The ceremony


Entering the Great Hall

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

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

When you and your guests arrive at the Great Hall stewards will check your tickets and direct you through the appropriate doors.  Graduands will be directed through either the right or left-hand doors to register (depending on which side of the Great Hall you are seated).  Guests will be directed through the centre doors, handing their tickets to the stewards as they enter the Great Hall.

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.


Once you have entered the Great Hall you must register your attendance before taking your seat.  Proceed to the registration desk on the side of the Hall you are seated where you will be registered by the stewards.  This ensures that your name will be read out during the Degree Congregation and you receive your degree.

Stewards will then usher you to your seat.  Please keep your ticket until you have been seated, at which point you should check that your seat number matches the number on your ticket.  Should there be any difference please notify a steward immediately.

Comfort breaks and personal belongings

We politely ask graduands to ensure that they have taken all necessary comfort breaks before they enter the Great Hall. Once registered it is essential that 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 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 a steward.
  • 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 steward 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 stewards on the registration 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 registered.
  • After collecting your certificate 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 stewards - we will be happy to help.