General information about graduation (updated May 2022)

Degrees are conferred and celebrated at Congregations (ceremonial meetings) of the Regent House, the Governing Body of the University, held in the Senate-House.  Normally, these are held monthly from October to July, although like many Colleges, Darwin does not present candidates at all of them. 

The College Praelector is responsible for presenting Darwin's candidates for 'conferral' or 'celebration' of their degrees.   It is possible for your degree to be conferred 'in absence', without attending a Congregation, but graduands are encouraged to experience the ceremony and most find the day enjoyable.

With effect from Easter Term 2022, guests have been welcomed back to both the Senate House for the conferral/celebration of degrees (limit of two guests) and College Receptions (limit of three guests).   As guests will now be in attendance at degree congregations, if you choose to have your degree conferred 'in absence', the option to return for a 'celebration' at a later date ceases.    For those who graduated 'in absence' while normal 'in person' conferral with guests was not possible, you can still opt to have your degree 'celebrated' at a future date.     Celebration will be almost identical to graduation, with some small differences in the Latin used.

Students who delay graduation or plan to return to 'celebrate' at a later date will still be able to attend Congregations in 2021-22 and beyond, provided the College has the capacity*.   Please do not make any travel arrangements until your place has been confirmed by the Deanery Office.   Total numbers for each Ceremony are set by the University; not the College.

Going forward, all Degree Congregations will now be videoed and available both as a live-stream and on a catch-up basis for a limited period.   By attending 'in person', you are giving consent to being included in the live-stream.   It will not be possible to take part in the Degree Ceremony and not be part of the recording.     A private link for this will be emailed to all graduands prior to the event.

Neither Darwin College or the University can predict changes made necessary by Covid-19 and must comply with public health advice and rules.   An upsurge of infection may result in increased restrictions and a change in Congregations to 'in absence' only.

(* Please be aware that, for the forseeable future, Degree Congregations are expected to be very busy as we try to clear the backlog generated by the pandemic)


Booking for a Ceremony

Graduation bookings can only be made using the Graduation Booking Form.   Anyone experiencing difficulties with downloading this form should email the Deanery Office:      Once received, bookings will be date stamped and places allocated in that order.   All bookings will be acknowledged by email as soon as possible.    

Confirmation of approval for the degree must have been received by the College from the Student Registry at least two weeks prior to the chosen date.   If in doubt please check with your Department prior to submitting a booking.   You can book in 'subject to final approval' but only do this if you are sure everything will go through in time. 

All graduands must be clear of College debt, as in common with other Colleges, Darwin declines to present for a degree those in debt to the College.    Please contact the Accounts Office for further information:  to ensure that you have settled all bills before making arrangements to proceed to your degree.

For information on graduating, Degree Congregation dates, dress code, academical dress hire etc. please read these Guidelines for graduation.


Graduation Day

College Reception

The College will host a Reception for those attending, part of which will include a full dress rehearsal with the College Praelector.     A timetable will be emailed out to all graduands approximately one week prior to the event with further details.

Collection of Degree Certificates

Certificates will be available on the day to those graduating 'in person' and will be given out as you exit Senate House.


As well as photographing inside the Senate House when degrees are conferred or celebrated, Tempest, the University's official photographers, will offer studio photography and certificate framing services on the day.  Students should bring with them a means of payment if they wish to purchase photographs etc.   Preferred payment methods (for reasons of hygiene) are card or phone payments. 


A live-stream of the event will be provided and a link will be sent out with the timetable.  However, the livestream is provided on the understanding that it is a private recording, not to be publicly shared on social media or in any public forum.

Ideally, students should not bring bags as they will have to be left on the Senate House lawn for collection after the ceremony.   If the weather is wet, umbrellas an also be left on the lawn.    Once finished, all students should exit via the South-East Gate (opposite Ryder & Amies).


For any queries please email the Deanery Office:

All arrangements are subject to change in line with Government/University guidelines and correct at the time of writing.