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Virtual Ceremony

Attending a ceremony following the completion of your qualification is an important milestone in your journey with The Open University. It is an occasion to celebrate your amazing achievement with family, friends, and supporters.

We want to help you celebrate in a way that works for you, therefore, as well as our regular ceremonies, we’re delighted to now offer you the opportunity to attend a virtual ceremony where you can be presented for your qualification.

On this Page

What is a virtual ceremony?
Eligibility to attend a ceremony
Booking your virtual ceremony
Ceremony dates and times
Family, friends and supporters
Pronunciations
Gowning services
Joining the ceremony on the day
The ceremony - what to expect

What is a virtual ceremony?

A virtual ceremony is a live, online presentation of University graduates. Hosted by a Senior Member of the University, you will join the online ceremony where you and fellow graduates will be presented for the qualifications you have achieved.

The event is streamed live via our YouTube and Facebook pages.

Please note: attending a virtual ceremony will not affect your eligibility to attend a face-to-face event at a later date.

Eligibility to attend a ceremony

If you are a graduate of any of the Open University qualifications listed below and have not yet attended a face-to-face ceremony, you are eligible to attend a virtual ceremony.

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

 

Booking your virtual ceremony

Attending your virtual ceremony is free.

To book your place, you will need your personal identifier and email address.

Take a look at the ceremony dates and times to decide which one you’d prefer to attend.

Go to the booking page (link will be live from Tuesday 16 March 2021 09:00) where you will find all relevant information and will be able to book your chosen ceremony. 

Be aware that ceremony bookings are subject to availability and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any questions, please contact the Ceremonies Centre via Webchat or emailing Ceremonies@open.ac.uk before making your booking.

Ceremony dates and times

Wednesday 5 May 2021

11:00 - 12:00
14:00 - 15:00
16:00 - 17:00

Friday 21 May 2021

11:00 - 12:00
14:00 - 15:00
16:00 - 17:00

Go to the booking page (link will be live from Tuesday 16 March 2021 09:00) where you will find all relevant information and will be able to book your chosen ceremony. 

Family, friends and supporters

We know how important your family and friends have been on your OU journey and that you’ll want to share your celebrations with them. They will be able to watch events live via our YouTube and Facebook pages.

Once you have confirmed your place, you will be sent all the relevant information and links to share with your supporters. 

Pronunciations

We want to get everything right. If you feel your name may be difficult to pronounce or is not pronounced as it is written, please ensure you complete details within your Eventbrite booking to advise us of the correct pronunciation of your name.

Gowning services

Academic dress is not compulsory for a virtual ceremony however, you are more than welcome to wear your new gown and hood. If you would like to, our official gowning provider Ede and Ravenscroft are offering a hire-at-home service where you can hire academic dress for your ceremony (UK only). For more information and to order, please go to https://graduation-services.edeandravenscroft.com/graduation/ Please arrange this service well in advance of the ceremony day.

Example timings

Detailed below are the approximate timings for the ceremonies, we expect each ceremony to last 45-60 minutes. You will need to ensure you have joined at least 15 minutes prior to the official start time.

11:00 ceremony

Time

Order of Proceedings

10:30

Join Zoom in preparation for your ceremony

11:00

Official start time which opens with short video messages

11:02

Welcome from your Chancellor

11:04

A message from OUSA President 

11:05

Welcome from your Vice-Chancellor

11:08

Presentation of Graduates 

Approx.
11:45

Ceremony will end with a closing address from the Vice-Chancellor and brief video message

Set up prior to your ceremony day

You will need a device that you can use the Zoom application on, this can be a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Make sure you have Zoom installed on your device and your Zoom name is your first and last name that you used to register for the ceremony. This will allow the Zoom coordinator to allocate you to the appropriate room. Failure to do so could result in delayed entry and you could miss some of the ceremony.

Joining the ceremony on the day

Please join 15-30 minutes prior to the start time of the ceremony to ensure your correct position in the ceremony.  Please use the link provided in the joining email sent to you by Zoom this is unique to your ceremony and for graduates only.  Late comers may not be admitted.

Once you have successfully joined the meeting, you will be able to see other students within your Zoom room, you will be placed in groups of up to 20 students so that you can all be seen during the live stream where you are presented. At this point the OU logo and background music acts as a holding image in the live stream, prior the start of the ceremony.

While waiting in the Zoom room you will be able to use the messaging service to interact but will not be able to hear other graduates in your group, please remain logged in but you are free to mute your microphone or stop video if you need to while waiting for the official start of the ceremony at your allotted time.

If your connection drops out at any point don't worry, you will just need to click your personalised link again to re-join the ceremony.

If you experience any technical issues on the day you can email webcasting@iamagraduate.com this address will be monitored throughout the ceremony.

Please do not share your own Zoom link with your friends and family as this is for graduates only.  Friends and family will be refused entry via this method and this can delay the ceremony itself.  Your friends and family can join our live event via YouTube and Facebook pages. 

The ceremony – what to expect

The ceremony will start with a short welcome video.  You will then hear a message from our Chancellor, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, OUSA President Sarah Jones and then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman will formally open the ceremony with a live address

The formal proceedings then commence, the Graduate Presenter will present graduates for their qualifications.

Each group of students will be presented from their room, (note all graduates will be announced even if they are not present, so it may not be easy to see every graduate respond)  Please show your appreciation by clapping and cheering fellow graduates (you may not be able to hear other applause if microphones are muted).  Once the Graduate Presenter announces the last graduate in your room your microphones will be made live and this will provide you with the opportunity to congratulate each other at the same time by cheering and clapping once more.

The Graduate Presenter will continue to present graduates from each Zoom room until the last graduate in the last room has been announced.  At this point everyone’s microphones will be activated as we revisit each room for a final celebration of cheers and clapping. 

The Vice-Chancellor will then make an address to graduates to conclude the ceremony.

The ceremony ends with a short message after which you can leave your Zoom meeting and continue your individual celebrations.

 

 

 

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