Ipswich Graduation

The University of Suffolk will be celebrating the achievements of our students at the annual graduation ceremonies on the Ipswich Waterfront on Saturday 14, Sunday 15, Monday 16, Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, and Thursday 19 October 2023. Details of which courses attend each ceremony are shown in the Graduation Schedule.

All activities for the graduation ceremonies will take place on the Ipswich Waterfront.

  • Registration, gowning and official photography will take place in the University's Waterfront Building.
  • The ceremony itself will take place in the Grand Marquee, along the waterfront near the James Hehir Building.

Everything you need to know about the graduation ceremonies being held on the Ipswich Waterfront is provided below. Please see the FAQs for more information.

You are advised to aim to arrive at least an hour before the published graduation start time.. Your graduation ceremony will start at the published time. If you are late for the ceremony you may miss your opportunity to cross the stage, so please ensure that you allow plenty of time for your journey and aim to arrive an hour before your ceremony is due to start. This will give you time to register, gown and have any photographs taken.

On arrival at the Ipswich Waterfront you should go to the registration desk in the foyer of the Waterfront Building (IP4 1QJ). The registration desk will open an hour and a half before your ceremony is due to start. When you enter the Waterfront Building, you will be greeted at the registration desk where your attendance will be registered.  You will then be directed to the gowning area where you will collect your gown. If you would like to have any official photographs taken, there will be a number of studios available in Lecture Theatre 2 on the ground floor of the Waterfront Building.

Once registered and gowned, you should then make your way along the waterfront to the Grand Marquee, where the graduation ceremony will take place.

The doors to the Grand Marquee will open an hour before the published start time of your ceremony. Please ensure that you and your guests arrive at the Grand Marquee together so that you can be checked in. As the graduating student you will have an allocated seat where you will sit during the ceremony. Your guests will be able to choose where to sit within the guest seating area, so the earlier you arrive the more choice there will be. Only guests who you have an e-ticket for will be granted access to the marquee. All graduands and guests must be seated at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start.

Car Parking
If you are travelling to your graduation ceremony by car, you are advised to use the public car park in Duke Street (IP3 0AQ). Please do not park in the University car parks. Only graduates or guests who are current students at the University and hold a valid 23/24 permit for the car being used are allowed to park in the University’s car parks. Please be aware that the University car parks are managed by Ipserv and have automatic number plate recognition cameras. If you do not have a valid permit for your car and you use the University car park, you will be fined.
More information about car parking and public transport in Ipswich is available on www.ipswich.gov.uk

Guest tickets

All guest tickets cost £5 each and must be purchased in advance through the Marston Events website (www.marstonevents.com/suffolk). Each graduating student can purchase up to three guest tickets for their ceremony in the initial allocation. You will not be able to purchase your guest tickets until you have completed the graduation registration form and received your email confirming that you can log in to the Marston Events website. The deadline for you to purchase your guest tickets is noon on Tuesday 3 October 2023. 

All children attending your graduation ceremony must be accompanied by an adult guest. Children under the age of 5 years do not require a ticket and will be expected to share a seat with an adult guest. Children aged 5 years and over do require a ticket and are included in your count of three guest tickets.

If any guest tickets remain after the deadline to purchase the initial allocation of tickets (noon on Tuesday 3 October 2023), additional tickets for your ceremony may be offered for sale on a first come, first served basis. All students who have placed an order via the Marston Events booking portal will be sent an email to let you know whether additional tickets are available for your ceremony and, if so, details of how to purchase them. Please note that there is no guarantee that there will be additional tickets available for any ceremony and additional tickets cannot be reserved.

If you have purchased guest tickets, you will have been sent a confirmation email from Marston Events containing your e-tickets a few days before your graduation ceremony. Please remember to bring a copy of this email and the e-tickets with you to your graduation ceremony as your guests will require their e-tickets to gain entry to the marquee.

While friends and family may accompany you to the Waterfront for photographs, only guests that you have an e-ticket for will be allowed entry to the Grand Marquee for your graduation ceremony. There are a number of open-air seating areas as well as cafes, bars and restaurants along the Waterfront where anyone who does not have a ticket can wait while the ceremony is taking place.

