Events

Graduation Celebrations - July 2021

 

 

 

 

 

QMU Graduation Celebrations 

QMU Campus - Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th July & Thursday 15th July 2021 

Please note: For Event information -The latest update is shown in the relevant sections at the foot of this page. The event programme is subject to review in the event of changing Scottish Government guidelines, so please keep checking this webpage for updates. Booking is now closed and we are unable to make alterations to existing confirmed bookings at this stage.

With graduation ceremonies not taking place this year, due to COVID restrictions, the current plan is to provide 2020 and 2021 QMU graduates with an opportunity to attend an on-campus gathering to mark their achievements at which they can wear a gown and get a professional photograph taken by Ede & Ravenscroft. At the gathering, there will also be hospitality, music, and opportunities for graduates to take photos and chat with lecturers.

We are arranging this gathering in a context when we are limited by COVID restrictions and where other universities have decided not to offer any graduation event at all this year. Please note that, this gathering will not take the form of a ceremony and so will not be live-streamed. Instead, we are creating a pre-recorded graduation celebratory video which will be available online. The graduation film will include speeches from the Chancellor and Principal, stories from recent graduates and messages of congratulations from some of our staff. It will be available for people who may wish view the film at their own graduation celebrations at home with family and friends.

Please note that due to COVID guidelines set out by the Scottish Government, numbers permitted to attend this event are limited.  Each student, who has secured a place at the graduation celebration will only be permitted to the number of guests confirmed at registration.

We will be following Scottish Government guidelines with regard to COVID regulations to ensure that the safety of our students, guests and staff is a priority. We will be detailing all the safety measures & precautions we are putting in place on these webpages in due course.  

Due to the fact that this is not our traditional indoor graduation ceremony, but instead an informal outside gathering to comply with currently restricted guidelines, there will be no charge to attend the event, and a reduced cost will apply for gown hire and official photography.

Information for registered attendees and guests

Graduation Celebration Update – Friday 2nd July

Bookings for the graduation celebration event are now closed and confirmation of your booking will have been provided by e-mail.

We are unable to accommodate any further changes in allocated days and times due to the requirement to finalise preparations for the days.

Further e-mail communication which summarises the event information and any further updates will be issued to registered attendees prior to the event with more detailed information available on this webpage. 

Cancellations

Should wish to cancel your booking for any reason please e-mail events@qmu.ac.uk 

For all other queries related to the graduation celebrations please refer to the FAQ's or

e-mail events@qmu.ac.uk

 

Format of each day

Please remember that this gathering will not take the form of a ceremony - this is an informal outside gathering to comply with currently restricted guidelines.

Before you arrive

In the interests of public health we would strongly encourage all attendees (students, staff & their guests) to take a rapid lateral flow test before attending the event to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This should be taken at home less than 48 hours before attending, and you should self-isolate with your household and seek a confirmatory PCR test if your result is positive.  

You can order home test kits for delivery to your home address, free of charge, via https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. You can also collect a pack of home test kits from test sites and some pharmacies, free of charge. To find your nearest collection point, use the postcode checker at https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html. Alternatively, you can call the National Testing Helpline on 119 (freephone). Every time you take a home test, record the results within 24 hours at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

Arrival

 - You will have a 2 hour time slot to enjoy some time on campus.

 - Arrival will be via our car park or public transport:  there will be queuing on arrival to check-in registered students & guests, you will also be asked to scan a QR code for Test & Protect and issued a coloured lanyard. 

 - You can then freely move around the grounds of the campus where the event is taking place chatting to your friends and lecturers. Please be respectful of physical distancing guidelines as you do this.

Gowns & photography

 - If you have booked a photography slot, you should make sure you attend promptly for this.  All pre-booked professional photography will be managed by Ede & Ravenscroft and will take place in the sports hall.  

- Entrance to the sports hall will be round the back of the building.  Event Stewards will be on hand to direct you.

 - If you have pre-booked a gown, you can collect this on arrival to the event. Priority for gown collection will be given to those with an early photography timeslot. Gown collection will be from the Theatre Studio space just outside the sports building entrance.  Please note there will likely be a queue to collect your gown.

