Below you can find information about booking your Degree Ceremony at Pembroke, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
At Oxford, your degree is conferred onto you as part of a graduation ceremony – either in person or in absentia (in your absence). Degree ceremonies take place in the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street. More information can be found on the University’s website.
The University’s Degree Ceremonies Office are responsible for inviting and organising degree ceremonies. Colleges support them with the administration of the process and Pembroke is your first point of contact for any questions.
Information for 2023/24 Undergraduate Finalists and Taught Graduate Students
What date will I be able to graduate on?
Each college is allocated several days per year they can present their students to graduate. Each date will have a limited number of places, so we cannot guarantee which date you will be successful in booking. Please note you are not able to graduate on a different college’s degree day.
You should sign into your Self Service Account when you are invited to book your ceremony to see which dates have spaces remaining. You should not make travel arrangements until you have booked your date through your Self Service Account.
Information for Research Degree Students
If you are a current student on a research degree, you will be sent this email once you have been granted your Leave to Supplicate and you will also be able to book your ceremony through your Self Service Account. You cannot book your degree ceremony before this time.
Each graduand is allocated two guest tickets for the Sheldonian ceremony. Demand for extra tickets is very high and we are unable to confirm if we have any spare tickets until the day of the ceremony. Please ask when you arrive for registration if there are any additional tickets for the ceremony.
If your guest requires a carer to be with them during the ceremony, please contact email@example.com to arrange a carers ticket.
What should I wear to my degree ceremony?
All graduands will need to wear full sub fusc as well as rent the gown and hood of the degree they are graduating.
In the first half of the ceremony, graduands will wear the gown of their new status for the first half of the ceremony, for example the BA gown if you are graduating with a BA and add the hood for the second half of the ceremony.
DPhil students will wear the advanced student gown or the gown and hood of a previously awarded Oxford degree, and then change into their DPhil gown midway through the ceremony.
You will change gowns or add your hood in the Divinity School located behind the Sheldonian where you will be taken to before the ceremony by the Dean of Degrees. The College does not rent gowns for graduations on your behalf and we advise that you hire your gown from one of the local hire shops.
It is very important you are correctly dressed for your ceremony. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure. If you are not wearing the correct academic dress, you may not be able to enter the ceremony.
What if I can’t make any of the dates available in Self Service?
If you cannot make any of the dates available, you will need to go on a waiting list for remaining spaces in this cycle once the booking has closed, or future cycles.
Although we try our best to accommodate all requests, you are only guaranteed a space on a ceremony in the cycle that you complete your degree in. After this time, you will need to wait to see if spaces become available once finalists in future cycles have had the opportunity to book. You should anticipate to wait at least a year after your original booking invite to hear more information regarding spaces in the future.
You can also choose to graduate in absentia, however please note you will not be able to graduate in person in the future if you choose this option.
Please email email@example.com to be added to the waiting list.
Who should I speak to if I need a visa letter?
We are able to provide a letter to you in support of requesting a visa for you to come back for your degree ceremony, however please note we are not able to provide a letter on behalf of your guests. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request this.
What if I need to cancel my degree ceremony booking?
You can cancel your degree ceremony booking, you need to do so 60 days before the ceremony date. After this time, you are unable to amend your booking and if you cannot attend in person you will be graduated in absentia.
There are a limited number of exceptional circumstances which mean you might be able to cancel your ceremony booking 60 days before the date – please see the University’s webpage for more information.
If you wish to cancel your booking, you should email email@example.com for further information.
I left Oxford some time ago and did not graduate, can I graduate in person now?
If you left Oxford some time ago and did not graduate at the time, your booking is likely now classed as ‘historic’. We may be able to put you on a waiting list for future in person ceremonies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org You are also able to graduate in absentia.
What is the Oxford MA and am I eligible?
The Oxford MA is a higher status that graduates with a BA from Oxford can have conferred after 21 terms after their matriculation. The Oxford MA is not a new degree or an upgrade, but a recognition of reaching a higher status within the University.
The conferral of the MA carries a fee of £100, payable to the University once we have booked this in on your behalf.
To arrange for your MA conferral, please email email@example.com for more information.
When will I receive my certificate?
If you are graduating in person, you will receive your certificate on the day of your ceremony.
If you are graduating in absentia, your certificate will be issued on the day of your in absentia ceremony and will be posted out to you within three months of this date.
Who should I contact if I lost my certificate?
What happens at an Oxford degree ceremony?
The Oxford degree ceremony still retains many aspects of the original 12th century ceremony, including being conducted in Latin. The video below explains the ceremony in further detail.
College celebrations on the day
Around 6 weeks before your ceremony, we will send you more information regarding booking in for the drinks and lunch reception in college on the day of your ceremony.