Please see Graduation Guest Ticketing Policy for more information.

Live-streaming

All of the graduation ceremonies will be recorded and live-streamed. If you have friends and family who are not able to attend the graduation ceremony in person, they will be able to watch a live-stream of your ceremony from home via the University's website. Downloads of the ceremonies will be available on the website after all graduation ceremonies have concluded.

Gowning

All graduating students attending the graduation ceremonies must wear the correct academic dress for their award. Your academic dress (gown, hood and mortarboard) must be ordered in advance from Marston Events and will be available for collection from the gowning area in the foyer of the Waterfront Building, on the day of your ceremony. Marston Events will have staff in attendance to hand you your gown and advise you how to put it on.

After the ceremony all gowns should be returned to the gown return station in the foyer of the Waterfront Building (unless you selected to extend your hire when you pre-ordered your gown) no later than 2 hours after your graduation ceremony. If you are attending the last ceremony of the day, gown returns will close at 9pm on Saturday, 4.30pm on Sunday, 7.30pm Monday-Wednesday, and 4.30 on Thursday.

Photography

The studios for portrait photographs taken by Marston Events, the official photographers for the day, will be located in Lecture Theatre 2 on the ground floor of the Waterfront Building. Marston Events offer a number of photography packages for graduate and/or family portraits, which are available for pre-order when you order your gown. If you don't pre-order there will be the opportunity to order on the day if required, but please be aware that you will incur a non-refundable £15 studio session fee. You are therefore strongly advised to pre-order your chosen photography package. There will be time before and after the ceremony to have your official photographs taken. Please note that the photography studios will close at 9pm on Saturday, 4.30pm on Sunday, 7.30pm Monday-Wednesday, and 4.30 on Thursday.

There will also be a photographer from Marston Events taking a photo of every graduate as you cross the stage to have your award conferred during the ceremony. A copy of your award photograph will be available to purchase from Marston Events after the ceremony either in the foyer of the Waterfront Building or online.

The ceremony will take place in the Grand Marquee, along the waterfront next to the James Hehir Building. 

Seating

The Grand Marquee will open one hour before the published start time of the ceremony for graduands and guests to start taking their seats. Please ensure that you and your guests arrive at the Grand Marquee together so that you can be checked in and your e-tickets scanned. You must have purchased tickets for your guests in advance, and only guests who you have an e-ticket for will be allowed entry to the Grand Marquee.

Each graduating student will be allocated a specific seat in the graduands’ seating area, and your seat number will be shown on your graduate e-ticket. Graduands are seated alphabetically within each course. It is important that you sit in your allocated seat to ensure that the correct name is called when you cross the stage.

On arrival in the Grand Marquee, you will need to check-in with a steward. You will then be directed to your allocated seat. All graduating students should be sitting in their allocated seat at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start.

Guest seats in the Grand Marquee are not allocated, unless you have told us when you purchased your tickets that your guests have an accessibility requirement such as space for a wheelchair. Your guests will be able to choose where to sit within the guest seating area, so the earlier you arrive the more choice there will be. Only guests who you have an e-ticket for will be allowed access to the marquee.

The Ceremony

The graduation ceremony will begin at the published start time and last approximately 45 minutes to one hour. The congregation are asked to stand on entry of the procession. Once the stage party are in position, the congregation will be asked to sit and the ceremony will be opened with a welcoming address. If there is an honorary award, an oration will be made and the recipient will then make a response.

Graduands will then be called onto the stage for their awards to be conferred. A steward will ask a row of graduands to leave their seats and line up in the left-hand aisle. Another steward will tell you when to go and wait at the bottom of the steps for your name to be read out. Once your name is called, go up the steps and cross the stage. As you go across the stage you will be greeted by the conferring officer (normally the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, or Pro-Chancellor) signifying the conferral of your award. A photographer from Marston Events will take your picture as you are greeted by the conferring officer.

When you leave the stage you will be directed to the back of the marquee to collect your certificate and a gift box containing a bottle of prosecco or non-alcoholic alternative for you to enjoy at home with your family and friends. You will then return to your original seat.

