Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation 2017 (photo credit James Linsell-Clark)

Congratulations on completing your degree requirements! Before the degree itself can be awarded, however, you need to go through the process of graduation. These pages will help explain that process; we have also compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you. If you can’t find the answer to your query then please contact the Praelector’s Secretary, Victoria Zeitlyn, on 01223 331236 or

The College Praelector is Professor Nicholas Marston. He is responsible for presenting graduands at Congregations of the Regent House for the conferment of degrees; these ceremonies take place in the Senate House, and reach back many centuries. Graduands are presented individually by the Praelector to the Vice-Chancellor or his Deputy in the presence of the Proctors, who are the elected representatives of the Regent House. After the Vice-Chancellor has conferred your degree you will be presented with your degree certificate.

We very much hope that you will wish to take your degree in person. If that isn’t possible, you can proceed in absentia (in absence): your name will be included in the list of those graduating and your certificate sent on after the ceremony.

The University provides a detailed description of the ceremony. You can find the link to the relevant page in the links section at the foot of this page.


Eligibility to Graduate

In order to graduate, you must meet the eligibility criteria for the degree to which you wish to proceed. These may include residence requirements, examination results and approval from the Student Registry in the case of postgraduate qualifications. Full details of eligibility requirements for all degrees are listed in the University's Ordinances.

Please note that any student who expects to have outstanding debts at the point of graduation MUST meet with their tutor to discuss repayment before they are put forward to receive their degree. Failure to do so will result in the College being unable to put you forward for graduation.

    Degree Congregations in 2019/20

    • Saturday 30 November, 2pm (in absentia only). Application deadline Saturday 16 November


    • Saturday 25 January, 2pm.  Application deadline Friday 20 December
    • Saturday 22 February, 2pm.  Application deadline Monday 27 January
    • Saturday 21 March, 11am.  Application deadline Monday 24 February
    • Saturday 25 April, 11am.  Application deadline Monday 30 March
    • Saturday 16 May, 10am.  Application deadline Monday 20 April
    • Wednesday 24 June, General Admission, undergraduates only
    • Friday 17 July, 10am.  Application deadline Friday 26 June
    • Saturday 24 October, 11am.  Application deadline Monday 28 September
    • Saturday 28 November (in absentia only).  Application deadline Saturday 7 November




    Entering the Senate House

    Undergraduates usually proceed to the B. A. degree, their first degree in most cases, as soon as they are qualified to do so. However, if a student is intending to be a candidate for the M. Eng, M. Math. or M. Sci. degree they must defer taking the B. A. until the end of their fourth year.

    In the case of undergraduates, the majority will graduate at General Admission which is held at the end of June each year. This is our main undergraduate Congregation and only M. Eng, M. Math, M. Sci, B. A. and B. Th degrees are conferred on this occasion.

    A ‘save the date’ email will be sent to all undergraduates in October with all details and the timetable for the two days of ceremony. The Praelector’s Secretary will send you an application form in March which will allow you to state your preferences.

    General Admission

    This is a two-day celebration for our undergraduates which takes place at the end of June. Full details, including a timetable, are sent out to all undergraduates well in advance of the occasion. In brief, the programme follows the same lines each year: there is a dress rehearsal during Tuesday lunchtime, followed by a group photograph. You and your family and friends are invited to attend Evensong that same afternoon. The graduation dinner is held in Hall and you may obtain tickets for yourself (free of charge) and up to a maximum of two guests (for whom there will be a charge). The next day (Wednesday), after the option to attend breakfast in College, you meet your cohort to process through the College and on to the Senate House where the degree ceremony takes place. Each graduand may request up to three tickets for guests who wish to attend the ceremony. Afterwards the Provost and Fellows give a lunch party in College for you and up to three guests; there is no charge for this celebration of your undergraduate residence at King’s; once you leave the College later in the afternoon you become a Non-Resident Member (NRM) unless you are returning for further study.


    MA Procession 2019 (photo credit Martin Bond)

    Graduates, once they have received their letter of approval from the Board of Graduate Studies, can apply to graduate at any of the smaller Congregations held throughout the year. You cannot take your degree until you have received that formal approval, although you can ask to be provisionally added to a Congregation and withdrawn if your approval does not come though before the final deadline.

    The University’s degree approval and conferment page can be accessed at the foot of the page.

    Dress Code

    Dress regulations for the ceremony are very strict and must be adhered to exactly; the overall effect must be formal and tidy. If you are inappropriately dressed, the Proctors may refuse to allow your degree to be conferred in person, thus leading to your exclusion from the Congregation. Whilst we will send you a detailed dress code nearer the time, along with details of where to hire your gown, you may wish to consult the University guidelines as well as their useful pictorial diagrams on how to wear your gown and which gown should be worn. There is no need to purchase a gown; we will supply the details of local hire shops nearer the time.

    There are links for the University Academical Dress page and the Graduate Union's Gown Guide at the foot of this page.


    If you are graduating in person then you will be required to attend a brief rehearsal prior to the ceremony. The Praelector will guide you through the intricacies of robing and the details of the ceremony. Full details will be sent to you prior to the ceremony. 

