The acclaimed actor will have an honorary doctorate conferred on him by the University of Ulster at its Magee campus on Sunday.
During the ceremony in the Great Hall, Sir Ian will receive his accolade from the university's chancellor - his Hobbit co-star James Nesbitt.
He will also deliver the annual Chancellor's Lecture to an invited audience on the subject of Acting and Activism.
In doing so, Sir Ian will follow in the footsteps of distinguished jurist Baroness Kennedy, respected journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow, then Irish President Mary McAleese, Lord Chief Justice for Northern Ireland Sir Declan Morgan and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The ceremony on 3 February will mark the first time the Chancellor's Lecture has been delivered at the university's Magee campus.