Graduation 2023 FAQ's

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06 September 2023

Group of Graduates sitting down.

Graduation 2023 will take place tomorrow at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast for all Higher Education (HE) students who have registered.


Gown Collection & Return

What time can I collect my gown?

From 12.30pm. All gowns must be collected by 2.30pm.

What time can I return my gown?

All gowns must be returned by 7pm or before you leave the Waterfront Hall for the day.  You should note that gown hire is only for the day of graduation.  Gowns must be returned before you leave the premises.



Your graduation day is a big celebration for you, your friends and family. To honour the occasion Lafayette Photography have been appointed as the official photographer to capture the moment and provide beautifully presented photography for you to treasure.

What time will the photography studio open?

12.30pm - 2.30pm and will reopen after the ceremony.  

What are the packages and how much will they cost?

View packages here: 

Can I pre-book my photography?

You can pre-book for your photography, which reduces your queuing time on the day of Graduation. Pre-book today to activate your online account, view packages and prices, and ensure a prompt service.

Will there be Group/ Class photographs?

No, if you wish to have a group photo, you can arrange this yourself, by bringing a group to the photography studio.

If I do not have enough time to get my family photographs taken before the ceremony, can I have these taken after?

Yes – the studio will remain open after the ceremony until 7pm, for those unable to make the earlier sitting.

Will photographs be taken during the ceremony?

Yes. This year our photography company will be taking photographs as Graduates receive their certificates. You will have an opportunity to view and purchase your photograph immediately after the ceremony at the Ticketing Desk in the Concourse area.

Do I have to get my photographs taken on the day?

No – you are not obliged to use our photographer.


Graduation Certificates

Do I get my certificate at the ceremony?

At the ceremony you will receive a mock-up certificate. Actual certificates will be available from the College in due course.  You will receive a text message when your certificate is available to collect.

Can you post out my certificate?

No - you must collect it from the campus you studied at.

If I do not attend Graduation can you please post out my certificate?

No – you must collect it.

Why do we not get our certificates on the day of Graduation?

The awarding bodies will not have the certificates ready by this date – SERC have to wait until we receive them.


Before the Ceremony

Am I too late to attend Graduation?

Unfortunately it is now too late to book to attend Graduation.

Can I graduate if I owe the College money for fees?

No, all debt must be cleared or you will not be allowed to Graduate. If you are in any doubt please contact us asap. 

Where do I park?

The closest car parks to the Waterfront hall are Oxford Street Car Park and Lanyon Place Car ParkSERC has negotiated a special rate at the Lanyon Place Car Park. An email has been sent with these details.

When I arrive at the Waterfront where do I go?

Go through the main entrance & look for the registration desk on the right hand side – it will be signposted.

If I or any of my guests have special requirements, can you cater for them​?

If not already done so, please make a member of SERC staff aware of any special requirements as soon as you arrive.

What happens before the ceremony?

Collect your tickets, your gown & then have your photographs taken if applicable

Is there anywhere we can eat/ drink before the ceremony?

There will be drinks and light snacks available to purchase before the ceremony in the Waterfront Hall.

The Ceremony

What time does the ceremony start?

4pm, however graduates will be called into the main auditorium at 3pm for a rehearsal – guests will be asked to take their seats at 3.30pm – everyone must be seated by 3.45pm.

How long will the ceremony last?

Approximately 2 hours.

Can I choose where I sit?

No - It is imperative that you sit in the seat allocated to you.

Can I leave before the ceremony ends?

No it is essential that you stay seated until the platform party leave the stage.


After the Ceremony

What happens after the ceremony?

There will be a drinks reception for all guests. This is included in the price.