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Derek Allen

The first University of Worcester accredited Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) will be awarded today after the institution was granted Research Degree Awarding Powers.

Dr Derek Allen, who studied part-time in the Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts, will be the first person to be awarded a University of Worcester PhD.

Although the University has a long history of awarding PhDs, until August 2010 research degrees were accredited by Coventry University. The Privy Council awarded the University of Worcester Research Degree Awarding Powers in September 2010, allowing the institution to award its own degrees in Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

The powers will mean the University can expand and develop its research activities in its nationally acclaimed centres of excellence in pollen and aerobiological research, children’s literature, dementia studies, river management and many more.

Dr Allen will graduate with a PhD entitled Independent Local Radio (ILR) in the West Midlands 1972 – 1984: A Comparative Study of BRMB Radio and Beacon Radio.

He said: “Full time and part-time, I have been a student at Worcester since 1994. My first degree was with Worcester College of Higher Education, my Masters degree was with University College Worcester and now it is an honour to be the first graduate with a University of Worcester accredited PhD.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and couldn’t have done it without the support of my supervisory team, Dr Darren Oldridge and Dr Ben Calvert. In particular Dr Dilwyn Porter, who remained an active part of the supervisory team even after he left the University. Without the support I received from the University, my PhD would not have been possible."

Professor Rosalind Foskett, the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, said: “This is a very important moment in the history of the University. I am delighted that we will be graduating the first University of Worcester Doctor of Philosophy and look forward to congratulating Dr Allen in person at our graduation ceremony in November. The University enjoys celebrating success and we know that we have many more research students who will follow in Dr Allen’s footsteps in the months and years to come.”