The Iron Maiden frontman received his Honorary Doctorate Of Music at London's Queen Mary University on Tuesday. He studied history for a short period at the college in 1979.
The singer said that he went to university to please his parents, but was able to turn it to his advantage.
"That was what [my parents] wanted to hear so that was my cover story," he said. "When I got down there, I started immediately finding and playing in bands."
Dickinson is currently using his pilot license to fly Iron Maiden around during their world tour. The Boeing 757 is nicknamed 'Ed Force One' after the band's mascot Eddie.
Iron Maiden will perform two nights at London's O2 Arena on August 5 and August 6, as part of their UK arena tour.
They were recently named the third most influential rock band in the last 30 years after Metallica and Green Day by Kerrang.
Watch Iron Maiden perform 'Fear of the Dark' below: