Skip to main content

On the day

Our step-by-step guide walks you through where you need to be on the day, and what time. There's also guidance on gowning, how to find us, photography and other tips that will ensure you can relax.

Your graduation day is the culmination of all your hard work, and we hope you and your guests have a brilliant day celebrating your achievements. It’s a lot of fun, but also very busy. With this in mind, the guide below goes through the day and provides instructions for each step.

Receive your QR codes via email 

  • You will receive your QR codes via email at least 48 hours before your ceremony.  
  • Please note, these need to be scanned to guarantee entry. Your QR code contains your seat number.
  • If you pre-purchased a graduation programme you will also be sent an individual QR code for each programme you have purchased.  
  • These QR codes can be scanned on the day in exchange for a programme. Please note, graduate programmes are free and are placed on seats inside the hall and not distributed at check in.  
  • All QR codes are emailed to the email address used when booking for graduation.  
  • It is the responsibility of the graduand to share guest tickets with guests before the ceremony. 

Arrive and check in

  • Please bring minimal bags/ luggage with you where possible, as the cloakroom has limited capacity. Bag checks may be in operation for larger items.
  • You must arrive 1.5 hours before your ceremony begins. Please use the Bancroft Road Entrance and go straight to the marquee at Geography Square to scan your ticket QR codes that you received via email.  
  • Once scanned, you will be given your tickets. If there are any issues with your tickets you will be directed to the Information Point. Please note, you cannot collect your gown before you have scanned your QR code.  
  • You must bring photo ID with you when you collect your ticket. 
  • Tickets can not be transferred or re-sold. 

Purchase additional tickets (if available)

  • Please note, additional ticket sales cannot be guaranteed.  
  • If additional tickets are available to purchase on the day of graduation you will be notified via email before your ceremony.  
  • If you do not receive this email, this means that no additional tickets will be for sale for your ceremony. 
  • After you have checked in, if additional tickets and/or programmes are available, you will be able to purchase these from the ticket sales desk..  
  • These cannot be guaranteed and will be sold on a first come first served basis and we can only accept card payments. 

Gown collection and photography

  • Next, go to the Graduate Centre to collect your gown. 
  • If you have time (you need to be in the Ceremony Hall 30 minutes prior to your ceremony start time) you can have your photos taken before your ceremony or, you can have them taken after your ceremony. 
  • If you have not already booked a photography package you can purchase one on the day. Only card payments can be accepted. 

If you have time make sure to visit:

  • Campus Clothing Stand - Where you can purchase a great range of souvenirs and gifts, many of which can be instantly personalised. 
  • Alumni and Careers Stand - Receive a warm welcome from our friendly Queen Mary staff.
  • Students’ Union Stand – Find out what the Students’ Union has to offer. From official merchandise and clothing to the perfect gifts, homeware and teddy bears, we have a range of products to suit your needs. Click and collect in advance or order online for home delivery too. 

Graduation ceremony

Please arrive at the Great Hall in the Peoples Palace 30 minutes before the ceremony. Each ceremony lasts between 1 -1.5 hours. Late graduands will not be admitted to the ceremony and will have to defer their graduation. 

  • During the ceremony, you will be notified by an usher when it is your time to line up and cross the stage.
  • Once your name is called you will cross the stage. Certificates are not handed out on stage, but you will be able to collect your certificate when you come off stage.
  • Please note that certificates are managed by Registry Services and information can be found on the Student Enquiry Centre website.  

Celebrate your success after your ceremony

  • The graduation reception takes place in The Octagon with additional seating in Library Square.
  • Graduands and guests with Ceremony Hall tickets can exchange their tickets for a drink and food item. Those with Live Relay tickets can purchase food and drinks from the pop-up catering outlet on Library Square.

Return your gown

Please return your gown to the Collette Bowe Room, opposite the Octagon, after your reception finishes.

What to wear

Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and we request graduands and their guests dress appropriately. Academic dress is compulsory to attend the ceremonies. 

Jeans and trainers are not acceptable forms of dress for a graduation ceremony. 

Access Requirements 

All of the venues used for graduation ceremonies are fully accessible. It is the responsibility of the graduate to inform the Events and Ceremonies  Team of access requirements when booking to attend the ceremony. 

Other Info

Please be aware that if you do not wish to shake hands with the Principal on religious grounds when walking on stage, you should carry your graduation ceremony programme in your hand as you cross the stage and he will act appropriately. 

Back to top