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Saturday, 26 October 2019 followed by Graduation High Tea

Saturday, 30 November 2019 Students from Sidney can only graduate 'In absentia'

Saturday, 25 January 2020 followed by Graduation High Tea

Saturday, 22 February 2020 Students from Sidney can only graduate 'In absentia'

Saturday, 28 March 2020 followed by Graduation High Tea (in absence only; cancelled for graduation in person)

All following Congregation ceremonies are postponed until further notice

Saturday, 25 April 2020 followed by Graduation Dinner (postponed)

Saturday, 16 May 2020 followed by Graduation High Tea - M.A Degree Ceremony  (postponed)

The May Congregation is the College's preferred date for the presentation of candidates for the MA degree as it coincides with our MA Dinner and Reunion.  It is greatly preferred that graduands for other degrees should choose a different Congregation.

Friday, 26 June 2020 Degree Congregation - General Admission and Master's Buffet Lunch (postponed)

The June Congregation is reserved as a day of General Admission for the presentation of candidates for 'first' degrees; BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only.

Friday, 17 July 2020 followed by Graduation Dinner (postponed)

Further information on graduation can be found on the University of Cambridge webpage

Graduate Students

Graduands (as those about to be admitted to a degree are termed) should arrange their graduation through CamSIS self-service at least three weeks before the intended date of graduation. If you completed your course a while ago and can no longer access CamSIS self-service, follow this link to the Extended Self-Service (ESS).  If you have any queries, please contact Praelector's Secretary, Shaun Darby (), Tel. +44 1223 3 38810).  

MPhil students must have received confirmation on CamSIS of Faculty Degree approval.

PhD students must have received confirmation on CamSIS of approval by the Board of Graduate Studies.

Students on other courses will need to confirm their eligibility with the Student Registry before booking. 

Please be aware that a condition for graduation is that all University bills must have been paid in full.

The degree ceremony incorporates the Christian Trinitarian formula, meaning that degrees are conferred 'In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'.  This formula can be omitted, if requested on the booking form.  A further alternative is to request that a simpler formula, ‘In Nomine Dei’ (In the name of God), be used instead.  The ceremony also includes a brief period of kneeling.  Those who do not wish to kneel may opt out on the booking form.

Students may elect to take their degrees in person or in absence.  If you decide to take your degree in absence, you still need to make a formal application to graduate through your self-service.  Everyone who graduates will receive an official degree transcript, normally within six weeks of the Congregation.

Undergraduate students (BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only)

Generally collect their degrees at the end of their final year, at General Admission.  This takes place near the end of June, and details are circulated to eligible students by the Tutorial Assistant, Mrs Claire Girdlestone (), Tel. +44 1223 3 38844), during Lent Term.  Please also see the "General Admission" tab above.

On all Congregation days when graduands are proceeding in person, the College provides hospitality for both graduands and their guests, as part of the celebrations.  Please see the list of dates for details. 

If you wish to bring guests, please indicate this (and any dietary requirements) when you book.  You may pay by debit or credit card for guest High Teas or graduand and guest Graduation Dinners - please contact the Tutorial and Student Finance Manager, Mr David Graves (), Tel. +44 1223 7 60972) ) at least three weeks before the date of your graduation in order to arrange this.  If you need to cancel any guest bookings, please inform the Praelector's Secretary at least 72 hours before the event.

Graduation High Tea

Graduation High Tea is will include a glass of sparkling wine, cake, scones, sandwiches and other items, and, of course, tea and coffee.

Charge to graduands: No Charge

Guests: £21.00 per head

The time and venue of the High Tea will vary a little according to the day's timetable, but is likely to be at 3.00 p.m. 

Graduation dinner

Three courses, with tea and coffee. 

Wine for the dinner may be purchased by graduands from the College Buttery, from 6.00 p.m, in cash, as there are no card facilities and student accounts will have been closed.

No wine or other alcohol may be brought in from outside the College. 

Graduation Dinners will take place at 7.00 p.m. in the Hall.  Bookings can only be taken when eligibility to graduate has been confirmed, and are taken on a 'first come, first served' basis, until the Hall limit is reached. 

Graduands and Guest: £29.40 per head

Dress for Graduation Dinner (graduands and their guests) is 'smart casual', gowns optional; however, it would nonetheless be entirely appropriate, and welcome, if a graduand wishes to attend in their graduation academical dress.


