Around 1,500 students were joined on stage by six honorary fellows at the prestigious Winter Degree and Award Ceremonies in the Guild Hall.
The highly-acclaimed professionals receiving Honorary Awards were food historian Ivan Day; architect Stephen Hodder MBE and retired paramedic Adrian Conboy. Professor Mary Kellett, John Mellor-Clark and Trevor Mather.
Among those graduating was a former chef who sold his business to pursue his dream of becoming a clinical psychologist.
Lloyd Gemson from New Longton did an MSc in health psychology while working as an assistant psychologist in pain management for Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust.
The 33-year-old made a life-changing decision in 2006 when he decided to swap running the Yew Tree Inn pub in Walton-Le-Dale for university to fulfil his ambition to become a clinical psychologist.
Lloyd said: “I was sat at home and just reached for the phone book, found a clinical psychologist and rang them to ask what route they had taken to get there. I wrote down what they said and have followed that path ever since.”
He initially studied at night school while working as a chef before enrolling onto a psychology degree at UCLan in 2008.
After graduating with a first-class honours degree he secured a year-long job working for the NHS in Surrey before returning to Preston to complete his Masters. Lloyd is now applying to start a Doctorate next year which will lead him to his final goal.
His wife Jackie is expecting their first baby soon.
He added: “I can’t wait for the baby to arrive, I think it will be a very exciting 2014. When I look back over the last eight years it’s hard to believe I’ve achieved so much and it makes all of the hard work and 5am study sessions worthwhile.”