Degree ceremony FAQs
Q: How do I book?
A: The Development Office (the third office on the left of the first floor of Deneke - the Principal's Corridor) handles booking. You can download a form from the website and email us. You can also visit or telephone us on 01865 274 362. Do note that we confirm all bookings, if you have not received a confirmation then you are not booked.
NB Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students who complete their course and receive their examination results after June 2013 will be assigned a date for their degree ceremony in Michaelmas term of their final year. For example, if your course finishes in June, July or September 2013, you will be assigned a date in November 2012 for your degree ceremony in 2013 or 2014. Research students who are granted leave to supplicate after June 2013 will be offered dates for their degree ceremony once they have been granted leave to supplicate.
The information below regarding booking and ticket allocations is for all students who complete their course before June 2013.
Q: When should I book my ceremony?
A: Undergraduates are invited to book in Hilary Term for Big Degree Day. Postgraduate Students should book in Michaelmas term as soon as they know roughly when they will receive their results or when they will be granted leave to supplicate (i.e. they don't have to wait until they receive their results). Places for graduation are limited so it is advisable to book as early as possible.
Q: I have outstanding battels, rent, library fines and loans. Can I still graduate?
A: No. It is University and College policy that no one may graduate until all debts and loans are cleared. If you are in any doubt, please contact your respective libraries and the Student Finance Officer (tel: 01865 274 326), before you go down. Please address any questions about your account to the Student Finance Officer as the Development Office does not have your details.
Q: I would like more than three tickets. Is that possible?
A: The University only usually allocates three tickets per graduand. However, in 2011 the July and September ceremonies limit guests to 2. If you would like more than your allocated number please let the Development Office know and she can put you on a waiting list. If someone needs fewer than the allocated number we may be able to give an extra one to you. But there is, unfortunately, no guarantee.
Q: I don't know how many guests I want. Can I add them later?
A: With the exception of the September ceremonies, you can let us know up to two weeks before the ceremony if your guest numbers change, but we won't chase you. It is your responsibility to let us know of any amendments to your booking.
Q: I need a visa letter for my family. Who does these?
A: The Development Office is responsible for these. Please contact us over email with the full names and titles of your guests, their relationship to you and the address to which you would like your letters sent.
Q: I've changed my mind and would rather graduate another day. Can I withdraw?
A: We submit your names to the Proctors approximately 16 days before your graduation date. Once your name has been submitted only the Vice Chancellor can approve a withdrawal (which he will do only in the most exceptional circumstances relating to health and family). If you do not arrive your degree will be awarded in absentia and it will not be possible to take it in person on another date.
Q: Can I graduate in person for the MA?
A: In the past couple of years we tend only to graduate alumni in absentia for the MA degree, although the 9 March 2013 is open to 'in person' MA graduations. Every year we do, however, hold an informal graduation ceremony and reunion in College for the matriculation year that has just become eligible. We are uncertain of the future of the MA (Oxon) so we do advise that alumni make use of these ceremonies, which are to be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Q: What are the letters after my name when I have the MA?
A: MA (Oxon)
Q: Can I graduate for two degrees in person on the same day?
A: Sadly not. You will have to pick one to stand up for. The other one you will have to take in absentia. Your name will be read out twice in the ceremony though...
Q: How much does the lunch and reception cost?
A: £16 for each guest. Your lunch and reception is free.
Q: What do I do if I am not attending lunch?
A: You should collect your guest ceremony tickets, certificate and gown from College and join the others at Convocation House (behind the Sheldonian on the Bodleian side) at least 30 minutes before your ceremony.
Q: Why haven't I received my tickets for the Sheldonian?
A: Tickets are not sent out. You pick them up with your certificate and gown on the day.
Q: To whom should cheques be payable?
A: Cheques for lunch tickets and MA fees should be made payable to 'Lady Margaret Hall' and sent to the Development Office.
Q: What time is the ceremony and how long is it?
A: For details please see the dates and schedules page and note the information carefully. The ceremony usually lasts an hour and a half.
Q: What do I wear at the degree ceremony? Does College order gowns?
A: In the ceremony you are presented in one gown (and maybe hood) depending on your situation and then you change into the gown (and maybe hood) of the degree you are receiving. Please note that the September ceremonies only require the hire of the gown of the degree you are receiving.
College can organise your gown/s for you, but you should get in touch with the Development Office to order what you need.
To be presented you need to wear sub fusc (white shirt, black suit, black trousers/skirt & tights/ white tie or black ribbon etc) and the gown (scholar's/commoner's/graduate gown) and mortarboard in which you took your exams. If you have a previous degree from Oxford, such as a BA degree, you may wear that gown and hood. We will assume that you already own this gown etc unless you tell us otherwise in which case we can hire that for you too.
To receive your degree you obviously keep on your sub fusc and change into the gown and hood of the degree you have just earned yourself. This is the gown (and hood) that most students need to hire.
See detailed University regulations.
We hire our gowns from Shepherd & Woodward Ltd., 109-113 High Street, Oxford, (tel. 01865-249491). We take the payment and details of your height and requirements and get the gowns delivered to College on the day. This is an optional service, however, should you be interested in hiring or buying gowns yourself, another supplier is: Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd., 119 High Street (tel. 01865 242756).
Q: Is it okay to bring children?
A: Children aged seven and over are welcome to attend the ceremony.
Q: What shall I do if a member of my party requires disabled facilities?
A: The Sheldonian will not reserve spaces, but merely advises that guests arrive a little in advance of 2pm to be the first to claim their seats on the ground floor. For the Sheldonian there are two public disabled parking spaces on Broad Street. Guests in wheelchairs will be directed by the Security staff on the gate to the South doors facing the Divinity School, where there is a ramp. Once inside the building there is access to the ground floor and a disabled toilet. The corridor is narrow in places; a wheelchair wider than 700mm would have difficulties. There is an induction loop inside the auditorium.
For the Examination Schools, there is wheelchair access from the High Street and lift access to the South School. Do please let us know if any guests or participants will require the use of a wheelchair so adequate space can be provided during the ceremony.
Q: Where can I find out more about what happens at the ceremony?
A: The University graduation page is a useful resource. The Dean of Degrees, or his delegate, will also brief candidates over lunch.
Q: I'd like proper photographs. Does College do them?
A: Photographers always set themselves up in the Sheldonian/Examination Schools quad depending on the ceremony. Please note flashlight photography is not officially permitted during the ceremony. Videos of the ceremony can be purchased from the Media Production Unit. Please email Lisa Wiggins or contact her on 01865 289980.
Q: Is there a charge for ceremony tickets or for my certificate?
A: No, there is no charge for the ceremony or for your certificate.
Q: How do I get my certificate?
A: If you are graduating in person you collect your certificate with your degree day pack, or from the Dean of Degrees in the Convocation House if you are not lunching.
Q: But I don't want to attend a ceremony; how do I get my certificate?
A: LMH can present you in absentia and your certificate will be sent to you.
Q: What is the fee for the MA (awarded to holders of BA degrees 21 terms after matriculation)?
Q: How do I get certified copies of my degree certificate?
A: You can no longer order copies of your degree certificate, only replacement certificates. Please contact the Degree Conferrals Office for this service.