Australian actress Cate Blanchett has been awarded her third honorary doctorate.

The Blue Jasmine star was given the honour her extraordinary contribution to the arts, philanthropy and the community at MACquarie University in Sydney on Thursday (25Sep14).

Blanchett studied economics and fine art at Melbourne University before heading for Hollywood, and when she took to the stage to collect her award on Wednesday she imparted some words of wisdom to the students.

She told them, "The arts are what we stay alive for, what we work all week for, what we dream about, what connects us and indeed, what some would say makes us human. It is the arts that has always been the driver of innovation and exploration. So remember when someone asks what the hell can you do with an arts degree, ask them what can the world do without one?"

Blanchett's two other honorary doctorates are from Sydney University and the University of New South Wales.