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Attendance Information

Information on the arrangements for attending Summer Congregation 2022 (including postponed ceremonies for Summer 2021 UGs and the Winter 2022 cohort) are published below.

This Attendance Information provides a printable version of the important details for students and guests. (This document is also accessible for students from the Congregation and Parchment Registration system).

You can also watch our short graduation guide on how to prepare and make the most of your special day!

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COVID-19 Mitigation 

Please do not attend the event if you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings whilst indoors.

Venue, Travel and Parking

Congregation ceremonies are held in Durham Cathedral with related activities taking place around Palace Green, the area between the Cathedral and Castle. The Congregation Fair is located in the marquee for graduates and guests to visit before and after the ceremony.

  • Graduates must arrive at least 2 hours before the time of their ceremony and bring their campus card if they have one to assist with registration on the day. If graduates do not arrive on time they will be excluded from the ceremony.
  • Guests will be directed to enter the Cathedral from approximately 45 minutes before the ceremony start time and should take advantage the facilities at the Congregation Fair beforehand.

View the map and directions to Durham.

Do allow plenty of time for arrival, remembering that Durham city centre will be busy on Congregation days. Graduands and guests are advised to use the various car parks situated around Durham, including Durham's Park and Ride service, and the metered on-street parking which is available all over the city.

Please note that there is no public parking on Palace Green although graduands and guests with mobility issues can be dropped off by car or taxi at the bottom of Owengate (the road that leads up to Palace Green).

Note that Palace Green lies within the city congestion charge zone.

Congregation Information Point

A Congregation Information Point will be located on Palace Green outside of the Music Building for general enquiries.

Guest Tickets

View information on how to collect Tickets

The Ceremony Day

  • Graduates collect robes from the Pemberton Building and register their attendance. Due to limited capacity, only graduates are allowed access to the robing area.
  • Guests or graduates collect tickets from the Guest Ticket desk in the marquee.
  • Graduates give tickets and belongings to guests before going to the Great Hall.
  • Graduates report to the Great Hall of University College (Castle) 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to the ceremony to be put into procession order. Graduates must arrive by this time so that various checks can be undertaken, names will be scored off the list if students do not arrive on time.
  • Guests, with tickets, to be directed into the Cathedral from the Information Point approximately 45 minutes before the ceremony start time to be seated separately from graduates.
  • Graduates process from Great Hall to the Cathedral approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony.
  • On entering the Cathedral, graduates will be seated in order. Names will be checked multiple times as it is vital that graduates remain in order for the ceremony.
  • During the ceremony graduates will be called to the stage individually, pausing in front of the Presiding Officer.
  • The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • The use of cameras and recording devices is not permitted during ceremonies, and flash photography is not allowed within the Cathedral.
  • Ceremonies are professionally filmed and photographed with DVDs/photos available to purchase afterwards.
  • Ceremonies will also be streamed live on the Ceremonies website and to the Assembly Rooms Theatre, which is open to guests without tickets.
  • After the ceremony, graduates and guests enjoy the facilities in the Congregation Fair in the marquee.
  • Graduates must return robes to the Pemberton Building before 6:00pm on the day of the ceremony.

Guest Entrance Information

Entrance to the Cathedral will only be allowed from 45 minutes before the ceremony start time. Guests arriving before the entrance time are advised to wait in the marquee as there is no shelter outside the Cathedral for guests to wait and it can be cold, even in Summer.

Guests will be directed from the Information Point on Palace Green to the Galilee Chapel entrance before being guided into the main body of the Cathedral. Guests may have to wait at the Galilee Chapel for a short period until the venue is ready. Guests must show tickets to be allowed entrance to the Cathedral.

On entering the main body of the Cathedral, guests will be guided by University marshals to fill all seats from the front to the back, in the Nave and then in the Side Aisles. Guests wishing to sit together must arrive together. Each student is allocated up to 2 guaranteed tickets and may obtain 1 additional ticket during registration, dependant on availability. The view in some areas is restricted due to the Cathedral architecture however television monitors are installed throughout the Cathedral to enhance the viewing of the ceremony.

Graduates and Guests with Special Requirements

View information for graduands and guests with special arrangements for the ceremony.

Guests with Children

The ceremony is a formal occasion and disruptions by small children can disturb the graduands and their guests. Please consider this before bringing a small child along. Tickets are required for children over the age of 2 as they will require their own seat, children under 2 can sit on guest’s knees. Pushchairs can be accommodated inside the Cathedral.

The ceremony will also be streamed live to the Assembly Rooms (located on the Bailey) which may be more comfortable for guests with small children, but please note all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Personal Belongings

Graduands are advised to keep personal belongings to a minimum which should be left with guests prior to the ceremony.

Please do not bring any large handbags/rucksacks or luggage as they are not permitted inside the Cathedral and cannot be left unattended. You may be subjected to a bag search on entry to the Cathedral. There will be a supervised baggage drop in the PG28 (next to the Police Office) for graduands and guests to use during the ceremony. Please leave your bags here before attempting to enter the Cathedral. Please note, although this is a supervised area, bags are left at the owner's risk.

Congregation Fair

The following activities are located in the marquee for graduates and guests to enjoy before and after the ceremony:

  • Refreshments – University Catering will supply food and refreshments for sale throughout the day with a selection of celebratory drinks, hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and snacks. 
  • Dunelm alumni – Come and see the Dunelm alumni team at the Congregation Fair. Find out about the Dunelm alumni community and how Durham can continue to support you as you go out into the world. We have alumni events around the world so you can make new connections across the community as well as meeting up with your Durham friends. You can access benefits such as a dunelm.org.uk email address, continued access to online journals through JSTOR, and career support. Visit us at the fair to collect your ‘I bagged a Durham degree’ bag-for-life and your commemorative Class graduation pin.
  • Official Merchandise – A wide range of official Durham University merchandise will be available, selling everything from clothing to our bestselling graduation bear, helping you to commemorate your time here. Our full range of merchandise is available at https://shop.dur.ac.uk/
  • Your Graduation Ceremony, available on DVD, Digital Download or Personalised Social Media Clip - Galaxy Video will be filming live in Durham Cathedral, and your graduation ceremony will be available to purchase at the event. Supplied on a range of media, choices include, USB key, DVD, Digital Download or as a personalised clip which is perfect for social media. Order online today at www.mygraduationfilm.com and don’t miss this opportunity to capture your big moment centre stage. Orders can also be placed at the event to take home, or online, after the event.

  • Photographs - Ede and Ravenscroft photography studios are available to take images of graduands and guests either before or after ceremonies but remember that graduands need to report to the Great Hall by 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. Ede and Ravenscroft photography will also capture each graduand on stage with the Presiding Officer during the ceremony and these images will be available to view, purchase and take home on the day from the Photography Sales Desk after the ceremony. Photography packages can be pre-ordered online by 22 June or ordered on the day: https://graduation-services.edeandravenscroft.com/graduation/index/

Lost Property

Lost property will be held at the Police Office on Palace Green. If the office is closed, please ask a member if security staff on Palace Green

Dress Code

Graduates must hire graduation robes by 22 June 2022 see what to wear on the day.

Graduates and guests are advised to dress warmly as they will be outside at certain times of the day and it can be cold inside the Cathedral.

Guests are recommended to dress smartly but without hats which can restrict the view for other guests.

Other Activities

Find out what celebration events your college and department are holding during Congregation and view What's On and other attractions to visit during your time in Durham.