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MA Congregation

Information about the MA Congregation

A Bachelor of Arts may be admitted to Master of Arts not less than six years from the end of their first term of residence, provided  the former degree has been conferred.

Guidance on applying, please read:

  • This particular ceremony on 1 April 2023 is primarily for alumna/us who matriculated in 2016, and have received their BA degree from the University.
  • If you became eligible to receive your MA earlier than this year and would like to have it conferred, please visit the Degree Ceremonies page where you will find dates of other ceremonies.

Girton College is delighted that you intend to proceed to the MA degree, we would very much like to see you at both the MA Congregation and Dinner. Please read through this information for further details. 

If you are undecided about whether you would like to receive your MA degree either in person or in absence at the 1 April ceremony, there are regular future Congregations that take place if you decide you would like to receive it at a later date.  The dates and registration form can be found on the Degree Ceremonies page.

If you would like to register to take your MA degree either in person or in absence on Saturday 1 April, please click the `Apply now` button found below.  Once you have submitted your registration form there will be a link which will take you to a new form to register for the MA Dinner.

The deadline to register for this ceremony is 9am on Thursday 9 March 2023.

Please note that dates and information is subject to change or cancellation, dependant on the latest government advice regarding COVID-19.

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

COVID-19 Guidance

The health and wellbeing of the whole College community and guests is of the upmost importance to us and therefore we ask you to follow the below COVID-19 guidelines.

  • All visitors to the College are expected to be fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt, and are required to have had a negative lateral flow test on the day of arrival.
  • If you feel unwell, especially if you have had Covid symptoms, please do not attend the event.
  • Please wear a face covering at all times whilst inside the College buildings unless you are medically exempt or consuming food and drink.
  • Please observe social distancing as much as possible.

Current operational information from the University

The in-person ceremony with a maximum of two guests only
Unfortunately due to limited space at Senate House, the number of guests permitted at the Senate House congregation is two per student.

A socially-distanced ceremony
Social distancing of 1 meter will be observed in the Senate House for graduands and ceremonial staff.  On arrival, you will be queuing, individually distanced, under marquees in Senate House Yard before entering the Senate House in single file.

During the ceremony, you will proceed through the Senate House and you will stand to receive your degree.  The College Praelector will give the customary speech to present you, and your degree will be conferred individually by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (normally your Head of House).  Once you have completed your ceremony you may either engage with the Tempest photography services or leave the Yard. 

Additional COVID-19 measures on site
Students and staff are currently not required to wear face coverings inside University and College buildings but as there will be a large amount of people coming into contact with people they wouldn't normally meet, everyone participating in Congregation Ceremonies will be expected to wear face coverings inside the Senate House, unless an exemption applies.  The only exceptions to this will be staff required to speak during the ceremony – the Senior Proctor (giving the welcome); Esquire Bedell (reading names); Praelector (presenting graduands), and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (conferring degrees).  You will be permitted to remove your mask when your degree is conferred, if you wish to do so.  The following page contains advice for face coverings: Update from the Vice-Chancellor | University of Cambridge

Livestreaming the ceremony
To allow your family and friends to view your graduation in the Senate House, the University will provide a livestream of the event.  This may be viewed at 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. 

Photography at the Senate House
Tempest, the University’s official photographers, will offer studio photography and certificate framing services on the day, as well as photographing you inside the Senate House as your degree is conferred. It will not be possible for graduands to gather in front of Senate House to take photographs on the day.

Academic Dress

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 gown, hood etc.  

To order your academic dress directly with Ede & Ravenscroft please use their online booking system or telephone 01223 861854 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.

Please note that you should wear the gown and hood of the highest Cambridge Degree that you hold. For most of you this will be the BA – therefore you will wear the BA gown and hood – you cannot wear the Girton undergraduate gown.

If you hold a higher degree, e.g. VetMB, LLM, MEng, MPhil, that is the one you should wear.

For any purchase enquiries please telephone: 01223 350048

For hire orders please telephone: 01223 861854

Gowns, hoods etc. that have been ordered will be handed out on Saturday 1 April ahead of the rehearsal.  Exact times will be confirmed nearer the date.

Under these arrangements, graduands must either return their academical dress after the ceremony to a designated area at College, where it will be collected by Ede & Ravenscroft, or Downing Place United Reformed Church (next to John Lewis).

You may also hire or buy academical 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 academic dress:

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

Please make sure that you adhere to any suppliers deadlines for ordering academic dress to prevent delay in receiving it.

All graduands must wear the correct academic dress; i.e. all graduands must wear the appropriate hood and gown and those wearing a suit must wear a white bow-tie and bands. 

If you are not properly dressed (i.e. your dress does not meet the University’s requirements as set out in the Dress at Congregations document), the Praelector may have to withdraw you from the congregation and enter you for a future congregation where you would have the choice of graduating in person or in absence. 

It is always very unfortunate and embarrassing when this happens with graduands coming from a distance, so please make sure that you adhere strictly to the regulations: Dress at Congregations

Please note graduands will be expected to wear face coverings inside the Senate House, unless an exemption applies.  Face coverings must be plain (not patterned), and appropriate for a formal occasion.

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 email as we can advise you.

The Ceremony

On account of the large number expected to attend this Congregation, the order of Colleges means that Girton is not likely to be called to the Senate House before 2pm.

Please note that all timings will be confirmed approximately one week before the ceremony when you will be contacted via email with all the necessary details. Until this point we will not know the exact timetable for the day.

All Graduands will be taken down to the ceremony by coach from the back drive of College, next to Ash Court.  We are afraid that we cannot provide transport for the return journey to College.  Depending on the weather we shall either be dropped on Queen's Road and process from there to the Senate House, or be dropped close to the Senate House.  The Praelector will announce which during the rehearsal in Girton.



A full dress rehearsal will take place in College on Saturday 1 April shortly before graduands are taken down to the ceremony.  This must be attended so that we can make sure that everyone who is graduating is there, and appropriately dressed.  Attendance at the rehearsal is compulsory.  Further details about the rehearsal will be confirmed nearer the date.

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. 

Tempest, the University’s official photographers, will offer studio photography and certificate framing services 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 using the address you provide in your application form.

For further details, please visit the Degree Certificates and Transcripts page on the University`s website. 

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