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Information for guests

Before the ceremony 

  • Students collect robes.
  • The Vice-Chancellor (or representative) gives an opening speech. 
  • The Dean of Durham (or representative) welcomes the University into the Cathedral. 

During the Ceremony 

  • Students process to the Cathedral approximately 30 minutes before the ceremony. 
  • On entering the main body of the Cathedral guests will be directed by University marshals to seats. 
  • Students collect tickets.
  • Students give tickets and belongings to guests before gathering for the procession. 
  • Students report for the procession, 1 hour and 15 minutes before the ceremony to be put into order at which point you must leave your guests. Remember to arrange a meeting point with your guests for after the ceremony. 
  • Guests must wait until the Cathedral entrance time. Be aware no shelter for guests is available on Palace Green. 
  • Guests, with tickets, will be directed from the Information Point to the Galilee Chapel entrance of the Cathedral approximately 45 minutes before the ceremony start time. Guests may have to wait in the Galilee Chapel for a short time until the venue is ready. 
  • The ceremony lasts approximately an hour and 15 minutes. 
  • The Presiding Officer gives the closing speech. 
  • At some ceremonies an honorary degree is awarded and a speech is given by a member of the University on the recipient's life and achievements. 
  • Students then stand for the conferment of awards. 
  • Students are called to the stage individually. We ask guests to applaud each group of students rather than each individual student. 
  • Guests will be guided by University marshals to exit the Cathedral following the staff and student processions. 
  • The use of cameras and recording devices is not permitted during ceremonies and no flash photography is allowed inside the Cathedral. 

Other activities 

  • A Congregation Information Point will be located on the corner of Palace Green between the Cathedral and Music Department for general enquiries. 
  • The Congregation Fair will be held at a location on campus with Alumni, Refreshments, University Merchandise and Photography stalls for students and guests to enjoy before and after the ceremony.