Professor Karen Cox, Presiding Officer during a ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral

Graduation FAQs

Some frequently asked questions, and answers, about your graduation day and processes.

Before the day

Unfortunately not. Students graduate with their respective school only - if you are a Joint Honours student, please check with us which School's ceremony you will be graduating in.

No. On the day of your ceremony, a programme is distributed to each family/group which contains the name and course title of each graduate (not your result). If you do not wish for your name to be published in this, please contact the Corporate Events team by 8 May

Please note, if your details are included they will also appear on the commemorative clothing. You would also be removed from this if you request for your name to be removed from the programme.    

If you have a debt to the University you may still be invited to a ceremony but it is important to note the deadline for clearing debts. 

If your outstanding balance is a fee debt, failure to meet the deadline will mean your results will be withheld and you will be excluded from graduating.

If your outstanding balance is an ancillary debt (i.e. not related to University tuition fees), failure to pay the balance by the deadline means the University reserves the right to revoke your invitation to attend the ceremony. Instead you will graduate in absentia and must provide a postal address where we will post your certificate. 

Deadline to clear outstanding debt is Wednesday 5 June.

If you do not complete your course, you will be removed from the ceremony and invited to the next available ceremony following successful the completion of your course. 

Please note that students will need to have a final result by our deadlines in order to graduate at the ceremony they have been invited to. If there are post result queries or resolutions that you need to make with your Division, then this may mean that you will need to defer your ceremony.

If you have already booked your graduation fee on Tempest Ticketing or hired your gown on the Graduate Gowning Company, we will automatically issue a full refund.

If you receive your results and you would like to make an academic appeal, please follow the steps available here

Please note that in some scenarios undertaking an academic appeal may impact your ability to graduate in the ceremony to which you have been invited, and you may need to defer your ceremony.

Your E-Receipt will be sent to all students a few days before your ceremony is due to take place. This will be sent to the email address that you registered with on Tempest Ticketing. You need to exchange this E-Receipt on the day.

We aim to hold graduation ceremonies as advertised. However, we reserve the right to make alterations if necessary.

In the unlikely event that a ceremony has to be cancelled or rearranged, the University will make every effort to contact you to let you know and we will publish updates on our web pages. 

If the Awards Ceremony cannot take place or is delayed or the ceremony time needs to change due to circumstances beyond the control of the University of Kent, including (without limitation) fire, explosion, terrorist act (or threat of terrorist act), exceptionally adverse weather conditions or natural disaster, pandemic, national mourning (any member of the royal family), student registration exceeds our capacities or as a result of any industrial action or dispute involving the University of Kent, or the venue at which the Degree and Award Ceremony is due to be held, the University will not be liable for any losses direct or otherwise incurred by the graduands or their guests.

No student should be unable to attend their own graduation through an inability to pay.

Funds are limited but if you feel you that you are unable to attend your graduation due to hardship, help may be available on a needs basis which will be assessed through an application process. 

To apply to the fund, please complete the online form.     

On the day

Students are requested to dress smartly for the occasion. Please note that under no circumstances will a student be allowed to graduate in casual wear (jeans, shorts, sportswear or trainers). Please note if you have a reason why you will not be able to dress smartly, then please get in touch with us prior to your ceremony to make these arrangements.

It is recommended that students and their guests wear shoes that they are comfortable wearing for long periods of time both walking to and from the venues and standing waiting to enter the Cathedral.

All students must graduate in academic gowns hired from the Graduate Gowning Company. 

We welcome children at our graduation ceremonies; however, we advise that these are formal occasions, and the ceremonies are approximately 90 minutes long, this may not be suitable for all ages. As the seating in the cathedrals is not tiered, the view of the ceremony may be limited.

Children aged 3 or under do not require their own ticket. However, they will be required to remain seated on a guardian's lap for the duration of the ceremony. Pushchairs and prams will need to be folded up if brought into the Cathedral so as not to block the aisles. 

Children must remain accompanied by a  guardian within any of the venues designated for graduations.

There will be no admission to the ceremony for children under 18 without an appropriate adult accompanying them.  There are no crèche or childminding facilities available at either Canterbury or Rochester Cathedral.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of our lost and found child procedure prior to attending this event. 

The Congregations team are delighted to welcome children at the graduation events, we ask that you follow our guidance regarding their attendance to make sure that you have an enjoyable and safe experience.

At any event attended by children there is the rare possibility that they may become separated from their parent or guardian.

Please ensure that you let your child know in advance that if they are separated from you during the event, that they should report to a member of staff in order for them to be safely and promptly returned to your party.

All our staff members at the graduations are fully briefed of our lost and found child procedure. 

Our staff members will be in distinguishable uniform and be wearing a University of Kent staff badge or name badge. 

We recommend arriving at least two hours before your ceremony start time. We cannot guarantee graduands who arrive late will be permitted to enter the Cathedral once the ceremony has started.   

Graduands and guests should note that there is no parking in the grounds of the Cathedrals.

You can find information on surrounding car parks at the following websites:

Please see our Specific Requirements section for information about accessible parking.

Seating in the Cathedral is not pre-allocated to ticket holders, so seats are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that due to the design of the Cathedral, there are a number of restricted viewing seats. From these seats you can view televisions showing a live feed of the ceremony. It is important for guests to arrive as early as possible. As a general rule, the queue will start building up around 90 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. We recommend that guests accompany their respective graduand to have group photographs taken and collect tickets if you have not already done so. However once this is done, we recommend you join the queue as early as possible.

Yes, the ceremony is filmed and, where possible, live streamed. If live streaming is available, this will be confirmed in advance and the links for each ceremony will be available on the ceremony dates page. Members of the congregation are asked not to move from their seats, take photographs or make video recordings during the ceremony. Only certain members of the University, journalists, the official photographers and a DVD company are authorised to do so. The photographs and video recordings may be used for publicity and marketing purposes to promote the University.

Guest seating in Congregations ceremonies is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are not able to choose or change seats, and please note that some seats have restricted views. From these seats you can view televisions showing a live feed of the ceremony. All guests must have a seat and we cannot allow any guests to stand during the ceremony.

Ceremonies generally take around 90 minutes. Most ceremonies have an honorary degree awarded, which will take place midway through the ceremony. We request that guests remain in the Cathedral for the duration of the ceremony.

There are no toilets inside the Cathedral. Please ask a member of staff for directions. Please be aware, guests will not be able to leave the ceremony 15 minutes before the end as the procession willl begin to take place.

No grades will be read out during the ceremony. Only the award title will be read by the name reader.

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