Your graduation ceremony

Ceremony start times

The time of your ceremony will be clearly shown in your invitation email. Each ceremony will last about an hour and a half. Announcements will be made when you and your guests need to take your seats in the ceremony hall. Doors will close 15 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony, so make sure that you and your guests are seated by then.

Arriving at the venue

The ceremonies are being held at the Royal Festival Hall, on London's Southbank. You should aim to arrive one and a half hours before your ceremony begins.

The Royal Festival Hall will be operating bag checks on all doors. We ask that, if possible, you only bring a small bag.

Guests with luggage are asked to enter via the Level 1 Doors on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road.  However, please be aware if you need to bring larger items with you this may result in a delay in entering the building. Wherever possible, please use left luggage facilities available at nearby Waterloo or other stations.

 Please can you advise your guests of these arrangements.

The venue is easily accessible by public transport and the closest tube stations are Waterloo, Embankment and Charing Cross. The venue is within the congestion charging zone and parking is very limited, so we recommend that you and your guests travel to the venue by public transport where possible.

Venue address
Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XX

Plan your journey with Transport for London.

Collecting your tickets and gown

One of the first things that you'll need to do when you arrive at the venue is to register with us and collect your ticket/s.

Visit us at the registration desks on Level 1 with a copy of your e-ticket, and we will give you your tickets and answer any queries you might have.

Note: e-tickets are sent out to students approximately 5 working days before the ceremony.

If there is a queue at the registration desks, feel free to collect your gown first and register with us afterwards. Visit the gown collection area with a copy of your gown order confirmation. When the ceremony is over, you'll need to return your gown to the same place by 5pm, unless you have made other arrangements.

During your ceremony

When everyone is called into the ceremony hall, take your seat promptly and make sure that you are sitting in the place that has been allocated to you. Do not change seats and, when called to the platform, do not change your position in the line-up, as graduands will be presented in a predetermined order.

Guests will sit in a separate area, in the rear stalls and balcony of the auditorium.

The ceremony begins with the entrance of the Academic Procession (whose members will include the Vice-Chancellor and senior academics from your faculty), and you'll need to stand during this opening part.

As the ceremony progresses, you will be called to the platform to be presented to the Vice-Chancellor, Chairman of the Court of Governors, Honorary Guests, and academic staff.

At the end of the ceremony, you will need to stand as the Academic Procession leaves the auditorium. The auditorium doors will open when the procession has left the hall.

Note: You do not receive your award certificate at the ceremony - see our Award Certificates page for details of when you'll receive your certificate.

Reception after the ceremony

After your ceremony, there will be a drinks reception for you and your guests in the Foyers of the Royal Festival Hall. 

student having question marks around her

Frequently asked questions

Have any questions about graduation?

book with flipping pages

Contact us

Get in touch with the Ceremonies team.