Hollywood screenwriter, Oscar nominee and graduate Krysty Wilson-Cairns to receive honorary doctorate from RCS

Hollywood screenwriter, Oscar nominee and graduate Krysty Wilson-Cairns to receive honorary doctorate from RCS

Published: 07/06/2021

One of the film industry’s brightest stars will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland next month.

Screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns – who is currently co-writing a new Star Wars movie with Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi – will be honoured at the online summer graduation on Thursday, July 1.

Around 300 students will graduate across the disciplines of music, drama, dance, production and film at the nation’s conservatoire, named one of the world’s top three destinations to study the performing arts in the QS World University Rankings earlier this year.

Due to the continued restrictions on large public gatherings in Scotland and with student and staff safety as the priority, RCS has worked in collaboration with the RCS Students’ Union to create a special day of celebration. Three graduation ceremonies will be livestreamed with every graduating student featured within their ceremony.


Tune in to the RCS summer graduation on July 1 at rcs.ac.uk/graduation


Krysty’s honorary doctorate (Doctor of Film) will recognise her outstanding achievements in film in a career that has taken her from Glasgow’s southside to Hollywood. The degree will be conferred under Covid guidelines as a pre-recorded segment that will be shown during the three livestream ceremonies.

Krysty has enjoyed a stellar rise to fame since graduating from the Digital Film and Television programme at RCS in 2009, now the BA Filmmaking degree. She co-wrote World War One epic and box office smash 1917 with director Sam Mendes that scooped a string of awards including seven BAFTAs, two Golden Globes and three Oscars – and earned Krysty her first Oscar nomination in the Original Screenplay category.

Krysty also co-wrote Last Night in Soho with acclaimed director Edgar Wright. The psychological thriller, which hits cinema screens in October this year, is set in London with a cast that includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Dame Diana Rigg, Matt Smith and Terence Stamp.

Last year, it was announced that Krysty will take on one of the world’s biggest and best-loved movie franchises. Krysty and Taika Waititi – who won Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit at the 2020 Oscars – will co-write the script for the as-yet-unnamed Star Wars feature film, with Waititi also on directing duties.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Krysty Wilson-Cairns is an inspiration to students here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the next generation of screenwriters and filmmakers around the globe.

“It has been wonderful to watch her career skyrocket, taking her from Glasgow to Hollywood with so many remarkable achievements along the way, including her first Oscar nomination that we’re sure won’t be her last. It’s also hugely exciting that Krysty will become part of the legendary Star Wars franchise. This honorary doctorate is a tribute to an exceptionally talented and dedicated artist who we are proud to call one of our own.”

Krysty credits her studies at RCS for ‘opening her eyes’ to her future career: “RCS didn’t just prepare me for my career, it showed me what my career could be. It gave me my career. I had no idea I wanted to or in fact, even could be a screenwriter before I was set that first writing task for the class. That was the eureka moment.”

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