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MA Congregation

Information about the MA Congregation and Dinner

If you hold a Cambridge BA, you may proceed to the MA not less than six years from the end of your first term of residence, providing that you have held your BA degree for at least two years.

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. 

Saturday 21 & 28 March 2020 - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ 

The University is continually monitoring latest Public Health England and government advice on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) when considering plans for the upcoming Congregations. 

So that the University continues to meet our responsibility to staff, graduands and their guests, and the need to restrict social interaction, it has determined not to proceed with the in-person Congregations on Saturday 21 March 2020 and Saturday 28 March 2020.  A brief Congregation to approve and confer degrees in absence only will now take place. 

Those due to take their degrees in person on 21 or 28 March 2020 have the option to either opt to graduate in absence, or to graduate at a later date. 

If you wish to take your degree in absence on Saturday 28 March 2020, please confirm this by email to no later than 5pm on Thursday 26 March 2020.  Please note that if you take your degree in absence it will not be possible to take your degree in person at a later date. 

Future ceremonies you may opt to attend will be notified in the next few days. 

The College appreciates that many students and their guests will have been looking forward to graduating, and will be disappointed not to be able to attend a ceremony in March.  The University has given serious consideration to the welfare of our staff, graduands and their guests, and feels this is the right decision in the circumstances. 

If you have ordered academic dress, please contact the company you have hired through. 

Consequently, the College has decided to cancel the MA Dinner on Friday 27 March 2020 and those that have booked their places will receive a full refund. We hope to be in touch regarding a new date for the MA Dinner when circumstances allow.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about the refund, please contact Ingrid Koning (  Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding. 

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 about 12.30pm or a little later. There will be a series of intervals so that guests may enter the Senate House floor or gallery just before Girton is called.  

We shall let graduands know the exact arrangements for their guests during the rehearsal on the Saturday morning. All guests of graduands need to have a ticket, including young children and babies, and tickets are checked before guests enter the House.  

MA graduands are allowed two tickets for their guests – there will be a waitlist for additional tickets which can be requested on the booking form. 

Although we cannot confirm the timetable for the day at this stage, please see our Draft Programme which should give you an idea of timings for the day. 

For those who order via Ede & Ravenscroft, Old Hall will be open from approximately 9.00am for the handing out of gowns on the day of the ceremony. Please be present in Old Hall in College, fully dressed for the ceremony, for a rehearsal which will take place shortly before being 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.


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 with guests, so please make sure that you adhere strictly to the regulations. 

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 accompanying relatives and friends, nor do we provide transport for the return journey to College. Depending on the clemency of 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 at the rehearsal in Girton. 

Please note that traffic and parking in Cambridge on a Saturday is difficult. Guests should be urged to leave for town in very good time if they have to park a car or get a bus. 

For those who order via Ede & Ravenscroft their academic dress will be delivered to the College on the Saturday morning. This will have the advantage that you will not need to make a special journey into the centre of Cambridge in order to obtain gown, hood, etc. Under these arrangements graduands must either return their academical dress after the ceremony to the Reception Room in College, where it will be collected by Ede & Ravenscroft, or at the Emmanuel United Reformed Church on Trumpington Street. 

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 B.A. – therefore you will wear the B.A. gown and hood – you cannot wear your undergraduate gown. 

The approximate cost of the standard B.A. gown and hood is as follows: 

  • B.A. gown – £13.00 
  • B.A. hood – £13.00 

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

For those wearing a suit: Bow tie and white bands hire is £3.50 each, or £6.00 for both.  

If you do wish to order your academic dress directly with Ede & Ravenscroft you must order it via their online booking form. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE making sure that you adhere to Ede & Ravenscroft deadlines.  

Alternatively, you can call them on +44 (0)370 242 1170. P.N. There is an additional £2.00 charge for orders placed over the telephone. 

If you wish to make your own arrangements, academical dress can also be hired from Ryder & Amies: 22 King’s Parade,, or T: +44 (0)1223 350 371  

Please ensure you and your guests adhere to the following instructions issued by The Proctors’ and University Marshal: 

‘For security, safety and practical space restriction purposes, rucksacks, holdalls, shopping bags or bags larger than 35cm x 25cm may not be taken into the Senate-House or the surrounding grounds. If you bring them, you may be asked to make alternative arrangements for their storage. 

If you need to keep your bag with you, you must seek assistance from a Proctor/Constable who may check contents prior to entry to the Senate-House. Please allow sufficient time for the additional delays this may cause.

Tempest Photography is the official photographer for your award ceremony and for any formal studio portraiture you might like on the day of your ceremony.  

Details of the photographic offerings available to you can be found on the University’s website here

Please click here to read an information leaflet from the Careers Service. 

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