Graduation day recognises the culmination of your hard work with a formal degree ceremony held in the Sheldonian Theatre or Examination Schools.
Booking your place
Since 2012 graduation processes have varied depending on whether a student started their final year of study before or after 2012; those who graduate at the end of their final year are now known as 'Graduands', while those who left the College some years ago and have not yet been through a ceremony, are known as 'Historic Graduands'.
Some who completed after 2012, but who have not yet had their degree conferred at a ceremony, may also be placed in the 'Historic Graduands' category (for example, if a student were not able to book a graduation ceremony by invitation with the rest of their Finalist cohort).Contact the Academic Office Graduating from Oxford Graduation in pictures
Students who graduate in their final year of study
You will be invited to book onto a degree ceremony at the end of your degree course. Undergraduates and most taught Postgraduates will receive the invitation via email in the November/December of their final year. Research students and 12-month Masters students will receive the invitation shortly after they have completed their degree course. If you would like to graduate in absentia (without being present at the ceremony), you will be able to select this option when you receive your email invitation. DPhil students will receive an invitation after notification of being granted leave to supplicate.
If the date you would like to graduate on is full, you may ask to be placed on a waiting list for that date via the 'Historic Graduand' route (please refer to the 'Historic Graduand' section below). To apply via the 'Historic Graduand' route, please contact the College Academic Office email@example.com. Please note: you may not hold a firm booking for one date and be on a waiting list for another date.
Important: Please note that the University will not accept cancellations within 60 days of a degree ceremony (unless there are mitigating circumstances). If you are allocated a space to attend from a waiting list 60-30 days prior to a ceremony, you will not be able to withdraw from the ceremony, and your degree will therefore go through in absence, without the opportunity to take the degree in person at a later date.
Receiving your invitation
At the time of receiving your invitation, you will be asked to choose the following:
- The date of your graduation
- The number of ceremony guest tickets you wish to receive (maximum guaranteed is three guest tickets)
Please ensure that you have all of the details you will need to complete the booking at the time you are responding to the invitation, as it will be difficult to make amendments later. Please provide up to date contact details including email address which you can be contacted on later in the year with important graduation details prior to your degree day. Around 70 days before the date of your degree ceremony, the College will contact you with a webform to complete to confirm your booking and hospitality arrangements. Payment instructions to pay for your lunch guests (MA fee if applicable) will follow at around 10 days prior to the degree day when a final email will be sent confirming your guest numbers.
Please note that it is only possible for one degree to be conferred in person at a ceremony. Candidates who completed an earlier degree, prior to their current course, and who have not yet graduated for that earlier degree, should be aware that it is not possible to have more than one degree conferred in person at the same ceremony. The other degree(s) will be conferred in absentia if at the same ceremony. Please contact the Academic Office firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Historic Graduands: former students who completed their degree(s) some years ago who have not yet been through a ceremony
If you completed your degree some years ago and have not yet been through a ceremony, or if you wish to take an MA degree, you will be regarded as a ‘historic graduand’. You will also be included in this category if you matriculated after 2012 but were unable to enrol for one of the graduation ceremonies initially offered to the rest of your Finalist cohort for whatever reason.
Candidates in these categories must contact the Academic Office via email@example.com and ask to be placed on a waiting list for their preferred date. Historic graduands are able to graduate in absentia at the next degree ceremony, irrespective of availability.
Important for graduands on waiting lists:
The University will not accept cancellations within 60 days of a degree ceremony (unless there are mitigating circumstances). Therefore, if you are allocated a space to attend from a waiting list between between 60-30 days before the ceremony, you will not be able to withdraw from the ceremony, which means that your degree would go through in absentia, without the opportunity to take your degree in person at a later date. If you are on a waiting list and you realise you will no longer be able to graduate on a specified date, please contact the Academic Office on firstname.lastname@example.org to ask to be removed from the waiting list, as allocations from waiting lists to fill available slots are made automatically by the University.
If you are on a waiting list, and it has not been possible to allocate you a space 30 days prior to a ceremony, it will still be possible to transfer you to another date or a waiting list for another ceremony. Please contact the Academic Office on email@example.com if you wish to be transferred from one waiting list to another waiting list.
If you require more than 60 days' notice to attend a ceremony, you will need to notify college on firstname.lastname@example.org of this before the 60 days cut-off date ahead of the degree day, in order to be removed from the waiting list. Otherwise, if you are still on the waiting list, or have been booked onto a ceremony, the above applies.
