Congregation of Awards FAQs


Do you have a question? To help you find the answer quickly, we’ve listed our most frequently asked questions below.


Before the ceremony

What time does the ceremony start?


The ceremony for Undergraduates starts at 11.30am.  The Concert Hall will be open from 10.45am for guests.

Graduands must be on the Lower Concourse by 11am for the Graduands Procession.


The ceremony for Postgraduates starts at 4pm.  The Concert Hall will be open from 3.15pm for guests.

Graduands must be on the Lower Concourse by 3.30pm for the Graduands Procession.

When will I receive my tickets?

Your tickets will be issued on the day and will be collected from the RNCM Box Office. You will receive confirmation of your ticket allocation via email in advance of the day. Please make sure that we have your most up to date email details. You can provide these via the webform here.

Are there any extra guest tickets?

You will be allocated up to 2 guest tickets. If you request any extra guest tickets, these will be allocated as per your returned attendance slip.

We will try to fulfil additional ticket requests, but this will be subject to availability.

How do I order my gown?

You will need to order your gown from Wm Northam & Co Ltd in advance of the day. You can view the FAQs about gown hire here.

Will there be an official photography studio?

The photographers from WM Northam & Co Ltd will be at the College all day. It’s advisable that you book your photographs before the day via their website  Students who don’t pre-book will be able to queue up and have photographs taken. You’ll then be able pay for these online, after the event.


What if I still owe the College money?

If you owe the College any monies, such as library fines, recording department fees etc, you will not be eligible to graduate. Please ensure that all outstanding debts are paid otherwise you will not be able to attend the ceremony.

Where can I park on the day?

Maps showing the car parks close to the College are available here.

I am planning to be in the city overnight, where can I stay?

The Hyatt Regency Manchester is situated right across the road from the College and is offering an exclusive rate to Congregation of Awards guests:

£125 bed and breakfast for 2 guests (Wednesday 14 December 2022)

To book your room, please visit the Hyatt website here and quote code G-RNCM or contact the hotel directly. For further details about online booking, please visit this page: RNCM Booking Code Instruction.

If you encounter any issues or have any further questions when making your booking, please contact [email protected]

On the day of the ceremony

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony will last approximately 11/2 hours.

What time should I arrive?

You are advised to arrive early and no later than two hours before the start of your ceremony to ensure you have sufficient time to be robed, have official photos taken and to be lined up for the Graduands Procession.

Where do I collect my gown?

Wm Northam & Co Ltd will be based in Studio 2 for you to collect your gown on the day. You can collect your academic dress from 8.30am (UG) / 1.00pm (PG) – graduand only (no family/friends) will be permitted in Studio 2 due to space. You must return it no later than 6.30pm on the same day.

What do I wear?

As the ceremony is a formal event you should be smart and presentable. You will need to wear a buttoned shirt or blouse as the hood needs to fasten to it. You may want to bring some small safety pins. Hair grips are useful to secure the cap. Graduands will be presented on the platform in the Concert Hall, and access around the venue is via a number of steps so you may want to wear suitable shoes.

Where do I collect my guest tickets?

You will collect your guest tickets from the RNCM Reception area. You will be given an envelope containing your guest tickets and your graduand seat number will be stated on the front of the envelope. Guests will only be admitted to the Concert Hall with a relevant ticket.

When should I have my photograph taken?

The WM Northam & Co Ltd photography studio will be situated on the Student Deck. We suggest that you have your photograph taken immediately after being dressed in your academic robes. You will have very limited time to have your photo taken after the ceremony.

Where will I sit?

All graduands are allocated seating in the Concert Hall.  There will be ushers to guide you to your seat.  After you have been presented to the President, you will return to your seat but please leave bags and coats etc. with your guest(s).

Where will my guests sit?

Your guests will have allocated seats in the side blocks and balcony of the Concert Hall.  Ushers will be on hand for advice.

At the opening and close of the ceremony all graduands and guests are asked to stand while the President’s procession enters and leaves the auditorium.

What if some of my guests are babies and small children?

We welcome families to celebrate your success. Please let us know in advance if you’re bringing babies or young children so that we can make sure we do our best to accommodate your needs. Children will need a ticket to enter the Concert Hall.

Can I video the ceremony or take photographs?

There are no restrictions on photography or video cameras, however, no flash photography is allowed. Please ensure that you don’t obstruct the view of fellow guests or disrupt the procedure of the ceremony.

Will the ceremony be live streamed for graduates and guests unable to attend?

The ceremony will be live streamed at for any guest unable to attend. In addition, there will be a screen in Brodsky (next to our Cafe Bar) where guests can view a live screening.

Will I receive my certificate on the day?

Your certificate will have already been posted to you (if awarded in the summer). Any other certificates can be collected on the day.  If certificates are not collected, they will be posted to your home address; please ensure the College has a reliable address for you. You can update your contact details here.

After the ceremony

What happens after the ceremony?

Once the President’s Procession has left the stage, the Staff procession will process out of the Concert Hall followed by the Graduates. Guests are asked to remain in the Concert Hall until the processions are completed. Prosecco will be served on the Concourses after the ceremony.

Where do I return my gown?

Please return your gown to Wm Northam & Co Ltd, situated in the Carole Nash Recital Room.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to the College to celebrate this special occasion with your family and friends. Enjoy your day and we wish you every success for the next step of your career.