Students’ marks are first considered by their TEI’s Board of Examiners, which confirm their module marks. The dates for those internal Boards differ from TEI to TEI. Those students who have completed a programme of study are then recommended by their TEI Board of Examiners to the Durham (Overarching) Board of Examiners, which considers completing students from all TEIs.
The Durham Board of Examiners is held twice a year, in late summer and early winter, and each meeting considers several hundred Common Awards students. Following the Boards, Durham aims to get pass list information back to TEIs within two weeks. By pass list, we mean confirmation of awards (e.g., whether a student has passed their programme, and/or what classification they have received). This information can only be shared with students once TEIs have heard back from the Overarching Board.
Qualifications are then officially awarded during the Congregation ceremony which for Common Awards students is typically held in January. Following this, students will normally receive one copy of the degree documents listed below, free of charge. These are not given out at the ceremony but the Common Awards Team will post this documentation to TEIs within 8 weeks of Congregation. TEIs are responsible for providing students with their degree documentation.
What is Congregation?
Congregation is the term the University uses for its graduation ceremonies and means a gathering of members and friends of the University to witness and celebrate the conferring of degrees.
When and where is Congregation?
The Common Awards graduation ceremony is held annually in January and in Durham Cathedral.
For more information on the details of your Congregation, see our Events page.
Please note that the graduation ceremony is followed by a Common Awards Celebration Event. This event is for students to celebrate their successes with their guests, TEI staff and the Common Awards Team. More information on the event is circulated to students when registering for Congregation and is available on our Events page.
Who can attend Congregation?
Common Awards students successfully completing one of the following programmes are eligible to attend Congregation at Durham University:
Students can also bring guests to the ceremony. However, there is limited space in Durham Cathedral and students will be advised on how many guests can attend. Students must indicate how many guest tickets they would like via the registration process.
Staff in TEIs are also able to attend graduation ceremonies, either as a guest or in the academic procession. The Common Awards Team will liaise with TEIs directly about this.
How will I hear about my graduation ceremony?
Invitations to attend are distributed to eligible students by their TEI. This will include information on how to register your attendance, along with any guests.
Does it cost to attend?
There is no charge for students or guests to attend the ceremony. However, students are required to wear the robes (gown and hood) appropriate for the award to be conferred at the ceremony. If you wish to attend your graduation ceremony you will need to pay for gown hire. Information on hiring gowns can be found on the Ceremonies Unit website.
What if I can’t attend?
If you can’t attend your graduation ceremony you may be able to defer your attendance. You can notify the University of your wish to do so via the registration process.
Please note that you must notify the Common Awards Team if you are unable to attend and wish to do so in the future. Graduands who do not notify the University will have their degree conferred in absentia.
You will also be able to graduate in absentia if you do not wish to attend a University ceremony.
For more information, and detailed FAQs, please see the information on the University’s Ceremonies Unit webpages.
A parchment is the word which the University uses to mean your certificate. Your parchment is an official document that proves that you have a University of Durham qualification.
An academic transcript gives details of your academic performance. It includes information on your legal name, date of birth, college, mode of study, the qualification you obtained, the dates you attended, the date of your award (where appropriate) and the modules you undertook whilst studying, including the marks achieved.
This document describes your qualification in a standard format that is designed to be easily understood and straightforward to compare. It contains information on the level, context, content and status of the studies that were successfully undertaken. This allows other universities or employers to understand your qualification in relation to the education system of the country you took your degree in. The Diploma Supplement is not a replacement for the official parchment and transcript issued by the University.
How do I order replacement Degree Documents?
You can order a replacement Parchment, Transcript and Diploma Supplement via the University’s Online Document Store. The original must be lost, damaged or stolen. Please contact your TEI in the first instance if there is an error on your degree documentation.