Available dates for Historic Graduands
The remaining 2018-19 degree date is 4th May 2019. Historic Graduands may still apply to be placed on the waiting list for the 4th May 2019. The 2019-2020 dates will be posted in November 2018. Historic Graduands will be able to book onto available slots for a 2019-2020 date of their choice after February 2019, once the finalists' booking window has closed. If your preferred date is full, you will need to be placed on a waiting list for that specific date. After being placed on a waiting list, please note that your chosen degree date is not guaranteed. The University will confirm whether your place is definite some time between February and up to 60 days before the date of the ceremony. Cancellations must be made no less than 60 days prior to a degree day, otherwise it will mean the degree(s) will be conferred 'in absentia' without the option to attend a later ceremony. This will also apply if a graduand does not turn up at the ceremony.
Important for those on waiting lists:
The University will not accept cancellations within 60 days of a degree ceremony (unless there are mitigating circumstances). If you are allocated a space to attend from a waiting list between 30 and 60 days prior to the ceremony, you will not be able to withdraw from the ceremony, which would mean your degree would go through in absentia, without the opportunity to take your degree in person at a later date.
If you are on a waiting list, and it has not been possible to allocate you a space 30 days before a ceremony, it will still be possible to transfer you to a waiting list for an alternate ceremony.
If you require more than 60 days' notice to attend a ceremony, you will need to notify college on email@example.com before the 60 days cut-off date ahead of the degree day, in order to be removed from the waiting list. Otherwise, if you are still on a waiting list, or have been booked onto a ceremony, the above applies.
2018-19 Dates (all Saturdays)
4 May 2019 (Sat 11.00 am ceremony)
For morning ceremonies, events in College will start around 8:45am and will conclude at around 3:30pm after lunch, with the collection of degree certificates immediately after lunch. For afternoon ceremonies, events in College start at approximately 10am and conclude around 5pm.
Once you have decided on your preferred date, you will need to contact College by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your chosen graduation date, and provide the details below in order to be placed on a waiting list (see above important notes regarding waiting lists).
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Degree obtained
- Degree to be conferred
- Subject read
- Matriculation Year
- Full home address
- Home phone number
- Mobile number
- Email address
If you are taking the MA or Higher Degree such as DD, DCL, DM, MCh, please indicate if you wish the use of the non-Christian formula.
Your booking invitation
Once you have received confirmation of your definite place, the College will email you approximately 70 days prior to graduation with further details, a schedule for the day, and a link to an online form which will request the following:
- The number of ceremony guest tickets you wish to receive (maximum three)
- The number of lunch guests you wish to invite (maximum three)
- Number of tea guests (maximum three) on afternoon ceremony dates only
- Number of morning reception guests on morning ceremony dates only
- Dietary requirements for graduands + guests
- Accessibility requirements for graduands + guests
Please note that it is only possible for one degree to be conferred in person at a ceremony. Candidates who completed a degree prior to their current course, and who have not yet graduated should be aware that it is not possible to have more than one degree conferred in person at a ceremony. The other degree(s) will normally be conferred in absentia. Please contact the Academic Office for further information.
MA by entitlement
Candidates for the MA (Master of Arts) must hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oxford.
Candidates should normally have entered upon the 21st term from their matriculation with the exception of candidates who have taken their BA and who:
- Matriculated as Senior Status students, who become eligible in their 18th term.
- Have taken either a BM or BCL, who become eligible in their 19th term.
- Have taken a D.Phil. who are eligible at any time.
For the degree of Master of Arts, a fee of £40 is payable to the University and this fee can be paid via the University's Online Shop. A separate MA fee of £10 is payable to the College and this payment can be arranged by e-mailing the Senior Bursary Clerk (email@example.com)
Candidates wishing to take an MA degree by entitlement will be regarded as ‘Historic Graduands’ for the purpose of booking onto a ceremony. Click on the tabs above for further details about how to do this. Please also note the important waiting list regulations on the tabs above.
Religion and ceremony
Candidates for the MA, DD, DCL, DM and MCh are asked to note that, upon conferring the degree, they will normally be required to kneel in front of the Vice-Chancellor, who touches them on the head with a Testament, admitting them to the degree ‘In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’. When completing your booking form, please indicate if you would prefer the non-Christian formula to be used at the ceremony. It will not be permitted to request the non-Christian formula on the day of the degree ceremony.
