Notable alumni

Meet our alumni

As a graduate of LJMU you join a network of over 300,000 alumni across the globe.

Graduates from LJMU go on to stand out, not just in their field of study, but to use the confidence and wider skills they’ve developed at university to achieve success in a diverse range of careers.

From local entrepreneurs and business leaders, Grammy award winners to Olympians, our graduates share something special with one another; they belong to our LJMU community.

Nisha Katona MBE, Law

Nisha Katona MBE became our first alumni Chancellor in January 2022. After studying law at LJMU, she went on to work as a Barrister for nearly 20 years before setting up her own business, Mowgli, one of the fastest growing restaurant movements in the country, with 20 restaurants across the UK.

She is a regular broadcaster, has written several books and speaks on a range of themes relating to entrepreneurship, women in leadership and the hospitality sector.

Claire Foy, Drama and Screen Studies

Golden Globe winning actress Claire Foy graduated from LJMU in 2006, with a degree in Drama and Screen Studies. Originally from Stockport, she went on to receive critical acclaim for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series, The Crown. Claire was a nominee for the Best Supporting Actress BAFTA 2024 for her performance in ‘All of Us Strangers’. Claire’s talent was recognised by her lecturers as 'exceptionally memorable’ when she was a student here before she then went on to achieve international success.

Sean Curran, Law

Sean is a Parliamentary Correspondent for BBC News based at Westminster where he leads the team that produces Today in Parliament and Yesterday in Parliament, for BBC Radio 4.

He graduated from what was, at that time, Liverpool Polytechnic, with Law (LLB) in 1987 and was also SU President. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn after graduating but soon after decided to pursue a different career in journalism. In 1988 he joined the BBC as a trainee reporter and has reported on politics ever since, in both TV and radio broadcasting. Recently Sean interview LJMU Chancellor, Nisha Katona, on stage at St George’s Hall, as part of an In Conversation Roscoe Lecture.

Nikita Parris, Sport Development

Nikita is an England footballer, currently playing for Manchester United. She was part of the Lionesses Euro winning squad of 2022 and graduated from LJMU in 2018. Nikita was supported throughout her degree by a Sports Scholarship, where she received support from coaches and sports scientists, alongside her studies and playing professionally.

She also set up the NP17 Football Academy offering sports qualifications and opportunities to young athletes in the Merseyside area. In LJMU’s Bicentenary year, she also became an honorary fellow of the university.

Alex Brooker, Journalism

TV presenter, writer and journalist Alex Brooker is an LJMU alum and honorary fellow. Graduating with a degree in journalism in 2006, Alex worked as a part-time junior sportswriter for the Liverpool Echo and sport journalist before going on to appear on screen for Channel 4, reporting in ‘That Paralympic Show.’

Alex is a role model and inspiration for people of all ages and backgrounds, but particularly for those with disabilities, having been born with hand and arm disabilities and without a bone in his lower right leg. He now advocates for others to ‘not be afraid of your disability’ and is best known as a co-presenter on Channel 4’s ‘The Last Leg.’

Beth Tweddle MBE, Sport

Britain’s greatest-ever female gymnast, Beth Tweddle has competed at three Olympic Games, winning Bronze in the Uneven Bars at London 2012. The first gymnast from Britain to win a medal at the World and European Championships, she graduated from LJMU in 2007. In 2009 she co-founded Total Gymnastics to encourage more young people to take up gymnastics and enable children with talent to develop sporting careers. Beth received an MBE in 2010 and became an LJMU honorary fellow in 2012. She’s returned to LJMU to speak to sports scholars and has been a guest on LJMU’s 1823 podcast.

Vicky Pattison, Drama

British TV Personality, Author and Podcaster Vicky Pattison graduated from LJMU in 2009 after studying a degree in drama. She appeared in several reality TV shows before going on to win the fifteenth series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. She was also a host on daytime TV show Loose Women. She now hosts her own podcast ‘The Secret to To’ where she discusses a range of topics from mental health to career success, alongside celebrity guests, and is also the author of the book ‘The Secret To Happy.’

Malik Al Nasir, MA Media Production

Malik Al Nasir is an LJMU graduate, author and poet whose work includes his memoir, ‘Letters to Gil’ a compelling account of his childhood experiences in a brutal UK Local Authority care system.

He’s graduated from all three Liverpool universities and has worked on delivering keynote addresses to children’s care service commissioners and policy makers, as well as helping to craft the ‘Widening Access and Participation Bill.’ Malik has also given an LJMU Roscoe Lecture in 2023, titled ‘The truth that lies behind Roscoe’ which shone a light on forgotten aspects of the true extent of Britain’s role in the slave trade.

