Both actors have been appointed, along with nine others, in the roles at Lady Margaret Hall of Oxford University, editors at the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper report.

The college's principal, Alan Rusbridger, explained the 11 visiting fellows will connect students with their "worlds", and would be encouraged to drop in to eat with the students and meet informally.

"At a minimum, we'd like them to drop in occasionally at college, eat with us and meet informally with a variety of the community," he explained. "We'd like them to do one thing a bit more structured. It could be a conversation or debate, a performance, a lecture or seminar, a form of outreach - or something we haven't thought of. We can imagine fascinating interactions or collaborations between them."

Watson attended the prestigious Brown University in the U.S. and Oxford in England, and Cumberbatch studied for a degree in drama at Manchester University, and he also has a Masters degree in classical acting.

Rusbridger added that he has already offered the visiting fellows, including Watson and the Sherlock star, a place to stay at the university.

"They are welcome to come and stay in college if they'd like a place temporarily to think or work," he said. "And some have already suggested other ways in which they might engage with a body of 700 incredibly smart students and tutors in order to stimulate their own thinking or work in progress."