Graduation

FAQs

About graduation

What is graduation?

Your graduation ceremony is a special occasion to celebrate your achievements and acts as a bridge between the end of your studies and the beginning of the next stage of your life.

When is graduation?

Our graduation ceremonies are held in January and July and most undergraduate students will graduate in July.

Our next graduation ceremonies for the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 will take place on:

  • Thursday 14 to Friday 15 July and Monday 18 to Friday 22 July 2022.

Where are graduation ceremonies held?

We hold our ceremonies in De Montfort Hall, Leicester's largest music and performance venue, right next to campus.

What do you do at a graduation ceremony?

Graduation is the one time when you are required to wear the traditional academic dress of a gown, hood and hat. You hire your gown, hood and hat for the ceremony, collecting them from campus on the day. When your name is read out during the ceremony, you walk across the stage and shake hands with the ceremony’s Presiding Officer.

When will I receive my certificate?

If you haven’t already received them, immediately after the ceremony, while you are still in De Montfort Hall, you will be given your graduation documents: your actual degree certificate and transcript. Look after them - there is a charge to replace them. If you do need to replace your documents, you can do so via the University shop

I can’t attend my graduation ceremony, will I still receive my certificate?

If you cannot attend your graduation ceremony, or you do not wish to, you can graduate “in absentia”. This means that you choose to graduate without attending a ceremony and in such cases your certificate and transcript (if applicable) will be sent by post to the address you have provided.

How to prepare for graduation

How do I register to attend?

Students who are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony will be invited to complete graduation registration online through My Student Record. You will receive an email to your University and personal email address with further information.

  • For 2020 and 2021 graduates, registration is open from Monday 4 April – Friday 6 May inclusive
  • For 2022 graduates, registration is open from Tuesday 3 May – Friday 17 June inclusive

You need to ensure you complete this, even if you are not planning on attending a ceremony.

What should I wear?

You must wear full academic dress for your ceremony. This consists of:

  • gown
  • hood
  • hat

The colour and style of your hood indicates what sort of qualification you are receiving: for example red/grey for a BA or red/blue for a BSc.

You order your academic dress from our supplier Ede and Ravenscroft before the ceremony and collect it on campus on the day. You must order your gown by Friday 17 June 2022. If you do not order your academic dress in time, it won't be available on the day and you will not be able to take part in the ceremony. (You will still receive your degree).

You can wear your hat throughout the day, and you will want to wear it for your official photos, but during the ceremony itself, please take it off, and leave it on your seat when you get up to go onto the stage.

Your graduation ceremony is a formal event, so clothing underneath your graduation robes should be smart. As a general guide, imagine you are going to a quite formal wedding. 

You should wear a shirt and tie or smart top/blouse, with smart trousers or skirt, or a suit or suitable dress.

You should wear smart, formal shoes. Bear in mind that you will be going up and down some steep steps and walking fairly swiftly across the stage, so choose something sensible in terms of heels!

Please do not wear the following clothing:

  • jeans or denim
  • casual footwear such as trainers, plimsolls or flip-flops
  • shorts
  • T-shirts, sportswear or other casual tops

If your clothing is unsuitable, you may be turned away and unable to take part in the ceremony (you will still receive your degree).

What time should I arrive?

You will need to allow plenty of time for parking (if travelling by car), collecting your gown from the Charles Wilson Sports Hall, and walking to De Montfort Hall (a 10-15 minute walk from campus).

All graduating students should arrive at De Montfort Hall in their gown one hour before their ceremony starts, and you must be in your seat 15 minutes before the ceremony starts. Ceremonies start on time and unfortunately if you have not taken your seat before the ceremony starts, neither you nor your guests will be able to enter the auditorium until an appropriate break in the ceremony.

Where do I need to go?

You should make your way to campus first to collect your gown from the Charles Wilson Sports Hall.

When you arrive at De Montfort Hall, you need to check-in at the Graduands’ Entrance, which is to the left side. You will then be given your ticket and shown to your seat.

Your official photography will be taking place in the O2 Academy, Percy Gee Building and your school/departmental reception will take place in the marquee on Centenary Square.

What do I need to do once inside the Hall?

When it’s time to confer 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 and your hat, on your seat. 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 Presiding Officer, shake their hand, and cross to the other side of the stage where stewards are waiting to usher you back to your seat.

The Presiding Officer 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 Presiding Officer a hug. Sorry - we know you're excited, but we have a lot of graduands to get through.

Can I leave my luggage somewhere?

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.)

My contact details have changed, what’s the best way to let you know?

If any of your contact details change before your graduation ceremony, please let us know by emailing graduation@le.ac.uk with your full name and student ID number.

Information for 2020 and 2021 graduates

I missed my graduation ceremony in 2020/2021 because of COVID-19, can I still attend?

