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Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: these FAQs are designed to give you quick answers and point you towards the relevant pages for your query. For full details of Summer Congregation, please check through the pages linked in the information hub. If you have any further questions or requests, you can contact the Ceremonies Team at congregation@durham.ac.uk.

 

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Dates & Times

When does Summer Congregation take place?

For more nformation please visit our Summer Timetable page.

I am unable to attend my ceremony, can I attend a different one?

Students should attend the first ceremony they are invited to and are eligible to attend. Students are allocated a ceremony based on their department and if they are unable to attend, an alternative day in the same congregation may be possible in certain circumstances. This is at the discretion of the Ceremonies Unit and requests should be made by contacting us directly.

Deferral to another set of ceremonies (e.g. from Winter to Summer) is reserved for exceptional circumstances only and is at the discretion of the Ceremonies Unit. Deferral requests should be made during the relevant registration period, by contacting us, and requests after the registration deadline will not be considered. 

Deferral (if granted) is to the next available ceremony as dictated by the Ceremonies Unit.

Previous examples of exceptional circumstances include recent bereavement, funeral attendance, critical illness in graduand or close family member, pre-arranged medical appointment such as scheduled surgery, imminent or recent birth of a graduands child.

Examples of circumstances we cannot account for are work/academic commitments, availability of guests, holidays, family events, financial difficulties and childcare issues.

 

 

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Registration

How do I register for Congregation?

To register for Congregation, you will need to log onto Banner Self Service and select Congregation and Parchment. Full instructions for registering for Congregation can be found on the How to Register page.

How do I know that I have the extra tickets that I have requested?

There is no automatic email confirmation sent after you request tickets or register for your ceremony. You are informed during the registration process whether your request for tickets has been successful. If you have been unsuccessful, you will need to remove your request for extra tickets before you can proceed onto the next page.

You can request a confirmation email on the final page where it says ‘print or email’ if you select this option you can request an email confirmation. You can log in to and update your registration as many times as you want until it closes.

I am unable to attend my ceremony, can I attend a different one?

Students should attend the first ceremony they are invited to and are eligible to attend. Students are allocated a ceremony based on their department and if they are unable to attend, an alternative day in the same congregation may be possible in certain circumstances. This is at the discretion of the Ceremonies Unit and requests should be made by contacting us directly.

Deferral to another set of ceremonies (e.g. from Winter to Summer) is reserved for exceptional circumstances only and is at the discretion of the Ceremonies Unit. Deferral requests should be made during the relevant registration period, by contacting us, and requests after the registration deadline will not be considered. 

Deferral (if granted) is to the next available ceremony as dictated by the Ceremonies Unit.

Previous examples of exceptional circumstances include recent bereavement, funeral attendance, critical illness in graduand or close family member, pre-arranged medical appointment such as scheduled surgery, imminent or recent birth of a graduands child.

Examples of circumstances we cannot account for are work/academic commitments, availability of guests, holidays, family events, financial difficulties and childcare issues.

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Ceremony Schedule

NB: For full information on the schedule of events for each ceremony, please check the Attendance Information page.

When do I need to arrive for my ceremony?

You should arrive at least 2 hours before your ceremony to allow time to pick up your robes. Graduands will be escorted into the Cathedral 45 minutes before their ceremony begins. Late arrivals will be excluded from the ceremony.

How long is each ceremony?

Each ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What happens after the ceremony?

There will be a Congregation Fair running all day for you to enjoy before and after your ceremony, including refreshments, photography, Durham merchandise and more.

For more information on the ceremony schedule and Congregation Fair, please check the Attendance Information page.

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Robes and Dress Code

How do I order my robes for my graduation day?

You can order your robes using the order form found on the Ordering Your Robes page.

How much will it cost to hire my robes for the day?

Robe costs are as follows:

  • Bachelors £41
  • Masters £46
  • Doctorates £51

Is there a dress code for graduands and their guests?

We recommend graduands and their guests to dress smartly, and advise that graduates wear appropriate footwear to process across cobblestones and walk up and down the two steps to the ceremony stage. Further information can be found on the Ordering Your Robes page.

I missed the deadline for ordering a robe, what can I do?