Guest numbers for High Tea and Dinner

Up to five guests may attend High Tea or Dinner apart from the following dates:

July Dinner - Maximum of 3 guests

May Congregation – no guests

Booking and Cancellation Policy

At Sidney Sussex College we are privileged to enjoy excellent Dining and Conferencing facilities and staff.

In order to maintain catering standards of which we are justly proud, we require that  bookings for High Tea and Dinner are made a minimum of three working days before the event.  Therefore, to book on to a dinner held on a Tuesday evening, you would need to have signed up by 5pm on the preceding Thursday, and for a Friday Dinner, 5pm Tuesday.

Dinners may be cancelled up to three working days before the event without charge.  Cancellations made after this may be charged in full.

If you have any queries, please contact the Praelector's Secretary, Shaun Darby (), Tel. +44 1223 3 38810)

Dress Requirements

Please note that there are strict University Regulations concerning correct dress at graduation.  The Regulations cover both formal academical dress (gowns and hoods) and the clothing which is deemed suitable to wear with it.

Please refer to the University guidelines on Academical Dress:


The schedule for each Congregation is finalised by the University a week before the event, exact timings are circulated to graduands on the Monday preceding the Saturday Congregation.  


This is held in Chapel in the morning (to which guests are welcome when there is space).  Graduands should attend the rehearsal fully dressed for the degree ceremony.  Dress will be checked by the Praelector, and any errors will need to be rectified before graduands may proceed to the Senate-House.  


The Praelector will lead a small procession from the Porters' Lodge, according to the time scheduled for Sidney graduands to proceed to their degrees.  The time at which Sidney presents graduands varies for each Congregation, but usually falls between 12.00PM and 4.00 p.m.

Each new graduate leaves by the Doctors' Door (leading down into Senate-House Passage), receiving their degree certificate en route, and then awaits their fellow graduates and guests on the Senate House lawn.  Guests will need to remain in the Senate House until the end of the particular session, although this does not typically produce a long wait. Photographs, and other memorabilia, may be purchased by the new graduates at marquees hosted by University staff.

New graduates and their guests may then make their way back to College to attend the Graduation High Tea or Dinner.


Guests should note that they are not permitted to take photographs inside the Senate-House.  The moment of graduation is captured in a photograph which may later be purchased later.

For further information please see -

If you have any queries, please contact Praelector's Secretary, Shaun Darby (), Tel. +44 1223 3 38810)

Guests at Graduation

A graduand (this does not apply to MA graduands) may bring up to three guests to the Senate-House, and tickets should be requested at the time of booking.  It is sometimes possible to provide a small number of extra tickets, although this can only be confirmed a week before the ceremony. Graduands receiving a MA may bring up to two guests to the Senate-House.

Guest tickets for the ceremony must be collected from the Porters' Lodge on the day of graduation.  Guests usually need to leave Sidney, to take their places in the Senate-House, independent of our formal procession from the College.

There is very little shelter near the Senate House and so guests are advised to make adequate provision for wet weather.  It should be noted that the ceremony is not suitable for children under seven.  Noisy children will be required to be removed from the Senate-House during the ceremony.

Guests who are members of the University may wish to wear a gown, although academic caps or bonnets should not be worn inside the Senate House.  Smart dress for a formal occasion is recommended.

Further details can be found on the University website:

General Admission 2018

General Admission 2020

This ceremony is postponed until further notice

(please note dates/times are subject to change by the University, eligible students will be notified of exact details as soon as the College is provided with the information)

If you have any queries regarding General Admission, please contact the Tutorial Assistant, Mrs Claire Girdlestone (), Tel. +44 1223 3 38844)

Please read the following if you are expecting to proceed to General Admission in June, or you are considering Management Studies or currently studying Engineering, Mfg Engineering, Chem Eng, Natural Sciences and Maths in your 3rd year.

Engineering, Mfg Engineering, Chem Eng, Natural Sciences and Maths 3 years or Management Studies

If you are staying or considering staying for a fourth year, you will not automatically be put forward for General Admission.  However, if you do not wish to proceed to a fourth year or you are concerned that your grades may not be acceptable for your next level of studies, it is important that you contact so that you can be included in the Ceremony, even as just a precaution.  Once you are added to the Ceremony, it is easy to remove you even at the last minute, however, it is not possible to add you to the ceremony once the deadline has passed so please keep in touch with with the TUtorial Office about any concerns you may have or to talk through your options.

