University to Celebrate Class of 2021 with Week of Graduation Ceremonies

A group of female students celebrating Graduation, including one female student taking a photo of herself

The annual graduations will see 12 ceremonies taking place in the beautiful and historic Worcester Cathedral from Tuesday to Friday.

University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE DL, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome back our graduates of 2021 to celebrate their many achievements. Each and every member of the graduating class of 2021 faced the challenge of exceptional circumstances and succeeded in the face of adversity.  

“These ceremonies will be a powerful springboard for the renewal of our society. Among our graduating class of 2021 are our health graduates, who not yet fully qualified, volunteered to go into the front line at the time of greatest need, to work with the sick, to face the dangers of infection. These ceremonies will be a chance for us to celebrate the courage and dedication of these remarkable young people. The great majority of our 2021 graduates are already fully engaged in the workforce – providing the skilled, professional work on which society depends – in education, business, public service, health and more.” 

In June, the University of Worcester was the first in the UK to host in-person graduations for the Class of 2020, whose ceremonies were postponed by the pandemic. 

Next week’s ceremonies will build on the success of the summer celebrations with post ceremony receptions once again taking place at the University’s City Campus, where the British Medical Association was founded in 1832.

Anastasia Kennett

Among this year’s graduates will be a record number of students who achieved First Class Honours in their degrees. 450 students earned the top grade this year, including Worcester mum-of-two, Anastasia Kennett, who achieved a First Class Honours degree in Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and Inclusion.

“I am very delighted and proud to have received a First Class Honours degree at the University of Worcester, particularly during Covid-19,” she said. “The last two years have seen massive changes in the way Higher Education pedagogy is being delivered. Therefore, my First Class Honours Degree is also testament to the diverse teaching methods and support I received from the academic staff on my course during this time. So, to them, I will always be thankful.”









Other Worcester students graduating with a First include:

  • Emily Collins-Simons, who studied Business Management and Marketing. “I’m incredibly pleased to have achieved a First Class Honours in my degree, and proud of the continued hard work that I put in to get this result,” said the 31-year-old. 
  • Fiona Cunningham, who is now a qualified midwife at Hereford County Hospital after completing her studies at the University. “I completed my third year of midwifery during the pandemic and opted to complete the majority of my studies on placement to help the covid effort at Worcestershire Royal Hospital,” she said. “Whilst it was tough and at times scary because of the unknowns, I felt like it gave me more practical experience and allowed me to develop more skills and coping mechanisms that are vital to working frontline.”
  • Mark Gillett, a paramedic, who completed a Health Science degree and is now completing a Masters with a view to becoming an Advanced Clinical Practitioner. “I worked full time through the Covid pandemic,” said the 35-year-old. “To pass, let alone to succeed with a First Class degree is one of my biggest achievements to date.”
  • Sophie Monks, Head of Sports Therapy at Hereford Rugby Club, who completed her Sports Therapy degree at the University. “I am so pleased to have achieved a First-Class Honours degree,” said the 21-year-old. “I dreamed of achieving this from a young age. The combination of hard work and determination finally paid off.”
  • Jaimie Tillsley, who studied Psychology. “It was such a tremendous relief when I received my results,” she said. “For me, achieving First Class Honours was proof that all the effort I put in over the past three years was worthwhile, and that I have the potential to succeed as a psychologist. It’s an incredibly validating feeling.”
  • Caroline Trungel, who studied Applied Health and Social Care (Top-up). “I worked pretty much all the way through the pandemic supporting one service user,” she said. “In 2019 and 2020 I won the Academic Scholarship Award which really motivated me to work hard and aim for a First Class Honours award.”


  • Helena Wise, who has qualified as an Early Career Teacher after completing her Primary Initial Teacher Education degree. “I am absolutely over the moon to have achieved a First Class Honours degree,” said the 27-year-old. “After being out of education for six years, I knew the academic side was going to be a challenge, but I put my all into it and the hard work definitely paid off. I am so proud of myself.”


Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Professor Sarah Greer, said: “The class of 2021 showed remarkable resilience and determination in the face of some unprecedented challenges during their studies, due to very difficult external circumstances.  They have all done so well in earning a degree from Worcester, through their hard work, perseverance and dedication. This should stand them in good stead as they move into their chosen careers. Our students who earned a First Class Honours should feel particularly proud of themselves – it is an outstanding achievement. Many congratulations to them and I wish them all the very best in their future careers. I would also like to thank our outstanding staff at the University, who went above and beyond to ensure that our students reached their full potential.”