An Oxford graduation ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate all the hard work and effort you have put into your degree. On the day of your graduation, you will process from the College to the Sheldonian Theatre with your fellow Nuffield graduands. During the ceremony, the degree that you have been working towards will be officially conferred. Then, you will leave the Sheldonian Theatre and, after a quick outfit-change into the gown and hood of your newly-qualified status, you re-enter the Sheldonian to the cheers and applause of the audience.
After the ceremony, you will be invited to return to Nuffield with your guests to enjoy the in-College celebrations.
It is sure to be a day to remember!
Please read the FAQs below for more information about graduations:
In order to graduate, you must first fulfill your degree requirements. For students on taught postgraduate courses, this means that you will need to pass all of your specified course requirements (please check your individual course documents for these). During the last year of your course, you will automatically receive an email notification asking you to sign up for a degree ceremony on a date that suits you.
For those of you completing research degrees (most commonly the DPhil), you will need to submit your thesis and sit an oral examination called a 'viva', which will normally be presided by one internal and one external examiner. Once the examiners are satisfied that you have fulfilled the requirements of the DPhil, you will be given Leave to Supplicate, which means that you can then sign up for a graduation ceremony.
Students are also required to provide a digital copy of their thesis to the Oxford Research Archive. DPhil, MLitt and MSc by research students must give a hardbound copy of their thesis to the Bodleian and to the College Library (MPhil students are also required to do the latter). In the event of difficulty logging in to ORA thesis submission contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, candidates should also ensure that they have settled any outstanding College debts.
It is highly recommended that you select a graduation ceremony from the dates offered to you. If you cannot attend on any of the dates, it is best to choose to graduate in absentia. We realize that this may be disappointing, but if you do not graduate on one of the dates you are offered, you will be put on a waiting list for any future ceremony that you may wish to attend, for which there is no guarantee that you will gain a place. We have found in the past that not graduating as soon as possible can cause a number of issues regarding visas and employment.
Graduands must wear the gown and hood of their current Oxford status. For most, this will be the traditional academic dress known as 'sub-fusc', which you will probably already own. If you do not, you must obtain a postgraduate commoners gown, a mortar board or soft cap, and either a white or black bow tie, a black full-length tie, or a black ribbon. You should wear a white blouse or shirt and black trousers or skirt with black socks or tights. You must wear black shoes and, if the weather requires it, a black coat.
Candidates serving in HM forces may wear uniform together with a gown. A black or dark sari is permitted for women, worn with a white blouse and black tie.
During the ceremony, you will change into the gown (and hood) of the degree you are receiving, which you must hire beforehand from one of the academic dress retailers in Oxford.
For those who already hold a degree from Oxford, you must hire and wear the gown and hood of your highest Oxford degree. In addition, you must hire the gown and hood of the Oxford degree you are receiving to be changed into at the relevant point during the ceremony. Please note that this does not apply to students who hold degrees from other universities.
All graduands automatically receive three free tickets for guests to attend the graduation ceremony. You may be allocated up to three additional tickets ten days before the ceremony, subject to availability. If you wish to request additional tickets, please email our Academic Officer. Please note that the College does not control the allocation of extra tickets.
Granduands can then invite up to six guests to attend the in-College celebrations at Nuffield. Please let our Academic Officer know how many guests you intend to bring.
Except for degree ceremonies that take place in August, degree certificates are sent to the College by the Degree Conferrals Office a few days before the Ceremony, so should be available to collect from the College Lodge on the Degree Day.
For degree ceremonies held in August, certificates are sent directly to candidates by post, to the graduate’s home address held by the University (please contact the Academic Officer if you are not sure which address this is, or you want to change it).
Additional copies of degree certificates cannot be ordered. If your degree certificate is lost, stolen or damaged, you can order a replacement certificate at a cost of £30. If you graduated before February 2010 and have not received your free degree certificate, or would like to order a replacement, please download the postal order form from Degree Certificates on the University website.