Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below a list of the most frequently asked questions about graduation day. Download the iLancaster App for a quick overview of Graduation Day information for students and guests.
Venues, dates and times
Registration for your ceremony
On the day
Travel and accommodation
Photography and DVD services
Visas and Immigration
Venues, dates and times
The next graduation ceremonies will take place between 16-19 July 2019. Our next winter ceremonies take place on 11 December 2019
All graduation ceremonies will take place in the Great Hall on the Lancaster University campus.
A ceremony normally lasts between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes.
Registration for your ceremony
The Graduation Team emails eligible students in March or in October, asking them to register online to attend their ceremony.
Students attending summer ceremonies must register both their attendance and their request for guest tickets online by mid April in order to be guaranteed two guest tickets. For winter ceremonies registration must be completed by the beginning of November. Once online registration has closed, students who still wish to register should email the Graduation Team to enquire about late registration.
Please register online as "Not attending". Students who cannot be present in the ceremony graduate "in absentia". Certificates which are not collected on undergraduate graduation day by are posted to home addresses by the Student Registry. All postgraduate certificates are posted to home addresses by the Student Registry Office.
Once the graduation timetable has been finalised, it is not possible to change the ceremony in which you are scheduled to graduate. Undergraduate students will graduate by college and according to the time allocated to them on the ceremony timetable.
Students do have the option to defer their ceremony until the following year's ceremonies. Email the Graduation Team and we will arrange this for you.
Students who are graduating and taking part in the ceremony do not need a guest ticket.
Guest tickets for undergraduates will be sent to colleges to await collection two weeks before the end of the summer term. We will email students to let you know when they are ready to collect. If you have already left campus by this time, please contact your college administrator or the Graduation Team to arrange an alternative collection. Guest tickets for postgraduates will be posted to UK addresses or held for collection for non-UK addresses.
Two guest tickets is our standard allocation across all our ceremonies and only rarely do we have capacity to issue any extras. We do though take the following steps to distribute extra guest tickets should space become available:
- At the point of registration each graduating student is entitled to request up to two extra tickets. This is in addition to their two guaranteed guest tickets.
- When an application is made for extra tickets by a graduating student, the system automatically logs this and allocates the request to a waiting list.
- If extra tickets become available in a specific ceremony, the Ceremonies Team will allocate these extra tickets strictly in the order specified by the waiting list.
Each guest ticket will be for a numbered seat in the Great Hall for the specific ceremony that has been requested.
Yes, please see our guest ticket information and policy page here.
On the day
You should aim to arrive on campus two hours before your ceremony starts.
To plan for the ceremony, please take into account these timings:
One hour before the ceremony start time:
- The Great Hall will be opened
- Guests take their seats.
30 minutes before the ceremony start time:
- With the majority of guests in their seats, the Master of Ceremonies will make a number of important announcements to the guests including what they will need to know and do during the ceremony.
20 minutes before the ceremony start time:
- Guests will be in their seats
- The graduands procession will enter the hall from the lining up venues
At the ceremony start time:
- The academic procession enters the hall
- The ceremony is formally opened
- The ceremony will last around one hour
- During the ceremony graduands and guests should follow the directions of Marshals who will guide you through what you should be doing and when.
Once you have arrived on site, you need to collect your robe from the LICA building.
Our official photographers will be available to take studio photography in the LICA building on the day of your graduation.
One hour before your ceremony, you will need to go to your lining up venue which will be either the Minor Hall or Nuffield Theatre. Here, staff will line up all graduates in processional order, ready to enter the Great Hall. During this time, guests will be shown to their seats in the Great Hall.
The ceremony will start at the advertised ceremony time and after the doors close, we can not guarantee entrance to late arrivals.
Guests who have tickets for the Great Hall will be ushered to their seats one hour before the start of the ceremony.
The live broadcast will take place in the Faraday Lecture Theatres which are just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Great Hall. No tickets are required for the live broadcast and guests will be seated on a first come first serve basis. This is a staffed and fully accessible venue, with degree day programmes available on request.
If either you or your guests have any specific access requirements, please inform the Graduation Team in advance of your graduation so that we can advise on how best we can assist you.
Certificates are not presented as part of your ceremony. Postgraduate certificates are posted to home addresses. Undergraduates are able to collect certificates from Student Registry staff on graduation day. Please ensure you bring photo ID.
Students are presented for conferral by name and type of degree only. We do not announce the class of degree attained, nor is it printed in the degree day programme. PhD thesis titles will be read aloud in the ceremony but not printed in the ceremony brochure.
Travel and Accommodation
No parking charges apply on Graduation Day so you can park in any marked space on campus. Please ignore the staff/student permit signs as these do not apply on graduation day. Parking Marshals will be on hand to offer information and directions.
