During the ceremony

The ceremony will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Make sure you are prepared and know what to expect.

Mobile phones should be switched to silent during the ceremony.

Graduands must wear their gowns and hoods throughout the ceremony and reception.

Mortar boards are not worn during the ceremony and should be taken off on arrival at the Cathedral. They may be left on your seat for the ceremony and put on only when you stand ready to leave the Cathedral in the procession.

If you are receiving a research degree, you should keep your hat on for the ceremony.

The ceremony process

If you are one of the first two graduands to be presented, a member of staff will show you the route you need to take before the ceremony begins.

When the fanfare commences and the academic procession begins to walk down the central aisle, you must stand until the Presiding Officer has taken their seat.

Once the Presiding Officer has taken their seat the congregation may sit.

The Dean or Residentiary Canon of Guildford Cathedral will welcome everyone. Following this welcome the President and Vice-Chancellor or Provost will make a welcome speech. After this speech there will be the presentation of Graduands.

Graduands are presented by faculty and alphabetically within each course. A member of staff will signal to graduands when to move from their seats and will regulate the flow of the procession to the platform. Graduands will proceed to the platform by the right hand aisle.

As you make your way to the stage during the ceremony a member of Ede and Ravenscroft staff will help straighten any hoods and robes that need neatening up.

Names will be checked by staff at the foot of the platform steps where you will be given a scroll. As their name is called, each graduand will mount the steps and walk across the platform, stopping to shake hands with the Presiding Officer, (which will be photographed), and the Head of School/Department. The Presiding Officer should be addressed as “Sir” or “Madam”.

Graduands walk off the platform and return to their seats via the left hand aisle where there will be another photography opportunity.

Halfway through the graduand presentation there will be a pause in proceeding where there will either be the presentation and conferment of an Honorary Graduand, or an address from a guest speaker. Following this the presentation of graduands will continue.

Following the presentation of graduands there may be a speech from a graduate of the ceremony. This will precede the closing address from the Presiding Officer.

After a closing address by the Presiding Officer, the platform party will process up the centre aisle, followed by academic staff and then a double file of new graduates who leave the cathedral by the main doors.

Once the graduates have processed out of the Cathedral their guests should follow them out.