Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE receives his honorary degree during a graduation ceremony at Petroc (Credit: Guy Harrop)

Author and poet Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth.
The award, in recognition of Sir Michael's literary career and charity endeavours, was presented during a graduation ceremony for students at Petroc, one of the University’s academic partners.
Sir Michael and his wife Clare, with whom he founded the charity Farms for City Children, were joined at the event by invited guests and around 100 graduates.
Author of over 150 books – perhaps most notably War Horse, which was adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg – Sir Michael lives on Dartmoor, and regularly speaks at local schools and libraries where he encourages everyone to develop a lifelong love of stories.

It’s such a welcome honour to receive this honorary degree. I’ve lived for the last 50 years in deepest Devonshire, so when I was contacted about this, I was doubly thrilled. We set up Farms for City Children 50 years ago in Devon. I’ve written almost all of my 150 books in Devon, and I’ve set dozens of them here. So it means a great deal to me to be honoured this way.

Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE
Petroc Graduation ceremony - November 2023
Petroc Graduation ceremony - November 2023
Petroc Graduation ceremony - November 2023
During the ceremony, held in the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, Rhiannon Stone was presented with the 2023 University of Plymouth Best Overall Student Award.
She graduated from the HNC Construction programme after working tirelessly on her studies and in employment, overcoming personal challenges and supporting the college on panel events along the way.
The University Centre Petroc offers a wide range of degree programmes in partnership with the University and a number of professional validating bodies. Over the last 30 years, more than 4,000 graduates have gone on to further study and/or employment.

This ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the inspirational hard work and achievements of the students and the qualifications they worked so hard for, alongside the ongoing partnership between the University and Petroc. To award an honorary doctorate to Sir Michael Morpurgo was a great honour. We are all immensely proud of our graduates and those who have supported them throughout their studies.

Victoria SquireVictoria Squire
Partnership Manager for Petroc at the University of Plymouth

As a Petroc student you have been encouraged to work hard, to do your best and to challenge yourself intellectually, personally and socially. You have adapted to independent study, working with your lecturers, employers and peers to learn and develop skills that will position you to succeed in our increasingly complex and global society. We are very proud of you, as you should be of yourselves.

Dr Sean Mackney
Petroc Principal and CEO

Studying a degree-level programme at Petroc

Petroc is one of the largest colleges in Devon and is committed to driving forward educational success in further and higher education.
It has been delivering a range of degree-level courses for over 30 years and is proud to be able to provide a wide variety of programmes (from HNCs and Foundation Degrees to Higher Apprenticeships and Honours Degrees) in subject areas including education, computing, science, engineering, and health and care.

Our partnerships with academic institutions 

The University of Plymouth has a long-held commitment to working with education and commercial organisations to extend and enhance opportunities for students and organisations in the UK and globally.
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