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Graduates outside the Senate-House

Graduations

Celebrating your academic achievements, the graduation ceremony marks the culmination of your studies in Cambridge and the receipt of your degree certificate.

Graduands process across the bridge outside King's College

Arranging your graduation

To receive your degree, you must register for a graduation ceremony through the College. The instructions on how to meet the requirements and register for your graduation are outlined in the sections below.

What are the requirements to graduate?

You must meet the following requirements before the date of your graduation ceremony, otherwise the College may not be able to put you forward to graduate:

  1. Pay all bills. You need to pay your College and University bills before you will be put forward for a graduation. Your College account statement will be emailed out to you by our finance office team, be sure to pay this promptly and in full. If you have questions, please contact the finance office.
  2. Return all books. We also require you to return or replace any books you have on loan from Cambridge libraries before you can be approved to graduate. You can return books in person or by post, and if you are in the UK, you can request a pre-paid returns label to return your books by freepost. (Please note the International Returns refund system operated by the University Library does not apply to College books. We therefore kindly ask you to cover the cost of postage or you can purchase replacement copies via Amazon.uk and have them shipped to the Library. Used copies in good condition are acceptable).
  3. Receive degree approval (postgraduates). If your course is provided by ICE (primarily MST students) then you must complete your degree and wait for your Degree Approval letter before you can access the graduation registration area on CamSIS.  If you are on another postgraduate course (non-ICE), you can register in advance of the end of your studies, as long as you have checked with your Department that your results will be approved and published more than 10 days before the date of your chosen ceremony. This is particularly cruicial for the July ceremony, as the results for some MPhil degrees will not be published in time for students to graduate at this ceremony.  This is because even for degrees with a 9-month duration, the Degree Committee for that subject may not have met to approve the results in time for the ceremony.  
Will I graduate in person or in absence?

You may choose to have your degree conferred in person at a graduation ceremony in the Senate-House, or alternatively you can choose to graduate in absentia, without attending the ceremony. If you choose to graduate in absentia, you cannot decide to graduate in person to the same degree at a later ceremony.   

Celebrants - those who graduated to their degree in absentia during the pandemic - may attend a Senate-House ceremony in person to celebrate their degree.

How do I register for graduation?

Whether you apply to graduate in person or in absentia, you must apply via . Celebrants will not be able to register via CamSIS, and should instead email the Tutorial Administrator, Helen Waterson.

Please note that availability at your chosen ceremony is not guaranteed. Please do not make travel arrangements for yourself or your guests until you receive confirmation from the ҹѰ Tutorial Office that your registration for a ceremony has been successful.

When registering for a ceremony, please make sure that you also update your contact details in CamSIS including your postal address, preferred email address and phone number. This is especially important as these details will be used for any correspondence before and after the ceremony.

How do I book guest tickets?

When registering for graduation on you can request up to two Senate-House guest tickets for the ceremony. These tickets will be allocated to you automatically on request.

You may also make a request on CamSIS for one additional ticket known as a Waitlist ticket.  On the Monday before graduation, any unclaimed Senate-House guest tickets will be reallocated through a lottery to those who have requested a Waitlist ticket. Please note that not all graduands who request a Waitlist ticket will be allocated one and it is not possible to request more than one ticket. Graduands and celebrants will be informed by email if they have been allocated a Waitlist ticket. 

All guests attending the graduation ceremony at the Senate-House must have a ticket for fire safety reasons, including babies and children. Please email the Tutorial Administrator, Helen Waterson, if any of your guests have limited mobility or are under the age of 12, and confirm their ages. Graduands themselves do not require a ticket.

How will I receive my degree certificate and transcript?

If you attend a graduation ceremony in person, you will receive you certificate as you leave the Senate House, and the transcript will then follow by post. If you graduate in absentia, both your certificate and transcript will be posted to you.  The College will send documents to your 'Home address' as listed on , notifying you by your preferred email address before posting. Please make sure both your home address and your preferred email address are updated before you graduate.

We will send your certificate and transcripts via Royal Mail (First Class for within the UK; Airmail for overseas destinations). Please be advised that Airmail does not include a tracking facility. If you wish to make arrangements for your mail to be sent via special delivery, you must make the necessary bookings and send the details to the Tutorial Administrator, at least 48 hours in advance of collection.  

Documents are available digitally around 10 days after graduation and you can also arrange for your documents to be shared with third party organisations via the Digitary Core service.  Please see the for details.

M.B. for Medics and the Master of Arts (MA) Degree

Awarding of M.B. for Medics

Following the completion of their degree and award of the BChir, medics have one calendar year in which to graduate in person to their MB degree.  It will then be conferred automatically by the University. This usually means that the last ceremony each year at which the degree can be conferred in person is the May ceremony. 

The Master of Arts (MA) Degree

If you hold a Cambridge BA, you may proceed to the MA not less than six years from the end of your first term of residence, providing that your BA has been conferred. Further information is available via the .

The March ceremony is the College's MA graduation ceremony, where cohorts of students are invited to take their MA together.  Students who matriculated in October 2017 will become eligible for their MA in January 2024 and invitations will be sent out in December. 

Alternatively, eligible students may have their MA conferred in person at any graduation ceremony (with the exception of General Admission in June and the ceremony in July), or in absence at any ceremony.

