Notable Alumni

Many of our former students are now held in high regard within their areas of expertise, and are famous for their work. Here we present a few of our notable alumni.

Dr Evelyn Asante-Mensah OBE

Women's Studies
Honorary Doctor of Letters

Commissioner at Equality and Human Rights Commission

Awarded the OBE for services to communities in the New Year’s Honours List in 2006, Evelyn has worked for over 20 years with a range of organisations tackling inequalities and promoting equality.

John Bishop

Social Science

Comedian, Actor, Writer

John Bishop has toured the world with his stand-up performance shows and was awarded Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist at the 2010 British Comedy Awards. In 2013, he hosted the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium theatre in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. John is also a well-known philanthropist and has undertaken a range of challenges in support of his chosen charities.

Sarah Burton OBE

Art Foundation
Doctor of Arts

Creative Director at Alexander McQueen

Sarah Burton designed Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress for her wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. She is also Creative Director of Fashion at Alexander McQueen and in 2012 was named in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Steve Coogan


Actor, Impressionist and Comedian

An English actor best known for his television and film appearances, including his character Alan Partridge. He has been awarded a Golden Globe for the film adaptation Philomena, and has received BAFTA and Academy Award nominations. He is also known for his performances in Around the World in 80 Days, Tropic Thunder, and the Night at the Museum films.

Mark Cueto MBE

Sport with Coaching and Exercise Science

Former English international rugby union player

Retiring from professional rugby in 2015, Mark has played nationally and internationally for over 16 years after making his debut for Sale Sharks in 2001. He later debuted for England against Canada in 2004 and played over 250 matches throughout his professional career.

David Fairhurst

Human Resource Management

Corporate Executive VP, Chief People Officer, McDonald's

David oversees global HR and training at McDonald's. He was voted UK's Most Influential HR Pracatitioner for four consecutive years by HR Magazine (2008-11) and awarded the magazine's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for HR in 2012.

Thomas Heatherwick CBE

Three Dimensional Design

Designer, Maker, Heatherwick Studio

Founded his London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio in 1994. A visionary 'maker', some of his works include the Olympic cauldron for the 2012 Olympics, the New Routemaster London bus and the UK Pavilion at the United Expo 2010.

Jonathan Mildenhall

Alumnus and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration

Founder, 21st Century Brand

Formerly the SVP of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company, he relocated to San Francisco in 2014 to take on the role of CMO at Airbnb.

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Her Honour Judge Tyler


Circuit Judge on the North Eastern Circuit

Her Honour Judge Tyler was admitted as a solicitor in 1989, transferred to the bar in 1997 and became a Recorder in 2005. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of her distinguished achievements in the field of law and the significant contribution she has made to the region.

Dame Dianne Thompson DBE

English and French

Former University Chancellor and Chief Executive of Camelot Group

Dianne was Chief Executive Officer of Camelot Group of Companies, operator of the UK National Lottery, for 14 years. Prior to this, she has been a university lecturer and worked for brands including the Co-operative, Woolworths and Ratners.

Julie Walters CBE

Speech and Drama


An English Actress, she is most known for her performances in Educating Rita, Billy Elliott, Mamma Mia! and eight Harry Potter films. She is a two times BAFTA Film Awards winner, four times BAFTA TV Awards winner and was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in 2014.