What happens on the day
Important: Please check the timings for your ceremony carefully. You must be in your seat 15 minutes before the ceremony starts and you need to allow at least 10 minutes to get from campus to De Montfort Hall. Ceremonies start on time and unfortunately neither you nor your guests will be able to enter once the ceremony has started.
Before the ceremony
Find your seat
When you arrive at De Montfort Hall, you need to check-in at the Graduands’ Entrance, round the side, where you will be given your ticket. Your guests will enter via the main entrance.
Once checked in, please make sure you take your correct seat. It's really important that everyone is in the right order so that the procession of graduands across stage matches the list of names being read out.
Let someone else hold your stuff
Give any personal belongings such as a coat or bag to your guests, who can either hold onto them.
For security and space reasons, large personal items such as rucksacks or suitcases cannot be taken into the Hall. There is a supervised, covered storage area for these outside the Hall. (Items are accepted at the owner’s risk and neither the Hall nor the University can accept responsibility for any loss or damage.)
Help is at hand
Throughout the day, there will be University staff on campus and at the Hall who will be able to direct you and your guests, and answer any questions you have.
Organising graduation ceremonies is a big logistical operation but our goal is to make everything flow smoothly so that you and your guests have a really special day. The only thing we can't organise is the weather.
During the ceremony
Before the degrees are conferred
When the academic procession enters De Montfort Hall everyone will stand (if they are able). The procession includes senior officers and academics from the University as well as local dignitaries. Last to enter the hall is the Chancellor, preceded by the University's ceremonial mace.
Once everyone has assembled on the stage, the whole Hall will sing the National Anthem. The Chancellor will then formally open the ceremony with a few words and ask everyone to sit, after which the President and Vice-Chancellor will give a speech, welcoming everyone to the ceremony.
The Registrar will ask graduands to stand and the Chancellor will welcome everyone and declare the Congregation open for the conferring of degrees on candidates (both present and absent). Then you will all sit down again.
Conferring the degrees
Stewards will usher graduands from your seats one row at a time and take you to the side of the stage. Please leave any belongings, including your programme, on your seat and carry your mortarboard in your left hand. If you have mobility difficulties, arrangements will be made to ensure you are at the side of the stage at the right time.
When your name is called out, you simply walk to the Chancellor and cross to the other side of the stage where stewards are waiting to usher you back to your seat. (If the Chancellor is not available, then the President and Vice-Chancellor will be present.)
The Chancellor may say a few words of congratulations to you if you have won a prize or you are receiving a PhD. Please do not take selfies on stage or give the Chancellor a hug. Sorry - we know you're excited but we have a lot of graduands to get through and it's important that things move smoothly.
After the degrees have been conferred
The ceremony closes with a speech by the President and Vice-Chancellor, after which everyone stands while the academic procession leaves De Montfort Hall.
Once the procession has left, please sit down and wait to receive your graduation documents. Your guests can leave at this point.
Congratulations, you're a Leicester graduate!
Don't worry if you are still a bit nervous. Why not watch some of our previous ceremonies to see how it all works.