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Graduation: Frequently Asked Questions

I'm due to attend a ceremony – what happens next?
How do I hire academic gown(s), book lunch and book photographs?
How many guests can I bring on the day?
What should I wear?
How do my friends and I graduate as a group?
What happens if I need disabled access, or other special requirements for the Ceremony?
How do I cancel my graduation?
How do I change my graduation to a different date?
Can I change my mind about wanting to graduate in person or in absentia?
What happens if I have multiple degrees?
Can I attend ceremonies for all of my degrees?
I took one of my degrees at another college. Can I still graduate with Balliol?
What happens now that I have submitted my waiting list request?
Can I be added to more than one waiting list?
When will I know if I have a place on a ceremony?
What happens if I can’t get on a ceremony – can I be added to another ceremony?
What is the non-Christian formula, and does it apply to me?
How do I get my degree certificates or final transcripts?

 

I'm due to attend a ceremony – what happens next?

You will receive an email from Balliol closer to the date, which will invite you to book online for your gown(s), photographs and lunch for you and your guests. See below for prices.

In the meantime:

  1. Check your confirmation email from the University (titled "Degree Ceremony Confirmation"): If there are any mistakes with your address, attendance mode or the degree you will receive; or if you did not get that email, then let us know.
  2. Clear your College Battels and any Loans. You cannot be in debt to the University when you graduate.
  3. Those taking a DPhil; MLitt; or MSc by Research: Make sure to submit a hard copy & a digital copy of your thesis to the Bodleian at least 5 days before the ceremony. You may not be able to graduate if you fail to do this.

How do I hire academic gown(s), book lunch and book photographs?

You will be emailed in advance of your graduation with an invitation to book online to hire your academic gown(s), book lunch in Hall, and book photos.

  • The cost of hiring academic gown(s) and hood(s) is £15 (flat rate)
  • Lunch is free for graduands, and your three guests are charged £15 each. We might be able to offer additional lunch spaces at £35 per person, depending on numbers.
  • You can choose to book photography too, at a cost of £45/£65 (depending on the photograph package you select)

How many guests can I bring on the day?

On the day, you will receive three guest tickets for the ceremony in the Sheldonian Theatre from the registration desk. No additional tickets can be requested in advance, but any unused ones will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

The ceremony will be streamed online for those who can't travel to Oxford: http://livestream.com/oxevents

It may be possible to bring additional guests to the drinks reception and lunch (at Balliol) for an additional charge. This will depend on numbers, and will be announced in advance.

What should I wear?

You must wear full academic dress (sub fusc) for the ceremony.  This is very strict and you will be turned away if you do not comply with the regulations:

  1. One of:

    dark suit with dark socks, or
    dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or
    dark trousers with dark socks or dark hosiery

  2. Dark coat if required
  3. Black shoes
  4. Plain white collared shirt or blouse
  5. White bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon.

Ministers of religion may wear clerical dress, with a gown over, when attending ceremonies. If you wear a head dress / scarf for religious reasons, a black scarf should be worn. Members of the armed forces may wear service dress under their gowns.

You can hire gowns/hoods from Balliol at cost of £15. If you are unsure what gown(s) you need click here

How do my friends and I graduate as a group?

To find a date with enough space for your group, and discuss individual arrangements, please contact degrees@balliol.ox.ac.uk.

Please be aware that there are multiple ceremonies on one day, and so two different Colleges are not guaranteed to attend the same ceremony. 

What happens if I need disabled access, or other special requirements for the Ceremony?

Please let us know in advance if you have any special requirements for the Ceremony.

For guests: There is limited step-free seating available in the Sheldonian. This cannot be booked in advance. Please make yourselves known to the staff at the Sheldonian when you arrive and they will do their best to seat your party together. 

View the disabled access map at Balliol.

How do I cancel my graduation?

