Information on the arrangements for attending Summer Congregation 2023 are published below.
This Attendance Information provides a printable version of the important details for students and guests. (This document is also accessible for students from the Congregation and Parchment Registration system).
You can also watch our short graduation guide on how to prepare and make the most of your special day!
Congregation ceremonies are held in Durham Cathedral with related activities taking place around Palace Green, the area between the Cathedral and Castle. The Congregation Fair is located in the marquee for graduands and guests to visit before and after the ceremony.
View the map and directions to Durham.
Do allow plenty of time for arrival, remembering that Durham city centre will be busy on Congregation days. Graduands and guests are advised to use the various car parks situated around Durham, including Durham's Park and Ride service, and the metered on-street parking which is available all over the city.
Please note that there is no public parking on Palace Green although graduands and guests with mobility issues can be dropped off by car or taxi at the bottom of Owengate (the road that leads up to Palace Green).
Note that Palace Green lies within the city congestion charge zone.
A Congregation Information Point will be located on Palace Green outside of the Music Building for general enquiries.
View information on how to collect guest tickets here.
Entrance to the Cathedral will only be allowed from 45 minutes before the ceremony start time. Guests arriving before the entrance time are advised to wait in the marquee as there is no shelter outside the Cathedral for guests to wait and it can be cold, even in Summer.
Guests will be directed from the Information Point on Palace Green to the Galilee Chapel entrance before being guided into the main body of the Cathedral. Guests may have to wait at the Galilee Chapel for a short period until the venue is ready. Guests must show tickets to be allowed entrance to the Cathedral.
On entering the main body of the Cathedral, guests will be guided by University marshals to fill all seats from the front to the back, in the Nave and then in the Side Aisles. Guests wishing to sit together must arrive together. Each student is allocated up to 2 guaranteed tickets and may obtain 1 additional ticket during registration, dependant on availability. The view in some areas is restricted due to the Cathedral architecture however television monitors are installed throughout the Cathedral to enhance the viewing of the ceremony.
Please note: seating in the Nave is on a first come first served basis and there are around 500 seats available in this area. Once these are full, guests will be seated in the Side Aisles with a restricted view.
View information for graduands and guests with special arrangements for the ceremony here.
The ceremony is a formal occasion and disruptions by small children can disturb the graduands and their guests. Please consider this before bringing a small child along. Tickets are required for children over the age of 2 as they will require their own seat, children under 2 can sit on guest’s knees. Pushchairs can be accommodated inside the Cathedral but must not block the aisles.
The ceremony will also be streamed live to the Assembly Rooms (located on the Bailey) which may be more comfortable for guests with small children, but please note all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Graduands are advised to keep personal belongings to a minimum which should be left with guests prior to the ceremony.
Please do not bring any large handbags/rucksacks or luggage as they are not permitted inside the Cathedral and cannot be left unattended. You may be subjected to a bag search on entry to the Cathedral. There will be a supervised luggage drop in PG28 (next to the Police Office) for graduands and guests to use during the ceremony. Please leave your luggage here before attempting to enter the Cathedral. Please note, although this is a supervised area, luggage is left at the owner's risk. And this area is for large bags and luggage only, it is not a cloakroom and there is no facility to hang coats.
The following activities are located in the marquee for graduands and guests to enjoy before and after the ceremony:
Please note, where possible, we would prefer contactless methods of payment.
Lost property will be held at the Police Office on Palace Green. If the office is closed, please ask a member of Security staff on Palace Green.
Graduands must hire graduation robes by 21 June 2023. Information on robe hire and what to wear on the day can be found on the Ordering Your Robes page.
Graduands and guests are advised to dress appropriately for the weather as they will be outside at certain times of the day and it can be cold inside the Cathedral, even in Summer.
Guests are recommended to dress smartly but without hats which can restrict the view for other guests.
Find out what celebration events your college and department are holding during Congregation and view What's On around the University, and discover other attractions to visit during your time in Durham.