The Committee was officially known as the Committee on Degrees not Conferred by Examination or Thesis. The University of Manchester has presented honorary degrees to notable local and national individuals at its annual degree day since its foundation (known as Founder's Day). Founder's Day was the main ceremony for senior honorary degrees with the award of honorary doctorates; other honorary degrees (masters) were normally awarded at a more modest ceremony later in the year.
The Committee in effect confirmed decisions about honorary degrees made by senior University officials; the minutes do not contain detailed information on the process of selection and adjudication of candidates. They do include brief biographical details about recipients. Some of the earlier minutes are in the Council Committees minutes books (USC/1). Minutes for 1979-1995 have not been located. The Committee was discharged in 2003.