The nearest disabled parking spaces to the Great Hall are John Creed Ave, Bowland Ave and LICA. If you park in a Blue Badge disabled parking space, you must display a valid blue badge. If these spaces are full, you may wish to drop off guests close to the Hall and park elsewhere.
The campus is easily accessible by foot and a map of the campus can be viewed here. There will also be 3 minibuses circling the campus on graduation day so there shouldn’t be too long a wait in between each bus. The buses are free of charge and the mini bus stops are shown on the graduation day map.
Guest rooms on campus are available to book if you require overnight accommodation during graduation week. Contact the Lancaster Conferences team for more information - 01524 592899. Book your graduation guest room now.
In keeping with the academic nature of the occasion and ceremonial tradition, all students wishing to attend their graduation ceremony must wear the correct academic dress. Hire your gown online from our official supplier Ede and Ravenscroft.
Your robes will be brought to campus ready for collection from 8am on graduation day. You will collect them from the LICA building where the gowning team will help you put your gown, hood and hat on. You will then return your hired academic dress to the same place at the end of the day after your ceremony.
If you have not booked your robe in advance, please go to the LICA building as soon as you arrive on campus and speak to the gowning team.
Photography and DVD services
Lancaster University's Print & Photography are the official University photographers and will have their sales and studio area conveniently located adjacent to the Robing area in LICA. Please see the Print & Photography website for more information.
Studio photography will take place in the LICA building on the day of your graduation. The college group photos will be taken on Lancaster Square to the rear of the Great Hall.
Orders can be taken in advance of your ceremony but all the products may be ordered on the day at their sales area too.
If you require further information, please contact the Print & Photography unit on firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)1524 592811.
To order your photos after the ceremony, please follow the instructions here.
Yes, this can be ordered from our official filming company, First Sight Media, www.iamagraduate.com. They will be based in the LICA building to take your order on the day.
Visas and Immigration
As a Tier 4 student you may have now returned home after completing your studies but wish to return to the UK for your graduation. The University does not advise that you try to re-enter on your Tier 4 visa if it is still valid. As your studies are now complete it is possible the port you try to enter will refuse your entry because you no longer are studying. Graduation does not count as studying.
Therefore we recommend that you obtain a Standard Visitor Visa before you travel back for your Graduation. To find out more information about this visa please visit the GOV.UK page. This will provide you with information about cost and what documents are required. We do advise that you request a graduation letter from the Student Portal to aid with your application. These visas can be issued for up to 6 months and will more than cover the length of time you need to be in the UK for your Graduation. They will also apply to those students whose Tier 4 visas have now expired.
If you wish to invite your friends and family from abroad as guests at your Graduation ceremony, the type of visa they need to apply for will be the Standard Visitor Visa. You can find more information about it at the GOV.UK pages. This will provide information on the documents required and the costs.
To invite your friends and family they will require some documentation from you, the documents you will need to get for Graduation are:
- the Graduation Letter from the Student Portal which confirms that you are eligible to attend your graduation ceremony
- You will also need to write a letter of invitation to your friend or family member in support of your visa application. Here is an example. This letter is not provided by the University.
Once you have both of these documents you will need to send them to your friend or family member in order for them to apply for the visa.
PhD students can now graduate in either December or July, depending on when they complete their PhD.
It is anticipated that PhD students will graduate in their faculties in December, and across the college ceremonies in July, in the same ceremony as other PhD students in their faculty, where possible.
We know that the PhD process is complicated, with a number of milestones following submission of your thesis. To become eligible to graduate in the next series of graduation ceremonies, you will need to have completed three steps:
- have had your viva voce examination;
- made any required changes from your examiners;
- have had your changes formally approved by your PhD examiners, and confirmed through the relevant board of examiners.
The PhD process is complete after the student has had their viva voce examination, made any required changes, and had their changes formally approved by their PhD examiners and confirmed by the relevant boards of examiners.
The Graduation Team emails eligible PhD students in March and October, asking them to register online to attend their ceremony.
Now that the University is rolling out PhD graduations in both the summer and winter ceremonies, you will not have long to wait for the next opportunity to graduate. The Graduation Team will contact you about the next ceremony in which you can graduate.
We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of registering by the deadline. The Graduation Team will try their best to accommodate as many graduands as we can, though sometimes we are unable to accommodate any more graduands due to space in the Great Hall.
We would always advise registering early and before the deadline to avoid disappointment. Do contact the Graduation Team as early as possible if you miss the deadline and still wish to attend: email@example.com. Please note that we are unable to guarantee tickets to everyone who wishes to register after the deadline, but we will try our best.
All graduating students at all levels are guaranteed two guest tickets if they register before the deadline, and can request up to two extra tickets.
In integrating PhD graduands within the summer and winter ceremonies, the University is keen to ensure that all graduands receive the same great experience. The key difference for PhD graduands, is that we will ask for your thesis title when you register for your ceremony, which will be read out when you graduate.