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*Graduation updates*

Following a recent review the University has announced that degree Congregations will continue to take place without guests during Lent Term 2022.

All dates are subject to change or cancellation, in line with the latest government advice regarding COVID-19.

Congratulations on completing your degree! The following information will guide you through the process of graduating. If you have any further queries please do contact Sarah Braisdell, the Praelector’s Secretary.

The College Praelector is Ms Alison Vinnicombe and she is responsible for presenting graduands at Congregations of the Regent House for the conferment of degrees. These ceremonies take place in the Senate House, and reach back many centuries. Graduands are presented individually by the Praelector to the Vice-Chancellor of the University or his Deputy in the presence of the Proctors, who are the elected representatives of the Regent House. After your degree has been conferred you will be presented with your degree certificate.

What is graduating in absence?

Graduating ‘in absence’ or ‘in absentia’ means to have your degree awarded or conferred without attending a ceremony in person.

Candidates who graduate ‘in absence’ are then unable to have their degree conferred ‘in person’ at a subsequent date.

What is a celebratory graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Candidates who opted to graduate ‘in absence’ at earlier ceremonies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are able to return to Cambridge and have their degree celebrated at a future graduation ceremony.

If you wish to return and celebrate your degree please contact the Praelector’s Secretary at least one month prior to the date you wish to attend. Please note that the College does not put forward candidates in person at every ceremony.

What if I do not wish to graduate in absence or in person with no guests?

You are able to defer your graduation until you can attend an ‘in person’ ceremony that is similar to normal circumstances.

Please note that no certificate of degree can be issued until your degree has been conferred in the Senate House, whether in absence or in person, however you may use a digital transcript to confirm your entitlement to a degree (for example, if employers request this).

In order to graduate you must meet the requirements of the degree you wish to have conferred. This may mean residence requirements, examinations results or approval from Student Registry.

Graduate students must have received their approval letter from the Board of Graduate Studies in order to graduate. You are unable to have your degree conferred until you have received that formal approval but you are able to provisionally apply for any of the smaller ceremonies throughout the year and be withdrawn if the approval is not received in time. Further information on degree approval can be found here.

This is particularly important for those graduating in July as many MPhil courses will not be approved in time. Please check with your department when your Degree Committee will approve your degree.

All students must ensure all University and College bills are settled before being put forward for graduation. Any queries regarding your College account should be directed to the Finance Office.

Library books must be returned to Lucy Cavendish College Library, the UL and departmental libraries before being able to graduate.

If you are not in Cambridge you can make use of the Book Returns Service to return books to the UL, departmental and College libraries.

Please complete this form to apply for a graduation ceremony.

The Praelector’s Secretary will confirm receipt of the form with further details regarding the ceremony and reception being sent closer to your chosen ceremony date.

If you want to change any details submitted on the form, including the ceremony date, please contact the Praelector’s Secretary.

Note: it is not currently possible to register for graduation through CamSIS self-service but this is something being looked into as a future option.

Academic Term

Date of Ceremony

Ceremony Type

Applications open

Application deadline

Lent Term 2022

Saturday 29th January

In absence only


6th January 2022


Saturday 26th February

In absence or in person

*We are currently unable to take any further in person applications for this date

3rd February 2022


Saturday 26th March

In absence only


3rd March 2022


Saturday 2nd April

In absence only


10th March 2022

Easter Term 2022

Saturday 30th April

In absence only


7th April 2022


Saturday 21st May

[for MA and all other degrees]

In absence or in person


28th April 2022


Saturday 2nd July

[General Admission for current undergraduates]*

In absence or in person



Long Vacation 2022

Saturday 23rd July

In absence or in person


30th June 2022

*This ceremony is for BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only

Note: Those who have graduated in absence due the COVID restrictions may write to the Praelector’s Secretary or complete this form with a date they wish to attend, in person, to celebrate their degree.

The programme for the day with final timings will be sent out at least a week prior to the ceremony, as this information is only available once the final numbers of students graduating across the University is known.

Lucy Cavendish usually presents at the Senate House around mid-afternoon but we would recommend keeping the whole day free.

For those graduating in person this is what to expect from the day under current circumstances:

  • Arrival at College

  • Pre-booked individual and group photographs by Lafayette [graduands, celebrants and guests]

  • Dress check and rehearsal [graduands and celebrants]

  • Formal Graduation Photograph by Lafayette [graduands, celebrants and College Officers]

  • Picnic Box Reception [graduands, celebrants and guests]
  • Procession to the Senate House [graduands, celebrants and College Officers]

  • Live streaming of ceremony [guests]

The in-person ceremony without guests

To ensure a Covid-secure environment for all students and staff participating, we are unable to accommodate guests at the ceremony. Guests will have no access to the Senate House, or to Senate House Yard. However, livestreaming of the event will be available in college on the day for guests.

A socially-distanced ceremony

Social distancing will be observed in Senate House Yard and in the Senate House itself. On arrival, you will be queuing, individually distanced, under marquees in Senate House Yard before entering the Senate House in single file.

During the ceremony, you will proceed through the Senate House and you will stand to receive your degree. The Praelector will give the customary speech to present you and your degree will be conferred individually by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (normally your Head of House). Once you have completed your ceremony you may either engage with the Tempest photography services or leave the Yard. 

Graduands will not be able to take a bag or backpack to the Senate House.  These should be left with your guests.  All you need with you is a bank card, if you wish to purchase photographs or certificate frames from Tempest photography, and an umbrella where necessary.

