Corporate Events Graduation Ceremonies

Congregations FAQs

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Before the day

My friends from a different course are graduating in a different ceremony, can I swap?

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.

Do I have to have my name in the Congregations programme?

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 as soon as possible.

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.

Can I still graduate if I have a debt with the University?

If you have a debt to the University you may still be formally invited to a Congregations ceremony but it is important that you take note of the deadline set for clearing debts. Please make sure all outstanding University debts are cleared no later than Friday 15 June 2018.

If your outstanding balance is a fee debt, failure to meet the deadline stated above will mean your results will be withheld and you will be excluded from graduating in July 2018.

If your outstanding balance is an ancillary debt (i.e. not related to payment of University tuition fees), failure to pay the balance by the deadline stated above means the University reserves the right to revoke your invitation to attend the degree ceremony. Instead you will graduate in absentia and your certificate will be posted to the home address you have on the Student Data System.

Please make the payment online. You can check the balance of your account by calling the Income Office on 01227 824242.

What happens if I do not complete my course?

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.

What accommodation is available during Congregations week (July graduations only)?


Accommodation on campus will be available and can be booked here.
Visitor information can be obtained from:


Visitor information can be obtained from:

When do I receive my guest tickets?

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. You need to exchange this E-Receipt on the day.

On the day

What should I wear to the ceremony?

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) 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. For information on academic gowns please refer to the Gown Hire section.

Is it okay to bring children to the ceremony?

Yes. Please note that children aged 3 or under do not require their own ticket. However they will be required to remain seated on a parent or 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 aged 4 or over require their own ticket to gain entry. This is due to Health and Safety requirements as stipulated by the cathedrals.

If you wish to bring children, please note that the ceremony is approximately 90 minutes long. As the seating in the cathedrals is not tiered, the view of the ceremony may be limited.

Guests should note that there are no crèche or childminding facilities available at either Canterbury or Rochester Cathedral.

How long before the ceremony start time should I arrive?

Where should I park on the day of the ceremony?

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:

Where should I go first upon arriving in Canterbury/Rochester?

Students and guests should first collect their gown, exchange email confirmations for guest tickets and view photography at Shirley Hall (Canterbury - July), Westgate Hall (Canterbury - November) or Corn Exchange (Rochester). Email confirmations will have been sent to the students in advance of their graduation. Please ensure that you have either printed off copies of the email confirmation with the bar code on, or that it is accessible via a smart phone to be scanned before receiving the tickets. Please also ensure that you have either printed off your graduation gown order confirmation email or have a copy of this email accessible on a smart phone at the gown collection point.

When should guests start queuing to gain access to the Cathedral?

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.

Is the ceremony filmed? Can my guests take photographs?

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.

How is guest seating allocated in the ceremony?

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.

How long does the ceremony normally last?

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.


Corporate Events Office

Room 1, Rutherford Annexe, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 824347

Last Updated: 22/01/2019