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photograph of congregation procession from Castle to Cathedral

As January draws to an end we look back at our Winter Congregation earlier this month. The School's ceremonies celebrated the achievement of all students, confirmed honorary awards on leading diplomats and acknowledged outstanding efforts in subject disciplines.

On Friday 5 January, at the Winter Congregation, we celebrated the achievements of our graduates.

History and tradition

Congregation takes place at Durham World Heritage Site containing Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. Three ceremonies were held on the day, open to all School graduands.  

Once graduands had collected their robes, they then gathered at Durham Castle. The atmosphere was fantastic as friends reunited following weeks (or months) apart. There then followed the traditional procession from the Castle to the Cathedral.  

Honorary degrees 

As part of the celebration the University awarded two honorary degrees on the day. Business School graduates at the 10.00am ceremony were able to see Dr Desra Percaya, Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, become a Doctor of Civil Law. While at the 3.00pm ceremony School graduates were joined by Lord Kim Darrach, former National Security Adviser, UK Ambassador to the European Union and UK Ambassador to the USA, who was made a Doctor of Letters. 

Celebrations and prize-giving 

Following the ceremonies in the Cathedral, many graduates went on to celebration events hosted by our alumni team at the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre or St. Mary’s College. Hot food, desserts and graduation cakes were served, and graduates had further opportunity to catch up with friends and School staff. Prize ceremonies were held for some of the programmes, and with some of the winners attending in person to collect their awards. 

Prize winners


  • The top mark for Accountancy Dissertation: Guangyuan Yin and Danyang Bao   
  • Best Overall Academic Achievement: Yutong Yang. 


  • The top mark for Economics Dissertation and Best Overall Academic Achievement: Kuba Kucharski.   


  • The top mark for Finance Dissertation (joint): Avery Aylsworth and Kumushoy Abduraimova   
  • Best Overall Academic Achievement: Avery Aylsworthy 


  • The top for Marketing Dissertation (joint): Liu Liu (Willow) and Jingyao Hou   
  • Best Overall Academic Achievement: Xinyue Wang   


  • The top for Management Dissertation: Johanna Turnbull   
  • Best Overall Academic Achievement: Yufan Sang

Online MBA  

  • Best Strategic Consulting Analysis: Ahmed Ali 
  • Best Academic Performance: Alessandro Bovolenta 


  • Best Strategic Consulting Project: Shakkir Tabaqchali 
  • Best Academic Performance: Minmin Li 

More information


Winter congregation from Castle January 2024

Congregation procession leaves the Castle

Winter congregation procession to Cathedral January 2024

Congregation procession approaching the Cathedral

Montage of January 2024 Congregation Award Winners

Professors Williams, Michael, Nicholson and Lin presenting awards to graduate prize winners

Winter congregation January 2024 - MBA prize winners

MBA prize winners receiving their awards from Mike Anthonisz, Assistant Dean for MBA Programmes