Contact degrees@balliol.ox.ac.uk. You won’t be able to cancel if you have had your place confirmed on a ceremony by the University and it is within one month of the ceremony.  All cancellations must be made in writing (an email is acceptable), and you cannot ask somebody to cancel on your behalf.

How do I change my graduation to a different date?

If you are due to attend a ceremony and want to change dates, please submit a request to change ceremony dates.  If you swap dates, you give up your place on the current ceremony and might not be able to rejoin it.  You won’t be able to move dates if it is within one month of the ceremony.

Can I change my mind about wanting to graduate in person or in absentia?

If you are due to attend a ceremony in person, you can change your mind and decide to graduate in absentia within 1 month of the ceremony. Please let us know if you would like to do this as soon as possible.

If you decide you would prefer to graduate in person after intially choosing to do so in absentia, you will have to join a waiting list for a ceremony.

What happens if I have multiple degrees?

All degrees must be conferred on you in order from lowest to highest (e.g. if you want to collect your DPhil, and also have a BA and an MPhil, you collect your BA and then your MPhil, before you can collect your DPhil).

If you attend a ceremony for your highest degree, you can collect your lower degrees at the same time in absentia. You won’t be able to go back and attend a ceremony for them retrospectively.

Can I attend ceremonies for all of my degrees?

Yes, but you must to do them in order from lowest to highest (e.g. if you want to collect your BA, MA and DPhil, you need to first graduate for your BA, then your MA, then your DPhil).

You don't have to attend ceremonies for all of your degrees – any that you haven’t already taken will be done in absentia, while you attend a ceremony.

I took one of my degrees at another college. Can I still graduate with Balliol?

You will graduate as a member of your college for each degree that you take. If you did your lower degree with Balliol but want to graduate for a higher degree taken at a different college, you will need to take your Balliol degree in absentia or first attend a ceremony with Balliol.

If you took a higher degree with Balliol, you can collect your lower degrees in absentia, or contact your other college to arrange a ceremony with them first.

What happens now that I have submitted my waiting list request?

The waiting list works on a 'first come first served' basis. There is no guarantee, but we will do our best to fit you in.

You will remain on the requested waiting list until a month before the ceremony, and we will continue to try to get you on the ceremony until that date.

Please let us know if you are not able to attend a date any longer, so that we can remove you from that waiting list.

Can I be added to more than one waiting list?

The University's booking system limits us to one waiting list per person. If you selected more than one ceremony option on your form, however, we will automatically add you to the following waiting list if you don't get on to your preferred ceremony.

If you can’t make a date anymore, please let us know as soon as possible.

When will I know if I have a place on a ceremony?

You will receive an email from the University confirming your place on a ceremony. We expect this to be sent no later than one month before the ceremony.

What happens if I can’t get on a ceremony – can I be added to another ceremony?

Yes, we can add you to another waiting list. We will add you in chronological order to the dates you have said you can attend.

What is the non-Christian formula, and does it apply to me?

Graduands of MA, DD, DCL, DM or MCh are asked to kneel in front of the Vice-Chancellor, who touches them on the head with a Bible. You can opt out of this part of the ceremony; however, we need to know in advance. All other degrees are unaffected by this. You cannot request the non-Christian formula on the day of the ceremony.

How do I get my degree certificates or final transcripts?

Upon degree completion all students will automatically receive one paper copy of their final transcript. This will be sent to the 'home address' listed in the Student Self Service. Additional copies may ordered: please see this page

All students will automatically receive a degree certificate once their degrees have been conferred at a degree ceremony. Students who have passed their examinations but have not yet had their degrees conferred at a degree ceremony can request a degree confirmation letter free of charge. The letter will confirm successful completion of the course at the University of Oxford, the dates of attendance and the classification. More information is available here

If you commenced your studies at Balliol prior to Michaelmas Term 2007, and you require either a transcript letter or a degree confirmation letter, please complete this online form

Any other questions?

Please email Angharad Jones at degrees@balliol.ox.ac.uk.

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