Guests are allowed to use handheld cameras to take photographs and/or video while the ceremony is taking place but are asked to be considerate of people who may be seated behind them so as not to obstruct their view. Cameras which require tripods are not allowed as the walkways need to be kept clear for the procession and for health and safety requirements.

After all awards have been conferred, one of the new graduates will then give a short vote of thanks on behalf of the graduates present at that ceremony. The conferring officer will then formally close the ceremony.

At the close of the ceremony the stage party will leave the stage and process to the back of the marquee. The new graduates will be then be directed, a row at a time, to process out of the marquee.

Guests will be directed by stewards to the exits and out on to the Waterfront to meet up with the new graduates when they leave the marquee.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that there will be a photographer present at the graduation ceremonies who will be taking photographs for promotional purposes to be used in future University of Suffolk publications, on the University of Suffolk website and alongside relevant press coverage. If you have any objections to your photograph being taken and used in this way, please make a member of staff aware at the earliest opportunity.

Class of 2023 t-shirt/hoodie

Memorabilia including the “Class of 2023” t-shirts/hoodies and graduation teddy bears can be purchased from Campus Clothing. These can also be ordered online in advance or after the ceremonies. Campus Clothing will also have a stand in the foyer of the Waterfront Building throughout the graduation ceremonies where you can purchase items on the day. Please remember that the class of 2023 t-shirt will only show the names of graduates who asked to be included when they completed the graduation registration form.

Award photography

Marston Events will have a stand in the foyer of the Waterfront Building where you can purchase a copy of your award photograph to take away with you on the day. Copies can also be purchased online via the Marston Events website.

Graduation video

Your graduation ceremony will be recorded and live-streamed, and a copy will be available for download following the ceremony. All graduates who register to attend their graduation ceremony will be provided with a link to the live-stream to share with family and friends.

Graduation programme

All graduates and guests will receive a postcard with a QR code to a digital copy of the souvenir graduation programme. The names of all graduates are published in the programme, including those conferred in absentia. The name shown in the programme will be the name recorded in the University's student database. Please ensure that you complete the graduation registration form to check your name and let us know if it is incorrect.

  • Read through all the graduation information on the website, including the FAQs
    The information provided should tell you everything that you need to know about preparing for the conferral of your award and your graduation ceremony. Please read it carefully. 
  • Check your name
    The name that will appear on your certificate, on your HEAR and in the graduation programme will be the name that is recorded in the University's student database. This should be your official name as shown on your birth certificate, passport or other legal document. It is important that you let us know if your name is recorded incorrectly. It is your responsibility to ensure that the details provided to the University are correct. If you fail to notify the Graduation Office of any errors with your name when completing the online graduation registration form and it is subsequently found that there is a mistake on the certificate, you will be liable to pay for a replacement. Please note that the University will not provide replacement certificates to make any changes to your name (for example to add a middle name or show your full name rather than a shortened version) once the certificate has been issued.
  • Complete your online graduation registration form
    Whether you wish to attend your graduation ceremony or not, you need to complete the online graduation registration form in OASIS when you are asked to do so. This is the last opportunity for you to check that your name is recorded correctly. If you are not attending, you also need to make sure that we have the correct postal address so that we send your certificate to the right place. If you do not complete the form to confirm your details, we will not post your certificate. 
  • Check you have no outstanding tuition fees
    If you have any outstanding financial obligations to the University you will not be permitted to attend your graduation ceremony or receive your certificate and transcript. If you think you may have outstanding tuition fee debt, please contact the Finance Department on 01473 338350 to check. Any outstanding debts must be cleared by Tuesday 19 September 2023 if you want to attend your graduation ceremony. Your certificate and transcript will be withheld until all debts have been cleared in full. 
  • Check you have returned your library books
    You should ensure that all outstanding library books and fines are cleared from your account before graduation. You can check your account online or by calling the Library on 01473 338700. Fines can be paid through the Online Shop, at the self-service kiosks or at the Library Helpdesk. If you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Library who will work with you to find a solution. 
  • Check your HEAR
    Make sure that you have activated your account with Gradintelligence and checked that the details on your HEAR are correct. Your final HEAR will be issued on graduation. No changes can be made to your HEAR once the final version has been issued.
     

