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Graduation ceremony

Please see the sections below for further information about the graduation ceremony and etiquette for the day.

  • Ceremony

    The ceremony opens

    Once the ceremony has started we regret that guests may not be able to enter the hall. The Graduands’ Procession enters the hall and graduands make their way to their seats. The assembly (audience) remains seated at this point.

    Shortly afterwards, the Chancellor’s Procession enters the hall. The assembly should rise and remain standing until the Chancellor invites guests to be seated.

    The Chancellor of the University will declare the ceremony open and deliver their opening address. This will be followed by an opening address from the Principal and Vice-Chancellor. The Chancellor will then proceed to the conferral of degrees and other awards, beginning with the conferral of honorary degrees.

    The conferment of degrees

    Graduands are presented to the Chancellor in the following order: Honorary Degrees, Higher Degrees, First Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates. Recipients are presented by their Head of Faculty.

    As you cross the stage as a graduand, you will be met first by the Chancellor of the University, who will confer your degree by ‘capping’ you lightly on the head. You will then shake hands with the Principal and Vice-Chancellor. On leaving the stage you will be presented with your award documentation.

    The Chancellor confers awards on all graduands who are present on the day, and then on those candidates who are unable to be present.

    The ceremony ends

    The Chancellor declares the ceremony closed. The assembly is asked to rise when the music begins, and to remain standing while the Chancellor’s and Graduates’ Processions leave the hall.

  • Etiquette

    Graduation ceremonies are among the most formal and ceremonial of all University events, so you may find the following guidelines helpful.


    • You are a ‘graduand’ before the ceremony and a ‘graduate’ when you are ‘capped’ by the Chancellor.
    • Under no circumstances may a child be permitted to cross the stage with a graduating parent. Please make arrangements for a carer to look after your child if you are graduating.


    • Please be considerate of other guests. We would ask that you take photographs from your seat to avoid obstructing the view of other guests or causing a distraction. Members of the audience may take photographs from a seated position, but should not move about the venue or use flash apparatus.
    • Refreshments must not be consumed in the hall.
    • If you arrive late or need to leave during the ceremony, please be aware that you may not be able to enter or re-enter the hall during the Processions.


    • All guests, including children over two years of age, must be in possession of a ticket.
    • Graduation ceremonies normally last 90 minutes and are formal occasions. We recommend that babies and young children do not attend.
    • If you have a guest under school age, your party will be asked to sit at the end of an aisle or near an exit. We would appreciate your co-operation in this matter.
    • We are unable to provide childcare facilities at the graduation ceremonies.
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