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Congregation (Graduation)

In a Congregation ceremony, degrees are formally conferred upon candidates. Congregation is a term that means gathering together. This ceremony can also be called Graduation.

Congregation is held at Durham Cathedral and is a time to celebrate everything you've achieved during your time at Durham.
Dates and timetables
Graduate in robes smiling with guest

In Absentia Conferrals

For pass lists published in the months immediately after our Summer or Winter ceremonies, graduands may be eligible to have their degrees awarded in absentia at a Spring or Autumn conferral. This is in order for us to dispatch degree documents (certificates) at the earliest possible opportunity. Students do not attend this conferral but are invited to attend the next set of ceremonies (i.e. Summer or Winter depending on the time of year). Students eligible for this will receive an email to the address logged on their Banner record and will be given the opportunity to confirm their delivery address and contact details via Banner Self Service.

Registration for Degree Certificates

Degree certificates are not issued at the ceremonies. 

All eligible students receive an email with directions on how to register for their degree certificate and confirm whether or not they wish to attend a Congregation ceremony. If you do not complete registration, your degree certificate will be sent to the address held on record and you will not be included in this or any future ceremony. 

For further information on how we use the personal data collected as part of the registration process, please read our Privacy Notice 2021.

Degree Certificate

Your degree certificate will be posted to the address provided during registration and will be dispatched within 6 weeks of the conferral. Overseas students can request courier delivery if you wish to track your certificate or speed up the delivery. 

Soon after your degree is conferred, you should receive a pdf of your transcript and a confirmation of award to your Durham University email account. These attachments should be saved immediately as access to them closes after a limited period. Any further pdfs will need to be ordered and paid for, if you fail to save your copy. 

Honorary Degrees 

At certain Congregation ceremonies, the University will award honorary degrees to candidates who have been nominated by University staff and approved by Senate. During the ceremony a speech (oration) of the life and work of the graduand is presented prior to conferring the award.

Nominate someone to be considered for an honorary award (University staff only) 

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. 

Further terms and conditions can be found here.



Ceremonies Unit

Curriculum, Learning & Assessment Service
Durham University
Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham DH1 3LE


Please note, the Ceremonies Unit are still working from home and unable to make or receive calls at present.