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The Ceremony

On graduation day
The Ceremony

Read our ceremony guidelines below and make sure you know exactly how it is going to unfold; we wouldn't want you to miss your big moment!

Important Notice: Any students who do not attend the Graduation ceremony will have their parchment posted in August for Summer Graduations and January for Winter Graduations. Those students who have graduated In Absentia must pay the £10 fee before any parchments can be posted. This can be paid online via the Worldpay link in the registration page or in person to the Student Finance Office in the Student Centre.

When You Arrive

Guests should enter Sir William Whitla Hall through the front doors, displaying their tickets to security as they enter the Hall.

Graduands must enter the Hall through the left side doors. You must check the board outside the door for your name and seat number before entering the Hall.


Comfort Breaks and Personal Belongings

We politely ask graduands to ensure they have taken all necessary comfort breaks before they enter the Hall. Once you have entered the Hall, it is essential you remain seated, to ensure your name is read out in order during the Ceremony.

If you feel unwell or you need to leave the Hall during the Ceremony please identify yourself to a member of staff who will escort you from the Hall.


Dress Code

Students taking part in the Graduation Ceremonies should observe the following conventions about dress.

  • All graduands must wear the gown and hood of the appropriate degree.
  • Hoods should be worn in the way demonstrated by University staff on duty at the ceremony.

 Instructions have been issued to University staff, not to admit to the ceremony, any graduand who is not approprately dressed or who is not wearing the hood in the approved manner. 

Correct academic costume is compulsory for all graduands who attend University ceremonial events and wish to step on stage.


The Ceremony

Graduation Ceremonies will last approximately one hour and will take place in the Sir William Whitla Hall, Main Campus, Queen's University Belfast.

1. View the display board outside the side entrance of the Sir William Whitla Hall (between the Whitla and South Dining Hall), for individual row and seat numbers. Enter the Hall through this entrance no less than 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony and take your allocated seat.

2. Academic Procession including the Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of School, Professors etc.

3. Conferment of the Honorary Degree.

4. Short address before the conferment of Degrees.

5. Each row will be guided to line up at the side of the stage and each graduand called up to shake hands with the presiding officer. If extra assistance is required to get access to the stage, please specify this on the Graduation Registration form or alert Student Registry ( or 028 9097 3223).

6. On descending the stage, parchment is given and graduand returns to their seat.

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Timetable For The Day