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Degrees are conferred at degree ceremonies, which usually take place in the Sheldonian Theatre, but may take place at the Examination Schools if the Sheldonian is not available. You can graduate straight after you've finished your degree, or many years later, in person by attending a ceremony, or in absence.
Only one degree can be conferred in person at a given ceremony, e.g. if you passed the examinations for a BA degree and then passed a Masters course, the BA would be conferred in absence and the Masters conferred in person at a ceremony. It is not possible to attend a Degree Day following completion of a Certificate or Diploma. If you have any debts or dues outstanding to your college or the University you will not be permitted to graduate. Please refer to the Regulations for Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas for more information.
To book on a degree ceremony before July 2013
- If you are completing your studies before Trinity Term 2013, please contact your College for dates. Please note, ceremonies usually become fully booked several months in advance of the ceremony date.
To book on a degree ceremony from July 2013 onwards
- Taught course students will receive an email invitation in November of their final year inviting them to log into the eVision degree ceremonies booking system.
- Research students granted leave to supplicate before 12 December 2012 should contact their College to book a degree ceremony.
- Research students granted leave to supplicate from 12 December 2012 will receive an email invitation with information about booking a degree ceremony.
It is expected that a proportion of the invited students will not take up their place to graduate in person. These spaces will be available to students who have not had their degree(s) conferred and candidates for the MA, however, there may be very few places available and it is recommended to have your degree conferred before July 2013 if possible. If you would like to graduate after July 2013, please contact your College to be placed on a waiting list for your degree ceremony. The days available will depend on when your college is presenting (112kb). Bookings for graduation ceremonies in or after July 2013 are made according to the following Terms and Conditions (54kb).
Guest tickets are limited to two or three per candidate and are collected from your college on the degree day. The number of guest tickets allowed will depend on which ceremony you attend. Please check with your College. Only ticket holders will be admitted to the Sheldonian Theatre.
Photographers will be based at the Sheldonian Theatre (or at the Examination Schools). Please note that photographers who operate outside the railings of the Bodleian quadrangle (and Examination Schools) do so without the permission of the University authorities. You can also purchase a DVD of the ceremony.
Full academic dress must be worn at degree ceremonies. You should wear a mortar board or soft-cap, and your preferred sub fusc from the following list:
1. One of
- Dark suit with dark socks, or
- Dark skirt with black tights or stockings, or
- Dark trousers with dark socks
2. Dark coat if required
3. Black shoes
4. Plain white collared shirt or blouse
5. White bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon.
Members of the University serving in H.M. Forces are permitted to wear uniform together with a gown.
For all degrees you must also wear the gown of your existing status (and the hood if there is one) during the first part of the ceremony. You will change into the gown (and hood) of your new degree at the appropriate time during the ceremony. Your college will let you know which gowns and hoods you will need. Please be aware that you may be refused admission to the degree ceremony if you are not properly dressed.
One degree certificate will be automatically issued following graduation regardless of whether you have graduated in person or in absence.
In most UK universities, the Master of Arts is a free-standing graduate degree awarded by examination. In Oxford (as in Cambridge), and following longstanding tradition, the status of Master of Arts is a mark of seniority within the University which may be conferred twenty-one terms after matriculation
If you have completed a BA or BFA you will be eligible to take an MA in or after the 21st term since you matriculated (i.e. seven years after matriculation). This is not an automatic process and to obtain your MA you must apply to graduate at a degree ceremony (either in person or in absentia). You must have had your BA or BFA conferred in order to take your MA. They can be conferred at the same ceremony provided that sufficient time has elapsed since you matriculated. You should book for a Degree Day through your college in the usual way. You are not at any point eligible to take an MA if your undergraduate degree is an Oxford integrated Masters degree. The Oxford MA is about reaching a new status within the University and not an upgrade of your BA or an additional qualification. It therefore has no subject or class. We do not issue Degree Confirmation letters or ECTS statements as proof of your MA. Please use your Degree Certificate as evidence of this award.
If you are attending a degree ceremony to confer your MA (or DD, DCL, DM or MCh), you will be required to kneel in front of the VC, who touches each person on the head with a Testament, admitting them ‘In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’. Please see the degree ceremony brochure for further information. If you would like to have the Non-Christian formula at the degree ceremony, please notify your College at the time of booking. It will not be permitted to request the Non-Christian formula on the day of the degree ceremony.