The ceremony

For many of you this will be your first experience of a Degree Congregation so to help you prepare please watch the following film and read through the information below.

2020 Degree Congregations

Due to the current circumstances and restrictions in place across the UK, we have had to take the very difficult decision to postpone our on-campus graduation events that were due to take place in December 2020. This decision has been made with the best interests of our students and staff in mind. We will be running Virtual Graduation Celebrations in the week commencing Monday 7 December 2020 to mark the achievements of our Class of 2020 graduating cohort. We also remain committed to providing the Class of 2020 with an opportunity to come together, celebrate and reunite on campus when it is possible to do so. 



When do the doors to the Great Hall open?

Graduands and guests can enter the Great Hall at the following times:

  • 09:00 for a 09:45 Degree Congregation
  • 09:30 for a 10:15 Degree Congregation
  • 11:30 for a 12:15 Degree Congregation
  • 12:45 for a 13:30 Degree Congregation
  • 14:15 for a 15:00 Degree Congregation
  • 15:45 for a 16:15 Degree Congregation
  • 16:45 for a 17:30 Degree Congregation

Graduands and guests should present their tickets at the doors to the Great Hall where they will be checked by our team of stewards.  Graduands will be directed through the corresponding doors to the side of the Great Hall they are seated.  All guests will be directed through the centre doors.

Don't be late!

The doors to the Great Hall will close 15 minutes before the start of each Degree Congregation to both graduands and guests.  This is to ensure that the Degree Congregation runs smoothly for all concerned.  Any graduands and guests arriving once the doors have closed may not be permitted entry.


Once graduands have entered the Great Hall they must check-in before taking their seat.  Graduands will be directed to the check-in desk at the back of the Great Hall on the side of the Hall they are seated.  Once you have checked-in ushers will direct you to your seat.  Please retain your ticket and check that your seat number matches the number on your ticket.  Should there be any difference please notify an usher immediately.

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 checked-in it is essential that you remain seated to ensure your name is read out during the Degree Congregation.

Graduands do not return to the same seat after being presented for their degree; therefore please do 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 an usher.
  • 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.
  • While queuing to the front of the Great Hall you will have your name checked by another usher 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 the 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 please let the ushers at the check-in desk know before the start of the Degree Congregation.
  • Shake hands with the Conferring Officer before turning and walking back down the blue carpet running 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 and transcript 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 and transcript from the same desk at which you checked-in.
  • After collecting your certificate and transcript 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 Degree Congregation.


  • During the Degree Congregation graduands may remove their hats while seated but do not have to do so.
  • All graduands should wear their hats while standing, but may remove their hats while standing for the national anthem at the end of the Degree Congregation.

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 or speak to one of the ushers.