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Matriculation

Matriculation ceremonies are held annually to welcome new students to Durham University. Matriculation is the term used to describe students' formal entry into the University and is described in the University's Regulations as "the act of placing a student's name upon the matricula or roll of members of the University." 

Students attend the Matriculation ceremony by College.  Members of College, such as College staff and the Freshers Reps, are responsible for providing information on the event to students and organising the processions to and from the ceremony. All new students are invited to attend the ceremony. 

Matriculation ceremonies will take place on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 September 2022.

Timetable of Matriculation ceremonies - 28 and 29 September 2022
Ceremony NORTH SIDE OF THE CATHEDRAL (North Door) SOUTH SIDE OF CATHEDRAL (Cloisters)
Wednesday     
10.00am College of St Hild & St Bede Van Mildert College
11.15am John Snow College Grey College
2.00pm

Hatfield College

South College
3.15pm

St John's College

St Chad's College

Josephine Butler College
Thursday    
10.00am St Cuthbert's Society Stephenson College
11.15am St Mary's College Collingwood College
2.00pm University College St Aidan's College
3.15pm Ustinov College Trevelyan College

*Please note: this timetable is provisional and is subject to change. We will keep any changes to a minimum and within the same day, as far as we possibly can.

 

Organising Students

Students attend the Matriculation ceremony by College and as such College staff and the Freshers Reps are responsible for providing information on the event to students and organising the processions to and from the Cathedral. All new students are invited to attend the ceremony including Erasmus students.

Student processions must arrive at the Cathedral by 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time at the latest. Please note if additional checks / restrictions relating to COVID-19 are required, this might change. Information will be updated here.

On arrival the students will be greeted by University marshals and guided to queue towards the appropriate entrance as listed on the timetable To ensure there are sufficient seats available students must enter via the allocated route. The order in which colleges arrive at the Cathedral is not important, however, those who arrive first will be seated closer to the front.

It is customary for there to be a bit of inter-college rivalry amongst students but the level of noise must be monitored to prevent disturbance to others in nearby offices, houses and school particularly when queuing to enter the Cathedral and those arriving must not obstruct those exiting from a previous ceremony.

At the appropriate time, marshals will direct students to enter the Cathedral where they will be guided to seats. Students entering via Palace Green will be seated on the north side of the Cathedral, and those that entered via the Cloisters will sit on the south side.

PLEASE NOTE: Students should not bring any large bags/holdalls/rucksacks as they are not allowed within the Cathedral and cannot be left unattended. Photography is not allowed during the ceremony, this includes the use of still, digital and video cameras and mobile telephones. Flash photography is not permitted within the Cathedral.

One undergraduate and one postgraduate student from each College should be identified as the representative to sign the Matriculation Book during the ceremony and be placed at the front of the procession. The appointed student must make themselves known to marshals inside the Cathedral and will be directed to sit at the front of the Nave, separate from the rest of their college. Please impress upon the appointed student the need to report to the front of the Nave by 5 minutes prior to the ceremony start time at the latest. If a student does not appear the marshal will appoint another student from the appropriate college to undertake this role.

At the end of the ceremony, marshals will direct students out of their seats to leave via the same side of the Cathedral from which they entered i.e. those that arrived at Palace Green will return to Palace Green; those that entered through the Cloisters will exit through the Cloisters.

Again the level of noise made by students exiting the Cathedral needs to be monitored and students must not obstruct the queue of other colleges arriving for the next ceremony.

Directions for Processions

Map of Matriculation Procession Routes

Entrance and exit via Palace Green

Students of Colleges entering from Palace Green should arrive via Owengate, walk anti-clockwise round the green taking the right hand path to approach the Cathedral and enter via the Galilee Chapel. University security staff and marshals will be present to provide direction.

Students will be guided by marshals to exit the Cathedral by the North Door, taking the right hand path then down Dun Cow Lane, turning either left to go down Saddler Street or ahead to go over Kingsgate Bridge.

Entrance and exit via the Cloisters

Students of Colleges entering through the Cloisters should approach over or past Prebends Bridge walk up the pathway round the back of the Chorister School to arrive at the 'College' area to the back of the Cathedral, take the left path round the grass outside Priors Hall then turn left again on entrance to the Cloisters walking round to the doorway into the Cathedral next to the Monks' Dormitory. Marshals will be present to provide direction.

