.

– UK Top 10 University for Sustainability
Lancaster University are ranked 7th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings for social and environmental sustainability.

– Highly-rated Research University
Lancaster University is a research-intensive university and their results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 confirms their position in delivering world-quality research with 91% of their research independently rated as ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world leading’ including 46% rated in the highest category of 4*.

– UK Top 5 University for Value for Money
Lancaster University was the 5th best UK university for value for money in the Student Crowd Awards, for their excellent Collegiate system, continuing investment in facilities and their IT provision.

– UK Top 15 University for Job Prospects
Lancaster University was the 14th best UK university for job prospects in the Student Crowd Awards.

– UK Top 20 University for Campus and Facilities
Lancaster University was the 16th best UK university for Campus and Facilities.

– #1 in the NEON Higher Education Institution Winner in 2021
Lancaster University was named the National Education Opportunities Network [NEON] Higher Education Institution of the Year.

– Ranked #1 in the North – and Top 10 in England – in the National Student Survey in 2022
Lancaster University was ranked 1st in North and 8th in England in the 2022 NSS which is one of the largest student satisfaction surveys, comparing students views from across 382 universities, colleges and alternative providers in the UK.

– Ranked #1 for the Outstanding Library Team in 2022
Lancaster University was awarded the Outstanding Library Team award at the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards.


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