Information about Graduation
With effect from January 2018, approximately a week or two prior to the 60-days deadline ahead of your graduation, you will be emailed details, schedule of the day, and a College webform to complete to confirm your booking and hospitality arrangements, and for you to indicate how many guests you wish to invite to the ceremony and to graduation lunch. The guaranteed number of guests to the ceremony and graduation lunch in college is three guests per graduand. We regret however that we are unable to guarantee extra guest spaces, due to limited capacity and availability of extra spaces. It is important to return your online response to the webform by the date specified in the details as, the sooner you return your form, the better the possibility of securing an extra ticket or two for the ceremony, if requested (depending on availability of extra tickets). You will be notified of your final guest numbers by email approximately 10 days ahead of your graduation, along with payment instructions for making lunch guest and MA fee payments.Contact the Academic Office Contact the Head Porter
Under certain circumstances, College may withhold graduation where tuition fees remain outstanding.
Contact Email Address
It is very important that you please keep us up-to-date with your most recent email address. If you have changed your email address since booking on eVision, please let us know your new email address, otherwise important details will not reach you.
Graduation Lunch in College
The Dean of Degrees warmly welcomes graduands and their guests to attend graduation lunch. It is an integral part of the day’s events, and the Dean of Degrees expects graduands to attend. There is time set aside for graduands only during the morning for a compulsory session with the Dean of Degrees to sign the register of attendance in advance of the ceremony. Graduands are automatically booked into lunch in advance and are accounted for separately in numbers. There is no charge for graduands to lunch. Guests are invited to join graduands for the graduation lunch in College at a cost of £28.35 per guest (maximum of 3 lunch guests per graduand). You may request 1 or 2 extra lunch guests on the online form, although we are not able to guarantee that we will be able to accommodate extra guests. Lunch guest(s) payment is payable from approximately 10 days prior to graduation, when payment instructions are sent out with confirmation of booking and final allocation of guest numbers.
Graduation Tea in College
Tea is served on afternoon ceremony days between 4pm and 5pm, usually in Hall, immediately after the collection of degree certificates. If you wish, you may bring more guests to tea than the 3 allowed to attend the ceremony and lunch, but you must advise us of the number of tea guests you wish to invite on the online booking form we email out around 70 days before the date of the ceremony.
Afternoon tea is not served on morning ceremony days, when the day ends with collection of degree certificates, followed by lunch. On morning ceremony days, welcome refreshments are offered to guests only at 9:30 am, whilst graduands are signing the graduation register of attendance with the Dean of Degrees.
Accessibility and Mobility Requirements
Please ensure you have notified us in good time (no less than 3 weeks prior to the degree day) if you or your guests have any accessibility and/or mobility difficulties, so that we may make suitable arrangements in College, and inform the Sheldonian Theatre. Special arrangements may be indicated on the online form sent out about 70 days prior to the degree day.
Dressing and Robing
Sub-fusc must be worn as follows: a dark suit with dark socks, or a dark skirt with plain black tights or plain black stockings, dark trousers with dark socks. Dark coat (if required), black shoes, plain white collared shirt or blouse, white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie or black ribbon. During the ceremony graduands must also wear the appropriate gown (see below) and a mortarboard or soft black cap. It is important that graduands observe this regulation, as it would be embarrassing if it were necessary for the Proctors to turn them away once they had arrived at the ceremony.
The Head Porter will automatically hire a gown and hood for you (at current rates). If you fail to notify us prior to graduation that you will be organising your own gown, you will be charged for hire costs. It is important that you contact the Head Porter to confirm gown hire and payment arrangements prior to graduation, as well as provide your height. Please note that payment for gowns is to be made directly to the Head Porter on graduation day, or before the day if preferred. The Head Porter will also attend the degree ceremony to assist in robing (it is customary to offer a gratuity of at least £5 for this service).
Contact the Head Porter on 01865 277900/901 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Guests and tickets
Please be aware that ceremonies are not suitable for children under the age of seven. Tickets are available for collection on the morning of your chosen ceremony at the College Lodge. Graduands must collect all tickets allocated and distribute them to their guests on the morning prior to the ceremony. The ceremony takes place at the Sheldonian Theatre and the guests of graduands should arrive at least half an hour prior to the ceremony. Regrettably seats cannot be reserved and entrance is strictly for those holding a guest ticket.
