We are delighted to be welcoming graduates and their guests for in-person graduation ceremonies from Tuesday 2 November to Friday 5 November 2021.
Each of the week’s 12 ceremonies will be broadcast via a live stream which will be available from this page.
The information below will guide you and your guests through the day’s locations and timings, as well as offering some guidance to help you prepare for your special event.
There are three main parts to your graduation day: preparing for your ceremony, the ceremony itself and the reception. The locations currently are:
- City Campus: you will arrive here first to collect your gown. This is also the location for the official photography. You and your guests will then make your own way to the Cathedral. Everyone will return to the City Campus for your reception.
- Worcester Cathedral: This is where the Graduation will take place.
We have included site maps below, which show you the locations and suggested walking routes for each of the venues. These maps also highlight disabled access and facilities. If you need further information, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be running three ceremonies each day; in the below document you'll find a schedule for each ceremony:
On the day of your ceremony, we’ll also send you an event email, which will remind you of all the details you’ll need. Keep an eye out for this message, as it will be helpful to refer to it during the day.
Information on this page
Below you'll find guidance on:
Preparing for your Graduation
Have you booked everything?
It’s essential that you book your academic gown in advance of your ceremony. All graduates must wear a gown for the ceremony and your gown and hat will be specially reserved for you. If you haven’t already booked, it’s essential that you do it now by visiting the Official Graduation Gown website
If you would like an official graduation portrait (which can also include photographs of you with your guests), this must also be booked in advance. You can choose your package and also pay for photographs online. You can find out more and make your booking here: Official Graduation Photography website
Can I request extra guest tickets?
Each graduate may purchase up to three guest tickets, which you should have booked at the time of booking your ticket. The number of tickets are limited as we must follow the firm capacity limits set by the Cathedral.
Once the booking deadline has passed, we will review overall bookings and if any of the ceremonies have remaining capacity, we will make additional tickets available.
A list of ceremonies with capacity will be published on this website a few days in advance of the graduation week and tickets will be sold on the day on a first come, first served basis.
Any additional guests are very welcome to watch along online, via the free live broadcast.
What’s included in the ticket price?
Tickets for guests include:
- A seat in the Cathedral to watch the ceremony
- A printed programme
- A glass of sparkling wine (or non-alcoholic alternative)
- A small snack box, served at the reception
- There will also be live music at the reception.
Guests are welcome to join graduates before the ceremony for professional photography.
Graduate tickets are free of charge.
What to wear
Most graduates generally wear smart attire under their academic gown, such as a suit. You may find it helpful to wear a shirt with buttons to help with securing the hood of your gown.
Graduates and guests will need to make their own way to the Cathedral from the City Campus and we are expecting most people will choose to walk. Although it’s only a 20-minute walk or wheel, you may wish to think about wearing comfortable, sturdy footwear and weather-proof clothing! We strongly recommend bringing an umbrella, as you will wish to protect your gown on the walk to and from the Cathedral.
Be prepared for the weather!
Most people will be travelling by foot in between the Cathedral, University Arena and the City Campus. The post-ceremony receptions will be in heated marquees but the Cathedral itself can be quite cool at this time of year.
Take a good look at the forecast and do your best to dress appropriately and comfortably for the weather. You might also like to have an umbrella handy!
What to bring with you on the day
Make sure you check your emails in the morning to pick up your event pack email, which will have reminders about all of the day’s details.
You can bring a small bag (i.e. such as a handbag) with you. If you bring a large bag with you, we may ask to search your bag, for security purposes.
Hand sanitiser will be available at all locations, but you may also wish to bring your own supply. You may also wish to bring a face covering.
Take a lateral flow test
All graduates, guests and staff are strongly recommended to take a lateral flow test the day before or morning of your ceremony. These free tests help to locate people who may have Covid-19 but do not have symptoms and are an important way to help stop the spread of the virus.
You can take a test at a local community test centre (where you can also pick up home testing kits). You can also order free kits to be delivered to you via the post.
