Planning your day

Planning your day

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You may arrive at the Royal Festival up to two hours before the start of the ceremony. You should aim to arrive at the RFH at least an hour before the start of the ceremony to allow you sufficient time to register, collect your gown and take your seats in the auditorium.

Seats in the auditorium may be taken from 10.15am for the morning ceremonies and from 1.45pm for the afternoon ceremonies. You and your guests should take your seats in the auditorium no later than 20 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. There will be no admission once the ceremony has started. Guests will each need a ticket to enter the auditorium.

Your guest tickets will be numbered and will display the best entrance to the auditorium. Your ticket envelope will also contain information about the best way to reach these entrances for any of your party with mobility difficulties.

Students, you must be in your specified seat no later than 20 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Ushers will be checking your name and seat number to confirm your attendance. This is in order to ensure your name is read out in the correct order as you cross the stage. If you are not in your seat, you will not be confirmed in attendance and your name will be removed from this list.

Late arrivals will be redirected to alternative seats and will cross the stage after the main cohort. In order to ensure a smooth procession for yourself and all of your fellow students please be in your seat in good time. You will need your ticket to enter the auditorium.

When you arrive at the Royal Festival Hall you need to register to collect your tickets before you collect your gown. Registration will take place on level 1 of the RFH just inside the main entrance on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road between the Southbank Centre and the Hayward Gallery.

For students or guests with mobility difficulties this entrance has a lift that can take you or guests to any level of the RFH.

Please note, this is NOT the entrance to the RFH just along from the famous bust of Nelson
Mandela on Concert Hall Approach. If entering from this side of the RFH you will be on level 2, please make your way to level 1 via the stairs or, for student or guests with mobility difficulties, the JCB elevator to register.

Please bring a form of photo id such as your student ID card.

The presentation of students is the most important part of the graduation ceremony. This is where you walk across the stage, shake hands with a dignitary (usually the Chancellor of the University), and receive a commemorative document (your actual degree certificate will be sent to you by post later).

All graduating students will be seated in the lower stalls, which are the seats immediately in front of the stage. We recommend you leave any bags with your guests to reduce the risk of anyone tripping. We also recommend you leave any valuable items with your guests as your seat will be unattended as you process. You will be seated in the order in which you are to be presented (alphabetically, by course), therefore it is essential that you stay in your allocated seat and remain in order throughout. At the appropriate time you will be called out of your seat by UCA staff, and escorted backstage to take your place in the line-up in the wings.

When it is your turn to be presented, your name will be called and you will be signalled to start across the stage. You will pause briefly in the centre of the stage where you will shake hands with the Chancellor (Zandra Rhodes). You will then continue to the other side of the stage, where you will be presented with your commemorative document by your Head of School. You will then leave the stage via the stage door, and be directed back to your seat.

It is important to note that when you are presented on stage, names will be called in groups of three.

If you are the first of your group of three, you should set off across the stage only once all three names have been called; if you are second or third in your group of three you should set off as directed.

UCA staff will be on hand throughout to ensure that you do the right thing at the right time, and to try to put you at your ease!

Gowns must be returned following the ceremony by 2:30pm for morning ceremonies and 5:00pm for afternoon ceremonies. You could incur an additional charge if you fail to return your gown by this time.