To do list if you want to attend your graduation ceremony

As soon as possible after receipt of your invitation email:

  • Complete your online graduation registration form in OASIS. This should be done as soon as possible and no later than noon on Tuesday 19 September 2023. On the registration form you will be able to:
    • Check your name is recorded correctly
    • Tell us whether you want your name included on the "Class of 2023" t-shirt
    • Check your date of birth is recorded correctly
    • Check and update your contact details and postal address
    • Register your interest in attending your graduation ceremony

Once you have completed your graduation registration form:

  • Check your Correspondence History in O.A.S.I.S. and the email address that you provided on the form. You should receive a registration confirmation email on completion and, once we have received confirmation from Finance that you have no outstanding fees, you will receive emails about how to order your gown and purchase your guest tickets (normally within one week of completing your graduation registration form). 
  • Follow the instructions in the email to order your academic dress and purchase your guest tickets online from Marston Events. You must complete the purchase of your initial allocation of tickets by Tuesday 3 October 2023
  • If you would like official photographs, you should order your chosen package in advance from Marston Events when you order your academic dress and purchase your tickets. 
  • Remember to keep us updated if you change your contact details. This should be done on the online graduation registration form.

On the day of your ceremony

  • Arrive at least an hour to an hour and half before your ceremony is due to start.
  • Report to the Registration Desk in the foyer of the Waterfront Building.
  • Collect your gown. 
  • If you have ordered official photographs, you can go to the studios in Lecture Theatre 2 before or after your ceremony.
  • Follow the directions to the Grand Marquee for your ceremony. The Grand Marquee will be open an hour before the ceremony for you and your guests to be seated. All guests and graduands must be seated at least 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. 
  • Ensure you have e-tickets for all your guests.

 

To do list if you do not want to attend your graduation ceremony

As soon as possible after receipt of your invitation:

  • Complete the online graduation registration form in OASIS. This should be done as soon as possible and by noon on Tuesday 19 September 2023. On the registration form you will be able to:

    • Check that your name is recorded correctly
    • Tell us whether you want your name to be included on the "Class of 2023" t-shirt
    • Check that your date of birth is recorded correctly
    • Check and update your contact details and postal address
    • Tell us you do not want to attend your graduation ceremony
       
  • Remember, if you do not complete your graduation registration form to confirm your details, we will not post your certificate.

Once you have completed your graduation registration form:

  • Remember to keep us updated if you change your postal address so that your certificate will be sent to the correct address. This can be done on the online registration form in OASIS.
     
  • If you change your mind about attending your graduation ceremony, please contact the Graduation Office by email (graduation@uos.ac.uk) or call 01473 338833 no later than noon on Tuesday 19 September 2023.

What better way to celebrate than with some food? Find out about the local Waterfront restaurants, cafés and pubs to help you celebrate your graduation. Please note, advance booking is recommended/required - please check via their websites.

  • Isaacs On The Quay: 10% discount on all meals for graduates and their families.
  • ChutneyZ: 10% discount to all graduates across the graduation period.
  • Waterfront Bar Bistro: 10% of the whole bill and a glass of prosecco for students free of charge throughout the graduation period.
  • Coffee Link: 25% off hot drinks for graduates and parents.

Please note: The graduation ceremonies in Ipswich are for students who studied at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, along with students from Suffolk New College, Global Banking School, London School of Commerce (UK campuses), Hanbridge Institute, LD Training, all SCITT providers, Unicaf and Unitas.

The graduation ceremony for students who studied at East Coast College will be held on Friday 13 October 2023 at 2.00pm at Great Yarmouth Minster, and the graduation ceremony for students who studied at West Suffolk College will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023 at 11.00am at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The graduation ceremony for students who studied at the British School of Commerce in Colombo will be held on Monday 30 October 2023 at 09.30 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka, and the graduation ceremony for students who studied at the London School of Commerce in Malta will be held Monday 11 December 2023 at 14:00 at Hilton Malta’s Grandmaster Suite, Portomaso, St Julian’s, Malta.