Degrees at Oxford are not automatically conferred on the successful completion of a course and certificates are not issued by the University until after the formal conferment at a ceremony.
Degrees may be conferred by attendance at a ceremony, or in absentia. Blackfriars Hall participates in the ‘College specific’ degree ceremony for finalists of that year and has an attendance quota at certain of the degree ceremonies during the academic year. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis; there is no limit on the number for conferment in absentia. There is no time limit for conferment of any degree.
Guest allocation for the graduation ceremonies is two tickets per graduand. Graduands themselves do not need a ticket.
It is recommended that children under the age of seven do not attend the ceremony but if graduands do wish to bring children, the parent/guardian should try and sit near an exit so that they may leave quickly and quietly should the child become restless. Please also note that the child will need his or her own ceremony ticket unless sitting on a parent/guardian’s lap.
The dress code is strictly adhered to. Please follow it carefully.
You must wear sub-fusc. Exceptions are made for serving members of HM Forces, who are permitted to wear uniform, and for members of religious orders, who are permitted to wear religious dress.
The University website gives clear guidance on academic dress.
- A dark skirt with black tights or stockings, OR dark trousers with dark socks
- A dark coat or jacket, if required
- Black shoes
- A plain white collared shirt or blouse
- A black tie or ribbon, or black or white bow tie
- A gown and a mortar-board or soft hat (and see below)
In addition, for graduation ceremonies you must ALSO bring with you the gown and hood of the degree you are going to receive at the ceremony.
The University website also has information on the regulations relating to academic dress.
Hiring or Purchasing Academic Dress
You will need to provide your own sub fusc. You can hire or purchase academic dress from several specialist clothing shops in the city: the staff there will be happy to help you if you’re in doubt about what you need. The two main outfitters in the city are Ede & Ravenscroft and Shepherd & Woodward.
The Hall Officer responsible for degree ceremonies is the Dean of Degrees.
Booking a Place at a Degree Ceremony
Taught Masters Students
You will automatically receive an email before the end of Michaelmas term in your final year of study, with instructions on how to login to the Student Systems eVision Degree Ceremony booking system. If you do not receive an email, please contact Student Systems Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will automatically receive an email with instructions on how to login to the Student Systems eVision Degree Ceremony booking system once you have been granted Leave to Supplicate. If you do not receive an invite at this time, please contact Student Systems Support at email@example.com.
You can find more details, and an FAQ here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/graduation.
Certificates and Confirmation Letters
If you have passed your examinations and have not had your degree conferred at a degree ceremony, or if you have attended a ceremony but require proof of your award to present to a third party, you can request a Degree Confirmation letter free of charge. This statement is on official University-headed paper. The letter will confirm that you have successfully completed your course at Oxford, the dates of attendance and the classification you received.
You can find information on how to order one here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/graduation/certificates.
In most UK universities, the Master of Arts is a free-standing graduate degree awarded by examination. In Oxford (as in Cambridge), the status of Master of Arts is a mark of seniority within the University which may be conferred 21 terms after matriculation. Please note the Oxford MA is about reaching a new status within the University and not an upgrade of your BA or an additional qualification. It therefore has no subject or class, and the nominals ‘MA’ should be used in place of, not in addition to, the ‘BA’ in the holder’s signature and on documents such as CVs.
If you have completed a BA, you will be eligible to take an MA in or after the 21st term since you matriculated (i.e. seven years after matriculation). This is not an automatic process and to obtain your MA you must apply to graduate at a degree ceremony (either in person or in absentia). You must have had your BA conferred in order to take your MA. They can be conferred at the same ceremony provided that sufficient time has elapsed since you matriculated.