Professor Blunkett first joined the University as a mature student in 1969, where he studied Political Theory and Institutions. He worked tirelessly for six years attending evening classes to get the qualifications he had not had access to at school in order to gain a place at university. Forty-four years on, in July 2013, he returned as visiting professor in order to reinforce the work he had already been doing with the Department to enhance the experience of both undergraduates and the pioneering research endeavours of staff.
In June 2015 he was appointed Professor of Politics in Practice. In August 2015 he was appointed to the House of Lords.