Graduation Ceremonies

Congratulations on finishing your current course of study at Wolfson! We are delighted to help you celebrate your achievement with your family and friends as you graduate.

 

Graduation Ceremony

All graduation ceremonies are held at the Sheldonian Theatre and last approximately 1¼ hrs. The University provides two ceremony tickets to each graduand; there is no charge for these tickets. Information about the process for registering interest for additional tickets can be found below. If you are interested in finding out more about the ceremony in the Sheldonian, we encourage you to view the current Degree Ceremony Brochure.

On the day of your graduation there will be a number of events in College, including a photograph opportunity, a celebratory reception and the formal (mandatory) registration known as the Signing of the Graces.

To graduate you need to:

  • Book a ceremony place
  • Arrange your academic dress hire through a local vendor
  • Book places for you and your guests at the celebratory reception (costs are listed below)
  • Attend the formal registration, known as the Signing of the Graces. This is mandatory for all graduands and details of the time and location will be circulated nearer your graduation date.
  • If you are a DPhil graduand, you must ensure your DPhil thesis has been deposited at the Bodleian as per University regulations

Any outstanding fees must be paid in full before you can graduate. Graduands must also be in good financial standing with the College before booking places at the celebratory reception.


Graduation Dates 2022-2023

Degree ceremony bookings close 60 days prior to the ceremony date. It is not usually possible to change or cancel your graduation date after this, and if you decide to withdraw from your chosen ceremony after the booking window has closed your degree will be conferred in absentia. If you would like to cancel your booking, contact the Academic Office as soon as possible for further guidance.

Booking a Ceremony Place

All Current Students

Current students will receive an email from the University's Degree Ceremonies team with instructions on when and how to book a degree ceremony online.

  • Taught Master's students in their final year will receive an email from the Degree Conferrals Office towards the end of Michaelmas term.
  • Students for research degrees including DPhil, MLitt, MSc by Research, MPhil in Law and MSt in Legal Research will receive an invitation once they have been granted Leave to Supplicate.

You will be able to amend your details, excluding ceremony date, via the eVision Degree Ceremonies page up to 30 days before your ceremony. After that date, please email the Academic Office for advice.

Research students should follow the guidance given here about the requirements for the deposit of their thesis before a degree can be conferred. 

If a student chooses to graduate in absence (in absentia), they will be placed on the next available University ceremony.

If you are unable to graduate on the dates offered to you online, you can decline the invitation. If you select decline, it is unlikely that you will be able to graduate for at least a calendar year, because the degree ceremonies run on a cyclical basis and are allocated to capacity. To receive your degree at a later date, you should complete the Graduation Ceremony Waitlist Form.

Past Students

Past students who completed their courses and who now wish to collect their degree (in person or in absentia), should request to have their name added to the waitlist for their preferred ceremony by completing the Graduation Ceremony Waitlist Form. Please note that students who completed their degree programmes during the pandemic (spring 2020 - summer 2021) have been contacted about booking spaces at additional ceremonies the University has organised. If you feel you fall into this group and think you have not been emailed, please email the Academic Office

Please be aware that the College has limited spaces for graduands to attend a graduation ceremony and that your preferred date may not be available. We are usually able to notify you if you have secured a place on your preferred ceremony around 60 days before the ceremony date.

If a student chooses to graduate in absence (in absentia), they will be placed on the next available University ceremony.

Degree ceremony bookings are subject to these Terms and Conditions; please be sure to read them thoroughly before submitting your waitlist form.

Other Arrangements for Graduation Day

Attire

For graduation you will need to wear sub fusc and carry a mortar board or wear a soft cap at all times.

In the first half of the ceremony, DPhil students will wear the advanced student gown or the gown and hood of a previously awarded Oxford degree; during the second half, you will wear the DPhil gown. For Masters' students, you will wear the Masters' gown for the first half of the ceremony and add the hood for the second half of the ceremony.

