NEW Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa told graduating students at the Royal Conservatoire (RCS) to “roll with the punches” as he returned to where he studied acting to collect an honorary degree.

Gatwa, who has gone from starring in the hit Netflix series Sex Education to being the BBC’s latest Time Lord, paid tribute to those graduating from RCS in Glasgow, hailing them as “artistic superheroes” after they completed their studies during the pandemic.

READ MORE: Who is Ncuti Gatwa? Meet the Rwandan-Scottish actor taking over as Doctor Who

Gatwa graduated with a BA in Acting from the RCS in 2013, and returned on Thursday to collect an honorary doctorate.

He told the graduating class: “It is such an honour to be back here to receive this doctorate and to be with you all on your very special day.”

Photograph: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland/Martin Shields

While Gatwa said there was a presumption he would use his address to pass on “wisdom and knowledge” to others, he added: “All I’ve learned in life thus far, is that you have to roll with the punches and figure it out as you go along.”

Speaking at the ceremony in Glasgow he went on to tell the graduates: “I am humbly inspired and in awe of the strength, talent, perseverance, and dedication to your craft that each of you clearly possess.

“These qualities will serve you so well in life. What today signifies is that you are artists. Period.”

Outlander star Sam Heughan, another former RCS student, was also awarded an honorary doctorate, receiving the honour as more than 300 students graduated in disciplines including music, drama, dance, production, and film.

Photograph: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland/Martin Shields

Heughan thanked the RCS as he told those finishing their courses to “dream big”.

He added: “This place has given you the greatest start and I’m incredibly excited for you.

“I’m willing you on, I want you all to succeed and I know you will. Dream big and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I cannot wait to see what you all achieve.”

READ MORE: Watch as Outlander star Sam Heughan joins in singalong with Glasgow graduates

While Gatwa and Heughan were given honorary doctorates by the RCS, Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil collected an honorary Doctor of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Ayrshire born musician said: “To receive this doctorate is an honour I could never have expected.

“To receive it in Glasgow, a city which has featured so long and so supportively in the band’s story, is the stuff of dreams.”