 - All gown hire & photography must be booked in advance, you cannot book it on the day.

Hospitality

 - We will be offering all students & guests 2 glasses of fizz (or soft drink alternative) and some pre-boxed sweet canapes to enjoy.   You will be given vouchers for these on arrival.

 - Due to COVID restrictions around hospitality, all catering needs to be seated.  We will have lots of picnic benches in the licensed areas where you can sit and enjoy this hospitality.

- You will be asked to check-in to our hospitality areas via Test and Protect. This is so these areas can be monitored independent from the event itself. 

Event locations

 - We will have 2 marquees on the campus grounds which will be set-up as hospitality spaces.   

 - The marquees & their surrounding areas along with University Square, will be the main event spaces.

 - Gown collection will be from the Theatre Studio space on the side of the sports building.

 - Photography will be in the sports hall, accessed from the back of the building (so not the main entrance to the sports building).

Music & displays of work

 - The Prestonpans Pipe Band will be at all events to entertain you on arrival.

 - We will also have some visual displays of student and academic work on display at various point throughout the event.

The full event will be located outside, this is in line with Covid guidelines and to make the event as safe as possible.  We are hoping that the weather will be good (hopefully dry!), however, we will be providing rain ponchos if it is wet and suggest that you come dressed appropriately, checking the weather forecast before travelling.

Please keep checking this webpage for more information. It will be updated regularly as we have updates and we will be adding a visual site map of the campus shortly detailing where you can find everything.

 

Map of Event

To assist in familiarising yourself with the event we have created a map of the event layout. Event stewards will be on hand on the day to help guide you through the event.

Gown Hire & Official Photography

Please note that any questions regarding official photography and gowns should be directed to: customerservices@academic-services.co.uk 

Edes Ravenscroft will be on campus all 3 days to provide gown hire and official photography for pre-bookings.

Official Photography

There will be a charge for this but the University have agreed this at a discounted rate.

After you have registered for al slot to attend the Graduation Celebration, if you want to book photography & gown hire, you can do so with Ede & Ravenscroft. A link for this will be provided to you in your confirmation email.

Gown Hire 

When you have booked an official photography slot you will need to ensure you have collected your gown before this (at least 10 minutes before).  Gown collection will be from the Theatre Studio space just outside the sports building entrance. 

There will be a charge for gown hire but the University have agreed this at a discounted rate.

Gown Hire without professional photography

Some students may wish to hire a gown for the Graduation Reception, but choose not to use the professional photography on offer by Ede & Ravenscroft and take their own pictures around campus instead.

In order to hire a gown only, without professional photography, you must order your gown via this link: https://www.edeandravenscroft.com/

The gown will then be sent to your home and you must bring this with you on the day of the Graduation Celebration. No gowns will be provided on the day to anyone who has not booked a photography slot.

You must return your gown inside the pre-paid packaging you receive via the post office or on the day of the event. 

Covid Measures

We want to make our Graduation Celebrations as safe as possible for all students, guests & staff.

In the interests of public health we would strongly encourage all attendees (students, staff & their guests) to take a rapid lateral flow test before attending the event to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This should be taken at home less than 48 hours before attending, and you should self-isolate with your household and seek a confirmatory PCR test if your result is positive.  

You can order home test kits for delivery to your home address, free of charge, via https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. You can also collect a pack of home test kits from test sites and some pharmacies, free of charge. To find your nearest collection point, use the postcode checker at https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html. Alternatively, you can call the National Testing Helpline on 119 (freephone). Every time you take a home test, record the results within 24 hours at https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.

For the Graduation Celebrations, we have a wide range of safety measures in place. Please ensure you are familiar with the safety measures before arriving for your slot and follow all the advice during your time at the event.

Further information on public health advice can be found at: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/our-areas-of-work/covid-19/covid-19-guidance/

Thank you for your support in helping keep our event safe.

What COVID measures are in place?