Find out more and or order a test kit at: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
If you prefer, the University’s on-campus lateral flow test centre, which is located on the Severn Campus, is open to staff, students and guests. You can pre-book an appointment or just drop in on the day.
A Covid-secure approach to Graduation
Our ten key measures
We are delighted to be welcoming our graduates, guests and staff for in-person Graduation Ceremonies in November 2021.
We know that many people are excited to reunite and to celebrate, but also have questions about Covid-19.
Throughout the pandemic, Worcester has consistently focused on student-wellbeing, from academic, social, mental health and employment perspectives, while taking a highly responsible public health approach to Covid-19.
We have operated in line with Government guidance and have worked particularly closely with Public Health Worcestershire.
Our approach has seen the University remain a coronavirus coldspot and an educational hotspot, with much of our teaching continuing to take place in-person. Covid-19 rates at the University have remained very low throughout the entire pandemic and to the best of our knowledge there has been not one case of on-campus transmission during the entire pandemic.
We have applied this careful and measured approach to our planning for the Graduation Ceremonies taking place this November.
We will complete a detailed risk assessment, which will include the following measures:
- Encourage all graduates and guests to ensure they are fully vaccinated before attending
- Detailed, timed schedules for arrival and departure for Graduates and guests, to help manage flow of people
- Ticketed-entry only
- Utilising one-way systems for entry and exit to buildings, including the City Campus and the Cathedral. We will make this information easy to understand through the use of pre-event communications, clear signage and staff guides.
- Graduates and guests can walk or wheel between venues, with no use of coaches for transportation
- Photography will be ordered in advance, with timed slots and online payment
- Strongly encourage the use of lateral flow testing. We will strongly encourage staff, graduates and guests to take a lateral flow test ahead of arriving on campus. Our pre-event communications will remind people how to access testing, including through community test centres and home test kits. The lateral flow test centre located at the University’s Severn Campus will also be available.
- We will provide natural ventilation in the areas where robing and photograph are taking place (i.e. by opening windows and doors). The Cathedral benefits from excellent natural ventilation.
- Wash hands regularly. Staff, graduates and guests will be asked to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently. There will be sanitiser stations available at all key locations, including the City Campus and the Cathedral.
- Clean more often. We will increase how often we clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot.
- Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member, graduate or guest (or someone in their household) has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate and get a Covid-19 test. We will remind everyone of the symptoms ahead of the event and will ask them not to attend if they have any of these symptoms, have a positive test, or have been asked to self-isolate through NHS test and trace.
If you have any questions or would like further information about our Covid-secure approach, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
Before the Ceremony
Arrival at City Campus
You should aim to arrive at the City Campus about 2 hours before your ceremony. This will give you time to collect your gown, have your photograph taken and make your way to the Cathedral. Your guests can stay with you while you do this.
We will publish detailed information shortly about the precise locations for gowning, photography and gown return. All three activities will be located on the City Campus.
There will be plenty of signage and staff on site to direct you, and we’ll also be running a one-way system.
Collecting your gown and tickets
The first thing you should do when you arrive is to collect your tickets and your academic gown and mortar board (cap).
Staff will be ready to take your name and to give you your specially reserved gown. Your guests can stay with you while you do this.
Collecting your tickets
When you collect your gown, you will also collect tickets for you and your guests. Please keep your tickets with you, as you and your guests will need them at the Cathedral and to access the reception.
Once you’ve got your gown on, it’s time for your official photography. Follow the signs to the photography studios, which are also at the City Campus. You should have booked your photography in advance, so you simply need to arrive at the studio. Your guests are also very welcome to join you for the photographs.
You can bring a small number of extra friends and family with you for the professional photography (even if they are not attending the ceremony).
You can find out more on the official photography website.
If you have chosen not to have photographs, you will be directed out of the building and can make your way directly to the Cathedral.
