Information for Colleges
Students attend the Matriculation ceremony by College and as such it is important that staff/student representatives accompanying the students are well briefed.
Student processions are asked to arrive at the Cathedral by 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.
On arrival the students will be greeted by University marshals and guided to queue towards the appropriate entrance as listed on the timetable. (To ensure there are sufficient seats available, students must enter via the allocated route although the order in which colleges arrive at the Cathedral is not important.)
It is customary for there to be a bit of inter-college rivalry amongst students but the level of noise must be monitored to prevent disturbance to others in nearby offices, houses and school particularly when queuing to enter the Cathedral and those arriving must not obstruct those exiting from a previous ceremony.
At the appropriate time, marshals will direct students to enter the Cathedral where they will be directed to seats. Students entering via Palace Green will be seated on the north side of the Cathedral, and those that entered via the Cloisters will sit on the south side.
One undergraduate and one postgraduate student should be identified as the representative to sign the Matriculation Book and be placed at the front of the procession. The appointed student must make themselves known to marshals inside the Cathedral and will be directed to sit at the front of the Nave, separate from the rest of their college. Please impress upon the appointed student the need to report to the Nave by 5 minutes prior to the ceremony start time at the latest. If a student does not appear the marshal will appoint another student from the appropriate college to undertake this role.
At the end of the ceremony, marshals will direct students out of their seats to leave via the same side of the Cathedral from which they entered i.e. those that arrived at Palace Green will return to Palace Green; those that entered through the Cloisters will exit through the Cloisters.
Again the level of noise made by students exiting the Cathedral needs to be monitored and students must not obstruct the queue of other colleges arriving for the next ceremony.
Note that the Cathedral has a policy of no photography within the area used for the ceremony, this includes the use of digital and video cameras and mobile phones, please inform students to respect the Cathedral policy.
Directions for Processions
Map of Matriculation Procession Routes
Entrance and exit via Palace Green
Students of Colleges entering from Palace Green should arrive via Owengate, walk anti-clockwise round the green taking the right hand path to approach the Cathedral and enter via the Galilee Chapel. University security staff and marshals will be present to provide direction.
Students will be guided by marshals to exit the Cathedral by the North Door, taking the right hand path then down Duncow Lane, turning either left to go down Sadler Street or ahead to go over Kingsgate Bridge.
Entrance and exit via the Cloisters
Students of Colleges entering through the Cloisters should approach over or past Prebends Bridge walk up the pathway round the back of the Chorister School to arrive at the 'College' area to the back of the Cathedral, take the left path round the grass outside Priors Hall then turn left again on entrance to the Cloisters walking round to the doorway into the Cathedral next to the Monks' Dormitory. Marshals will be present to provide direction.
Students will be guided by marshals to exit through the Cloisters, walking clockwise round the quadrangle, to pass in front of Priors Hall, turn left at the corner to exit the College via the Bailey gate then turn right towards Prebends Bridge.
Role of Head of College (or nominated deputy)
As is the tradition at these ceremonies, one first year undergraduate and postgraduate student from each College/Society present is called upon to sign the Matriculation Book on behalf of all the new students from that College/Society. The role of the Head of College is to greet and witness the students signing the Matriculation book.
The form to register attendance (to be published nearer the time) at Matriculation includes an option to confirm the role of Head of College for the ceremony. Please tick this box if you are acting as the nominated representative for the College. It is important that you register your attendance at the ceremony, we cannot presume that each College Principal or Master will be able to attend as we know from experience that this is not always the case.
The procedure during the ceremony is as follows:
- After the Dean of Durham has addressed the students, the Registrar or deputy will rise and say: “The process of matriculation marks the beginning of formal membership of the University. I now call upon one undergraduate and one postgraduate representative from each of the Colleges present to sign the Matriculation Book on behalf of all new members of their College.”
- The ‘Registrar’ will then call out the names of the Colleges present in order and, at the appropriate time, the Bedel will indicate when each student should go forward to sign the Matriculation Book.
- The Head of College rises from their seat and stands at the table with the Matriculation book, after each student has signed the book, shake hands then return to your seat.
- Once all the Colleges present have been called forward, the Vice-Chancellor will ask students to ‘share the hand of friendship and welcome each other to the Colleges and the University’ by shaking hands with each other. Please feel free to go and shake hands with your students.
The Vice-Chancellor will then give a speech before formally closing the ceremony and leading the procession out.
- Take note of the allocated ceremony and include in plans for student induction.
- Register attendance in the Academic Procession using the online form (to be published nearer the time).
- If the College Principal or Master is unable to attend, ensure that a representative is appointed and registers their attendance online.
- Take note of the route to and from the Cathedral.
- Brief the College representatives on their role in getting the procession to the Cathedral, via the correct entrance, stressing the importance of monitoring noise levels when queuing, and inform students about the tradition of shaking hands with each other during the ceremony.
- Identify an undergraduate and postgraduate student to sign the Matriculation Book and ensure the students know to inform marshals on arrival in the Cathedral.
- Inform students where and when to gather for the procession to the Cathedral.