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Graduation: frequently asked questions

Please note that Summer Graduation takes place at Westminster Cathedral. This is where you will collect your gown and have your photos taken. The post-ceremony Garden party will take place on campus, the cost of which is included in your tickets.

How much does it cost to hire a gown?

Charges vary depending on whether you purchase your gown online, via the call centre, or leave it until the day of your ceremony.

Foundation/Bachelors/Certificates/Diplomas: £45 (online) - £50 (call centre) - £55 (on the day)

Masters/MBA: £51 (online) - £56 (call centre) - £60 (on the day)

PhD: £58 (online) - £63 (call centre) - £65 (on the day)

 


What gown do I need?

This will be stated in your invitation. Please note that BA and BSc gowns are the same. Your gown will therefore either be an Undergraduate Certificate, Undergraduate Foundation/Diploma, Bachelors, Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma, Masters, or Doctoral.


Do I have to wear a gown?

Yes, it is a requirement for our Graduands to wear academic dress to the ceremony. Booking has now closed, however these can be purchased on the day from St Vincent’s Centre on Carlisle Place.


When/Where do I return my gown?

Gowns are collected are returned from the same point – St Vincent’s Centre on Carlisle Place. Please note that guests will not be allowed in to the building with you due to limited space. You will need to return your gown by 5:30pm.


When will I receive my tickets?

Your tickets will be posted out to you the week before your ceremony, if you have not received your tickets by Monday 15th July please email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk.

Your tickets will need to be collected from Westminster Cathedral at the ticket desk if your permanent address is listed overseas and arrangements were not previously made to have them sent elsewhere.


How many guest tickets can I get?

You are entitled to two guest tickets at £25 each. You can request additional tickets when booking online, and you will be contacted by the ticketing company if you are successful. These tickets are not guaranteed, and will be allocated depending on the number of tickets left after all Graduands have been given the opportunity to book.


When can I buy extra tickets?

If extra tickets become available then you will be contacted by the ticketing company with a link to book after the booking deadline has passed. This is currently the 21st June. So expect an email in the week commencing the 24th June.

Unfortunately extra tickets are no longer available to purchase in advance – we have a limited number of tickets available to sell on the day for £25 each (cash).

Thursday ceremonies are almost sold out, especially the 9:45am ceremony. If you are trying to gain tickets for these ceremonies please arrive early. If you are unable to purchase a ticket for the ceremony we will be selling food-only tickets for £15 each (cash).


Can I bring my young child to the graduation ceremony?

Yes. Children are welcome, however they will need their own ticket if they are over two years old and those under two will have to be sat on a lap. Note that Graduands and guests are not sat together – so any young children will not be able to sit with you if you are Graduating. Please note that buggies will have to be kept at the back of Westminster Cathedral.

Please also bear in mind that the ceremonies are long and will not keep children entertained – please let us know if you are bringing a young child and we can arrange for your guests to have an aisle seat in case you need to leave.


I have/my guest has additional needs – can I/they still attend?

Of course! All are welcome at the graduation ceremonies and we do our best to cater for all additional requirements. Please either mention your requirements when booking your tickets, or email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk and we can put in place arrangements to ensure your day runs smoothly.

Please note that we will only reserve two seats when you inform us of additional requirements due to limited seating. As such, if you have more than two guests the rest of your party will need to sit elsewhere.

Please make sure your guests make themselves known to the ushers on entry to the cathedral. 


I need a letter to support my VISA application

That’s no problem – just email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk and we can give you a letter confirming your invitation. 


My friends are in a different ceremony – can I swap?

Unfortunately the answer is no. Our ceremonies are arranged according to subjects so that your lecturers and tutors are also there to support you and your achievements. It also means that any guest speakers are tailored to your course, so that you have the most enjoyment out of the day.


What time do I need to arrive?

We recommend arriving at least 90 minutes before your ceremony begins. This is so you have time to collect your gown, have your photo taken and be sat before the ceremony begins. Please remember that there are up to 300 students graduating with you, who are also sticking to the same time frame, so earlier is always better than later!


What happens if I cannot attend the ceremony?

If you cannot attend then you will be graduating in absentia – this means that your name will still appear in the programme (unless requested otherwise) but will not be read out during the ceremony. Please let us know at graduation@stmarys.ac.uk if you are not attending and we will take you off of our email list.


I can’t attend my Graduation ceremony, can I Graduate next year?

This entirely depends on the circumstances of your request and the availability of our ceremonies next year, however please email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk and we will add you to our list of requests. This is not guaranteed.

When will I get my certificate?

Your certificate should arrive around mid-August, it will be posted to the permanent address we have on file for you– if this has changed you will need to let us know as soon as possible by emailing graduation@stmarys.ac.uk

Please make sure all debts with the university are paid before Graduation. Any debtors will not receive their certificate. 


Is parking available?

Unfortunately no parking is available at Westminster Cathedral. If you need on-campus parking due to a disability you will need to email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk with the Car Registration and your blue badge number. Parking is not available to those without a blue badge.


Where do I buy photos from?

Our photos are taken by Success photography – you can book your photos alongside your ticketing purchase from https://www.yourgraduation.co.uk/stmarys. These can also be purchased on the day, however when you book online you should be given a time slot which will make the process quicker. The photographer will also take a picture of you as you walk across the stage.


Where do I go to have my photos taken?

Photography are located in The Cathedral Hall off of Ambroseden Avenue, this will be signposted. Please try to go before your ceremony. You can book online from https://www.yourgraduation.co.uk/stmarys or pay on the day.


How long are the ceremonies?

The ceremonies last for around 2 hours. Timings depend on the number of Graduands in each ceremony.

Please bring a bottle of water with you as this is not available once inside, and it can get very warm when Graduands are wearing their gowns. Please note that whilst water is encouraged, food is not allowed in the Cathedral. Any Graduands or Guests that leave the cathedral will not be allowed re-entry, and leaving during the ceremony is highly discouraged. 


I haven’t completed my degree and need a refund. Is there a deadline?

You are entitled to a refund as long as it is requested a week before your ceremony. Please email graduation@stmarys.ac.uk with your request.