A photo of graduates throwing their hats in the air

University of Nottingham to honour acclaimed actor Samantha Morton

Thursday, 05 December 2019

Internationally acclaimed actor Samantha Morton will be back in her home city of Nottingham on Tuesday 10 December when she will be awarded an honorary degree by The University of Nottingham. 

Morton, who learned her craft at the renowned Television Workshop in Nottingham, will be made a Doctor of Letters in front of hundreds of students graduating from the university’s Faculties of Art and Social Sciences, during the ceremony. 

She will receive her honorary degree from the university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West, before delivering an inspirational speech to the graduands. 

Samantha was born in Clifton and has spoken openly about the nine years she spent in the care system in Nottinghamshire after being a ward of court when she was eight years old. She attended West Bridgford School and joined the Television Workshop at the age of 13. 

She landed various role in British television including Soldier, Soldier; Peak Practice, Boon and Cracker, before coming to prominence as a regular cast member in the first two series of Kay Mellor’s gritty drama Band of Gold

She found wider recognition and a new audience when she was cast opposite Tom Cruise in the Steven Spielberg-directed sci-fi thriller of 2002 Minority Report before adding a string of diverse roles to her resume including Morvern CallarSynedoche New York, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Walking Dead

Her talent has been recognised with accolades including Academy Award nominations for her performances in Sweet and Lowdown and In America, a Golden Globe Award for her role in Longford and a BAFTA for her semi-autobiographical directorial debut, the 2009 TV film The Unloved

Throughout her career, Morton’s personal experiences have seen her lend her voice to victims of sexual abuse and she has supported the Fostering Network's annual campaign Foster Care Fortnight. Other activism has included being part of the Vodafone Foundation's World of Difference campaign, which gives people the opportunity to work for a charity of their choice and fronting a television advertising recruitment campaign for social workers in the UK. 

This video shows Samantha receiving her honorary degree and her inspirational speech.

Emma Thorne - Head of News
Phone: 0115 846 8092

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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