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A street in Durham, with old buildings and people walking down the street

Due to continuing Covid-19 uncertainties we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the Congregation ceremonies planned for September 2021. We have secured dates at Durham Cathedral to hold Congregation ceremonies between Monday 28 March and Friday 1 April 2022. We are also planning additional dates around the Summer ceremonies which are scheduled to take place at the end of June / early July 2022.

In the meantime, students in the Summer 21 cohort will have their degree conferred in absentia on 2 July 2021 and a short video will be released to mark the occasion. We will provide more information soon. 

We understand that following a difficult period this will come as disappointing news. Please be assured that ceremonies are postponed, not cancelled. You will still have the opportunity to attend a rescheduled ceremony in the Cathedral. 

We’re part of a vibrant and diverse global community, and we’re committed to delivering the best possible experience for all our students. We’re mindful that graduands and their guests already need to make travel plans. However, there is still too much uncertainty about what Covid-19 restrictions will be in place in September for us to be confident that we can commit to going ahead. Even in the most optimistic scenario, international travel restrictions will make it difficult for some graduates and their guests to travel to Durham and celebrate together in September. 

We’re also conscious of the uncertainty with regard to what restrictions might be in place that may impact on the capacity and format of the ceremonies, as well as other practical requirements, for example quarantining gowns between uses. 

These occasions are special to those graduating, their guests and to us. We will be in touch as soon as possible to provide more information on new Congregation dates, ensuring that you have time to plan your travel to Durham safely. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we now have approximately 10,000 graduates awaiting a ceremony. Though we can’t at this time confirm which ceremony you will be invited to attend, we can guarantee that you will be given the opportunity to attend a ceremony. We thank you for your continued patience while we work to confirm arrangements for 2022 in a way that protects our staff, our students and their families, and the wider community. 

Postponement or cancellation 

In the event of postponement or cancellation of Congregation ceremonies, the University will endeavour to communicate this on the website and by contacting the attending students. 

Under no circumstances shall the University be liable for any actual or alleged loss by the graduand or guests arising from the cancellation or postponement of the event. This includes, but is not limited to, travel, accommodation and subsistence costs or any loss of business or earnings. Graduands and their guests should ensure they have sufficient insurance protection to cover any losses they may incur as a result of postponement or cancellation of Congregation. 

Find out more about Congregation.