8 Famous University Alumni Who Studied In The UK

Over the centuries, there have been many, many famous university alumni that studied in the UK and who have gone on to chalk up long and illustrious careers.

These even include certain foreign exchange students such as Star Trek’s Chris Pine and the 42nd president of the US, Bill Clinton. To keep it manageable, though, the following is a list of eight of the greatest and most famous university alumni who both studied and worked (or still do) in the UK.

1. Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon is the 5th and current 1st minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party. She’s held both these positions since 2014, and is incidentally also the first woman to do so. Prior to her shift to politics, Nicola Sturgeon worked as a solicitor after graduating from Glasgow University with a Bachelor of Law degree (honours).

2. Brian Cox

Most well known for his books and TV programs such as ‘Wonders of Life’ and ‘In Search of Science’, Brian Cox attended the Manchester University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with 1st class honours, as well as a Master of Philosophy Degree in Physics. He is only one of many scientists that have since gone on to become famous university alumni of the uni.

3. J M Barrie

James Matthew Barrie is undoubtedly best known for the creation of Peter Pan in 1904. He didn’t start off as a playwright, though, but rather worked as a theatre reviewer and journalist. J M Barrie graduated from Edinburgh University in 1882 with an MA (Master of Arts) in literature.

4. Jessica Ennis Hill

In 1996, a young Jessica Ennis Hill started what would be an illustrious and highly successful career in athletics by winning a pair of trainers in a school holiday training group.

By 2016, when she retired, she had achieved a gold and silver at the Olympics and several world heptathlon titles. These achievements have made her a tremendously famous university alumni who humbly graduated from the University of Sheffield with a 2:2 in psychology.

5. Sir David Attenborough

Perhaps unsurprisingly, David Attenborough studied geology and zoology at Cambridge University, graduating with a degree in natural sciences.

After serving two years national service with the Royal Navy, he became a children’s science book editor before joining the BBC in 1952. He is probably best known for his nine part series known as ‘The Life Collection’ and the more recent Blue Planet 1 and 2.

6. Sacha Baron Cohen

Who could forget Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance as Ali G on the 2002 Comic Relief show when he interviewed David and Victoria Beckham. Ali G and the later Borat are what made this man world famous. Before Sacha Baron Cohen became these alter egos, though,  he studied history at Christs College, Cambridge, graduating with upper second class honours in 1993.

7. Kate Adie

Kate Adie is a high profile journalist who got her big break in 1980 by reporting on the Iranian embassy siege. She would later go on to report on the bombing of Tripoli in 1986, the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the gulf war and the Rwandan genocide. She is also a famous university alumni graduating from the university of Newcastle with a degree in Scandinavian studies.

8. Margaret Thatcher

Known also as the ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher graduated from Oxford University in 1947 with second-class honours for her Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree. She went on to become one of the most powerful people and most famous university alumni ever, by becoming not only the 1st female prime minister, but also the longest-serving in the 20th century.

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