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For University Centre Shrewsbury graduands, please see the UCS FAQs. 

Where will my Graduation and Awards Ceremony be held?

All ceremonies will be held in Chester Cathedral.

The Ceremony date is inconvenient. Is it possible to attend another Ceremony?

If you are unable to attend your graduation ceremony you can choose to either graduate in absentia or defer your ceremony to the next scheduled dates (Chester ceremonies are held in March and November, and UCS ceremonies are held in September. Students based in Chester may not defer to a UCS ceremony, given the limited capacity of this venue). If you choose to defer you must email as soon as possible and at least 4 weeks before your ceremony date.

  • Graduating in absentia means you will receive your award but not attend the ceremony. If you choose to graduate in absentia you will not be able to attend a ceremony at a later date.
  • Alternatively, if you are unable to attend your graduation you can defer your ceremony to the next scheduled ceremonies. You can only defer once.

Full details of our deferral policy can be found here.

What if I want to bring more than two guests?

Up to 2 guest tickets are allocated to each Graduand/Diplomate who has registered by the deadline. You may request additional tickets at a later date but these are not guaranteed. You may request additional tickets but these are not guaranteed. Admittance is by ticket only. If it is not possible to provide you with extra tickets, the Ceremonies can be watched, subject to availability live via the internet by going to and clicking on the ‘Graduation Ceremony Video’ link on the right hand side of the page. It may also be possible for additional guests to watch your Ceremony from the Dining Rooms, or the University Chapel on the Parkgate Road, Chester campus and then join you afterwards. Streaming times will be published on the website closer to the event. Please note live streaming cannot be guaranteed. 

When will I receive my tickets? 

Your tickets will be emailed to you approximately two weeks before your ceremony. They will be sent to the email address supplied on the booking form.

What should I do if I can no longer attend the Ceremony?

You should contact the Graduation Office immediately at

How much does the Ceremony cost?

The University of Chester is one of the few institutions that does not charge for Graduation and Awards Ceremonies.

Do you allocate seats for guests?

A. We do not allocate seating for guests, they are offered on a first come first served basis on the day of the ceremony. B. Due to the design of the Cathedral, it is possible that some guests may have a restricted view of the Ceremony.

What if I'm an international student? 

It is your responsibility to check you have the correct visa in time to attend the Graduation Ceremony. If you intend to invite family and friends to watch your Ceremony, please go to for more information on the visa requirements.

Where do I collect and return my gown?

You collect your gown from the Main Sports Hall in the Northgate Arena, Victoria Road, Chester, CH2 2AU. Please click here for details on gown collection and returns times.

Where do I have my photograph taken?

You have your photograph taken in the Main Sports Hall at Northgate Arena, Victoria Road, Chester, CH2 2AU.

What time do I need to arrive at the Cathedral?

You and your guests should arrive at the Cathedral, having first collected your gown from the Northgate Arena, and be in your seat at the latest 30 minutes before the Ceremony is due to start. The Cathedral doors will open approximately 45 minutes before the Ceremony is due to start.

How long will the Ceremony take?

Each Ceremony will last approximately 1½ hours.

Where can I park?

There is limited parking at the Northgate Arena, but we would encourage you to use the excellent Park and Ride facilities around the city. Please note Park and Ride car parks are locked when not in use so please observe closing times. If you enter the Northgate Arena car park you will be asked to pay even if you do not wish to stay. For more information on parking in Chester go to

Is there disabled parking near the Cathedral?

There is very limited disabled parking on the surrounding streets, but it does get extremely busy during the day. Access by car directly to the Cathedral is restricted for pedestrian safety reasons and road closures are in operation for the duration of the graduation ceremonies.  For more information on parking in Chester go to

What happens when I arrive at the Cathedral?

On arrival at the Cathedral, graduands should enter through the Abbey Square entrance, while guests should enter through the West Door or South-West Door. Guests who require step-free access to the Cathedral should enter through the South Transept. A plan of the Cathedral showing the relevant entrances can be found here. You need to have your ticket ready to be scanned at the door.

To maintain a safe and secure environment, we ask that you and your guests DO NOT bring large bags/backpacks/suitcases into the Cathedral. You should make alternative arrangements to leave baggage elsewhere as there are no storage facilities at the venue. Please make yourself known to an Usher at the door who will advise you of your seat number and direct you to your seating. You will then be seated by a Nave Usher who will check to make sure you are sitting in your designated seat. At the appropriate time during the ceremony you will be directed to the platform and your name will be checked to make sure that you are in the correct order. As you line up to receive your award, staff from Ede & Ravenscroft will ensure that your mortar board is straight and that your gown and hood are positioned correctly. When your name is called you will cross the platform and doff your cap to the Presiding Officer. On leaving the platform via the steps (unless you are a wheelchair user, in which case there is a ramp) you will return to your seat. At the end of the ceremony you will process out of the Cathedral behind the staff procession.

What if I am late for the Ceremony?

It is extremely important that you arrive in good time for your Ceremony, at least 30 minutes before your ceremony start time.   If you are not present when the ceremony begins, your absence will have been recorded and you cannot be presented with your award.

N.B. The Graduation and Awards Ceremonies are regarded as public events and as a result audio and visual images of the ceremony are publicly available via an online streaming service and the sale of photographic images. In addition to this, the names of all Graduands/Diplomates receiving their awards are listed in the programmes produced for each ceremony. If you have completed your online booking form to indicate that you do not wish to attend your ceremony and also object to personal data (name and award) being displayed you should inform the Graduation Office immediately on

Can I purchase University gifts?

Gifts are available for purchase by visiting and a selection will be available at the Northgate Arena on the days of the Ceremonies.

What happens if I indicate that I will be attending my Ceremony but do not attend on the day and didn’t advise the Graduation Office beforehand?

The Graduation Office will have noted your absence on the day. You should already have received your certificate in the post before the ceremony. 

Can I bring children to the Ceremony?

Please remember this is an official ceremony that is being filmed and streamed live over the internet and we would not want to disturb the enjoyment of others. Therefore, bringing young children to the ceremony is not recommended. However, if you choose to do so, you will be asked to remove them immediately if they become agitated or distressed.

N.B. Whether your child is old enough to occupy their own seat or if you intend to bring them in a pram/pushchair, all children must have a ticket to be able to attend the ceremony.  

Will there be anything taking place after the ceremony?

Each ceremony will be followed by a complimentary celebratory drinks reception in the Cathedral Gardens for all graduands. This will take place immediately following the conclusion of your ceremony. All graduands and guests who have a ticket to the ceremony are invited to attend the reception.