    Praelector’s Luncheons

    If you are receiving your degree in person, then the Praelector would be delighted if you would join him for lunch as guest of the College. You may bring up to three guests (for whom there will be a charge). Further details are available from the Praelector’s Secretary.

    How to register for a Congregation

    You apply by completing an application form (see link in FAQ section of this page) and emailing it to the Praelector’s Secretary. Please note the deadlines listed in the table of Degree Congregations in 2019 above. We cannot take applications after the closing date but we can withdraw your application in the case of your results not being received in time, or change your attendance to in absentia.

    M.A. Graduation

    Six years and one term after matriculating, a Bachelor of Arts is entitled to take his or her Master of Arts degree, either in person or in absence, provided that two years have elapsed since the B. A. degree was awarded. The M. A. degree denotes a person's standing in the University, and gives admission to membership of the Senate; it does not depend upon further study, or residence, or payment of a fee.

    From January 2020 those who matriculated in October 2013 and took their B. A. prior to December 2017 will be eligible. The main M. A. Congregation is held in March; the Praelector’s Secretary will contact the newly eligible graduates during the preceding December, inviting them to submit their application.

    Any eligible graduate of King’s who has not yet received their M. A. may graduate in person or in absence at any of the smaller Congregations throughout the year. Please contact the Praelector’s Secretary for further details.

    Graduation FAQs

    Where do I find an application form?

    You can click on the link below or email the Praelector’s Secretary ( ).  You can also download our general notes on Admission to Degrees 2019 below.  Please note that these are for graduate ceremonies only.  Undergraduates will be sent the relevant links by the Praelector's Secretary.  M.A. candidates will be emailed by the Praelector's secretary once they become eligible, which is six years and one term after matriculation and two years after receiving their B.A.

    I’m not sure I’m going to receive my letter of approval about my M. Phil in time. What should I do?

    Firstly you should speak to your departmental administrator to see if they think the ceremony you have chosen is within a feasible timescale. You can apply to graduate and withdraw your application if your approval procedure is not completed in time.  It is easier to put your application form in and withdraw it if necessary, as we cannot accept applications after the closing date (see above table).  Once the Faculty Degree Committee have met, the Faculty/Department updates your record on CamSIS with the necessary line ‘Faculty degree approval’.  Only when the Faculty approval line is on your record can you be confirmed as being eligible for the Student Registry to add the degree status ‘Not Yet Conferred’ line onto your record.   Once that degree status has been confirmed then we know that your application to graduate is approved. After you have graduated a further line is added to your record which reads 'Degree Conferred'.

    I think I might have some money outstanding on my epos account. Whom should I contact?

    Any student who expects to have outstanding debts at the point of graduation MUST meet with their tutor to discuss repayment before they are put forward to receive their degree. Failure to do so will result in the College being unable to put them forward for graduation.

    What is the Caution Money Form sent to me with the Application Form?

    We require you to fill in a Caution Money form so that we can return the £150 deposit that you paid when you first came to King’s. This will be returned to you by Accounts at the beginning of the term following your graduation, once the term bills have been drawn up, minus any last minute epos expenditure. There is a link to the Caution Money form at the bottom of the page.

    Please contact Suraj Odedra in Accounts ( ) to check for debts and with Maria Bossley in the Tutorial Office ( ) if you have a loan.

    I’m a medical student; how do I receive my M. B.?

    Congratulations on receiving your B. Chir.  You can apply to receive your M. B. in person or in absence at any of the Congregations (except General Admission) within one year of receiving your B. Chir.  If you do not apply to receive it before the year is up then it will be automatically sent to you by mail.  The last ceremony you can graduate at is the May ceremony of the following year; after that date your M. B. will be automatically conferred.

    I want to invite my family abroad to see me graduate in the Senate House. When can I book their tickets?

    Graduate students: It would be wise to check with your supervisor that your degree will be completed and that both the Degree Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies will have met before the Congregation date. We strongly advise against booking any travel arrangements until you have had formal approval of your degree from the Board of Graduate Studies and confirmation from the Praelector’s Secretary that you have been accepted into the Congregation of your choice. NB you must submit your hard-bound thesis at least one week before the graduation date in order to be eligible to graduate.

    Undergraduate students: you will receive an email in the November of the academic year that you are graduating which will give you all the details for the ceremony, and the dates of the events that your family is invited to.

    May I receive more than one degree at the same Congregation? 

    Yes, this is possible both in person or in absentia.  Candidates in this situation are usually receiving some combination of Ph. D., M. A., and M. Phil (not usually more than two of these three). Your degrees will be conferred in descending order of seniority; after receiving the highest, you rejoin the line of graduands for the appropriate second conferral.  You can also receive degrees from different Colleges (for example if you studied for your M.Phil at King's and your Ph. D. at another College) at the same graduation ceremony if you give the Praelector's Secretary at least one month's notice to arrange this.

    I would like to receive my M. A. but cannot make the date in March. What should I do?

    If you are eligible to receive your M. A. but have either missed or cannot make your cohort’s main Congregation date (usually in March), or matriculated some time ago, then you may apply to take your M. A. at one of our small Congregations.  Please contact the Praelector’s Secretary ( ).

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