You are very welcome to take your own photographs on campus, including against the stunning backdrop of the historic Charles Hastings and Mulberry House buildings. The Cathedral does not allow indoor photography.
Facilities at the City Campus
The City Campus has toilets, including disabled toilets, which will be open throughout the day.
Refreshments including tea and coffee will be available to purchase at the City Campus.
Staff will be available across the site, but if you need urgent help, please visit the Main Reception desk in the Charles Hastings Building.
Travel to the Cathedral (graduates and guests)
Once you have collected your gown and tickets and finished your photographs, it’s time to make your way to the Cathedral.
You will need to be at the Cathedral 30 minutes before your ceremony. This gives you time to get checked in and seated.
Graduates and guests will need to make their own way to the Cathedral and we expect that the majority of people will walk or wheel. The route is 0.8 miles (this is the same distance as travelling from the St. John’s reception to the Arena, to give you a sense of timing). It should take you about 15- 20 minutes to walk. This map suggests a route through town, but you can of course use any route you wish.
If you need/prefer to drive, the link below indicates the nearest, public pay and display car parks. There is no parking or drop off at the Cathedral itself.
Find out more at Worcester City Parking Sites.
Guest seating at the Cathedral is on a first come, first served basis, so your guests will be able to choose where they sit.
Arrival at the Cathedral
You should arrive at the Cathedral at least half an hour before your ceremony.
When you arrive at the Cathedral, you will be directed to the ‘College Green’ entrance, which is at the back of the Cathedral. You can see it on this map.
There will be staff outside the Cathedral to help direct you and answer questions.
As you make your way to the entrance, you will descend down a short series of steps. We have also mapped out a wheelchair accessible route from City Campus to the Cathedral.
There is no parking or drop off available at the Cathedral itself. If you are driving, you will need to park at a public pay and display car park. If you need to be dropped off, you are recommended to stop in the King Street Car Park and make your way up Severn Street to the ‘College Green’ entrance.
The College Green entrance is shared with Kings School, so we are expecting it to be busy first thing in the morning and in the afternoon, as students begin and finish their school day. If your ceremony is at 9:30 or 2:30, you might wish to give yourself a little bit of extra time for travelling or using the drop off point.
Once you are in the Cathedral, it is usual etiquette to remove your cap.
Seating for Graduates
When you arrive at the Cathedral, staff will guide you in. All Graduates sit together. You will sit in an assigned seat, which will ensure that you are called up to the platform at the right moment. Staff will ensure that you are in the correct seat.
Seating for Guests
When you arrive at the Cathedral, staff will guide your guests in. Your guests are able to choose their seats, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you indicated a special requirement when you booked (i.e. a wheelchair space, for example), our staff will be expecting you and will be able to assist.
What happens during the ceremony?
During the ceremony, there will be speeches from University and Cathedral staff.
The highlight of the ceremony is the presentation of the graduates. A staff member will call you up from your seat at the right moment. When your name is read out, you will cross the stage and have a photograph taken. There is often lots of enthusiastic clapping!
You will need to access and exit the stage via a short ramp, so please remember this when choosing your footwear.
Photography in the Cathedral
You are not permitted to take photographs inside the Cathedral.
A professional photographer will take your photo when you cross the stage and you will be able to view and purchase this image, if you wish, through the official photographers.
You will be able to take your own photos when you return to the City Campus.
Leaving the Cathedral
When the ceremony concludes, there will be a short procession of staff from the stage, who will lead everyone out. Ushers will indicate when it is time for your row to stand and make your way out of the Cathedral.
When you leave the Cathedral, it’s very important that you continue to walk forward (i.e., not waiting by the doors) so that everyone can easily make their way out of the building.
You will have time to take a very quick photograph with fellow Graduates if you wish, but our staff will be encouraging everyone to begin their walk back to the City Campus as soon as possible.
You will want to be sure that you return in time for your reception!
Travelling back to the City Campus
Immediately following the ceremony, you and your guests should make your way back to the City Campus for your reception. This map indicates a suggested route from the Cathedral to City Campus.
