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Durham University

Ceremonies Unit

Congregation (Graduation)

Congregation is the term used to describe our graduation ceremonies and means a gathering of members and friends of the University to witness and celebrate the conferring of degrees.

Ceremonies are held twice a year, in Summer (June/July) and Winter (January).

  • Winter Congregation 2020 will be held on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 January.
  • Summer Congregation 2020 provisional dates are Monday 29 June to Friday 3 July.

Key points to note:

  • The ceremonies are held in Durham Cathedral but are not religious events although christian iconography is displayed inside the venue. The Cathedral provides a large and beautiful venue for the ceremonies with other, related, activities held in the surrounding area.
  • Students are required to arrive 2 hours before the ceremony commences.
  • Ceremonies last approximately an hour.
  • International students may obtain a letter to support a visa application for attending Congregation for themselves or their guests.
  • Students and guests are advised that photographs will be taken at this event which may be used in future University publicity and ceremonies are filmed.
  • For Winter Congregation 2020, each student attending is guaranteed up to 2 tickets can request up to 4 extra guest tickets, dependant on demand.
  • Guest tickets for the ceremony are free of charge and are requested through the Congregation and Degree Document registration system.
  • No degree or other qualification shall normally be conferred upon a student while he/she has a significant tuition fee debt owing to the University, in line with the University General Regulation IX B.
  • Degree Documents are not issued at the ceremony and will be posted to graduates within 8 weeks of Congregation by Student Registry.

Postponement or cancellation

In the unlikely event of postponement or cancellation of Congregation ceremonies, the University will endeavour to communicate this on the website and by contacting the attending students.

Under no circumstances shall the University be liable for any actual or alleged loss by the graduand or guests arising from the cancellation or postponement of the event. This includes, but is not limited to, travel, accommodation and subsistence costs or any loss of business or earnings. Graduands and their guests should ensure they have sufficient insurance protection to cover any losses they may incur as a result of postponement or cancellation of Congregation.

Registration for Winter Congregation 2020

Students will be invited to register between October and December 2019 (exact dates to be confirmed). Students register to confirm contact details for the parchment (certificate) and state whether or not they wish to attend the Winter Congregation ceremony or defer to the Summer Congregation 2020, providing they have not previously deferred attendance. Emails will be sent to all eligible students to confirm the process.

For further information on how we use the personal data collected as part of the registration process, please read our Privacy Notice