A ҹѰ graduand on the telephone

Choosing your graduation date

Most undergraduate students graduate at a ceremony known as “General Admission”, which usually takes place in late June or early July. Places are held automatically for undergraduates, although you still need to register (see above) in order to attend the ceremony. You can request to graduate at another ceremony on a different date to the General Admission if you prefer.

For postgraduate students, there is no allocated ceremony: instead students are able to register to attend one of the “Ordinary Congregations” that take place regularly throughout the academic year. Please note that spaces at Ordinary Congregations are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration may close before the Application Deadline if all in person graduation places for a ceremony have been filled.  

Marking and Assessment Boycott - where results for Masters students have been delayed by the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB), students may Celebrate the End of their Studies at the graduation ceremony on 21 October.  Registration is via CamSIS self-service.  For ceremonies from 25 November onwards please note that this option will no longer be available.     

Upcoming Graduation Ceremony Dates
Ceremony DateRegistration OpensApplication Deadline
Sat 21 Oct 2023#04 Aug 2023Ceremony full for in person graduation. 
Sat 25 Nov 202301 Sep 202326 Oct 2023
Sat 26 Jan 2024 (in absentia only)01 Dec 202308 Jan 2024
Sat 24 Feb 202401 Dec 202305 Feb 2024
Sat 23 March 2024*t.b.c.t.b.c.
Sat 06 April 2024 (in absentia only)t.b.c.t.b.c.
Sat 27 April 2024t.b.c.t.b.c.
Fri 17 May 2024t.b.c. t.b.c. 
Sat 29 June 2024 (General Admission)+t.b.c.t.b.c.
Sat 20 July 2024^t.b.c.t.b.c.

#Last ceremony where Masters students affected by the MAB can Celebrate the End of Studies

*MA ceremony, at which other degrees can be conferred as well

+Conferral of undergraduate degrees for current completing cohort only

^MA degrees cannot be conferred at this ceremony

Graduates outside the senate house

What happens on Graduation Day?

For those graduating and celebrating in person, we recommend that you keep the whole day free, and aim to be in Cambridge from 9.00 am. The programme for graduation with detailed timings will be emailed out on the Monday prior to your graduation day. Graduation day usually incorporates the following elements:

Dress check and rehearsal

On the morning of your graduation, all graduands and celebrants come to ҹѰ for the dress check and rehearsal with our Praelector. You are responsible for ensuring that you are fully compliant with the dress code requirements, and the Praelector will not present you to graduate in the case that you are not dressed correctly.

The Praelector will then perform a rehearsal of the graduation ceremony, so that you know which order to stand in, and what is expected of you when you are presented for graduation in the Senate-House.

For larger ceremonies, Lafayette Photography will be available to take individual pictures in College. Information on how to book a time slot for these photos will be sent out to graduands and celebrants by email.

College Reception

There will be a College Reception for graduands and their guests before the graduation ceremony, which will take the form of a buffet lunch with refreshments.  The event is ticket only and you must register yourself and your guests in advance via CamSIS self service.   

Procession to the Senate-House

Graduands and celebrants then make their way on foot to the Senate-House from the back gate of ҹѰ.

The procession route goes through Sidgwick Site, and then over the river and through the grounds of King's College. Since only graduands, celebrants and Fellows of the College are permitted access through King's, any guests may either accompany the procession part of the way, or go ahead separately and wait on King's Parade for the procession to come out of the gate of King's College. 

Graduation ceremony

During the ceremony, you will proceed through the Senate-House and you will stand to receive your degree. The Praelector will give the customary speech to present you and your degree will be conferred individually by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (normally your Head of House). Once you have completed your ceremony, you may either engage with the Tempest photography series or leave the Yard. 

Please note that you will not be able to take a bag or backpack to the Senate-House. These should be left with your guests. All you will need with you is a payment method if you wish to purchase photographs or certificate frames from Tempest photography, and an umbrella if necessary.

Photography at the Senate-House

Tempest, the University's official photographers, will offer studio photography and certificate framing services on the day, as well as photographing you inside the Senate-House as your degree is conferred. You will need to have a payment method with you at the Senate-House if you wish to purchase photographs.  Please see the University webpage on  for further details. It will not be possible for graduands to gather in front of Senate-House to take photographs on the day.

Livestreaming information

Ceremonies are livestreamed, and by attending the ceremony in person, you are giving your consent to being included in the livestream. It will not be possible to take part in the ceremony and not be part of the recording.

The livestream link will be sent to in person graduands and celebrants on the day before the graduation ceremony.  The livestream is provided to allow those friends and family members unable to attend the Senate-House to view this important event. It is provided on the understanding that it is a private recording, not to be publicly shared on social media or in any public forum.

Whilst the University and the contractors will make best efforts to provide the livestream, it is not guaranteed and some circumstances may prevent either a live broadcast or possibly a later showing of any recording.    

Mashal
Mashal descends the steps outside the Senate-House with her degree certificate

“It was such a special occasion to celebrate my graduation with friends and family. It also made a big difference having supportive and kind college staff to guide us through the process, which really meant a lot to everyone. Thanks ҹѰ!”

Mashal, MPhil 2022-3

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