Award-winning writer Rona Munro receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling  

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Rona Munro, honorary graduate
Honorary graduate Rona Munro celebrated with graduating students at the University of Stirling.

Rona Munro – the award-winning writer for stage, radio and screen – has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stirling in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Scottish literature and drama. 

Rona – who joined 376 graduates today at a ceremony on the University of Stirling campus – has enjoyed a 40-year career writing extensively for stage, radio, television and film, to enormous critical acclaim and with multiple award wins. 

Born in Aberdeen, Rona wrote and acted for the stage during her teenage years. Her first play was staged at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre just a year after she graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She went on to write for the stage and radio.  

Honorary graduate Rona Munro with Jack McConnell

Honorary graduate Rona Munro pictured alongside University of Stirling Chancellor Lord McConnell.

Amongst Rona’s most notable work are The James Plays, five plays covering the reigns of the Stewart kings and queens of Scotland. Her theatre awards include the John Whiting Award for Iron; the Peggy Ramsay Memorial Award for The Maiden Stone; and the Evening Standard Award, Critics’ Circle Award and Susan Smith Blackburn Award for Bold Girls.  

Rona’s film and television work includes the Ken Loach film Ladybird, Ladybird and Oranges and Sunshine, directed by Jim Loach. She was the first writer to contribute to the iconic Doctor Who television series in both its twentieth- and twenty-first-century incarnations. With actress Fiona Knowles, she is also one half of the MsFits, Scotland’s longest running small scale touring theatre company presenting feminist comedy drama. 

Creative writing students Ewan Angus and Aubrey Aloi interview Rona Munro about her career writing for stage and screen.

Rona said: “Receiving this honorary degree means a great deal to me. It feels like recognition, not just of my own writing, but of the potential strength of contemporary playwriting within Scotland. Drama lives on stages, but it lives on in academia. 

“In awarding me this degree, I feel the University of Stirling is also acknowledging the literary weight and relevance of all Scottish playwriting, which is sometimes overlooked elsewhere. And, on a personal level, it makes me extremely happy to know that my body of work is considered worthy of this accolade.” 

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Rona Munro is truly inspiring in her field, which intersects film and media, creative writing and history. All of these are popular subjects of study and research at the University of Stirling. Rona is an excellent role model for our graduating students.” 

Today’s ceremony is one of three taking place on 23 and 24 November, at which more than 1,000 students will graduate. Winter graduation is the last in the 2023 series of graduations, following the spring and summer events earlier in the year. For more information, please visit the University’s graduation webpages

Images from Winter Graduation (ceremony one)

Images from the University of Stirling's Winter Graduation 2023.