Graduands and guests with disabilities

Should you or any of your guests have a disability, we will do everything we can to ensure that your day runs as smoothly as possible. 

Arriving on campus by car and parking

We would advise all graduands and guests with a disability arriving by car to drive to the campus barriers by the Guild of Students.  Explain to the member of Security staff that you are attending a Degree Congregation and they should then permit you vehicular access to campus.  

If the driver of the car is registered disabled then this should be reported to Security as you enter campus and they should then permit you vehicular access to Chancellor's Court - where you should be able to park and leave your car. This is the closest parking to the Great Hall. 

If one of the guests in the car is registered disabled, then this again should be report to Security as you enter campus and they should then permit you access to Chancellor's Court to drop your guests off.  Owing to the limited number of car parking spaces in Chancellor's Court (and the high volume of pedestrian traffic throughout the day), we ask that the driver of the car then parks the car as usual, in the North East Car Park.

Once your party of guests is ready to leave campus at the end of your day, Security should re-permit you entry to campus to collect your guests from wherever is most convenient.

The ceremony

Before the Degree Congregation begins, graduands are seated together at the rear of the Great Hall in ceremonial order. The graduand seating is fixed, therefore should you have any difficulty sitting for any length of time, or accessing this type of seating, please contact us as soon as you know the date and time of your ceremony, and that you have completed your programme of study.  Typically we can arrange for you to be seated in the side aisle, allowing ease of access and the ability to move around freely before the ceremony begins.

During the Degree Congregation graduands mount a flight of steps to the platform to have their degree conferred.  If you know you are likely to have difficulty mounting these steps please contact us as soon as you know the date and time of your ceremony, and that you have completed your programme of study.  Typically we are able to offer three options:

  1. We can arrange for a member of staff to help you up and down the platform steps.
  2. We can arrange for you to shake hands with the Conferring Officer at the bottom of the platform steps.
  3. We can arrange for you to use the lift situated behind the platform, allowing access to the platform via doors on the stage.

In our experience most graduands choose either option 1 or 2 as this ensures they remain with their friends and classmates.  Unfortunately there is an unavoidable detachment from the other graduands should you wish to use the lift behind the platform.

You do not need to make your decision immediately - you can wait until you have seen the options in the Great Hall and talked these through with a member of the Funding, Graduation and Awards team on the day. We do, however, ask that you get in touch with us in advance of your Degree Congregation so that we can put everything in place for you.  

Guests with a disability

Guest seating in the Great Hall is unreserved and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  We advise those guests with a disability to arrive at the Great Hall shortly before the doors open so that they can select the most comfortable seating location before the rest of the congregation enters the Great Hall.  Our stewarding team will be available to assist you with taking your seats in the Great Hall and with any access requirements you may have - please make yourself known to them when you arrive. 

Hearing impairment

The Great Hall is equipped with a hearing loop system to assist those graduands and guests with hearing impairments. Should you require a hearing loop please visit the Aston Webb Reception Desk just outside the doors to the Great Hall.

Assistance animals

Graduands and guests requiring the care of an assistance animal should contact Funding, Graduation & Awards as soon as the date and time of their graduation is known so that the necessary arrangements can be made.  Please note that only registered assistance animals will be permitted entry to the Great Hall, and we ask graduands to provide this proof when contacting Funding, Graduation & Awards to discuss their needs.