  • There will be physical distancing measures implemented across all event spaces.  There are limited numbers attending at each slot to help with physical distancing.
  • Test and Protect will be active across our event and hospitality areas, you will be asked to check-in via a QR code for this.
  • We’ve increased the frequency of cleaning in all our public areas and event spaces.
  • We are asking all attendees to wear facemasks if entering inside areas. This does not apply for people who are exempt from wearing a mask.
  • We've hired extra portaloos to ensure extra capacity on top of the toilets in our main building.
  • There will be alcohol-based hand sanitiser stations located throughout the event spaces.
  • All tables in our hospitality areas are distanced 1m apart from each other to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
  • In the hospitality areas, all food and drink will be served at picnic tables only. You will be given 3 vouchers on arrival, these can be exchanged for your drinks & canapés.
  • All event stewards are fully briefed in Covid safety measures.
  • Clear signage will be located throughout the event.
  • We are strongly encouraging all ticket holders and their groups to take a rapid lateral flow test before attending the Graduation Celebration to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This should be taken at home less than 48 hours before attending, and you should self-isolate with your household and not attend the event plus seek a confirmatory PCR test if your result is positive.

FAQs

FAQs

Is there a charge to attend the celebrations?
As this is a scaled down version of our normal graduation event, and is not our traditional ceremony, there will not be a charge for attending this on-campus outdoor celebration. However, a reduced charge for gown hire and photography will apply.

Will there be a ceremony?
No, there will be no ceremony this year as, due to COVID restrictions, we need to offer a scaled-down outdoor celebratory gathering, rather than our traditional indoor ceremony which would normally have taken place at the Usher Hall. Our outdoor celebratory gathering will provide an opportunity for graduates to wear their graduation robe; have their professional photos taken; celebrate with friends, other graduates and staff; and enjoy some QMU hospitality. 

Will I graduate if I don’t attend the graduation celebration?
Yes, you will still graduate if you don’t attend the celebration. All students from the 2021 cohort who have successfully completed their award will formally graduate on 14 July 2021, regardless of whether they attend the celebration on campus or not. Award certificates will be issued to all graduating students. Students who were eligible for award in July 2020 are already deemed to be formally graduated and have been issued with award certificates. Commemorative graduation programmes will also be issued to both the 2020 and 2021 graduates. The on campus celebration being organised is not a graduation ceremony. 

What can I expect from the day?
Our celebratory gathering, which will be held outside within the grounds of the QMU campus will present an opportunity for graduates to wear their graduation robe; have their professional photos taken; celebrate with friends, other graduates and staff; and enjoy some QMU hospitality. This will be based on Scottish Government restrictions at the time of the event. It will be a lower key affair than our normal traditional indoor ceremony. However, despite the fact that many other universities are not providing any opportunities for students to celebrate their graduation achievements, we felt it was important to provide you with some kind of event to mark the successful culmination of your time at QMU.

Will there be speeches at the event?
No. This celebratory outdoor event will not take the format of our normal indoor graduation ceremony and as such, there will be no speeches.  However, we are creating a pre-recorded graduation celebratory film which will be available online. The graduation film will include speeches from the Chancellor and Principal.

Will the celebration be live streamed?
No, there will be no live streaming of the gathering. Please note, that this is not a traditional ceremony, but a more informal, scaled-down, celebratory, outdoor gathering.  However, we are creating a pre-recorded graduation celebratory video which will be available online. The graduation film will include speeches from the Chancellor and Principal, stories from recent graduates and messages of congratulations from some of our staff. It will be available for people who may wish view the film at their own graduation celebrations at home with family and friends.

Will I have the opportunity to get capped?
Unfortunately not, as this outdoor gathering will be different from our normal traditional indoor graduation ceremony which would have normally taken place at the Usher Hall.

Can I bring more than two guests?
Due to COVID restrictions we are very limited to the number of attendees we can have on campus at any one time. Eligible students who successfully secure a place at this gathering, will be able to register themselves plus two guests maximum. I'm afraid due to the limited numbers allowed, we will not be able to offer additional guest tickets.

Am I guaranteed a ticket?
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration will open early June. We have a limited number of places available so unfortunately we cannot guarantee places although we will do our best to ensure that if there are spaces available they will be offered to people on the waiting list. Please note booking is now closed and we are unable to make alterations to existing confirmed bookings at this stage.

What happens if a student has booked but now wants to change their slot or day following the addition of the extra day?

Unfortunately booking is now closed and we are unable to make alterations to existing confirmed bookings at this stage.