You can contact Gray & Son Robemakers directly to order your robe:

grayandson@btconnect.com or 0191 386 4168

We cannot guarantee availability of a robe if you miss the deadline.

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Guests and Tickets

How many guests can I bring to Congregation?

All students are guaranteed up to two guest tickets for their ceremony, with the opportunity to obtain one additional ticket during the registration process. Guests without tickets can watch the ceremony in the Assembly Rooms, where each ceremony will be shown on a livestream.

Is there an online livestream for family/friends who can’t attend my ceremony?

Yes - there will be a livestream available on the University website for each ceremony.

I have family travelling from overseas for my graduation – will they be able to get a visa?

To support an application for a visitor visa, graduands can produce their letter of invitation to Congregation. For more information, check the International Students page.

How do I know that I have the extra ticket that I requested?

There is no automatic email confirmation sent after you request tickets or register for your ceremony. You are informed during the registration process whether your request for tickets has been successful. If you have been unsuccessful, you will need to remove your request for extra tickets before you can proceed onto the next page.

You can request a confirmation email on the final page where it says ‘print or email’ if you select this option you can request an email confirmation. You can log in to and update your registration as many times as you want until it closes.

Can I bring a child?

The ceremony is a formal occasion and can involve a lot of waiting around. Please consider this before bringing a young child along. Tickets are required for children over the age of 2, under 2's can sit on a guest’s lap. Pushchairs can be accommodated inside the Cathedral.

Children and babies cannot be seated with the graduand, they must be seated with an adult guest in the guest section of the Cathedral. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in compliance with our . 

The ceremony will also be streamed live to a lecture theatre in the Teaching and 樱花动漫ing Centre (Winter) or the Sir Thomas Allen Assembly Rooms Theatre (Summer), which may be more comfortable for guests with small children, but please note all children must be accompanied by an adult.

My guest has a mobility issue, will they have to queue?

Guests with mobility issues and other additional requirements can access the Galilee Chapel prior to the Ceremony. There is a seated area to reduce the amount of time they are standing and waiting. They make take one companion with them as the space is restricted. The main queue will move through the Galilee Chapel, so you will be able join back up with any remaining members of your party before attending the ceremony.

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Accessibility and Special Requirements

Can you make special arrangements for my accessibility needs? 

Yes - you will be able to advise of any special requirements for you or your guests when registering for Congregation. Graduands and guests can also contact the Ceremonies Unit directly to discuss any special arrangements or accessibility issues. For further information please see the Special Arrangements and Accessibility page.

My guest has mobility issues – will they be able to access the Cathedral?

Yes - guests with mobility issues will be escorted into the Galilee Chapel 1 hour and 10 minutes before the ceremony, and guests in wheelchairs will be escorted into the Cathedral 45 minutes before the ceremony. For further information please see the Special Arrangements and Accessibility page.

My guest has a mobility issue, will they have to queue? 

Guests with mobility issues and other additional requirements can access the Galilee Chapel prior to the Ceremony. There is a seated area to reduce the amount of time they are standing and waiting. They make take one companion with them as the space is restricted. The main queue will move through the Galilee Chapel, so you will be able join back up with any remaining members of your party before attending the ceremony.

Can I leave bags/luggage etc. anywhere during my ceremony?

Large handbags, rucksacks and luggage will not be allowed in the Cathedral during the ceremony. There will be a supervised luggage drop in PG28 (next to the Police Office) for graduands and guests to use during the ceremony. This is for large bags and luggage only. We will not accept coats, clothes, small bags, carrier bags etc. For further information, please see the Attendance Information page.

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Photography

Where can I get my photograph taken with my guests?

Ede & Ravenscroft Photography will be located in the marquee to take images of graduates and guests either before or after ceremonies. Please see the Photography and Film page for further information.

Can I take my own photos?

We encourage graduates and their guests to take photos to commemorate their special day - however, the use of cameras and recording devices will not be allowed during ceremonies, and flash photography is not permitted within the Cathedral. 

Can my guests film my ceremony?

The use of cameras and recording devices is not permitted during ceremonies. However, each ceremony will be filmed by Galaxy Video, with ceremony videos available to purchase afterwards. Please see the Photography and Film page for further information.

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