You will change gowns in the Divinity School located behind the Sheldonian where you meet before the ceremony with the Dean of Degrees. The College does not rent or provide gowns for graduations and we advise that you hire gowns from one of the local vendors. You are responsible for collecting your items from the Divinity School immediately following the ceremony. 

Celebratory Reception in College

About a month before the ceremony, the Academic Office will send you an invitation to book places at a celebratory reception in College, hosted by the President or their Deputy. This is a standing reception with fizz (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and a variety of canapes and sweet treats. 

The College pays the costs for the celebratory reception for the graduand and up to two guests. We are occasionally able to offer additional reception tickets when space permits; when this is possible we will contact you accordingly. Additional guests incur a charge of £25 (incl. VAT) per head. We regret that we cannot accept additional guests after the booking deadline has passed. Please note that if you secure more than two guest places at the reception, this does not mean that we are able to offer you additional ceremony tickets. 

If you book for more than two guests, you will be sent information on how to complete your payment closer to your ceremony date. Please note that your reception booking will not be confirmed until we have received your payment. 

Signing of the Graces

The formal registration, or Signing of the Graces, will be held in the Hall in College before the ceremony. For the Graces, all graduands must report to the Dean of Degrees and sign the register to verify their attendance, otherwise they will not be permitted to graduate. The Dean of Degrees will submit the register (the Graces) to the University before the ceremony starts.

Photography

Gillman & Soame, the College's official photographer, will be taking photographs of graduands and their families in front of the punt harbour. If you visit Gillman & Soame's website and bring a printout of their completed form with you, you will receive £5 off your photography order. It is not compulsory to have a formal photograph taken, and you are of course very welcome to take your own photos.

Guest Tickets for the Sheldonian Ceremony

All graduands will be allocated up to 2 guest tickets for the ceremony in Sheldonian Theatre, available to collect from the Lodge on the morning of the ceremony. Graduands do not need their own ticket for the ceremony.

When we ask you to book places at the celebratory reception in College, you will also be asked to confirm the total number of tickets you would like for the ceremony at the Sheldonian. If you request fewer than the maximum number of tickets, your spare ticket(s) will be allocated to other graduands who have requested more than the maximum of tickets.

If you have requested extra tickets, please note that additional tickets only become available should another graduand not require all that they have been allocated. This means that it is unlikely that additional tickets will become available and we will not be able to confirm any extra tickets until a few days before the ceremony. The College kindly advises graduands not to make any non-refundable travel arrangements with the expectation of receiving extra guest tickets.

Friends and family who are unable to attend in person will be able to watch the ceremony live via the University's streaming service.  We will email you this link again in advance of your ceremony so that you can share it with as many friends or family as you like. You can also buy a copy of your ceremony on multi-region DVD from the University's online gift shop.

Your supervisor may request a supervisor ticket to attend your ceremony by contacting the Academic Office.

Accessibility

All in-College events take place in the Hall, which is wheelchair-accessible via its back entrance leading out to the car park. The front entrance, by the marble stairs, has eight steps. Seating will be reserved in Hall for those with limited mobility; please do let us know in your booking if you or any of your guests will require this. There will be members of staff on hand during the day to assist you and your guests if needed.

The Sheldonian Theatre's wheelchair accessible entrance is via door F which is to the rear of the building when facing it from Broad Street. Guests with limited mobility can enter via doors B and D which are located on the left and right hand side of the building. It is not possible to reserve seats so we recommend that any guests with limited mobility make their way to the relevant door as early as possible on the date and time of the ceremony they are attending so that they can be seated first. Chairs will be available during the waiting period outside doors B and D. Once doors have opened, a steward will assist the guest in finding a suitable seat within the venue. There is no need to give advance notice of your requirements unless they require greater assistance than what has been noted here. In such cases please do let us know and we will liaise with the Sheldonian Theatre to make appropriate arrangements for you.

 


If you have any queries, please see the University FAQs linked below. If your question has still not been answered, you can email the Academic Office with your query.