Philip Selway, English Literature and History

Phil graduated from Liverpool Polytechnic (now LJMU) in 1989. He’s best known as the acclaimed drummer for alternative rock band Radiohead. The band are regarded as one of the most progressive and inventive rock groups, who have gone on to sell more than 30 million albums world-wide. In addition to working with other bands, Phil has also worked with the charity Samaritans since 1991, volunteering as a telephone listener for years. In 2019, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rt Hon Mark Hendrick MP, Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Graduating from Liverpool Polytechnic (now LJMU) with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Sir Mark went on to become a Chartered Engineer working within the Ministry of Defense and Science and Engineering Research Council before making the move into politics in 1984. Now, the Labour (Co-op) MP for Preston, Sir Mark Hendrick was elected to the House of Commons, in 2000, where he has since been reelected seven times. He’s also a current member of the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee and European Statutory Instruments Committee and was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for parliamentary and political service.

Richard Duncalf, Business

Graduating from the then Liverpool Polytechnic with a business degree in 1983, former Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Hervia Limited, a leading UK retailer of Vivienne Westwood products, Richard helped develop a relationship between Hervia and the esteemed designer that lasted for over fifteen years. Now an advocate and member of LGBTQ+ Proud Ventures, Richard uses his entrepreneurial and investment skills to support and mentor founders and early-stage start-ups across the UK and Europe.

Ian Shields, Computing

After completing his degree at LJMU in 1996, Ian Shields worked as an IT analyst and consultant before joining global food and beverage leader, PepsiCo, whose business portfolio includes brands such as Quaker, Tropicana and Pepsi-Cola. With a career at the company spanning over 21 years, Ian began as Head of Architecture and is now Vice President IT (Europe and Sub Saharan Africa).

Molly McCann, Sport

Sports development alum Molly McCann, better known as ‘Meatball Molly’, is an inspiring scouse figure in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). She has been supported by experts in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences as she competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Molly graduated from LJMU with a degree in Sport Development and has returned to LJMU on several occasions to speak to current students and sports scholars about managing studies alongside a professional sport, as well as her personal experiences as an MMA fighter.

In May 2018, she became the first English woman to sign with organisation and went on in 2019 to become the first English female fighter to win a UFC fight.

Dr Tony Strudwick, Philosophy

Graduating from LJMU as a Doctor of Philosophy, Physiology in 2005, Tony has worked with football clubs across the UK providing physiological support when it comes to Sport Science. Tony’s career included the Head of Performance role at Manchester United for over 10 years, working alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, and in the same role at Football Association Wales until 2023. Tony is known to be one of the best in his area of expertise and is highly respected within the football industry. He’s currently working as Director of Medical at West Bromwich Albion, which he began in summer 2023.

Ngunan Adamu, Journalism

A well-known scouse voice around Merseyside, Ngunan Adamu is a journalist, presenter and podcaster for the BBC. She graduated from LJMU in 2004 and has hosted a weekly show on BBC Radio Merseyside and presented live events such as Eurovision 2023, which was held in Liverpool.

She’s the CEO and founder of iWoman, a programme which helps women in the region develop the skills and confidence to get into media. Ngunan also became one of LJMU’s Bicentenary fellows in 2023 and has worked with senior leadership and students at the university on the Reciprocal Mentoring Programme, where Black City leaders were matched with LJMU’s Executive Leadership Team to share their lived experiences and inform policy and decision making at the university and beyond.

Ian Simpson, Architecture

Ian Simpson said he knew he wanted to be an architect from the age of 12. He studied at Liverpool Polytechnic and then set up SimpsonHaugh in Manchester in 1987 with co-founder Rachel Haugh. His belief and goal that innovative architecture has the power to shape and transform cities is evident around the Manchester skyline with SimpsonHaugh projects including Deansgate Square and The Manchester College. The company are also responsible for One Blackfriars in London and the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, a new world-class and exemplary concert hall for the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

Bryan Biggs, Art

Bryan is the Director of Cultural Legacies at the Bluecoat, Liverpool’s contemporary arts centre, a working home for artists, and a place where audiences can experience art in new ways. Bryan was a graduate of fine art, graduating from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1975. He now runs one of Liverpool’s oldest and most well-known galleries, taking the Bluecoat through its 300th anniversary in 2007. Bryan has worked over the years with LJMU and the art school and most recently curated an exhibition with Bicentenary Artist in Residence, Julia Midgley to showcase her sketches capturing LJMU’s Bicentenary and became an LJMU honorary fellow himself.

HRH Sarah Wright, Law

Sarah Wright is a Circuit Judge at Sheffield Combined Court and was one of 10 Bicentenary honorary fellows chosen to mark the university’s 200th anniversary in 2023 for her commitment to law and the judicial system, for more than 40 years.

Sarah graduated in law from the Liverpool Polytechnic in 1983 and practiced as a barrister for nearly 30 years before being appointed to the Circuit Bench in January 2014. She now sits at Sheffield Crown Court, presiding over the most severe criminal cases, including murder.