University Centre Colchester | Graduation 2023

Graduation Registration is now closed

Graduation registration is now closed. If you haven’t booked your place but would still like to attend graduation please contact

We regret to inform you we are unable to offer the sale of further guest tickets, due to reaching the safe seating capacity in the venue.

Graduation 2023 will take place on Friday 6th October 2023. Your graduation is an official celebration of your achievements at University Centre Colchester. The day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with both your friends and family.

Due to the temporary closure of Colchester Town Hall, Graduation 2023 will take place at the Mercury Theatre. Please disregard any previous communication which refers to Colchester Town Hall. Owing to the venue change we have adjusted the ceremony timings. Please see below for further details.

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

When will I graduate?

Date Ceremony StartSubject Arrival TimePre-Ceremony
Celebratory Reception
Ceremony Finish
Friday 6th October 202312noonAll Subject Areas9:30am – 10:30am9:30am – 11:30am1:30pm (approx.)

Your Graduation Day

Booking your place

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

Registration opens on Thursday 10th August 2023 at 10am and will run until Tuesday 12th September 2023 at 11:59pm. If you have not registered to attend by 12th September we will assume that you will not be attending your Graduation ceremony and will offer your place to guests of other graduands.

Once you have confirmed your eligibility to Graduate, you’ll be able to reserve your gowning with our gowning supplier. 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 3 guest tickets in phase one of the guest ticket sales.

See above for your ceremony timings.

Tickets will cost £25 each. The sale of these tickets will run from Thursday 10th August 2023 until Tuesday 12th September 2023. 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 Tuesday 12th September 2023. Tickets sold in the second phase will be sold on a first-come first-served basis via the College website (

We regret to inform you we are unable to offer the sale of further guest tickets, due to reaching the safe seating capacity in the venue.

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 £2.75 through the Mercury Theatre website:

Make sure to select the correct date, 6th October 2023, 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. 


For a list of local accommodation options – please visit: 

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 two and a half hours prior to your ceremony.

We recommend that you arrive around two hours before the start of your ceremony 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 graduands are free to keep their gowns, but they must be returned to the Large Rehearsal room (where they were collected) by 4pm that day.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will guest tickets be offered for sale?Guest tickets will be on sale from 10am on Thursday 10th August 2023.
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 three guest tickets costing £25 each (in addition to their complimentary graduand ticket).
Can I purchase more guests’ tickets?We regret to inform you we are unable to offer the sale of further guest tickets, due to reaching the safe seating capacity in the venue.
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 two and a half 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 4pm 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 ceremonies have finished.
What happens after the ceremony?After the ceremony all graduands are welcome to keep their gowns until 4pm 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
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

Contact Us

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