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Read the Attendance Information

General Information about the ceremony

  • The ceremonies are held in Durham Cathedral but are not religious events although Christian iconography is displayed inside the venue. The Cathedral provides a large and beautiful venue for the ceremonies with other, related, activities held in the surrounding area.
  • Students are required to arrive onsite at least 2 hours before the ceremony commences to allow time to be robed.
  • Students must report to the Great Hall in the Castle 1 hour and 15 mins prior to their ceremony. They must be robed and have passed on any guest tickets and bags to their guests.
  • The Graduands process across Palace Green (from the Castle to the Cathedral) approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony in the order they will be presented onstage.
  • Ceremonies last approximately an hour.
  • Ceremonies begin with the Staff Procession, followed by a welcome by the Cathedral Representative.
  • The Vice-Chancellor we provide a welcome address, before we begin the portion of the ceremony where the graduands names will be called to cross the stage.
  • Once all graduands have crossed the stage, the Presiding Officer will confer the degrees.
  • At this point an honorary degree may be awarded, and the Presiding Officer will then give the closing address.
  • The Staff Procession will leave, followed by the Graduate Procession and then the guests.

Information for guests

Before the ceremony 

  • Students collect robes.
  • The Vice-Chancellor (or representative) gives an opening speech. 
  • The Dean of Durham (or representative) welcomes the University into the Cathedral. 

During the Ceremony 

  • Students process to the Cathedral approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony. 
  • On entering the main body of the Cathedral guests will be directed by University marshals to seats. 
  • Students collect tickets.
  • Students give tickets and belongings to guests before gathering for the procession. 
  • Students report for the procession, 1 hour and 15 minutes before the ceremony to be put into order at which point you must leave your guests. Remember to arrange a meeting point with your guests for after the ceremony. 
  • Guests must wait until the Cathedral entrance time. Be aware no shelter for guests is available on Palace Green. 
  • Guests, with tickets, will be directed from the Information Point to the Galilee Chapel entrance of the Cathedral approximately 45 minutes before the ceremony start time. Guests may have to wait in the Galilee Chapel for a short time until the venue is ready. 
  • The ceremony lasts approximately an hour and 15 minutes. 
  • The Presiding Officer gives the closing speech. 
  • At some ceremonies an honorary degree is awarded and a speech is given by a member of the University on the recipient's life and achievements. 
  • Students then stand for the conferment of awards. 
  • Students are called to the stage individually. We ask guests to applaud each group of students rather than each individual student. 
  • Guests will be guided by University marshals to exit the Cathedral following the staff and student processions. 
  • The use of cameras and recording devices is not permitted during ceremonies and no flash photography is allowed inside the Cathedral. 

Other activities 

  • A Congregation Information Point will be located on the corner of Palace Green between the Cathedral and Music Department for general enquiries. 
  • The Congregation Fair will be held at a location on campus with Alumni, Refreshments, University Merchandise and Photography stalls for students and guests to enjoy before and after the ceremony.