You will need to enter the City Campus at the bottom of the site, through the railway arches by The Hive. Staff and student ambassadors will be available to help direct you.
The reception will be held outdoors at the City Campus, in a series of large, heated marquees
You will need to enter the City Campus at the bottom of the site, by The Hive, through the railway arches. Staff and student ambassadors will be available to help direct you.
Please have your tickets ready, as you will be checked in as you enter the reception.
Depending on how quickly you return from the Cathedral, you should have about an hour at the reception.
Your schedule will indicate a departure time for you and your guests. As we are managing site numbers carefully you will need to leave the site at your appointed time, so we are ready to welcome the next ceremony.
Can additional guests join me at the reception?
No. As we are managing site numbers very carefully so only you and your ticketed guests are able to enter the site. You and your guests will need to show your tickets to gain access to the site.
Do I have to attend the reception?
You do not have to attend your reception. You are very welcome to make your own plans following the ceremony, but it is essential that you promptly return your academic gown and cap.
We will post further details shortly about the location of the gown return.
What’s happening at the reception?
The reception is a friendly, informal reception, which will give you a chance to visit with classmates and staff.
There will be covered, heated marquees, offering shelter from any inclement weather, with live music in each marquee. Each of the marquees will be exactly the same, but the one on the right as you enter is particularly suitable for wheelchair access.
A small, takeaway snack box and glass of sparkling wine will also be available for you and your guests at no additional cost.
The reception also offers you the chance to take your own photographs in your cap and gown.
Food and drink
When you arrive, you and your guests will collect a small snack box. The box will contain bite-sized food, which is packed in a sealed takeaway box and is easy to eat with your fingers.
There will be vegan and gluten-free options.
Available facilities at the reception
The reception will be hosted in marquees, which will offer protection from the weather.
Additional refreshments including takeaway tea and coffee will be available to purchase at the City Campus café.
There are toilets, including disabled toilets on the reception site as well as in Mulberry House, the Charles Hastings Building and The Hive library. These will be well-signposted.
Returning your academic gown
You must return your gown on the day of your ceremony.
We will post further details shortly about the location of the gown return.
Getting help on the day
If you need help on the day, look out for our many friendly staff and student ambassadors: most will either be wearing a blue student ambassador t-shirt, or a red academic gown, so they will be easy to spot!
If you have an emergency or require first-aid assistance, please report to the main reception desk at the City Campus. You can also telephone main reception on 01905 855 000.
Other ways to follow along with Graduation
Accessing the livestream broadcast
Each of the week’s 12 ceremonies will be broadcast via a live, online video stream. Friends and family who are not able to join you can access this link from anywhere, including on a mobile device.
Follow us on social media
You can follow us on social media throughout the week, where we will be posting lots of stories, pictures, interviews and updates every day. Follow us using #WorcGrad
Please stay in touch and share your content with us!
Our local newspaper, the Worcester News, will also be covering Graduation. You can purchase a paper, or read the Worcester News online.
Staying in touch after Graduation
Be part of the Alumni association
The Alumni Association is here to help you keep in touch with the University and with each other – you’ll be part of a worldwide network with thousands of other former students.
As one of our graduates, we’d love to keep you informed about careers support, alumni benefits, our suite of events and exciting opportunities linked with the University that you may be interested in. We also want to hear your news! We can help you keep in touch with old friends too.
Whether through practical or advisory involvement, the support and interest of our graduates makes a real difference to the experience of current and future students.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for us on Facebook.
Careers Advisory Service
The University’s Careers and Advisory Service is here to support you after graduation.
We offer graduates:
- Advice & guidance
- Job vacancies
- CVs and application support
- Mock interviews
Contact us at: email@example.com , 01905 855166 and find out more on our Careers webpages.
I have a question that hasn’t been answered
If you have a specific question that hasn’t been answered by the information on this page, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org