Honorary & Visiting Academic Status

Honorary academic status may be conferred on persons other than members of staff who are of appropriate distinction and who have an on-going association with the University in the areas of teaching and/or research. The title should reflect their contribution to the University and might be different from the title they may hold in another organisation.  Honorary status should be reviewed at intervals of no longer than three years.

Visiting academic status may be conferred on persons other than members of staff who are of appropriate distinction, who are visiting the University for a finite period of time and who are working in the areas of teaching and/or research.  Visiting status should not exceed five years other than in exceptional circumstances. 

Status should only be maintained for as long as the individual’s contribution remains consistent with the title conferred and may be withdrawn at any time at the University’s sole discretion. 

See also:

Honorary & Visiting Titles

Deans (or Heads of School where this has been delegated by the Dean) may confer the following Honorary or Visiting titles:

On the recommendation of the Dean, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor may confer the title Honorary/Visiting Reader or Honorary/Visiting Professor.

Individuals with a senior honorary title may apply for the title of Honorary Reader and Honorary Professor through the University’s academic promotion procedure.

Industrial Fellows

Where an individual does not have the academic credentials normally associated with an honorary academic title, yet are of such standing that an honorary title is an appropriate reflection of their national and international achievements in business and/or society, Deans (or Heads of School where this has been delegated by the Dean) may confer the title Honorary/Visiting Industrial Fellow.

Senate and Council (on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor) may confer the title Honorary/Visiting Industrial Professor.


Heads of School will submit written nominations for honorary/visiting titles to the Dean for approval. Nominations should be accompanied by an Honorary Form (Office document, 73kB), short biography and curriculum vitae.

Where the nomination is at the level of Reader or Professor the Dean should add a supporting note and forward the nomination to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (via their Personal Assistant)

Once the nominiation is approved, the School is responsible for notifying the individual and arranging building and system access as required. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor will notify Senate and Council of new Honorary Reader and Professor appointments.

Visiting academic appointments should be extended under the above procedure.

Emeritus Status

The criteria and procedure for conferring the title Emeritus Professor or Emeritus Dean is available on the Human Resources website.

Lifetime Honorary Status

Honorary Graduates

An honorary degree is one of higher education's most significant accolades. Each year, following very careful consideration, the University bestows a number of honorary degrees on distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the mission of the University.

Honorary Fellows

An Honorary Fellowship is the highest honour the University of Bristol can bestow.  The title is usually conferred on an individual who has attained distinction in their academic field and/or has contributed consistently and over a significant period of time to the life of the University. 

Honorary Fellowships may only be conferred by Court, on the recommendation of Senate and Council.  More information is available on the Public and Ceremonial Events website.


UPARC 25 March 2014

Senate 20 October 2014

Council 14 November 2014