Collecting your degree certificate
You will be able to collect your degree certificate in College on the day of graduation following the ceremony. On some degree days your degree certificate will be sent to you by the University following the degree ceremony. Please ensure that you keep us up to date with any changes in your postal address.
Important: For all ceremonies throughout the year, if you have not received your degree certificate within three months (or by 30th November for July ceremonies) and you fail to notify the University Degree Conferrals Office/College within that period, you will be charged for a replacement certificate. Replacement certificates can be ordered through the University Online Shop.
Graduands taking higher degrees
Candidates for higher degrees (D.Phil, M.Phil etc.) must ensure that a bound copy of your thesis, where appropriate, is deposited with the Research Degrees Office both in hard copy and electronically, at least two weeks before the degree ceremony, otherwise you will be unable to take your degree.
A candidate who is unable to attend a degree ceremony for which he or she is entered should inform the College before the 60 days cut-off prior to the degree day. In accordance with the University regulations regarding cancellations, please note that cancelling less than 60 days ahead of the ceremony means that you would not be able to withdraw (unless there are mitigating circumstances) and it will mean that your degree will be conferred 'in absentia', and you will be unable to have your degree awarded in person at any future ceremony. This also applies if you fail to attend on the day. If you are unable to attend a degree ceremony, please contact the Academic Office on email@example.com before 60 days prior to the degree day.
Waiting Lists - Important
If the University allocates you a space to attend from a waiting list between 60-30 days before the ceremony, you will not be able to withdraw from the ceremony, which would mean your degree would go through in absentia, without the opportunity to take your degree in person at a later date.
The University will not accept cancellations less than 60 days ahead of a degree ceremony (unless there are mitigating circumstances).
If you are on a waiting list, and the University has not allocated you a space at 30 days before a ceremony, it will still be possible to transfer you to another waiting list for an alternate ceremony. Please let the Academic Office know if you wish to transfer to another waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before the 30 days point. Please note that the University will automatically allocates spaces that become available to those on waiting lists up to the 30 days point. If you are on a waiting list, and you know that you would not after all be able to attend a ceremony before the 30 days point, please inform us so that we can remove you from the waiting list, otherwise you will not be able to cancel after 30 days if allocated a definite space by the University and your degree would be conferred 'in absentia' without the opportunity to attend another ceremony later on.
If you require more than 60 days' notice to attend a ceremony, you will need to notify the College Academic Office email@example.com before the 60 days cut-off date ahead of the degree day, in order to be removed from the waiting list. Otherwise, if you are still on the waiting list, or have been booked onto a ceremony, the above applies.
To comply with legislation, the University states that ‘Graduands, guests and staff attending a degree ceremony should be aware that graduation ceremonies are regarded as public events. Names, colleges and degrees of graduands are published in the graduation programme. Audio and visual images of the ceremony are publicly available via the sale of personalized videos of the ceremony’. In view of this, it is not possible to request the non-publication of names of graduands who attend a ceremony. However, graduands who take their degree(s) in absentia may request that their names are not included in the programme by contacting the Academic Office.
Membership of Convocation
As a former matriculated student, you will automatically be admitted to Membership of Convocation following the conferment of your degree(s) at a ceremony (either by attending or in absentia) thus making you a life member of the University. It will not be necessary for you to apply for membership of Convocation or to hold an MA degree. As a member of Convocation you may vote for the Professor of Poetry and the Chancellor. You are also accorded special privileges in College, in particular dining rights at High Table (by prior arrangement with the Domestic Bursar), and the Development Office sends out invitations to Gaudies at regular intervals. Being a member of Convocation also entitles you to a ‘gold’ Bodleian Readers card, which allows access to University libraries (though not borrowing rights); further details can be found on our Alumni page.
Please refer to the University Degree Certificates web pages for further information and enquiries about degree certificate(s). Please note that an official degree certificate cannot be obtained until your degree has officially been conferred at a degree ceremony, either in person or in absentia.
Verification of your degree
Should you require confirmation of your degree and/or dates of attendance for employers, prospective employers and educational institutions, please contact the Degree Conferrals Office - University of Oxford Degree Verification.
Prospective employers may request verification of qualifications via the University website.