Students will be guided by marshals to exit through the Cloisters, walking clockwise round the quadrangle, to pass in front of Priors Hall, turn left at the corner to exit the College via the Bailey gate then turn right towards Prebends Bridge.

Role of Head of College (or nominated deputy)

As is the tradition at these ceremonies, one first year undergraduate and postgraduate student from each College/Society present is called upon to sign the Matriculation Book on behalf of all the new students from that College/Society. The role of the Head of College is to take a seat on the stage, greet and witness the students signing the Matriculation book.

The form to register attendance at Matriculation (published during August/September) includes an option to confirm the role of Head of College for the ceremony. Please tick this box if you are acting as the nominated representative for the College. It is important that you register your attendance at the ceremony, we cannot presume that each College Principal or Master will be able to attend as we know from experience that this is not always the case.

The procedure during the ceremony is as follows:

  • After the Dean of Durham (or representative) has addressed the students, the University Secretary or Academic Registrar will rise and say: “The process of matriculation marks the beginning of formal membership of the University. I now call upon one undergraduate and one postgraduate representative from each of the Colleges present to sign the Matriculation Book on behalf of all new members of their College.”
  • The University Secretary or Academic Registrar will then call out the names of the Colleges present in order and, at the appropriate time, the Bedel will indicate when each student should go forward to sign the Matriculation Book.
  • The Head of College rises from their seat (on the stage) and stands at the table with the Matriculation book, after each student has signed the book, shake hands then return to your seat.
  • Once all the Colleges present have been called forward, the Presiding Officer (the Vice-Chancellor or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor) will ask students to ‘share the hand of friendship and welcome each other to the Colleges and the University' by shaking hands with each other. Please feel free to go and shake hands with your students.
  • The President of Durham Students' Union and Presiding Officer will then give speeches.
  • The Presiding Officer formally closes the ceremony and leads the procession out of the Cathedral.

College Checklist

  • Take note of the allocated ceremony time and include in plans for student induction.
  • Register attendance in the Staff Procession using the online form (to be published during August/September).
  • Ensure the College Principal or Master registers their attendance online indicating their role as the Head of College at the ceremony.
  • If the College Principal or Master is unable to attend, ensure that a representative is appointed and registers their attendance online indicating that they are acting as the Head of College at the ceremony.
  • Take note of the route to and from the Cathedral.
  • Brief the College representatives on their role in getting the procession to the Cathedral, via the correct entrance, stressing the importance of monitoring noise levels when queuing, and inform students about the tradition of shaking hands with each other during the ceremony.
  • Identify an undergraduate and postgraduate student to sign the Matriculation Book and ensure the students know to inform marshals on arrival in the Cathedral.
  • Inform students where and when to gather for the procession to the Cathedral.

What is Matriculation? 

Matriculation is the term used to describe students' formal entry into the University and is described in the University's Regulations as "the act of placing a student's name upon the matricula or roll of members of the University." The ceremony will include an undergraduate and postgraduate representative from each college signing the Matriculation book on behalf of all the students, and you will all be invited to 'share the hand of friendship'. 

Do all students attend Matriculation? 

All undergraduate and postgraduate studentwho are commencing their studies at Durham University are invited to attend Matriculation. 

How long does the ceremony last? 

Matriculation ceremonies are approximately 30 minutes in duration.  

Can parents / guests attend? 

Matriculation ceremonies are for students and due to limited space, guests are not invited to attend. 

Is there a dress code? 

Students are advised to dress smartly. Some colleges ask their students to wear gowns for Matriculation, whilst some choose not to. If you are unsure, please contact your college to check. 

Is photography allowed? 

Photography is not allowed during the ceremony, this includes the use of still, digital and video cameras and mobile telephones. 

What can I bring? 

Students should not bring any large bags/holdalls/rucksacks as they are not allowed and cannot be left unattended. 

 

Further information

For current staff and students.

Ceremonies Unit

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

Email: congregation@durham.ac.uk

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