We’ve broken down the day to include times and vital tips to make it run smoothly while taking away any stresses – there’s even a guest appearance from our very own graduation bear, Stu Dentopps (cheesy, but we just had to). For more information on ceremony times and FAQ, check out the main graduation pages – see our approximate time guides for the morning and afternoon ceremony to help you plan your day.
Getting to Liverpool
Whether you’re local, coming from a different city, or even country, it’s always good to book and plan in advance of your graduation day. As you’ll probably know by now, Liverpool can get chocker block (especially if football matches are on). Visit Liverpool is a hub of information if you’re planning on staying in the city. Also, see our what’s on blog for everything happening through the week.
If you’re driving, parking on the day can be a nightmare so make sure you plan before. There are loads of car parks in Liverpool but the nearest to St George's Hall (where you’ll be collecting your tickets, gowns, etc.) are either the Q Park Queens Square or Mount Pleasant. As both Lime Street train station and Queen Square bus stops are a two-minute walk away, why not sit back, relax and take the good-old public transport? Merseytravel has been voted one of the best travel services in the UK so check their trusty timetables and get planning.
Tip: Plan and book in advance
7.30 - 8am/11.30 - 12pm: Arriving at St George’s Hall
You’ll probably remember this building from your Welcome Event when you started at LJMU, and here you are at the end of your student journey! In the hall, you’ll be able to register, collect your tickets and then, what you’ve been waiting for… your cap and gown (which should have been pre-ordered from Ede & Ravenscroft). It’ll be really busy so allow about an hour for this – it’ll give you a chance to take a look around and remember how beautiful St George's Hall is.
If you want your official graduation photographs, make sure you allow approximately 40 minutes to get your best cap and gown poses. Don’t worry if you haven’t pre-booked, as you can purchase them on the day.
Tip: If you’re graduating in the morning, try and get your photographs done before as it’ll be really busy after with students getting ready for the afternoon ceremony.
9am/12.30pm: Head to the Cathedral
Once you have registered, got your gown and had your photos taken, you should make your way to Liverpool Cathedral for the ceremony. Please note that it's a 20-30 minute walk from St George’s Hall to the Liverpool Cathedral so make sure that you leave enough time for this journey. There will be a limited shuttle service operating between St George’s Hall and Liverpool Cathedral, the coaches will be parked by the lions on the plateau of St George’s Place and will operate every 15/20 minutes.
Tip: Make sure you wear comfortable shoes (or bring a second pair) for the walk between the venues!
9.30am/1.00pm: Find your seat
You will already have your seating card from registration which will have your name and seat number on. You will either be sat in the Lord Derby Transept or the War Memorial Chapel (pictured on the floor plan below). All students and guests must be seated 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. Just remember to enjoy your special day and not to worry as there will be plenty of people around to help point you in the right direction.
Tip: All students will exit via the Rankin Steps (weather permitting) and all guests will exit via the main doors – so make sure to plan a place to meet up with your guests after the ceremony.
10am/1.30pm: Ceremony time
It’s the part you’ve been waiting all these years for…the graduation walk. After the first set of speeches, rows of graduates will leave their seats and line up to get ready to go onto the stage. There will be ushers to guide you along the way.
Before the ceremony, you will have received a name card which you give to the speaker as you move onto the stage. Once they say your name, you head out to shake hands with the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor. Afterwards you’ll go around the corner, back to your seat. Again there will be ushers to lead you in the right direction.
Tip: This moment goes by so quickly so remember to smile and enjoy it. Everyone panics about falling over but it never happens.
Heading outside the Cathedral
Once the ceremony is over make sure you get some pictures outside the Cathedral with your course mates. As long as the weather remains dry, you will all head out onto the Rankin Steps. It is the perfect spot to get the cap in the air boomerang. If the weather is rainy you will be lead out to the back by the well. The Cathedral looks beautiful at an angle so you can still get an Insta-worthy shot rain or shine. Remember to use #LJMUGrad so we can see all of your photos! There will be a van outside of the Cathedral for 30 minutes where you can return your gown or you can return it to St George’s Hall.
Tip: Try to find a quiet area to throw your cap in the air – just so it doesn’t hit anyone.
Time to celebrate
After you have thrown off your cap it’s time to celebrate! Head out with your family to one of Liverpool’s best restaurants for a well-deserved meal (you’ll be hungry after all the clapping). Make sure you book in advance because places fill up very quickly, especially in the evening. Also, don’t forget to return your cap and gown to St George’s Hall.
Tip: If you have time before your meal, head up to the top of the Cathedral to show your family the amazing views of Liverpool. As an LJMU student, you get a free ticket to the tower for you and one guest.
Don’t forget to check out our #LJMUBucketList to make sure you’ve checked everything off if you’re planning on leaving the city and most importantly, make the most out of your exclusive offers (you’ll have to pay full price for them when you leave). Find out about being an LJMU alumni and don’t forget to join LJMU Connect to become a part of a vibrant LJMU alumni community – our support available after graduation at LJMU blog will also give you some handy tips and advice.
Most of all enjoy your big day, you completely deserve it!
A big well done to all our LJMU students graduating this week from your Student Opps Team.