Updated on 18 June 2020
At this time, you are advised to have your degree awarded 'in absence'. Although a degree cannot be awarded twice, the University and College would like to reassure students who opt to graduate 'in absence' during this crisis that they will have the opportunity to celebrate their degree with an alternative ceremony at the Senate House.
Further details will be made available in due course.
Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
What is graduating in absence/absentia?
Graduating 'in absence' or 'in absentia' is when a degree is awarded without attending a ceremony in person.
Candidates who have their degrees awarded 'in absence' cannot then proceed to have that degree awarded 'in person' at a subsequent ceremony. However, candidates who opt to have their degree awarded 'in absence' at ceremonies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will be invited to attend an alternative ceremony at the Senate House as soon as it is safe to do so.
What are the arrangements for the alternative ceremony?
For students who graduate in absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University and Colleges’ Congregations Working Group has adopted the key principle of seeking to offer a ceremony in the Senate House that will be as close as possible to the usual in person graduation.
The aim is to make it possible for College cohorts to reunite in their College and to process together to the Senate House in academic dress.
Candidates yet to graduate will have their degrees awarded and those who have graduated in absence at ceremonies affected by COVID-19 will have their degrees celebrated in a similar way.
How soon this can happen depends on when social distancing rules have eased and large gatherings are again possible.
The University Working Group is consulting with Colleges in a range of potential dates for 2021.
What if I do not wish to graduate in absence?
If you would prefer to defer until 'in person' graduation congregations can resume, that option remains open, but it may not be for some time and possibly more than a year.
BA candidates: please note that the MA degree cannot be awarded until you have held your BA degree for at least two years
- Requirements to proceed
Assessment results will need to have been processed before students can graduate. To assist finalists in knowing which is the earliest ceremony date they can apply to graduate at please see the graduation date by subject list
Confirmation of approval for your degree MUST be received by the College from the Board of Graduate Studies. This is particularly important for those graduating in July as many MPhil courses will not be approved in time. Please check with your department when your Degree Committee will approve your degree.
If your Degree Committee has not approved your degree you will not be able to have it awarded at a ceremony.
Please also remember that you need to pay your College and University bills before you will be put forward for a graduation. If you wish to check your account status, please contact the Accounts Assistant
Books from the Wolfson Library are also required to be returned or replaced before you can be approved to graduate.
- Returning Library books
Before you are approved to graduate you must return any books loaned from the Wolfson Library.
If you are currently in College you can leave your books in one of the two plastic boxes in front of the Library.
If you are not in College you can:
- Post the books back to College (preferred method)
- Purchase replacement copies via Amazon.uk and have them shipped to the Library. Used copies in good condition are acceptable.
- Applying to graduate
Whether you apply to graduate 'in person' or 'in absence', you must apply via CamSIS Self-Service
If your Raven login is no longer valid, please register for the 'Extended Self-Service' to graduate.
The CamSIS Self-Service Guide is available here
When signing up, please make sure that you also update your contact details (postal and email address and contact telephone). This is especially important as these details will be used for any correspondence before and after the ceremony.
Should you have any queries regarding applying please contact the Praelector's Secretary
- Degree certificates and transcripts
Transcripts for degrees awarded based on assessments modified as a result of COVID-19 will include brief wording explaining that the candidate undertook alternative assessments, and provide a link to a fuller explanation of the nature of the assessment, hosted on the CamData website
Paper copies of certificates and transcripts for everyone who has graduated in absence during the lockdown period will be produced and posted as soon as staff are able to return to the workplace.
Graduates can sign up to the online Digitary allowing them to access and share an electronic copy of their official transcript as well as access an image of their graduation certificate.
Students who defer graduation will also be able to access the Digitary but will not be recorded as having graduated.
- Graduation ceremony dates and application deadlines
All Graduation ceremonies taking place in the Michaelmas Term, 2020, will be in absence only.
Arrangements for Graduation ceremonies taking place in the Lent and Easter Terms, 2021, are yet to be confirmed, though the ceremonies on 30 January and the 27 February are expected to be in absence only.
In absence ceremony dates
Academic Term Date of ceremony CamSIS application portal opens CamSIS application deadline Michaelmas Term 2020 Saturday 24 October August 2020 15 October 2020 Saturday 28 November September 2020 19 November 2020 Lent Term 2021 Saturday 30 January * November 2020 TBC Saturday 27 February December 2020 TBC Saturday 27 March * January 2021 TBC Saturday 10 April * January 2021 TBC Easter Term 2021 Saturday 1 May January 2021 TBC Saturday 22 May January 2021 TBC Saturday 3 July (General Admission) ** TBC TBC Long Vacation Saturday 24 July TBC TBC
*Usually this ceremony takes place in absence only, regardless of updated arrangements made because of Coronavirus.
**for the BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only.
- Awarding of M.B. for Medics who completed in June 2019 and April 2020
The medics who completed in June 2019 had until the May 2020 congregation to have their MB awarded at the Senate House; this is now extended until May 2022.
The medics that completed in 2020 completed early (in April) to allow them to help out on the front line for the NHS. This would mean they only had until March 2021 to collect their MB as the April ceremony date is after the anniversary of the BCHir date; this is now extended until May 2022.
- The Master of Arts (MA) Degree
If you hold a Cambridge BA, you may proceed to the MA not less than six years from the end of your first term of residence, providing that you have held your BA degree for at least two years.
Further information is available here