We are delighted to be able to reschedule in-person graduation ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who missed their graduation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can register to attend your graduation ceremony between Monday 4 April and Friday 6 May. After this date, you will no longer be able to attend a ceremony.

If you have not received an invitation to register by Monday 4 April, please contact graduation@le.ac.uk with your full name and student ID number.

I would like to attend a graduation ceremony, but I haven’t yet let you know; is it too late?

If you did not respond to our request to let us know you would like to attend a graduation ceremony this July, but you would still like to attend, please email us at graduation@le.ac.uk with your full name and student ID number by Friday 6 May 2022. 

COVID safety at our graduation ceremonies

Will the July 2022 graduation ceremonies take place?

We are planning to deliver our July graduation ceremonies as planned, unless Government advice prevents this. We will advise our graduands as soon as possible if plans change.

How will you make graduation COVID-safe?

Working closely with De Montfort Hall, we are following the latest government guidance for our graduation ceremonies. Please make sure you familiarise yourself with our COVID-19 information before you attend your graduation ceremonies.

Do I need to wear a face mask?

Whilst it is no longer mandatory, all visitors to De Montfort Hall, whether you are graduating, are a graduand’s guest, or a University staff member, aged 11 years old and above, are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask at all times while you are inside the venue, unless you are exempt. 

Will I need a COVID Pass?

Whilst it is no longer mandatory, all visitors to De Montfort Hall, whether you are graduating, are a graduand’s guest, or a University staff member, aged 12 years old and above, are strongly encouraged to either be fully vaccinated or to have had a negative test (rapid lateral flow or PCR) result within 48 hours of the ceremony. 

Should I take a lateral flow test before attending?

Even if you have been vaccinated, we recommend taking a lateral flow test within 48 hours of the ceremony.

Can I take a lateral flow test on campus before the ceremony?

It won’t be possible for you to take a lateral flow test on campus before your ceremony. Please make sure you do this before you arrive, but within 48 hours of your ceremony.

Can I shake hands with the Presiding Officer as I walk across the stage?

If you feel comfortable, you can acknowledge your achievement by shaking hands with the ceremony’s Presiding Officer as you walk across the stage.

If I test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms, what should I do?

If you test positive for COVID-19, or have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend your graduation ceremony. You can let us know you’re unable to attend by emailing graduation@le.ac.uk

Information about guests

Who attends graduation?

You can bring along guests, although tickets are limited because a lot of other students will be graduating at the same time. Our ceremonies are also livestreamed online so anyone who can't attend can still watch you graduate from home, or at one of our livestreaming locations on campus.

The ceremony begins with a procession of senior University staff who all sit on the stage throughout the ceremony. There may also be someone receiving an Honorary Degree, who will give a speech. This is a person with a local connection, (maybe they were born in Leicester, or studied here) who has achieved great distinction in their field.

How many guests can I bring?

When confirming your attendance at your graduation ceremony, you will be asked how many guest tickets you would like. We aim to provide two guest tickets to all graduates, and you can request up to four guest tickets in total, but due to limited seating this may not be possible. 

If you have more guests attending than you receive allocated seats for, only those with tickets will be able to enter the ceremony. However, your additional guests are more than welcome to join you on campus for other celebrations throughout the day, and can watch the livestream of the ceremony on campus. 

Can I change the number of tickets I have requested?

Yes, you can. Whilst the registration period is still open, you can amend your number of tickets online through your My Student Record. If you are not able to do this, or the registration period has closed, please email graduation@le.ac.uk.

If you are requesting more tickets, we will not be able to guarantee that this will be possible, but we will see what we can do.

When will I receive confirmation of the number of tickets I have been allocated?

Your guest tickets will be emailed to you at least one week before your ceremony. Please remember to share these with your guests as they will need to present these at the venue to allow them entry.

If I am only allocated two tickets but more of my family/friends would like to attend, is that okay?

Yes, if you have guests who would like to share your special day with you but who do not have tickets for the ceremony at De Montfort Hall, they are very welcome to visit campus on the day and celebrate your graduation with you before and after the ceremony. They can also watch the livestream of our ceremonies at a location on campus.

How can my guests who do not have tickets watch the ceremony?

Your graduation ceremony will be livestreamed online and screens will be available on campus. Locations for the livestreaming on campus will be confirmed in due course.

Can I request extra tickets on the day?

A limited number of tickets for each ceremony may become available on the day if people are unable to attend. These ‘returns’ will be available from our spare ticket desk and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

These additional tickets will be limited to a maximum of two tickets per graduand. Anyone requesting guest tickets will need to provide the graduand’s full name and student number.

Please note that guests of the graduand are advised to queue for these additional tickets themselves, so you are not delayed arriving at your ceremony.  

Do I have to pay for extra guest tickets?

No, we do not charge students for any guest tickets.

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