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Honorary degrees awarded at the University of Bristol – Wednesday 20 July

Dr Timothy Chambers

David Nicholls

Press release issued: 20 July 2016

The University of Bristol is awarding honorary degrees to Dr Timothy Chambers and David Nicholls at degree ceremonies taking place today [20 July] in the Wills Memorial Building.

Dr Timothy Chambers, a retired NHS physician and kidney expert at Bristol Children's Hospital, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

He studied medicine at the University of London, specialised in treating young patients with kidney problems, has served in medicines regulation for the UK and EU and held senior roles in academic representative bodies.

Dr Chambers' vision of embedding research in clinical practice in the development of the Bristol Paediatric Nephrology service at Southmead Hospital, and latterly Bristol Children's Hospital, has resulted in a vibrant research-lead clinical department.

Formerly High Sheriff of Bristol, he has also been awarded an OBE in 2009.

David Nicholls, one of the UK's most successful screenwriters and an internationally best-selling and critically acclaimed novelist, will return to his former university to receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

David, who graduated in Drama and English from the University of Bristol in 1988, is best known for his novels One Day, Us and Starter for Ten – based at the University of Bristol and following the fate of a University Challenge team member.

After completing his studies, David went to New York where he trained as an actor. His acting career was short-lived and he turned his talents to script editing and, eventually, script writing.

Film and TV projects include Cold Feet, the BBC adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles and a number of original dramas.

David has written four novels, with One Day receiving extraordinary critical acclaim, remaining on the Sunday Times best seller list for 10 weeks and selling five million copies.

His most recent credits include the feature film adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd and the original BBC drama The 7.39.

An honorary degree is a major accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the University's mission.         

Further information

The official photographs and speeches delivered by the public orators at each ceremony are available to the media on request from the University's Press Office. Please email

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