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Booking your ceremony

Attending a ceremony is an important milestone in your journey with The Open University. It is your day to celebrate your amazing success with family, friends and fellow graduates, to reflect on your achievements and look forward to your future as a member of the Open University alumni family.

Eligibility to attend a ceremony

If you are a graduate of any of the following Open University qualifications, you are eligible to attend one of our degree ceremonies:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctorate in Education (EdD)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Engineering (MEng)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Foundation Degree (FD)
  • Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE)
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

To be eligible to book ceremony, you must have received or be waiting to receive the final module result of your qualification. All the modules required for your qualification completion must be linked correctly on your student record – to check this, log on to your StudentHome or contact the Qualifications Centre by emailing acc-gen@open.ac.uk. Due to the administrative processes involved in finalising the completion of a qualification, you need to allow a minimum 6-week period between you accepting your qualification offer and the date of your degree ceremony.

Before you book

You’ll see that the University offers a wide variety of venues and locations. Before you make your booking, you should look through our List of ceremonies and decide which ceremony you would most like to attend. Ceremonies are held on various days of the week and many dates offer a choice of morning or afternoon ceremonies. As an Open University graduate, you are free to attend any of the ceremonies in our schedule – the choice is up to you!

If you have any questions or concerns about the suitability of a venue for you or your guests, please contact the Ceremonies Centre before making your booking.

When to book

To find out the exact date and time that bookings will open for your chosen ceremony, please look at the ‘Booking Information’ notes on the List of ceremonies. If no time or date is listed, please check back at a later date as this information has not yet been confirmed.

Be aware that ceremony bookings are subject to availability and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. As such, we strongly recommend that you book as soon as lines open for your chosen ceremony to avoid disappointment.

How to book

If you are attending a ceremony for a research qualification (PhD, EdD, MPhil or MRes) you will be sent a link to book your ceremony. If you have not received this communication by the end of November, please contact the Ceremonies Centre. 

If you are attending a ceremony for any of the other qualifications listed above, you can book your ceremony online. 

Before you make your booking, make sure you know the following...

  • the date, time and location of your chosen ceremony
  • your personal identifier, OUCU* and password
  • know how many guest tickets you would like to purchase
  • your payment card details

* Open University Computer Username - this is the username you would have used to log into your StudentHome during your studies.

To book online, start at our List of ceremonies page and click the ‘View / Book’ button of your chosen ceremony. Click the ‘Book ceremony’ button on the following page and follow the prompts to log in to your student account and book your ceremony.

Once you have made your ceremony booking, you can expect to receive a confirmation email within 48 hours. 

Please read the Ceremonies Terms & Conditions before booking. 

Guests & ticket costs

As the graduate, there is no charge for you to attend a ceremony.

Whilst there is no charge for graduates to attend a ceremony, there are optional extras with purchase or hire charges. Please see Preparing for your ceremony for information on photography and gowning services.

Tickets for guests aged 4+ are £25.00 each. Children aged 3 or under can attend free of charge but must still be declared in your ceremony booking.

If you are thinking about bringing children to your ceremony, please be advised that ceremonies can last approximately 1½ - 2 hours and younger guests can sometimes find this difficult. If children are in attendance, we ask that out of consideration to other graduates and guests, they be removed from the hall should they become restless during the speeches.

Please note that due to safeguarding regulations, children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. It is the responsibility of the graduate to ensure that there is an adult guest included in their booking, as graduates are not sat with their guests during the ceremony itself. Venue staff reserve the right to remove graduates from the ceremony auditorium, should they leave underage children unattended. 

All tickets are subject to availability and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. All guest tickets are non-refundable once purchased. If you would like to add guest tickets to an existing ceremony booking, please email the Ceremonies Centre to make this request (subject to availability).

Please see List of ceremonies to check the maximum guest allowance per graduate for your chosen ceremony. If you would like to bring more guests than the maximum allowed at the time of booking, please indicate the total number of guests you would like to bring. You will be able to book and pay for the maximum number of guests allowed and remainder will be placed on a guest waiting list. You will be contacted if additional guest tickets become available for you to purchase. 

Additional Requirements

If you or any of your guests have any additional requirements for the ceremony day, please indicate this when making your booking. Additional requirements may include being a wheelchair user, having mobility issues or difficulty negotiating stairs, needing to be seated near an exit, etc. When the ceremony draws nearer, a member of our Ceremonies team will contact you to request the details of your / your guest’s additional requirement so that we can take these into consideration when making our arrangements for the ceremony day.

If you would like to discuss the suitability of a particular venue or find out what arrangements could be made to consider your / your guest’s additional requirements before making your booking, please contact the Ceremonies Centre and a member of the team will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this.

Publication of names & OUSA t-shirts

When you make your ceremony booking, you will be asked whether you are happy for your name to feature in the Directory of Graduates. This document will be part of the official ceremony programmes which are handed out to graduates and guests on the ceremony day. If you agree for your name to appear, please be advised that it will do so alongside the name of your completed qualification. Please note that if you are booking your ceremony within 4 weeks of the ceremony day, it may not be possible for your name to be included as this document may have already been printed.

When you make your ceremony booking, you will be asked whether you are happy for your name to feature on the ceremony t-shirts produced by the Open University Student Association (OUSA). These t-shirts will list the names of graduates at your ceremony but will not include any qualification details. They will be available to purchase on the ceremony day from the OUSA merchandise stall. Please note that if you are booking your ceremony within 4 weeks of the ceremony day, it may not be possible for your name to be included, due to production deadlines.

Graduate Waiting List

If your chosen ceremony is full and you do not want to attend one of the alternative ceremonies, there is the option of joining the waiting list for your preferred ceremony, please contact the Ceremonies Centre to request this. If places become available they will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. Please note that you cannot be booked into one ceremony whilst being on the waiting list for another, and can only be on one waiting list at a time. 

Contact us

ceremonies@open.ac.uk

The Ceremonies Centre is open and ready to support you, but some of our services are reduced. You can currently contact us by email or webchat only.

Ceremonies Centre
PO Box 123
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6DQ