The Praelector at Graduation by Joe Cotton


Celebrating your academic achievement

When you have successfully completed your course you need to be presented for your degree. Your degree will be conferred on you at a graduation ceremony by the Vice-Chancellor or his appointed Deputy.

The Praelector at Graduation by Joe Cotton

Graduation (Congregation)

The Praelector, David Goode, is responsible on behalf of the College for presenting the graduands at Degree Congregations, which take place seven times per year. The Congregation at the end of June is principally reserved for the presentation of undergraduate degrees. In late June there are also four special days called ‘General Admissions’ at which MEng, M.Math., MSci., Vet.M.B., B.A. and B.Th. degrees are conferred. Further information about degree ceremonies is available from the University website.

A Degree may be conferred in absentia, you are encouraged to attend the ceremony. It is not impersonal and nearly all find the day enjoyable for themselves, their families and friends, even if it does rain!

If you graduate in absentia you cannot graduate in person at a later date. Wolfson presents graduands in person at the Congregations in October, November, February, April, May, June (undergraduates only) and July. In January and March, Wolfson only presents in absentia.


Please complete the Application to Proceed to Degree form if you wish to graduate in October and November 2019 (download here). For those wishing to graduate in 2020, please fill in this form (download here). Congregation timings are not known until eight days before the date, so include a current phone or email address (not your @cam, unless you are continuing onto a further course) where you can be contacted in the seven days before your Congregation date. Return by email or by post to:

Tutorial Office
Wolfson College
Barton Road, Cambridge CB3 9BB

Requirements to proceed

  • We must receive your completed application form at least 15 days before the date on which you want to take your Degree, whether in person or in absentia. For May or July congregations we may not be able to accommodate all applicants; if so, we will suggest alternate dates.
  • Postgraduate students: confirmation of approval for the Degree must have been received by the College from the Board of Graduate Studies.
  • You must wear your academical dress.
  • Graduation Timing: Wolfson’s graduation is usually any time between 14.00 and 17.30, depending on the number of graduands from other Colleges. On arrival please assemble in the room specified in the programme dressed in academic dress, including hood.
  • You will not be able to attend in person, either to the Senate House or to attend the formal lunch, if you have outstanding College debts. The College would, therefore, only present you in absentia. Contact the Finance department (Tel: 01223 335913 or via email) to ensure that you have settled all bills.

If you are not sure whether these conditions have been met please email the Praelector's Secretary before you or your family and friends make travel arrangements.

Congregation dates

Easter Term 2019 Saturday 27 April
  Saturday 18 May
  Saturday 29 June*
Long Vacation 2019 Saturday 20 July
Michaelmas Term 2019 Saturday 26 October
  Saturday 30 November
Lent Term 2020 Saturday 25 January (in absence only)
  Saturday 22 February
  Saturday 21 March (in absence only)
Easter Term 2020 Saturday 25 April
  Saturday 16 May
  Saturday 27 June*
Long Vacation 2020 Saturday 18 July

* (General Admission- MEng, M.Math., MSci., Vet.M.B., B.A., and B.Th. degrees only)

Degrees in Absentia

To those wishing to take their Degree in absentia the preceding criteria will still apply. The College will post the Degree certificate and, where relevant, the academic transcript to you when it has been received from the University three to four weeks after the ceremony.

Degree Day

You will be informed of the precise timetable for yourself and guests by e-mail, approximately eight days before congregation. 

Due to safety considerations the number of guests permitted in the Senate House is limited to three per graduand and entry is by ticket only. If a guest is already a member of the University’s Roll of Regent House an entry ticket is not required, but a gown must be worn and only admitted if the University Marshal grants access due available capacity. Guest tickets will be issued to you at the dress inspection on the morning of the Congregation. Photography is not allowed in the Senate House.

Your guests will not walk with you to the Senate House.There is no parking at the Senate House, so guests should walk, cycle or take a taxi to the Senate House.

The service at the Senate House is usually about 50 minutes. Degree congregations are not suitable for children under five years of age.

Celebratory meals

With the exception of July (for one-year full-time and PhD students), you are invited to a Formal Celebratory Lunch at Wolfson College on the day of your degree ceremony with a maximum of three guestsFormal invitations are not issued. Children aged ten and under receive their meal free of charge.

Because of the very large numbers proceeding in July, those taking one-year full-time degrees and PhDs will not be offered a lunch, but a Celebratory Formal Dinner with their guests on the Friday preceding the ceremony.

The Master of Arts (MA) Degree (apart from certain holders of University and College Offices)

The degree of MA may only be conferred upon BAs of this University at any time after six years have passed following the first term of residence, provided that at least two years have elapsed since admission as BA. Essentially, therefore, the MA may be conferred in or after the twentieth term after matriculation but there is a restriction of 2 Guest tickets to the Senate House. Former affiliated students should remember that their first term in Cambridge is counted as their fourth for these purposes. MA degrees cannot be conferred in person in July due to high numbers of graduands.