Autumn Graduation 2021

Autumn Graduation 2021

Published: 10/09/2021

Over recent weeks the Conservatoire Senior Management Team (CSMT) and colleagues from across different areas of the conservatoire who are represented on the Academic Contingency Group (ACG) have been considering carefully the options around Autumn Graduation, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday 21 October.

With the safety and well-being of the entire community as the priority, we have explored a range of options, from hosting a virtual ceremony to the possibilities of delivering an in-person graduation experience.

Now, following careful assessment and with strong caveats at the outset that all plans remain subject to change should there be adverse changes to the current operating environment, I’m pleased to let you know that we intend to host in-person graduation ceremonies for students who are currently eligible to graduate in October 2021.

These events will be run under strict safety protocols and within our current safe operating limits in terms of building capacities. They will also give the RCS health and safety, estates and audience operations teams an opportunity to assess the viability of extending public access to performances going forward.

All students eligible to attend Autumn Graduation 2021 will be notified from the week beginning Monday, September 13 and invited to register.

Autumn Graduation 21 – Some key points:

  • There will be two graduation ceremonies (4pm and 7pm) and graduands will be assigned to a ceremony according to their degree
  • There will be a strict maximum of two guests per graduand
  • Gown hire and photography will be available and details will be available on registration
  • There will be no academic procession. A limited number of tickets will be available for Heads of Programme/Academic staff to attend the ceremonies as audience members. Booking details will be circulated.


Our commitment to the Graduation Classes of 2020 and 2021

We recognise that many of our students who graduated in 2020 and 2021 and their families have missed out on attending in-person ceremonies due to the global pandemic and we appreciate the disappointment this has caused.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible for graduates who missed out on in-person graduation ceremonies in Summer and Winter 2020 and 2021 to register for these upcoming October ceremonies, owing to the limits on building capacity. However, as we promised, there will be an opportunity for students who graduated in absentia or virtually in 2020 and 2021 to return to RCS for an in-person ceremony. These ceremonies will take place as part of the Summer Graduation programme of 2022. More details will be sent in spring next year to all those eligible to participate in this programme.

In making this decision we all appreciate the importance of graduation to our academic community, our students and their loved ones and regret very much not having been able to offer in-person graduation opportunities over the Covid period. We appreciate too, that the decision to hold in-person graduation ceremonies in October brings its own challenges, as we plot our way carefully through an operating landscape that is still far from normal. Your support in making this happen and happen safely is very much appreciated.

I look forward very much to our Autumn Graduation next month and also to welcoming back Graduates from 2020 and 2021 for in-person ceremonies next year as part of the summer ceremonies programme.


Dr Lois Fitch

Deputy Principal


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