With Coronavirus restrictions still in place, it will come as no surprise to you that we have had to rethink arrangements planned for our 2021 graduation ceremonies.

As you will know, we had initially planned to hold graduation ceremonies for the graduating class of 2021 on 14th July in the Usher Hall, and a graduation celebration for the class of 2020 on 13th July, also in the Usher Hall. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the current restrictions placed on large scale gatherings indoors will be lifted in time for either of these events to take place – particularly as the Usher Hall is currently being used as a COVID test centre.

However, we are fully aware of the importance of the graduation ceremony as a milestone in the student journey. We are very keen to provide students with an opportunity to mark the successful completion of their studies, and to reward them for their resilience, hard work and determination, particularly after such a challenging year.

We have a team of colleagues from across the University who are working hard to shape up an outdoor celebration for both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 which will be held on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th July. As we do not yet know what restrictions will be placed on outdoor gatherings on these dates, we are unable to confirm all details for these events at this time. However, we hope that the following information will be helpful and we will continue to share more specific plans with you as soon as we are in a position to do so.

Who can attend?

These events will be for graduates of the Class of 2020, who missed out on the opportunity to attend their graduation ceremony in July last year, and for students of the Class of 2021 who are eligible to graduate this year.

Which dates can I attend?

You can choose to attend on either Tuesday 13th July or Wednesday 14th July depending on availability, but you will be asked to book a specific timeslot.


Our graduation celebration will be held in the grounds of the QMU campus and will largely be outside. We will ensure that our plans meet social distancing requirements thereby providing a safe space for graduates, staff and visitors

What will the graduation event include?

We know how important it is to celebrate your achievement of reaching graduation, and although we have had to take the decision to scale down our original plans for a ceremony in the Usher Hall, the on-campus events will give you the opportunity to:

  • wear your graduation robe and have your professional graduation photo taken;
  • celebrate with classmates, friends and family, and network with QMU academics and staff; and
  • enjoy some QMU hospitality.

There will be formal recognition of the achievements of the classes of 2021 and 2020 through souvenir graduation programmes. Additionally, the graduating class of 2021 will have their names printed in the QMU graduation lists in the press – replicating what we did for the 2020 cohort last year. 

Booking your timeslot and enjoying celebrations with friends, classmates and family

In order to manage the number of people on campus at any one time, and to comply with safety requirements, the event will run from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm over each of the two days. Graduates will be required to book a specific timeslot on one of the days, in advance of attending. We strongly recommend that you coordinate with your friends and classmates to ensure you book into the same timeslots. This will help you maximise your enjoyment of graduation and provide you with the chance to celebrate with the people with whom you have most enjoyed sharing your QMU journey.

You are welcome to book in two family members, or guardians or friends to accompany you to this event, but bookings will be dealt with on a first come first served basis.

Choice of timeslots on both days:

11am – 1pm
2pm – 4pm
5pm – 7pm

One hour between each time slot is allocated for enhanced cleaning purposes.

Students and other attendees will be provided with coloured lanyards to identify which timeslot they are booked into.

Where can I book my place and keep up-to-date with graduation information?

Booking information and general graduation information will be available on the graduation section of our website at QMU Graduation. More specific details will be added to the graduation webpage as we firm up details, so please keep your eye on the page for the latest graduation information.  We are hoping to open registration for the on-campus celebrations at the start of June.

Registration on the day

All attendees will need to register on arrival at the on-campus graduation event and it is likely that each individual will be required to provide details for Test and Protect purposes.

Watch our graduation film online on graduation day

We will be delighted to share our graduation film with you on the 13th and 14th July, which will include messages from our Chancellor, Prue Leith, and a variety of staff from across the University, as well as my graduation address. The film will also contain inspirational stories and messages from recent QMU graduates who wanted to share in congratulating you on your achievement.

No QMU graduation would be complete without pipe band music. We are therefore delighted to be able to incorporate some wonderful traditional Scottish tunes into the film, which are performed by young people from The Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band in Prestonpans.

If you are unable to attend our on-campus celebration, please do join your QMU family on either the 13th or 14 July in watching this celebratory film on our website, wherever you are in the world. We hope you will also invite your family, guardians and friends to watch the graduation film and that you take this opportunity to make a day of it. So, dress up, have a bottle of fizz at the ready, and prepare to celebrate your graduation achievements!

Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to create something memorable, so we can all mark the culmination of all your hard work. At the same time, we need to be mindful that, despite our best efforts, changing Government restrictions could impact on our plans and result in us having to alter or scale down plans or even, in the worst case, cancel the graduation celebratory event altogether. But we look to the future with positivity, and will focus on making your graduation celebration a reality.

I hope you will be able to join us at one of our graduation celebration days, or that you come together with your QMU family to celebrate by watching the QMU graduation film. In the meantime, please do check the QMU Graduation page on our website to keep-up-to-date.


With very best wishes

Paul Grice

Conferences and Events Enquiries

If you have an Event/Conference enquiry, one of our team will contact you as soon as possible.

We aim to respond to all enquiries within one full working day of receipt.

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Conferences and Events Enquiries

Conferences and Events Team
0131 474 0000
Event Information - Graduation Celebrations July 2021