Additional COVID-19 measures on site

Students and staff are currently required to wear face coverings inside University and College buildings. Everyone participating in General Admission will be expected to wear plain coloured or University or College crested face coverings inside the Senate House, unless an exemption applies. The only exceptions to this will be staff required to speak during the ceremony - the Senior Proctor (giving the welcome); Esquire Bedell (reading names); Praelector (presenting graduands), and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (conferring degrees). You will be permitted to remove your mask when your degree is conferred, if you wish to do so.

Livestreaming the ceremony

To allow your family and friends to view your graduation in the Senate House, the University will provide a livestream of the event. This may be viewed in College as part of the event, or can be watched from anywhere around the world.  It will also available to view online for a month following the ceremony, so you, too, can watch yourself on screen.  Please note that by attending the ceremony in person, you are giving your consent to being included in the livestream. It will not be possible to take part in the ceremony and not be part of the recording.

Photography at the Senate House

Tempest, the University's official photographers, will offer studio photography and certificate framing services on the day after the ceremony has concluded, as well as photographing you inside the Senate House as your degree is conferred.  You will need to have a bank card with you at the Senate House if you wish to purchase photographs or certificate frames.  It will not be possible for graduands to gather in front of Senate-House to take photographs on the day.

If you hold a Cambridge BA, you may proceed to the MA not less than six years from the end of your first term of residence. From January 2022 those who matriculated in October 2015 and took their BA prior to December 2019 will be eligible.

We invite you to attend the ceremony in May to receive this.

Further information can be found here.

The medics who completed in June 2019 had until the May 2020 congregation to have their MB awarded at the Senate House; this has now been extended until May 2022.

Those who completed early in April 2020 also have until May 2022 to have their MB awarded at the Senate House.

Transcripts for degrees awarded based on assessments modified as a result of COVID-19 will include brief wording explaining that the candidate undertook alternative assessments, and provide a link to a fuller explanation of the nature of the assessment, hosted on the CamData website.

Graduates can sign up to the online Digitary allowing them to access and share an electronic copy of their official transcript as well as access an image of their graduation certificate.

Students who defer graduation will also be able to access the Digitary but will not be recorded as having graduated.

Important: unless given out at an in person ceremony, certificates and/or transcripts will be sent to your ‘Home address’ on CamSIS. Please ensure this and your ‘preferred’ email address are updated on CamSIS. If you are having trouble with this please contact the Praelector’s Secretary. Certificates are posted untracked so if you wish to arrange for a tracked mail service please contact the Praelector’s Secretary.

Further information on the Verification of Degrees which may be needed for employment, is available here.

Academical dress hire

You may hire or buy academical dress from any of the following Cambridge suppliers. They are usually very helpful in advising the correct items to hire but they do sometimes get it wrong. All items must be collected personally despite the supplier’s websites saying that they will be delivered to your College.

Ede & Ravenscroft

70-72 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RJ or 01223 861854

Purchase Enquiries: 01223 350048 (shop) or 01223 861854

Ryder & Amies

22 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SP


If you choose to graduate in person at the Senate-House, you are required to wear the following Cambridge academical dress at the ceremony.

  • Undergraduates and affiliated students: undergraduate gown of your college and the hood of the highest degree that you are about to receive.

  • Postgraduate candidates: either the gown and hood of your highest existing Cambridge degree or, if not already a Cambridge graduate, a BA or MA status gown (dependent on age) and the hood of the highest degree you are about to take.

  • Those collecting their MA: the gown and hood of the highest Cambridge degree you hold, for example, BA gown and BA hood.

  • Those celebrating degrees should wear the gown and hood of the degree awarded in absence.

Further information on gowns can be found on the Grad Union Website.

What to wear at graduation

As graduation is a formal occasion, an appropriate standard of dress is expected. The dress code below is strictly enforced at ceremonies, and if you do not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on a particular occasion. Your Praelector is able to offer further advice on dress.

Dress Option One

  • A dinner jacket or black, very dark grey or very dark blue lounge suit. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.

  • A plain, long-sleeved, collared, white shirt.

  • Formal black shoes. Sandals are not permitted.

  • Unpatterned black or very dark grey socks.

  • White bow-tie and bands must be worn.

Dress Option Two

  • A black, very dark grey or very dark blue skirt suit or trouser suit, or a dark skirt without a jacket, or a dark, long-sleeved dress. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.

  • A plain, long-sleeved, white shirt or blouse (unless a long-sleeved dress is worn).

  • Formal black shoes. Sandals are not permitted.

  • Unpatterned black, nearly-black, or natural coloured hosiery.

  • A white bow-tie and bands may be worn (optional) but only with a properly collared white shirt.

  • A black cassock may be substituted for a dark suit, skirt or dress in either Dress One or Two, but it must be worn with either a white bow-tie and bands or a clerical collar and bands.


The square cap, or 'mortarboard', is optional for graduands at Cambridge. If you do decide to wear one on the day, you should take it off and carry it in your left hand inside the Senate-House.


Conspicuous jewellery and hair accessories are not permitted.

National Dress

The Praelector must request of the Proctors special dispensation if you wish to wear national dress. It must be of a formal nature.

If making a request, please email your request with a photograph (jpg) of the proposed costume to the Praelector’s Secretary at least three weeks prior to the ceremony.