Information for your Diary 2020

To assist with planning you may find the following information useful for you and your guests, all the dates are correct, however, the times are an approximation and may vary slightly:

Thursday 25th June

8am - 11am                      Collect Bar Code from Tutorial Office

11:30am                            Arrival and Preperation for Group Photo

12noon                              Group Photo

11am – 1:30pm               Group and Individual Photo’s

2:30pm to 3:45pm          Rehearsal

6:15pm                              Graduation Service

7pm                                    Pre-Dinner Drinks then Dinner in Hall


Friday 26th June

11am                                  Arrival and preparation for procession to Senate House

11:50am                            Graduands Process to Senate House

12:00pm                            Guests to arrive at Senate House

12:05pm:                           Graduands to arrive at Senate House

12:15pm – 12:45pm        Admission to degrees

1:30pm                              Graduation Lunch


Registering for Graduation and the Graduation Ceremony

 The University deadline for sign-up is Friday 8th May 2020.  To register, log on to CamSIS and select ‘Graduation > Apply for Graduation’.  Subsequent steps are self-explanatory.  You will be asked:

  • whether you wish to receive your degree in person or in absence
  • how many tickets you would like for guests (maximum of 3)
  • whether you wish to attend the graduation dinner (undergraduates only)

(Graduate students taking their degree at General Admission will receive a separate invitation from the Graduate Tutors).

 *Please note that you do not need a ticket!

The graduation ceremony will take place in the Senate-House on Friday 26th June.  A full timetable for Thursday 25th June and Friday 26th June will be circulated to graduands in May.

Graduation Photo and Graduation Rehearsal - Thursday 25th June

Graduands must arrive for the Photo and Rehearsal dressed as if ready for graduation on Friday (see below).  A group photo of all graduands, with the Master and other College Officers, will be taken in the Fellows’ Garden on Thursday 25th June.  There will also be an opportunity for individual and family photos, for those who wish.  In the mid-afternoon the Praelector will conduct a full dress check of each individual graduand, and a full rehearsal in the Chapel (no guests).  You will receive a group time in due course.

Each graduand will be issued in advance, by the Tutorial Office, with a small card (credit card size) with a bar code on it, which will be used to identify him or her in the photograph. This card must be

  • collected from the Tutorial Office on the morning of the 25th June
  • brought with you to the photograph

Graduation Dress

The University has strict requirements for graduation, concerning both academical dress (gowns and hoods) and the clothes worn with it.  Please consult carefully the Dress Regulations for detailed information

Academic Dress Flow Chart

Graduation Dress Requirements

Please note that you will need to collect your academical dress on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th June or first thing in the morning of Thursday 25th June, ready for the Graduation Photo and Rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. The College has an agreement in place with Ryder and Amies for a 1 day hire for the 2 day period if you choose to use them.

Graduation Dinner

Please note, guests are not permitted to the Undergraduate Matriculation Dinner due to the limited capacity of Hall.

Undergraduate Graduands’ Dinner:

Date:   Thursday 25th June

Time:  7.00 pm            Pre-dinner drinks in the Cloister Court.

            7.30 pm            Hall

Graduate Graduands’ Dinner

Date:   Tuesday 23rd June

Time:  7.00 pm           Pre-dinner drinks in the Cloister Court.

            7.30 pm           Hall

Dress code for both dinners

  • Dinner Jacket or formal evening wear
  • Gowns will be worn (Scarlett Day for Fellows)

Graduation Reception

The Master and Mrs Penty cordially invite you and your graduation guests to a buffet lunch after the ceremony, in the Fellows’ Garden.  The Fellows, and many members of the College staff, who have supported you through your time at Sidney will join the party to celebrate your graduation and your time at Sidney.

Letter from the Master and your University Transcript

The College receives your University Transcript usually by mid-July, this is then sent onto you.  The Master also traditionally sends a letter to each Graduand once they have graduated.  For this purpose, we ask that you update your ‘First Destination’ address in CamSIS, if you do not do this, they will be sent to the last known home address on CamSIS which may delay applications that require proof of your degree.  Please update your ‘First destination’ address by the 30th June so that you receive both your Transcript and the Masters’ Letter.  This information will also be passed onto the Development Office who will keep you regularly updated with Alumni Events and information on returning for your M.A degree.

College Bill

All debts to the University must be settled in full before a student can graduate.  The Student Finance Manager will write to you before the end of Lent Term with further details of your final College bill.