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The Sage, Gateshead

From To Details  
10:30 14:00 Registration, Robing and Photography  
13:45 14.15 Auditorium doors open; Graduates and Guests to be seated by 14.15
14:00 14:30 Pre-ceremony musical programme
14:30 15:45 Ceremony takes place
15:45 16:30 Refreshments available and robes to be returned to the robing point

On the day

Arrival and registration

You can arrive at The Sage Gateshead at any time from 10.30 am onwards, although we recommend that you allow at least an hour in order to collect your robes and have photographs taken. On arrival please come to the Open University reception desk next to the cloakroom on the main concourse level to register and collect your seat tickets. All seats will be pre-allocated. 


Robes will be available for collection between 10.30 am and 2.00 pm on Level 2. Please have your robing ticket ready. 

Details of gowns can be found under Helpful info.

The ceremony

Graduates will be seated in presentation order at the front of the hall. Guest seating is allocated in the back of the hall or on the two balconies. Graduates are presented alphabetically in order of award category. Open University staff will be available to help you find your space. The ceremony is expected to last between 1½ - 2 hours. 


The photographers will be available between 10.30 am and 17.00 in the Barbour Room on Level B. 

Details of the service provided by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd can be found under Helpful info.


There is a short flight of steps from the auditorium to the stage, but there is wheelchair access to the stage for graduates from the auditorium through a side door leading directly onto the stage; assistance will be available as necessary on the day.

Graduates and guests with special requirements should contact us in advance of the ceremony on 0191 477 6100 or email: We can then ensure that any necessary arrangements are put in place and that you are allocated to suitable seats. Please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff if you need any assistance on the day.

Venue information


If you have any queries about the ceremony, please contact the Ceremonies Centre on 01908 541079 or email us at


Sage Gateshead
Gateshead Quays
NE8 2YR 


The location


Sage Gateshead is the international centre for music designed by Norman Foster and opened in 2004. It is part of the redevelopment of Gateshead Quays, including the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. 

Overnight stay

Information about accommodation in the area can be found at or through local tourist information offices.  You can telephone the accommodation booking service on 0191 440 5757.

Getting there

By car

Driving directions and carparking information is available on the Sage website, at

Other transport

Full details of other modes of transport to Sage Gateshead are available at



Sage Gateshead has a café restaurant on the main concourse level which serves breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as a wide range of homemade cakes, alternatively the Brasserie Restaurant (advanced booking recommended) offers an elegant setting for a two or three course menu.  Please telephone +44 (0)191 443 4654 to make your booking and receive a 10% discount.  There is also a wide range of cafes and bars in the Quayside area.  For further information see

In order to celebrate the occasion, graduates and guests are most welcome to attend a reception after the ceremony, when wine and soft drinks will be available in the foyer areas outside Sage One on Levels 1, 2 and 3.  Graduates and their guests may attend a reception at any of these areas.

Toilets and Cloakroom

There are toilet facilities - including accessible toilets - on each level of Sage Gateshead.  A free cloakroom facility is provided by Sage Gateshead on the Concourse level.


Although it's natural for graduates to wish all their family to be in attendance at the celebration of their academic success, a degree ceremony is quite lengthy and can be rather boring for small children.  If you do decide to bring young children, we ask that out of consideration to other guests, you remove them from the hall should they become restless during the speeches.