How can I book photography and gown hire?
When you register to attend the event, you will be given a two hour attendance slot. You will then be directed to the Ede & Ravenscroft website via your email confirmation where you can book a photography slot/gown hire and pay.

Is attending the event my only chance to get a graduation photo?
Students who are unable to attend the event on campus also have the opportunity to hire gowns and have them sent to their home address (UK addresses only). Gown hire will be for a period of 7 days giving you the opportunity to celebrate at home with family and friends and take some memorable photographs. Gowns can be hired directly from Ede & Ravenscroft at https://graduation-services.edeandravenscroft.com/graduation-events-2021/
Many photography studios also provide gowns for graduation shoots should you wish to book something in your own local area.

Are there toilet facilities?
The toilets near reception inside the academic building will be open for use. We are also planning to have a number of outside toilet facilities available.

I live out with the UK. Can I travel to the UK for the graduation celebration?
Please refer to the Scottish Government website for travel guidance. There is a section dedicated to international travel.
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/

I live out with East Lothian. Can I travel to East Lothian for the celebrations?
Please refer to the Scottish Government website for travel guidance
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/

Are there any online celebrations for graduates who are unable to attend the campus celebration?
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 our pre-recorded 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 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 note, that there will be no live streaming of the celebration, so this is not an opportunity for friends and family, who are at a distance, to watch you at a ceremony.

Will the event be cancelled if the weather is bad?
If there is rain forecast for 13th, 14th & 15th July, the on campus celebrations will still go ahead as planned. We will have rain ponchos available which we will distribute on arrival. We suggest that you come dressed appropriately, checking the weather forecast before travelling. We will be monitoring the weather in the run up to the events. If there are very high winds forecast, we will make a judgement call closer to the time about cancellation. Please keep an eye on these event web pages.

What should we wear?
We would strongly suggest that you dress appropriately for the planned weather. It is Scotland so we are not guaranteed wall to wall sunshine, it may be cold, it may be rainy and it may be windy, although we are hoping for sunshine!  Large parts of the event are also on grass so please consider footwear too.  Please check the weather forecast for East Lothian prior to attending.

Accessibility measures
The QMU on-campus graduation celebration event is equipped to welcome visitors with a variety of needs. 
 - Full wheelchair access
 - Wheelchair accessible toilets
 - Guide dogs & assistance dogs are welcome
 - Dedicated disabled parking bays

If you have specific access requirements please contact us in advance so we can make your visit as enjoyable as possible.

What happens if there is a change to COVID restrictions in East Lothian?
If the Scottish Government changes restrictions and as a result people can no longer travel to East Lothian we may need to cancel the celebrations. We will be keeping a close eye on restrictions as we get closer to July and will try to provide as much notice as possible of any changes.
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-travel-and-transport/

Is the celebration COVID safe?
The safety of all attendees is our priority.
We have put in place a number of measures to help ensure our event is as safe as possible and we have a full and detailed risk assessment. Our graduation celebration will be held in the grounds of QMU campus and will be an outdoor event. We will ensure that our plans meet physical distancing requirements thereby providing a safe space for graduates, staff and visitors. There will be hand sanitising stations throughout the event, managed queuing in place, clear signage and we are asking all guests attending the event to considering taking a rapid lateral flow test 24-48 hours before the event.

Will my name and award appear in the local press?

Yes, names and awards for the 2021 graduating cohort will be published in The Herald and The Scotsman on 14 July 2021.

You can pre-order your copy of The Herald at this link: https://www.heraldscotland.com/graduations/ (1)

Important: If you do not wish your name to be published in the press, please contact Graduation@qmu.ac.uk by 5 July 2021.

Names for the 2020 graduating cohort were published in the press in July 2020.

Useful contacts 

If you have a question about the celebration and it is not included in these FAQS please email Events@qmu.ac.uk

If you have a question about Graduation (certificates etc) please email Graduation@qmu.ac.uk

Event Details

Location On Campus
Date & Time Start 13 July 2021
10:00am End 15 July 2021
7:00pm
Cost Free of charge to attend - costs involved for gown hire and photography.
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Principal's Graduation Message For Students