Information for Graduation

Covid-19 update: Degree celebration for those who graduated in absence

If you have graduated in absence since March 2020 when degree ceremonies (Congregations) were suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic, or between July 2021 and March 2022 when guests were not permitted to attend in-person ceremonies at the Senate House, you may now have your degree formally acknowledged and celebrated in person at the Senate House. The University and Colleges’ Congregations Working Group has adopted the key principle of seeking to offer a ceremony that will be as close as possible to the usual in-person graduation, and this will include wearing academical dress, joining the procession from College to the Senate House and College hospitality before the ceremony. A number of places will be reserved for ‘celebrants’ at any degree ceremony that Christ’s is presenting graduands in person, although it is not possible to celebrate at the MA ceremony (late March / early April), nor at General Admission to Degrees (late June), which is for the conferral of undergraduates degrees only. To arrange a celebration of your degree, please contact the Tutorial Office well in advance of the closing date of the ceremony that you wish to attend to enquire whether there is space for you. 


Members of Christ’s College who have fulfilled the requirements of their degree may proceed to graduation. To receive your degree certificate, your degree needs to be conferred at a Congregation of the Regent House, a University tradition dating back some 800 years. These ceremonies take place in the Senate House at regular intervals through the academic year. You can choose to receive your degree in person or in absentia.

Postgraduate Students

Members of Christ's College can arrange to graduate once they have received their formal degree approval from their Faculty. Current postgradute students can provisionally book to graduate when they are approaching the end of their course, and confirm their place once they received their degree approval. Graduation does not happen automatically, you must apply to graduate.

Click here for the dates of the degree ceremonies that Christ's are presenting at. Once you have chosen a date, please email the Tutorial office to register. You should not make any plans travel plans for yourself or your guests until you have received confirmation from the Tutorial Office that there is a space for you to graduate at the ceremony date you have chosen.  

The Tutorial Office will send you further details about arrangements in Collge and at the Senate House, dress regulations for graduaton, and where to hire your academic robes.

The degree ceremony is arranged in a number of sessions, with a few Colleges proceeding together in a session. Graduands from each College are presented by their Praelector for the degree to be conferred. By tradition, Trinty, St John's and King's proceed first, followed by the Colleges in the order of their foundation.

The start time of the ceremonies varies from 10am to 2pm depending on the month. As Christ's is one of the older Colleges, we tend to be at the Senate House between 12 noon and 4pm, but this is only a guide.

You are required to come to College before the ceremony to attend a dress inspection and dress rehersal with the Praelector.

You make your own arrangements to hire your gown and hood and ensure you have the correct dress for graduation.

The Praelector hosts a brunch (or lunch, depending on the time Christ's has to be at the Senate House) before the ceremony for graduands, to which they can bring one guest.

You can receive up to two guest tickets for your guests to watch you Graduate in the Senate House. All guests, including babies and young children, need to have their own guest ticket, and tickets are checked before guests enter the Senate House. Guest without a ticket will not be admitted to the ceremony. Guest tickets are provided free of charge, and can be collected from the Porters' Lodge on graduation day.

The Tutorial Office will email the finalised timetable for graduation on the Monday preceding the ceremony on the Saturday.

The University provides a professional photography service inside the Senate House to take a photograph of graduands at the moment their degree is conferred, as well as a studio service in the Combination Room (adjacent to the Senate House) for portrait photography. Guests are not permitted to take their own photographs inside the Senate House but outside in the Senate House Yard is fine!

The University’s information on degree ceremonies can be found here.

Graduating in absentia

Those unable to take their degree in person can proceed in absentia (in absence) and their degree certificate will be sent on after the ceremony. The University asks that we make those proceeding in absentia aware that once your degree is awarded, it will not be possible to return to Cambridge at a later date and graduate in person as your degree will have been conferred and a degree certificate issued. If you wish to graduate in absentia please email the Tutorial Office and provide a postal address to send your degree certificate to. Providing you have been approved for your degree, your name will be added to the degree list for the next available ceremony.

Official Transcripts

Following graduation, the Student Registry will issue an official transcript of your degree, which will be sent to you in the post by the Tutorial Office. It can take a few weeks for transcripts to be prepared. Please make sure you have recorded a ‘First Destination’ postal address and email address on your CamSIS Self-Service account before the end of your course, or provided these details to the Tutorial Office, so we know where to send your transcript to.

The Cambridge MA Degree

If you hold a Cambridge BA, you may be admitted as a Master of Arts (MA) not less than six years from the end of your first term of residence, providing two years have elapsed since you were admitted to the BA. The Development Office arranges an annual event for alumni newly eligible for the MA degree to return to College in March each year to collect it. They will contact you a few months in advance with details about the day.