Abertay University awarded an honorary degree to Scottish social commentator and hip-hop artist Darren McGarvey at its winter graduation ceremony.

Darren McGarvey, also known by his stage name “Loki”, joined over 400 graduands for the ceremony at Caird Hall in Dundee on Friday.

McGarvey is a prominent figure in Scottish public life, renowned for his insightful commentary on social issues and his contributions to the music scene.

His work is known for exploring themes of inequality, poverty, and the complex issues facing contemporary society.

His debut book Poverty Safari was released to critical acclaim in 2017, later winning the prestigious Orwell Prize for political writing.

READ MORE: BBC commissions first UK-wide series for Darren McGarvey

A follow-up, The Social Distance Between Us, was published in 2022 to similar praise. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature earlier this year.

In addition to his writing, McGarvey has also made a significant contribution to the world of broadcasting, producing numerous programmes for BBC Scotland exploring the root causes of anti-social behaviour and social deprivation. His 2022 series Addictions best Factual Series at the BAFTA Scotland Awards last November.

Abertay University Principal Professor Liz Bacon said: “Through his words and music, Darren McGarvey has demonstrated a commitment to challenging societal norms and fostering positive change. Using his platform, he has worked tirelessly to deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and communities across the country, shedding light on the profound impact of deprivation and addiction.

“His work aligns perfectly with our commitment to social justice through transformative education and I’m looking forward to welcoming him to the Abertay family at the end of the month.”

Receiving his honorary degree, McGarvey told students: “I have this voice in my head all the time telling me that I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, that I don’t deserve to do well. The only saving grace I have in life is that I have developed a resilience to ignore my own thoughts maybe 95% of the time!

“If you have a brain like mine, and it’s stopping you from doing the things you want to do in life, then it’s time to challenge your own thoughts as they might be the main barrier standing between you and your aspirations.”