Former Haberdashers’ Monmouth School pupil, James Ashford, is awarded a PhD

January 31, 2024

In a testament to the legacy of academic excellence here at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School, we are thrilled to share the outstanding achievement of one of our former pupils, James Ashford. Liz Ashford, a recently retired Governor of the school, proudly announced that her son, James, who started his academic journey with us at age four, has been awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).

James’s remarkable trajectory from our school serves as inspiration for our current and future students alike. James flourished under our tutelage, from Pre-Prep through to Sixth Form, culminating in his pursuit of an integrated Masters in Natural Sciences at Exeter University. Liz Ashford said “James started with you at four years old and you provided the springboard to success from sixth form…”

Following his studies at Exeter University, James continued on to spend four years at Brasenose College, Oxford. There, he was awarded a scholarship to conduct research at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, at the John Radcliffe Hospital. It was during his studies and research at Brasenose College that James undertook the formidable task of crafting his doctoral thesis, a culmination of years of dedicated research and scholarly inquiry.

James presented his thesis to the public before subjecting it to rigorous scrutiny in a comprehensive three-and-a-half-hour viva examination, overseen by both internal and external examiners. James emerged triumphant, successfully defending his thesis and being duly awarded his PhD.

The attainment of a PhD represents not only a personal triumph for James but also a testament to the support and academic excellence that is provided at our school, nurturing James’ intellectual curiosity and providing him with the foundations upon which to build his success. Liz added “Thank you all for supporting him. He sends his very best wishes to Monmouth School for starting him off on this journey.”

We extend our sincerest congratulations to James Ashford on this remarkable achievement and hope his story continues to empower our students to realise their full potential in their own fields.