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Virtual Ceremony

Attending a ceremony following the completion of your qualification is
an important milestone in your journey with The Open University.
It is an occasion to celebrate your amazing achievement with family, friends, and supporters.

We want to help you celebrate in a way that works for you, therefore,
as well as our regular ceremonies, we’re delighted to now offer
you the opportunity to attend a virtual ceremony where you can be presented for your qualification.

On this Page

What is a virtual ceremony?
Eligibility to attend a ceremony
Booking your virtual ceremony
Ceremony dates and times
Family, friends and supporters
Gowning services
Joining the ceremony on the day
The ceremony - what to expect

What is a virtual ceremony?

A virtual ceremony is a live, online presentation of University graduates, hosted by a Senior Member of the University. You will join the online ceremony where you and fellow graduates will be presented for the qualifications you have achieved.

The event is streamed live via our YouTube and Facebook pages.

Eligibility to attend a ceremony

If you are a graduate of any of the Open University qualifications listed below and have not yet attended a face-to-face ceremony, you are eligible to attend a virtual ceremony.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctorate in Education (EdD)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Master of Research (MRes)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Engineering (MEng)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Master of Science (MSc)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Foundation Degree (FD)
  • Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE)
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Booking your virtual ceremony

Attending your virtual ceremony is free.

To book your place, you will need your personal identifier and email address.

Booking will open on Tuesday 16 January at 10:00.  Please use the following link to book your place: 

Please be aware that ceremony bookings are subject to availability and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you have any questions, please contact the Ceremonies Centre via Webchat or emailing before making your booking.

Ceremony date and time 

Friday 07 June 2024 

16:00 - 17:00 

Family, friends and supporters

We know how important your family and friends have been on your OU journey and that you’ll want to share your celebrations with them. They will be able to watch events live via our YouTube and Facebook pages.

Once you have confirmed your place, you will be sent all the relevant information and links to share with your supporters. 


We want to get everything right. If you feel your name may be difficult to pronounce or is not pronounced as it is written, please ensure you complete details within your Eventbrite booking to advise us of the correct pronunciation of your name.

Gowning services

Wearing of academic dress during a virtual ceremony is not compulsory, however if you would like to, our official gowning provider Ede and Ravenscroft offer a hire-at-home service where you can hire academic dress. For more information and to order, please go to Please arrange this service well in advance of the day.

Please note: we are currently unable to offer this service for anyone resident outside the UK.

Example timings

Detailed below are the approximate timings for the ceremony, we expect this to last 45-60 minutes. You will need to ensure you have joined at least 15 minutes prior to the official start time.

16:00 ceremony

Time Order of Proceedings
15:30 Join Zoom in preparation for your ceremony
16:00 Ceremony starts 
16:00 A short film will be shown
16:02 Welcome from your Chancellor
16:04 Welcome from your Vice-Chancellor
16:06 Presentation of Graduates 
17:00 Ceremony will end with a closing address from your Vice-Chancellor

Set up prior to your ceremony day

You will need a device that you can use the Zoom application on, this can be a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Make sure you have Zoom installed on your device and your Zoom name is your first and last name that you used to register for the ceremony. This will allow the Zoom coordinator to allocate you to the appropriate room. Failure to do so could result in delayed entry and you could miss some of the ceremony.

Joining the ceremony on the day

Please join 15-30 minutes prior to the start time of the ceremony to ensure your correct position in the proceedings. Use the link provided in the joining email sent to you by Zoom, this is unique to your ceremony and for graduates only. Late comers may not be admitted.

Once you have successfully joined the meeting, you will be able to see other students within your Zoom room, you will be placed in groups of up to 20 students so that you can all be seen during the live stream where you are presented. At this point the OU logo and background music acts as a holding image in the live stream, prior the start of the ceremony.

While waiting in the Zoom room you will be able to use the messaging service to interact but will not be able to hear other graduates in your group, please remain logged in but you are free to mute your microphone or stop video if you need to while waiting for the official start of the ceremony at your allotted time.

If your connection drops out at any point don't worry, you will just need to click your personalised link again to re-join the ceremony.

If you experience any technical issues on the day you can email this address will be monitored throughout the ceremony.

Please do not share your own Zoom link with your friends and family as this is for graduates only. Friends and family will be refused entry via this method and this can delay the ceremony itself.  Your friends and family can join our live event via YouTube and Facebook pages. 

The ceremony – what to expect

The ceremony will start with a short welcome video. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman will formally open the ceremony with a live address.

The formal proceedings then commence, the Graduate Presenter will present graduates for their qualifications.

Each group of students will be presented from their room, (note all graduates will be announced even if they are not present, so it may not be easy to see every graduate respond)  Please show your appreciation by clapping and cheering fellow graduates (you may not be able to hear other applause if microphones are muted).  Once the Graduate Presenter announces the last graduate in your room your microphones will be made live and this will provide you with the opportunity to congratulate each other at the same time by cheering and clapping once more.

The Graduate Presenter will continue to present graduates from each Zoom room until the last graduate in the last room has been announced. At this point everyone’s microphones will be activated as we revisit each room for a final celebration of cheers and clapping. 

The Vice-Chancellor will then make an address to graduates to conclude the ceremony.

The ceremony ends with a short message after which you can leave your Zoom meeting and continue your individual celebrations.

Contact us

The Ceremonies Centre is open and ready to support you.

Ceremonies Centre
PO Box 123
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
+44 (0) 1908 541079
Mon to Thurs 09:00 - 16:30
Fri 09:00 - 16:00

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