A cartoonist best known for his caricatures of British prime ministers will receive an honorary degree.

Steve Bell, who lives in Brighton, will be presented with a masters of art from the University of Brighton.

Mr Bell is famous for his editorial cartoons and long-running political strip If..., which have appeared in The Guardian since 1981.

Named Cartoonist of the Year 2003, he created the image of former Prime Minister John Major with his underpants outside his trousers.

He will be presented with his degree in recognition of his contribution to the art of the political and editorial cartoon.

He will collect his award alongside other graduates from the university at Brighton Dome tomorrow.

Michael Chowen, the founder of Sussex Stationers, will also become a doctor of science for his philanthropic activities in education in the Brighton area on Wednesday.

Mr Chowen has made numerous donations to educational institutions, including a recent donation of £150,000 to the University of Brighton which enabled work on a research project to reduce greenhouse gases.

His interest in this area was sparked by his attendance at a lecture given by chemist Sir Harry Kroto, keynote speaker at the ceremonies on Wednesday.

More than 4,800 students are graduating from the university and 3,400 will attend the week’s ceremonies with their families and friends.

Professor Julian Crampton, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “I am continually struck by the wealth of talent and sense of community that exists here at the university, an institution that is very much on an upward trajectory.”