The ceremony

Graduands clapping during their degree ceremonyEntering the Great Hall

The doors to the Great Hall open at the following times for both graduands and guests:

  • 09:30 for a 10:15 Degree Congregation
  • 12:45 for a 13:30 Degree Congregation
  • 15:45 for a 16:15 Degree Congregation

When you arrive at the Great Hall stewards will check your ticket and direct you through the appropriate door to register. Guests should enter the Great Hall through the centre doors, handing their tickets to security as they enter the Great Hall.


Once you have entered the Great Hall you must register your attendance before you take your seat.  You will be ushered to the side of the Hall to have your name and attendance confirmed. You must retain your ticket until a member of duty staff ushers you to your seat, at which point you should check that the seat number matches the number on your ticket.

Comfort breaks and personal belongings

We politely ask graduands to ensure they have taken all necessary comfort breaks before they enter the Great Hall.  Once registered it is essential you remain seated, to ensure your name is read out during the Degree Congregation.

You do not return to the same seat after being presented for your degree; therefore you should not bring any personal belongings into the Great Hall.  This includes handbags, mobile electronic devices or bags of any description.  A cloakroom service is available and signposted from the Great Hall, or alternatively you can leave any personal belongings with your guests.

Being presented for your degree

  • At the appropriate time during the Degree Congregation you will be ushered from your seat and into the side aisle by a member of duty staff.
  • As you leave your seat ensure you follow the graduand immediately in front of you.  Under no circumstance should you change position in the queue, as this exactly matches the order in which your name will be read out.
  • Whilst queuing to the front of the Great Hall you will have your name checked by a member of duty staff to ensure you are in the correct presentational order.
  • Your name will be confirmed for the final time at the top of the platform steps. On the signal of the member of staff at the top of steps, and once your name has been read out, proceed onto the platform to shake hands with the Conferring Officer.
  • If for cultural reasons you do not wish to shake hands, then please let a member of duty staff know before the start of the Degree Congregation.
  • Shake hands with the Conferring Officer before turning and walking back down the centre of the Hall. Do not remove or raise your hat when being presented for your degree.
  • You are not presented with anything on the platform; your certificate will be given to you as you return to your seat.
  • Walk back down the centre aisle, through the guest seating, and turn behind the back row of graduand seating to collect your certificate from the same desk at which you registered.
  • After collecting your certificate and programme you will be ushered back to the next available seat.

We have produced a diagram of these instructions (PDF - 44KB) so that you can familiarise yourself with what will happen during the ceremony.


  • During the Degree Congregation male graduands should remove their hats whilst seated.
  • During the Degree Congregation female graduands may remove their hats if they wish.
  • All graduands should wear their hats whilst standing, although males should remove their hats whilst standing for the National Anthem.

End of the Degree Congregation

  • At the end of the Degree Congregation you should stand for the National Anthem.  Please be seated immediately at its conclusion.
  • When instructed to do so join the procession of graduates in exiting the Great Hall. You will be ushered into the side aisle and up to the front of the Hall, before processing down the centre aisle, out of the Great Hall.

Problems or queries

If you need help on the day of your Degree Congregation please contact us - we will be happy to help.

Problems or queries

If you need help on the day of your Degree Congregation please contact us - we will be happy to help.