Congregation FAQ

What time does the ceremony start?

The ceremony starts at 2pm.  The Theatre will be opened at 1.15pm for guests. Graduands must be on the upper concourse by 1.35pm for the Graduand Procession.

How do I order my gown?

You must wear academic dress for the ceremony. Your gown, hood and cap can be hired here from Wm Northam & Co. Check that you have ordered the correct hood – they differ for the levels of awards. 

What about the photographs?

The photographer from Wm Northam & Co Ltd will be at the College.  It is advisable that you book your photographs before the day via the website  This will save queuing on the day.

Are there any extra guest tickets?

If there are any extra guest tickets, these will be allocated as per your returned attendance slip.  If all graduands take up the initial allocation of 2 guest tickets there may not be any extra tickets.

What if I or my guest(s) have special requirements?

Please let us know as soon as possible so that the necessary arrangements can be made.  Please contact us at

Where can I park?

Maps showing the car parks close to the College are available on the RNCM web site /visit-us/getting-here/

What if I still owe the College money?

If you owe the College any monies, including library fines, recording department fees, 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.

We are planning to be in the city over night, where can we stay?

There may be limited space at Sir Charles Groves Halls, please call 0161 276 9314

Use the link below to find hotels in and around Manchester.

I have already received my certificate – do I need to bring it with me?

No, you are sent your certificate as you may need it when you apply for jobs or for further study.

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony will last approximately 11/2  hours.

Where do I collect my gown?

Wm Northam’s will be at the College in the Organ Room for you to collect your gown on the day.  You can collect your academic dress from 11am. You must return it by 5pm 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 stage via a number of steps so you may want to wear suitable shoes.

Where do I collect my guest tickets?

You collect your guest tickets from outside the Organ Room.  You will be given your guest tickets and your name card which states your seat number.  Guests will only be admitted to the Concert Hall with a relevant ticket.

When should I have my photograph taken?

The photographer will be in Studio 3. We suggest that you have your photograph taken immediately after being dressed in your academic robes.

Where will I sit?

All graduands are allocated seating on the lower blocks of the Concert Hall. There will be ushers to guide you to your seat. After you have been presented 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 seating on the balcony and back blocks 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 Concert Hall.

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

We welcome families to celebrate your success. However, the formality and length of the ceremony may be unsuitable for babies and small children. Children attending the ceremony will require a guest ticket.

Please note that the aisles are in constant regular use during the ceremony and pushchairs or prams cannot be allowed into the auditorium.

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 do not obstruct the view of fellow guests or disrupt the procedure of the ceremony.

Will I receive my certificate on the day?

Your certificate will have already been posted to you.

Any certificates not presented at the ceremony will be posted to your home address; please ensure the College is notified of any change of address.

What happens after the ceremony?

Once the President’s Procession has left the stage, the Staff procession will process out of the auditorium followed the Graduates.  Guests are asked to remain in the Concert Hall until the processions are completed. Light refreshments will be supplied in the Café and Lower Concourse for graduates and their guests.

Where do I return my gown?

Please return your gown to the Organ Room by 5.00pm at the latest.

Can we dine at the RNCM following the Congregation of Awards ceremony?

Yes, to reserve your table in Brodsky, restaurant, bar and grill, please call

0161 907 5353/5252.

The menu can be found here.