We know you may have queries about the different aspects of graduation, so we’ve put together lots of useful information below.
Information on this page
Preparing for Graduation
What is a Graduand?
A Graduand is a university student who has finished their studies, but who has not yet fully graduated.
What happens if I am unable to attend?
If you are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as possible, via the link in your invitation email, by 2nd February. You will need to ensure that we hold the correct contact details for you before we will post your certificate to you, and you can update your details by logging on to your SOLE page. Once you let us know that you can’t attend, this will update our system so that you don’t receive booking reminders from us.
If you book your place and then you find out you are unable to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, student ID and the ceremony day and time you were due to attend, so that we can update our records and seating plans.
As your certificate is an important document, we will only post this by Royal Mail Recorded Delivery, for which there will be a charge of £2.50 for deliveries in the UK, £10.00 for deliveries outside of the UK.
Do I have to attend my ceremony?
Passing the required examinations and assessments is actually what turns a student into a graduate- this means you are not required to attend the ceremonies. The ceremonies are simply an opportunity to celebrate your achievement with your classmates, academic staff and guests.
You will be able to access a copy of your final module grades and a letter confirming whether you have achieved your qualification on your SOLE page.
My particular ceremony date is inconvenient. Is it possible to swap to another ceremony?
It is not possible to change a ceremony date. If you cannot attend on your ceremony day, you are very welcome to watch remotely through the live, online broadcast.
Why can’t the whole event take place in the Cathedral?
There isn’t sufficient capacity to hold ceremonies and reception at the Cathedral. However, our Severn Campus provides a beautiful backdrop for the post-ceremony reception.
Is there any reserved seating for guests?
When booking tickets there is an opportunity for you to indicate if your guests have any seating requirements eg, wheelchair access. Please note that reserved seating for ease of access/additional space is located around the Cathedral and not necessarily nearer the stage.
How long is each ceremony?
Each ceremony will last between 1 to 1.5 hours.
Why does the University charge for guest tickets?
The University incurs significant expense in the organisation of the annual Awards Ceremonies, and in order to cover these costs we charge a nominal fee for guest tickets. We do not make any profit from the sale of these tickets; nor do we charge graduands to attend their own ceremony (many institutions do).
What’s included in the guest ticket price?
The ticket price includes:
- Entrance to the Ceremony
- A commemorative programme
- Drinks reception at the Severn Campus
What happens if I don’t complete my course?
If the Board of Examiners does not confirm your award by the 31st January 2024, then you will be invited to graduate in September 2024.
Can I bring a child as a guest to the graduation?
Children may attend the Awards Ceremonies, although we would ask you to use your judgement in deciding whether it is appropriate for small children to attend what can be a long ceremony. All children should be still and quiet throughout the ceremony and those children who become restless or disruptive will be asked to leave the Cathedral.
What if my guests change their mind or can no longer attend the graduation?
If you have paid for tickets but no longer need your allocation, provided you let us know by Monday 26th February then a refund can be actioned, subject to a £5.00 administration fee.
Will my name be published anywhere?
Due to data protection regulations (GDPR), we can only publish your name if you have specifically given your consent. We will ask your permission to publish your name in the Award Ceremonies programme and potentially the local newspaper.
The Award Ceremonies programme names students who have successfully completed their course. Names will be listed in alphabetical order under the appropriate course titles. No classifications are shown.
Do I need to wear academic gown at Graduation?
Yes. The ceremony is a formal event and you must wear the correct academic gown relating to your award.
How do I book my academic gown?
Please visit the Marstons Events website
for details of how to book your academic dress as well as official photography.
Can I wear my mortar board inside the Cathedral?
A mortar board is an academic cap with a stiff, flat, square top and a tassel. In order to respect the wishes of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral you are requested to remove your mortar board whilst inside the Cathedral.
When should I order my academic gown?
You should order your academic gown as soon as possible and by 20th February 2024 at the latest. If you miss this deadline, you may still be able to hire academic gowns on the day of your ceremony, but it will cost considerably more and there may not be the right size in stock.
What should I wear with my gown?
Most graduates generally wear smart attire under their academic gown, such as a suit or dress.
Although it’s only a 20-minute walk or wheel, you may wish to think about wearing comfortable, sturdy footwear and weather-proof clothing! You will need to access and exit the stage via a short ramp, so please remember this when choosing your footwear too.
We recommend bringing an umbrella, as you will wish to protect your gown on the walk to and from the Cathedral.
How will I know how to wear the gown?
Don’t worry, we’ll be able to help you put your gown on correctly!
How do I contact the academic gown company?
You can find more information about the academic gown company on the Marston Events website
or you can call them on 01293 82 22 11.
On the Day
What happens when I arrive at the Cathedral?
Your tickets will be checked at the door and you will be shown the seating areas available to both graduands and guests. You will also be asked to remove your mortar boards.
Where will I sit?
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.
Where will my guests sit?
Guest seating is allocated on a first come, first served basis. Those who have been allocated a reserved ticket due to their special requirements will be shown to their seats on arrival at the Cathedral.
Can I sit with my guests?
No. All graduands are seated in the order in which the awards will be presented.
What happens if myself or one of my guests have extra requirements?
If you or your guests have any additional requirements, please indicate this when ordering your tickets, giving as much information as possible to allow us to consider your request. If you have already booked your tickets and didn’t note this when making your booking, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
ahead of graduation. Please note, that easier access seating is placed in various sections around the Cathedral, and not necessarily nearer the stage.
Are there any steps?
There are 2 recommend walking routes to the Cathedral from Severn Campus, one which includes steps and a short, steep hill. Please view the route map for further details.
There are steps and a ramp for guests entering the Cathedral. Graduands access and exit the stage via a short ramp – please bear this in mind when choosing footwear.
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. Once you have collected your certificate, staff members will direct you around the Cathedral and back to your seat.
We plan to broadcast each ceremony via a live, online video stream, allowing friends and family who are not able to join to access this link from anywhere for free, including on a mobile device. This will be available to view on our website for two weeks after graduation week. All graduates attending the graduation ceremony will be filmed on stage as part of this live broadcast.
Can I take my own photographs in the Cathedral?
Unfortunately not. The Cathedral requests that no flash photography should take place inside. However, do take every opportunity to take pictures in the Cathedral grounds after the ceremony.
You will be able to take your own photos when you return to the Severn Campus, as well as getting professional photographs taken ahead of the ceremony.
Can I bring extra guests for the photography?
Additional friends and family may join you for your professional photographs (if you are opting to have these). The photos are booked in advance and are taken before your ceremony. Only ticketed guests are able to join you for the ceremony and reception.
How do I contact the official photographers?
You’ll find a contact form on the Marston Events
website or you can call them on 01293 82 22 11.
Can I bring my own refreshments to the reception?
No, only food and drink purchased on the premises can be consumed at the reception.
I have a question that hasn’t been answered on this page, what should I do?
If you have a specific question that hasn’t been answered by the information on this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if I owe the University money?
If you owe more than £500, you will not be permitted to attend. If you owe less than £500, you can attend but we withhold certificate until the debt has been cleared.