University Centre Colchester | Graduation 2024

Graduation 2024 will take place on Thursday 26th September 2024 at 2pm.

The ceremony will be held at the Mercury Theatre.

Please arrive at the Mercury Theatre between 10am and 12noon to allow enough time for registration, gowning, photography and the pre-ceremony celebratory reception.

Your Graduation Day

Booking your place
Graduands wishing to attend their Graduation ceremony must register for their complimentary ticket.

Registration opens on Thursday 1st August 2024 at 10am and will run until Friday 30th August 2024 at 11:59pm. If you have not registered to attend by Friday 30th August 2024 we will assume that you will not attend your Graduation ceremony and we will offer your place to guests of other graduands.

You will be able to reserve your gowning and photography with our gowning supplier during the Graduation booking process. You will receive communication in early August containing further details on how to hire or purchase gowning and photography.

Booking places for guests
Graduands will be able to purchase up to nine guest tickets in phase one of the guest ticket sales.

Tickets will cost £25 each. The sale of these tickets will run from Thursday 1st August 2024 until Friday 30th August 2024. Please note during this period no further tickets may be requested or sold. Tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis and we may have to restrict the sale of guest tickets in order to comply with the Mercury Theatre health and safety policies.

Once all graduands have had the opportunity to complete a booking and order their tickets, any guest tickets that remain unsold will be offered for purchase in phase two of the guest ticket sale.

Therefore, graduands wishing to purchase their allocated amount of guest tickets must do so before Friday 30th August 2024. Tickets sold in the second phase will be sold on a first-come first-served basis via the College website (

Tickets will be available for collection on the day of Graduation from the Mercury Theatre (CO1 1PT, or use the what3words reference /// and will not be issued in advance. Once tickets have been issued, they should be treated as cash, it will not be possible to replace a lost, damaged, or stolen ticket.

Additional Needs
If you have any additional dietary or mobility needs and/or require assistance getting onto stage please let us know by using the ticket registration form.
There is limited disabled parking at the Mercury Theatre (accessed via the Balkerne Gardens road). If this parking is full we recommend using St Mary’s car park, details below.

St Mary’s car park is the closest parking option to the Graduation ceremony. 

Purchase pre-paid all day car parking at St Mary’s car park at a discounted rate of £2.95 through the Mercury Theatre website
Make sure to select the correct date, 26th September 2024, otherwise your voucher will not be valid for the day of Graduation.

St Mary’s car park has 11 disabled parking bays. Blue Badge holders have free parking for up to 3 hours in any bay (except LoveurCar bays), when displaying a Blue Badge with the clock set to the time of arrival.

Click here for a list of local car parks.

Your Graduation Day
Ticket collection, registration, photography, gowning and the pre-ceremony celebratory refreshments will take place at the Mercury Theatre (CO1 1PT, or use the what3words reference ///

Once you have registered and collected your gown you are invited to enjoy the celebratory pre-ceremony refreshments which will be hosted in the Mercury Theatre Café Bar. All ticketed graduands and guests can show their tickets to receive complimentary food and a drink. Further drinks can be purchased (at cost) at the Mercury Theatre Café Bar.

The Graduation ceremony will be held in the Main Theatre at the Mercury Theatre.

Ticket collection, registration, photography and gowning will open at 10am.

We recommend that you arrive between 10am and 12noon to allow time for gowning and photography.

Please note graduands and their guests who arrive less than thirty minutes before the start of their ceremony may not be permitted into the ceremony.

Once the ceremony has started, graduands and guests will not be permitted into the Mercury Theatre.

The Ceremony
Graduands will sit in a reserved seat in the theatre, the seat location will be shown on your ticket.

Guests sit separately and are free to choose from the remaining seats.

The ceremony is expected to last for 90 minutes.

After the Ceremony
After the ceremony graduates are free to keep their gowns, but they must be returned to the Large Rehearsal room (where they were collected) by 5pm that day.
When will guest tickets be offered for sale?
Guest tickets will be on sale from 10am on Thursday 1st August 2024.

Do students graduating have to pay for their own ticket?
All graduands are entitled to a complimentary ticket to attend their Graduation ceremony. This ticket must be booked – booking will open at the same time as the sale of guest tickets. This free ticket is not transferable.

Do I have to pay for guests’ tickets?
Yes, guest tickets cost £25 per ticket.

Will I get a refund if I do not pass my resits?
Yes, if you do not pass we will refund all guest ticket purchases to the card used to purchase the tickets. Please do not order gowning and photography until you have passed.

Can I graduate if I am in debt with UCC?
Graduands owing money to University Centre Colchester will not be permitted to attend Graduation. The booking system will not allow you to make a booking if you have outstanding debt.

How many guest tickets am I allowed?
In the first phase of ticket sales, graduands are allocated nine guest tickets costing £25 each (in addition to their complimentary graduand ticket).

Can I bring my children, or younger brother(s) or sister(s)?
Unfortunately, children under five years old will not be admitted to the ceremony or reception. For information on bringing newborns into the ceremony please email

All guests, aged five and above, will need to purchase a ticket to attend.

Where and when do I collect my tickets?
We will not post out tickets. Please collect your tickets from the Mercury Theatre on the day of your ceremony.

Do I have to wear a gown, hood and mortar board?
Yes, these are required for you to be able to attend your Graduation ceremony. These must be hired from our gowning supplier.

Where is the ceremony held?
The ceremony will be held at the Mercury Theatre.

Is there a dress code for guests?
There is no specific dress code for guests; however, we ask that guests dress smartly for the special occasion.

Where and when do I collect my gown?
Gowns will be available for collection from four hours before your ceremony at the Mercury Theatre.

Where and when do I return my gown?
Gowns must be returned to the Large Rehearsal room (where they are issued) at the Mercury Theatre by 5pm on the day of Graduation.

Where do I go to have photographs taken?
Once gowned, our gowning supplier offers a photography service, at the Mercury Theatre both before and after your ceremony takes place. Family members, who do not have tickets for the ceremony, may join you.

How long does the ceremony last?
Please allow 90 minutes for the ceremony.

Do I receive my certificate in the ceremony?
Yes, for those graduands who do not attend their ceremony, their certificate will be posted to them after the ceremony has taken place.

What happens after the ceremony?
After the ceremony all graduates are welcome to keep their gowns until 5pm that day.

Where can my guests park?
Click these links for a list of local car parks.

St Mary’s car park is the closest to the Mercury Theatre. You can purchase discounted parking for this car park via the theatre’s website.

Are there disabled parking facilities?
Yes, limited disabled parking is available outside the Mercury Theatre. This is available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about your Graduation please contact us –