Michael Hutt completed a BA in South Asian Studies, majoring in Hindi literature, in 1980 and a PhD on the history of the Nepali language and its literature in 1984, both at SOAS. In 1987 he returned to SOAS as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and has been engaged in teaching and research relating to Nepal and the Himalaya here ever since.
He was Head of the South Asia Department from 1995-9, and has served as both Associate Dean (2002-4) and Dean (2004-10) of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Britain-Nepal Academic Council ever since its foundation in 2000, and its chairman since 2010; he has also served two terms as editor of the European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. Michael Hutt was appointed as the chair of the British Academy's South Asia area panel in 2014.
The study of modern and contemporary Nepali literature is Hutt's home ground, and he is well known as a translator. He has also published on Nepali and Bhutanese politics, the Nepali diaspora in India, Nepali art and architecture, and the Bhutanese refugee issue.