Celebrate the success and achievements of our students at our graduation ceremonies.

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2024 graduation ceremonies

Our 2024 summer graduation ceremonies will take place between Monday 8 and Friday 12 July.

Our 2024 winter graduation ceremonies will take place between Monday 9 and Thursday 12 December.

View and download our graduation ceremonies campus map

Graduation Walkthrough

We’re really excited for your graduation and we know you will be too. To help you plan for the day, we wanted to explain a bit more about what to expect on the day. Graduation is likely to be very busy so we recommend you arrive two hours before your ceremony start time so you can enjoy the day at the right pace. Make sure you read this alongside our event map to understand where everything is located.

A step-by-step guide to your graduation day

  1. Once you arrive on the Preston Campus, please make your way to the Engineering Innovation Centre on Corporation Street to check in. Your guests will be directed down Kendal Steet to the Foster building, where they can wait for you. We do this to keep queues at check in to a minimum. 

    If you intend to arrive by car, please plan your parking arrangements in advance and be aware of their proximity to the campus. Please remember that we don’t have space in the University car parks – just for blue Badge holders. There are several public car parks in Preston so take a look at the venue and parking section below where would work best for you. We have a designated drop off point and limited accessible parking spaces for Blue Badge holders on Hope Street car park.

  2. You may need to queue to check in, which might mean standing outside for a little while, but we will get you through the queue as quickly as possible. Check the weather before the day as umbrellas may be needed!

    When you reach the front of the queue, you will be shown to the right check in desk organised alphabetically by surname. Here you will receive an envelope which includes your name card and wristbands for the ceremony hall. For security reasons it is important that anyone entering the ceremony hall has their wristband on before entry. Don’t forget to collect live-stream tickets for any additional guests.

    After checking in, you will head up the stairs for gowning (lift access is also available). You may need to wait a bit here, but the team will be working as fast as they can. There will be two queues, one for those who have pre-ordered their gown and one for those who are paying on the day. Don’t forget pre-ordered gowns are cheaper than ordering them on the day. The gowning team will support you in getting your gown and cap on and there will be mirrors at each dressing station.

    Once you have your gown you will exit the Engineering Innovation Centre via the stairs or lift and be directed onto the Foster square.

  3. After a short walk across the square to the Foster building, you will then re-group with your guests. The entrance to the Foster building is via the fire doors situated to the left of the main entrance. This entrance is fully signposted and there will be lots of event ushers to show you and your guests where to go.

    You can then have professional photographs taken with your guests by our official photographer, Tempest. Please note you may need to wait a bit during busy periods so do allow enough time before your ceremony starts.

    If you don’t want official photographs, you can skip this section by walking through Foster corridor straight into Foster social space. There will be lots of event stewards to help you find your way.

    In Foster social space you will be able to grab a complementary drink, take photos with classmates and celebrate with your friends and family before the ceremony.

  4. You will exit Foster social space through the fire doors leading to the Foster garden. From here, there is a short walk over to Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre. Please make sure you have finished any drinks before walking over as you cannot take open drinks into the hall.

    Please ensure you and your guests have secured your wristband to allow us to provide access to the building as quickly as possible. For security reasons you will not be able to enter without your wristband firmly secured on your arm.

    You will be directed to the ceremony hall via the stairs or lifts. Ushers will be on hand to help you and your guests find their seats and it is important to note that graduands will be seated separately to guests. It is important that graduands sit in the seat that has been allocated on the ticket as this is the order in which you will be presented on stage.

    Guests who do not have a ticket for the ceremony hall and are watching the live stream will take a left turn after exiting Foster social space and walk straight ahead to the Darwin building. Once inside the building, guests will take another left to the lecture theatre, where the live stream will be hosted. Don’t worry we will have plenty of people showing you the way.

  5. The ceremony will start promptly so please make sure you and your guests arrive in good time to find your seats. We ask that everyone is seated in the hall at least 15 mins before the start of the ceremony.

    To begin the event, the platform party will process through the centre of the ceremony hall to the stage accompanied by a live performance by the Chamber Choir and trumpeters. The platform party includes a Senior Academic, who presents your award, a Mace Bearer who carries the University Mace, a Master of Ceremonies, who comperes the ceremony, and academics from your school.

    Once seated, the Master of Ceremonies will begin the ceremony with an opening message, which will be followed by a welcome from the Senior Academic and the presentation and response from Honorary Fellows, Honorary Doctorates and Alumni award winner (when in attendance).

  6. Graduate presentations will follow, where you will be invited to cross the stage and be congratulated by the Senior Academic.

    Your seats have been allocated in a very specific order so that you cross the stage along with students from your course. An usher will prompt your row when it is time for your presentation and you’ll line up at the left of the stage.

    The queue will lead up a ramp and when you reach the stage, an usher will take your name card and hand it to the announcer who will read out your name. You will then cross the stage to shake the Senior Academic’s hand or if you don’t wish to shake hands, you can cross your hands in front of you and simply nod.

    You will exit the stage at the other side and ushers will direct you back to your seat for the rest of the ceremony.

    Once the presentations have finished, the Chamber Choir will perform and you’ll be invited to celebrate by throwing your cap in the air with your fellow graduates. The Master of Ceremonies will conclude the ceremony and invite all guests to sing the National Anthem. To conclude the ceremony, the platform party will process out of the hall.

    The ceremony hall will be dark and there will be bright, flashing lights and loud music. Live cameras will capture the entire event and be projected onto a large screen so all guests in the hall and those watching the live stream can see the proceedings and most importantly, the graduates crossing the stage.

  7. After the ceremony you will exit the same way you came in and ushers will guide you through Foster building, up Kendal Street, crossing the road onto the University Square. Here you will be directed into a marquee for your post-ceremony celebration. Your guests will follow after a few minutes and meet you on the square to celebrate.

    You will be able to enjoy complimentary refreshments, take some more informal photos and catch up with your course mates. We will also have food vendors and a bar available where you can purchase food and drinks. If the weather is kind we will also have rooftop bar available on the top of the Student Centre for you to purchase drinks and get some stunning photographs of the city.

    Inside the marquee you will also be able to purchase an official photograph of yourself crossing the stage.
    The last thing you need to do before leaving is to return your gown inside the Student Centre.

    We know it will be a day to remember and we are really looking forward to celebrating with you.

Preparing for your day

Disability arrangements

The booking form where you confirm your intention to attend a ceremony asks whether you or your guests have any access requirements that require specific assistance or prior organisation. Please can you confirm details on the form and provide additional information if necessary. If you have any questions, then please email us.

The University of Central Lancashire campus is wheelchair accessible with lift access to all floors.

Accessing the venue and further information

Please note that ceremonies include flashing lights. Please email the Graduation Team for more information.

Graduation playlist

We've created a graduation playlist so you can watch our ceremonies on catch-up. We've listed out the ceremony times further down the page.

Watch previous ceremonies

Discover your Alumni Network

Sign up to your Alumni Network via your graduation booking form and take advantage of all of the alumni benefits and support we have on offer. Whether it be careers advice, library and gym access or business support, we’re here for you throughout your graduate life.

Find out more about the alumni network

Social media

Share your graduation celebrations and favourite memories of studying with us using #UCLanGraduates on social media. You can also collect complimentary photo prints from the University Square on the day of your ceremony when you share through Twitter.

Could you be our next TikTok or Instagram star? Look out for our team who will be filming throughout graduation.

Stay connected

Discover Preston city centre

Explore Preston with our exclusive discounts that can be redeemed in local restaurants, cafés and hotels.

Frequently asked questions