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Graduation: How the day works

On arrival

You are advised to arrive in Victoria Station at least two hours prior to the start of your Ceremony. On arrival Graduands only must report to the Namecard Collection Desk, at St Vincent's Centre, Hinsley Room, 5th Floor, Carlisle Place, London SW1P 1NL.

Your guests will make their way to the Cathedral Entrance. Please note that your guests must have their own e-tickets on their mobile devices as they will be asked to show their e-tickets at the entrance of the Cathedral.

At the Namecard Collection Desk, you will be asked to show your e-tickets either in your email or a printed copy if you prefer, in order to register and to collect your namecard.

Your Namecard will include your seat number and name with phonetic spelling, if you have provided this when booking. You will need to hand this to the presenter on the platform when your award is being conferred to ensure that your name is called. Therefore, please do not lose the namecard.

Westminster Cathedral will open approximately 30-40 minutes before your ceremony. Graduands are requested to be robed in their academic gown and in their seats at least 15 minutes before the commencement of their Ceremony. The ceremony will last for no longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Getting there

The Cathedral is centrally based in the heart of London’s busy Victoria district, close to a major transport hub. Please note that there are no parking facilities at the Cathedral, and we recommend that you use public transport.

Download our map

Closest Tube Stations

  • Victoria: Victoria, District and Circle Line
  • St James’s Park: District and Circle Line

Bus routes

11, 24, 148 and 211 serve the Cathedral on Victoria Street, together with the 507 (towards Victoria only).

Academic dress

It is compulsory for graduands to wear academic dress. Graduands should wear their gowns and hoods throughout the ceremony. Mortarboards should only be worn when processing out of the Cathedral.

In addition to academic dress, graduands are asked to conform to the following dress code: smart formal wear.

We warmly encourage students to wear their traditional and/or cultural dress to graduation if they wish to.


Ede and Ravenscroft will be based St Vincent's Centre, Hinsley Room, 5th Floor, Carlisle Place, London SW1P 1NL, where you will be robed. If you have been unable to order a gown, there will be a limited number of gowns to hire on the day.

The robing area will be open from 8am on both Graduation days. Please ensure you arrive in plenty of time to collect your gown to ensure that you are seated no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony.


Graduands are seated separately from their guests and your seat number will be given on your Namecard. Graduands will not be admitted into the Cathedral unless you have registered at the Namecard collection Desk and collected your Namecard. You are asked to be seated at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

Graduands will enter the Cathedral via the side entrance on Ambrosden Avenue (see map). Graduand Seating will be to the rear of the Cathedral, facing the Platform. Please follow the signs to your row and seat number e.g. A1, A2, B1, B2.  Ushers will be present to help you find your seat and answer any queries.  Guest seating will be at the front of the Cathedral, facing the platform. Guest seating is allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Presentation will be in alphabetical order within each degree. An Usher will signal to graduands when to move from their seats and regulate the flow of the procession. Graduands must bring their namecard with them, which will be passed to the presenter. Each graduand will mount the steps and pass the namecard to the presenter.

When their name is announced, graduands should walk up the steps to the platform. They should stop for an award photograph with the presiding officer, then leave the platform at the other end and return to their seat by walking up the right-hand side of the Cathedral, facing the main entrance to the Cathedral. Graduands are asked to return to their seats quietly, as directed by the Ushers.

End of the ceremony

At the end of the ceremony, Graduands are invited to put on their mortarboards and will be led to file out behind the procession of academic staff.

Please note that a post-ceremony celebration will not be organised this year due to the low take-up in previous years.  We wish you a wonderful ongoing celebration of your success at St Mary’s University. 


The University wishes to remind students and guests that no photography or filming is allowed during the service lead by the Clergy, at the beginning of the ceremony. If you wish to take photographs or videos inside the Cathedral during the ceremony, please do this very discreetly and not block the view for anyone in the congregation.

Ede & Ravenscroft will be at Westminster Cathedral Hall. Ambrosden Avenue London, SW1P 1LT, to take individual photographs before and after the ceremony. There will be 4 or 5 studios available and these will operate on a first come, first served basis.

If you intend to have your photograph taken before the ceremony, please ensure that you allow sufficient time to ensure you are still seated 15 minutes before the start time of the ceremony.

First aid

Staff with first aid training will be on duty. Should you need any attention please contact one of our Stewards or a member of Security.

Information and queries on the day

There will be Stewards around the Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral Hall and St Vincent's Centre who will be happy to help with any enquiries you may have on the day.

Further information

If you require any further information relating to the degree ceremony, please contact the Graduation Team by email at

You can also download our On the day notes.

Please, note that due to the high volume of queries, the Graduation Team will not be able to answer to those enquiries already included in our FAQs.

We hope that you will enjoy the event and we look forward to seeing you there.