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Dates and venues

The graduation ceremonies are held twice a year, once in January and once in July. The next session of ceremonies will take place in July 2020.

Ceremonies for the School of Medical Education and the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences are held at Southwark Cathedral in June/July of each summer. 

The graduation ceremonies for all other faculties of the university are held in January and July in the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre.

Medical and Dental students may attend either the Southwark ceremonies in July or the ceremonies in the following January. The ceremonies at the Royal Festival Hall in July are not open to Medical and Dental students.

The Defence Studies Department holds its annual graduation ceremony for graduates of the Master’s in Defence Studies, and you can read more about these events below.

Ceremony Dates for July 2020

The summer graduation ceremonies will take place at Southwark Cathedral on 2 and 3 July 2020 and at the Royal Festival Hall from 27-31 July 2020.

Faculty date allocations will be published here once they have been confirmed at the end of February 2020.

The Ceremonies & Events Office are not able to confirm what date each faculty will be graduating on before this time.

Booking for the July 2020 graduation ceremonies will open in April 2020. Please contact us at if you are expecting to attend and have not received an invitation by 1 May 2020.

Booking periods

Booking for the July 2020 ceremonies will open in April 2020.

Eligible students will be notified via email once the booking system has opened. If you have not received an invitation by 1 May and are expecting to be invited, please email

Booking for January 2021 will open in November 2020. 

Graduation venues

Read about the graduation venues below, and visit our Directions & accessibility page for information on how to get there and access for you and your guests.

About the Royal Festival Hall

Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Grade I listed Royal Festival Hall is one of the world’s leading performance venues, located on the banks of the River Thames at the heart of Southbank Centre.

As well as a 2,500 capacity auditorium, the Royal Festival Hall is also where you'll find The Clore Ballroom, The Poetry Library, Spirit Level (including Blue, White and Yellow Rooms), Southbank Centre Shop, Riverside Terrace Cafe, Central Bar and Skylon restaurant.

The Royal Festival Hall offers a fantastic central location, excellent facilities, a high standard of catering and an auditorium where every seat offers a clear and uninterrupted view of the proceedings. The state of the art sound, lighting and audio-visual facilities mean that we are able to offer an excellent quality DVD service for those who wish to purchase a memento of their day.

About Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church building in London and was established in 1106 as an Augustinian Priory. From here they ministered to pilgrims and travellers, and to the sick and the needy of the area, as part of their ministry, the Hospital of St Thomas was established.

The College still maintains its link with the Cathedral through the merge of the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals in 1998. This created the School of Medical Education and The Dental Institute and that is why these students still celebrate their Graduation day at the Cathedral. 

Joint Services Command and Staff College

The Defence Studies Department holds its annual graduation ceremony for graduates of the Master’s in Defence Studies.

The ceremony is held at the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) in late May, and to date has seen 3,410 students graduate since the JSCSC was established in 1997.

Approximately 200 students graduate each year, however due to military commitments only half of those are able to attend the ceremony in the JSCSC. They are also given the option to graduate in London at the Royal Festival Hall in July.

The majority of graduates are from the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC), which is the JSCSC’s flagship course for UK and international military officers.



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