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General Admission

The ceremony at which most undergraduates proceed to their first degree at the end of their final term

General Admission 2024 

Please find below important information regarding the 2024 General Admission graduation ceremony. Please make sure you read it all carefully as it provides you with lots of information about the day and will answer many of the questions you may have.                 

Girton College is being presented at Senate House on Friday 28 June 2024 in the early afternoon, and this is preceded by a full dress rehearsal and a celebration buffet in the College gardens.

If, after reading this information, you have any questions or concerns, please contact Student Services via  

Please note photography and filming will be taken for the duration of this event and will be used for College-use publicity. If you wish to opt-out of this, please get in touch with the Communications Officer in advance via and/or please inform the videographer/photographer on the day. 


Sample General Admission Timetable

Although we cannot confirm the timetable for the day until nearer the time, below is a sample timetable from a previous year.

9:00am Dress Rehearsals (Compulsory for all graduands, guests should not attend). 
9:30am to 1:00pmGraduation photographs in the Reception Room.
10:00am – 12:00pmLawrence Room open for visitors.

Special Graduation Service for Graduands and their guests in the Fellows’ Garden, led by the Chaplain and members of the Choir.

In the case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the College Chapel. 

All welcome.            

11:00am onwards 

Garden Party Buffet will be served in the marquee on the hockey pitch for those who have booked tickets.

Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets/informal seating etc. 

Academic Dress

There is a strict dress code for all graduation ceremonies and all graduands must wear the correct academic dress; i.e. all graduands must wear the appropriate hood and gown. For those opting to wear a white bow-tie and bands, you must be wearing a suit (full length sleeve jacket).

Arrangements have been made with Ede & Ravenscroft to deliver academic dress to the College for those graduands who wish to use this service. The advantage of this service is that you will not need to make a journey into the centre of Cambridge to obtain your hood etc.  

To order your academic dress directly with Ede & Ravenscroft please use their online booking system as soon as possible making sure that you adhere to Ede & Ravenscroft deadlines. Please note that Ede & Ravenscroft suggest booking academic dress 21 days before the ceremony date, as they cannot guarantee what date their website will close after this.

Gowns, hoods etc. that have been ordered will be handed out in the Chapel Box Room on D corridor, on Thursday 27 June between 11:00-12:00 and 14:00-15:00. Please bring the confirmation email from Ede & Ravenscroft when you collect your academic dress.

No academic dress will be handed out on graduation day. Please make sure you have everything before this date.

Graduands must return their Ede & Ravenscroft hired dress after the ceremony to the Reception Room at College or Downing Place United Reformed Church (next to John Lewis).

You may also hire or buy academic dress from the following supplier, but please note that if you are not using the Ede & Ravenscroft service, you are responsible for collecting and returning your own academic dress:

Ryder & Amies
22 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SP

There are strict rules regarding what graduands should wear with their academic dress. Please make sure you read the Dress at Congregations document so that you know what kind of suit/clothing and shoes are acceptable. If you are required to wear an undergraduate gown, you are permitted to wear your current undergraduate gown if it is in a suitable condition.

If you are not suitably dressed for graduation (i.e. your dress does not meet the University’s requirements as set out in the document above), the Praelector may have to withdraw you from the ceremony.

If you have any queries about either the academic dress that you need to order or what you are going to wear with your academic dress, please come and see the staff in Student Services and we can advise you. Alternatively email

Celebration Event in College


A traditional service of thanksgiving, reflection and music in the beautiful setting of the Fellows’ Garden (or the Chapel if wet). An inclusive service in the Christian tradition to which all – off all faiths and none – are welcome. The service lasts about 45 minutes and is always warmly appreciated by those who attend.

The College celebrates graduation with a garden party.

A buffet will be served in the marquee on the hockey pitch for those who have booked tickets. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets (camping chairs if necessary).

The graduation buffet tickets will cost £25 per guest, tickets for children under the age of 12 will cost £10 each (children under 3 are free), and there is no limit on the number of guests you may invite. The graduand's ticket is complimentary. 

If any of your guests has special access or seating requirements, you can give details on the booking form (emailed separately) or email us at

Tickets for the graduation buffet will be available for collection from the Chapel Box Room on Thursday 27 June between 11:00-12:00 and 14:00-15:00.

