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Graduation FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

EVENT DETAILS

Where and when is the ceremony taking place?

What are the timings of the event?

UCS will be holding two graduation ceremonies at 10.30am and 2.30pm. You will be asked to register at staggered times, it is important you arrive and register at your allocated time. To find the time your course will be graduating and the time you need to register click here.

Please note, depending on the number of graduates wishing to graduate, we may need to combine the ceremonies into one! If this is the case we will contact you, keep a close eye on your emails.

Please also keep a close eye on registration times as these may change dependent on graduate numbers. Details will be communicated to you via email where necessary.

PARKING

Is there parking available on site?

Limited parking is available onsite and charges may apply. Other options include on-street parking close to the venue or other council owned car parks. It will be your responsibility to organise transport to and from the venue. We suggest planning your route before you arrive to ensure you arrive in a timely manner. 


REGISTRATION

Where and what time do I have to register?

On the day you will need to register, in person, at the venue. Each course has a DESIGNATED REGISTRATION TIME

Please ensure you register during your allocated time frame.

Once I have registered, what do I have to do next?

Once you have registered, you need to collect your gown and, if you have booked photography, have your official photograph taken.

Gowning and photography will take place at the venue, signage will be provided to guide you.

Please make sure you are familiar with the format of the ceremony before it starts. Members of staff from the Marketing, Events and Higher Education teams will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

What should I do if I am running late?

Please make a member of the Graduation team aware of your delay as soon as possible. The sooner you inform us, the sooner we can make arrangements. The telephone number for the Graduation team is 01278 441215.

Please note: if you are running late we cannot guarantee that you will be able to take part in the ceremony.

 

GOWNING

Do I have to wear a cap and gown to my Graduation?

Yes, students graduating must wear academic dress. You will not be able to graduate if you are not wearing a gown and mortar board (hat/cap).

Do I need to arrange my own gowning?

Yes. You can hire your gown from Ede and Ravenscroft at www.edeandravenscroft.com. Please make sure you do this at least two weeks before your graduation ceremony. Follow the instructions on their website.

You will need to note your student ID number, you will find this in your graduation email invite. You will also be asked for your institution name which is University Centre Somerset. The site will close approximately two weeks before the ceremony takes place.

How much will it cost?

The cap and gown costs approximately £50 to hire. For more information, and to hire your gown please visit www.edeandravenscroft.com.

How can I ensure my gown is covid free?

Ede & Ravenscroft wash and steam their gowns at temperatures higher than the government recommend to kill the covid-19 virus. If you have any further questions please visit the Ede & Ravenscroft website.

What do I wear under my gown?

The ceremony is a formal occasion and you are requested to dress appropriately. You will find it useful to wear a buttoned shirt/blouse to which the academic hood can be fastened, or alternatively bring some small safety pins to affix the button-loop of the hood to your clothes. Hair pins are also useful to secure your mortar board (hat/cap) in place.

I have hired a cap and gown, but can no longer attend my ceremony. Can I get a refund?

You will need to contact Ede and Ravenscroft directly to find out if you are eligible for a refund, for further details please visit www.edeandravenscroft.com.

What do I do with my gown after the ceremony?

You will need to return your gown before you leave. Unfortunately, you will not be able to leave the venue wearing your gown.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Who is doing the photography and do I need to book a space?

The official photographer for our ceremony will be Ede & Ravenscroft.

How much will it cost?

Prices will vary depending on the package you choose. To find out more or to book your photography visit Ede & Ravenscroft’s website www.edeandravenscroft.com.

How do I pre-order my professional photographs?

Photographs have to be pre-ordered with Ede & Ravenscroft, visit their website to make a reservation www.edeandravenscroft.com.

If I don’t pre-order photography, can I still have my photo taken on the day?

If you do not make a booking to have your photograph taken before the ceremony, you will still be able to on the day, providing there is space and time. This will be at the discretion of Ede & Ravenscroft and payment will need to be made upfront.

When do I have the professional photographs taken?

Photographs will be taken before the ceremony. As soon as you have registered and are dressed in your cap and gown, you should make your way to have your photograph taken. There may be a queue, but as you can expect a lot of people have pre-paid for this service, please be patient.

Can my guests take pictures or video during the ceremony?

Yes, your guests are very welcome to take pictures/video during the ceremony, but we would politely ask that those with cameras take care not to obscure the view of other guests.

Will the College be taking photographs?

Members of College staff will be taking photos on the day to use for promotional purposes. If on the day you do not want your photograph to be taken please advise a member of staff.

GUESTS

Am I able to invite friends and family along to see me graduate?

Yes, each graduate will be allocated two guest seats. There may be the opportunity for more guest tickets, but this cannot be confirmed until registration has closed due to the capacity of the venue.

Do I have to pay for guest tickets?

No, we allocate each graduate two guest spaces at no charge.

Where will my guest/s be seated?

Guest seats will be located behind and to the side of the graduates. Please note, we will be asking all guests to remain seated once they have entered the ceremony hall, to reduce movement.

Can I or my guests bring children to the ceremony?

Of course, but please note if you are graduating your child/children will not be able to sit with you, they will need to sit and be accompanied by a responsible adult. Please note if your child needs a seat, this will be counted in your allocation. However, if your child sits on the lap of a guest this will be fine.

If you need to bring a pram with you on the day, please make the Graduation team aware. This will allow the team to make arrangements and arrange space to accommodate the pram. Please note a pram will need to be located with your guests, we will not be able to locate this within the graduate seating area.

Please can we ask that if your child/children become unsettled, before, during or after the ceremony that they are taken outside.

Is there a dress code for guests?

There is no dress code. Guests should wear what they feel comfortable in, however as it is a formal occasion, we tend to find guests dress smartly.

 

SEATING

How will the seating area be structured for my graduation ceremony?

Graduates will be located at the front of the venue and guests will be sat behind and to the sides of the graduates. 

I or one/both of my guests have a disability, do you need to know?

If you or either of your guests have a disability, please advise the Graduation team by calling 01278 441215, we will ensure space is allocated according to your/their needs.

Is there a cloakroom available?

No, we will not be providing a cloakroom service. Graduates are advised to leave any coats/bags etc with their guests.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony lasts for approximately one hour.

 

CERTIFICATES

Will I collect my award certificate at the ceremony?

You will be presented with a certificate, but please be aware that this may not be from the university or awarding body from which you are graduating.

Not all certificates will have been produced by the date of our graduation ceremony and we therefore produce a University Centre Somerset certificate to present to you at the ceremony. Once we receive your official certificate we will forward this on to you.

I have changed my name, can it be changed on my certificate?

The name on your official certificate will match the name you were registered with by the awarding institute on completion of your course. Should you wish to change the name on your certificate, you will need to contact the institute directly. For contact details, please call the HE team on 01823 366348.

 

OTHER QUESTIONS…

If I decide not to graduate, will I be able to join the next ceremony you hold?

If you are unable to attend your graduation but would like to attend the next ceremony, please let the Graduation team know. In the event this is possible, we will let you know. Please note we only hold one graduation event per year.

What happens after the ceremony?

You celebrate! Previous graduates have celebrated by going for a meal with friends and family in the local restaurants of Taunton and the surrounding areas.