On the day of your graduation, we will have Adrian Newman, a portrait photographer in College. Their studio will be in the Reception Room (near the Porters’ Lodge). This will be open from approximately 09:30 to 13:00.

If you wish to have your photograph taken please go to the Reception Room.

The photographs will be of 8″ x 6″ and each will come in a card folder. The prices are:

  • One photograph £21.00
  • Two photographs £28.00
  • Three photographs £35.00

All prices will include card folder, post and packing worldwide.

You will be able to pay by cash, cheque or card.

You can have your official Graduation photograph taken by yourself, with your family, or with a group of your friends, in up to three different poses.

The Ceremony

Elements of the Cambridge degree ceremony have their origin amongst the earliest customs of the University some eight hundred years ago.

The ceremony commences when the Vice-Chancellor's procession enters the Senate-House. All stand. When the Vice-Chancellor (usually represented at General Admission by the Mistress) reaches their place on the dais, the audience sits. The University Officers and graduands remain standing.

The Congregation itself begins when the Proctors cross the House and take their place on the dais.

The Senior Proctor welcomes visitors and immediately proposes a Grace (a motion) to the Regent House (the “parliament” of University scholars). In Latin, the Grace reads as follows:

"Supplicant, reverentiis vestris, viri mulieresque Collegii Girtonensis quorum nomina juxta senaculum in porticu proposuit hodie Registrarius nec delevit Procancellarius ut gradum quisque quem rite petivit assequatur."

"Those men and women of Girton College, whose names the Registrary has today posted in the arcade beside the Senate-House, and which the Vice-Chancellor has not deleted, beg your reverences that they may proceed to the degree for which each has properly applied."

If there are no objections, the Junior Proctor says 'Placet'.

Graduands can invite up to two guests to attend the ceremony at the Senate House, as it has limited capacity.

Tickets will be needed for your guests to enter the Senate House. All guests of graduands need to have a ticket, including young children and babies, and tickets are checked before guests enter the House.

Any unused Senate House tickets will be randomly allocated one week before the event. To be added to the waiting list for one extra ticket, you can notify us on the 'General Admission 2024' booking form (emailed to graduands separately).

Transport to town for Guests

Any taxis required to take guests to the Senate House must be pre-booked; due to the large number of guests the Porters’ Lodge will be unable to arrange transport.

Local taxi companies you could use include Panther Taxis, CamCab and Uber.

The number 5 Stagecoach bus is the regular bus from College into town. You can view the route and timetable here

There is also the Universal bus service (U bus), and the route and timetable can be viewed here.

We strongly advise guests pre-book any taxis and leave College for the Senate House in good time.

A full dress rehearsal will take place in College on Friday 28 June at 09:00. Graduands must attend so that we can make sure that everyone who is graduating is there, understands what happens at the ceremony, and is appropriately dressed. Attendance at the rehearsal is compulsory.  

All graduands will be taken to the ceremony by coach from the back drive of College, next to Ash Court. We are afraid that we cannot provide transport for accompanying relatives and friends, nor do we provide transport for the return journey to College. 

All graduands are asked to travel on the coach to Queen’s Road where we will process through King’s College to the Senate House. Guests cannot join this procession.

So that your family and friends who cannot attend your graduation in the Senate House can see you graduate, the University will provide a livestream of the event (the link will be emailed to those attending shortly before the ceremony) so they can view the ceremony from home.

Please note that by attending the ceremony in person, you are giving your consent to being included in the livestream. It will not be possible to take part in the ceremony and not be part of the recording. 

The livestream is provided to allow those friends and family members unable to attend the Senate House to view this important event. It is provided on the understanding that it is a private recording, not to be publicly shared on social media or in any public forum. Whilst the University and the contractors will make best efforts to provide the livestream, it is not guaranteed and some circumstances may prevent either a live broadcast or possibly a later showing of any recording. 

The recording of the livestream is held for two months after the ceremony. 

Photography inside the Senate House is not permitted. Failure to abide by this rule may result in you being removed.

Tempest, the University’s official photographers, will offer studio photography on the day, as well as photographing you inside the Senate House as your degree is conferred.

If you are having your degree conferred in person, your degree certificate will be handed to you at the Senate House.  

If you take your degree in absence, the certificate will be posted on to you.

Official University Transcripts will be posted to all those students who graduate a few weeks after the ceremony. They will be posted to the address specified on your booking form.

Student Information

Information for Girton Undergraduates and Postgraduates

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