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Graduation in lockdown

Celebrating the class of 2020 in these most unusual of times.

Faculty of
Arts and Humanities

Wednesday 26 August

Revisit our Arts and Humanities
ceremony highlights

Faculty of
Social Sciences

Thursday 27 August

Revisit our Social Sciences
ceremony highlights

Faculty of

Friday 28 August

Revisit our Sciences
ceremony highlights

Continue the celebrations together on social media by using #UoYGraduation in your posts, and keep tabs on our share the day page to see social media messages from the rest of your York family.

Welcome to graduates, their families and friends, and special guests

Congratulations on your fantastic achievements and welcome to our virtual graduation celebrations under these utterly unprecedented circumstances.

Covid-19 has affected everyone in so many different, and sadly, in some cases, tragic ways. I want to extend my sincerest condolences to those of you who have lost loved family members and friends at this time.

Marking your transition from university to the next stages of your lives is an important moment. You will now be remembered as the generation that demonstrated extraordinary resilience, creativity and compassion in overcoming one of the greatest challenges any of us have ever experienced. Your inspirational responses to the events of 2020 reveal the strength of a York community of shared purpose and determination to respond positively to such difficult circumstances.

In countless ways, all of you - our graduating class of 2020 - have shown your ability to manage uncertainty with humanity, flexibility, fortitude, and in many cases, great good humour - who can ever forget the sheer creativity and exuberance of this year’s ‘virtual’ Roses!

The midst of any crisis will always feel muddled, frenetic and deeply concerning. But coming out the other side, it’s vital to remember that how you responded - as individuals and collectively - is really important.

Think about the ways that you helped each other; think about the way you applied your York education to responding to such uncertainty; and most of all think about how you can use your education and experiences at York to help make the world a better place in the future. I believe that your experiences here at York - academic, volunteering, sporting, participation in clubs and societies and much else - will help you respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and whatever else lies ahead.

As you join our global York alumni community, I wish you all the very best of luck. The friendships, achievements and memories of your experiences at York will help you thrive.

I hope that you are proud of our shared legacy and that you will carry it with you into the world. Now, more than ever we need bright, inquisitive minds like yours. Never accept the status quo - question, challenge and above all else be kind to people and you’ll do very well in life.

And stay in touch so we can continue to be proud of the class of 2020!

— Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor and President

A message from the Chancellor

It is a great honour to serve as Chancellor of this very special University. There’s a strong sense of community and a commitment to public service, never more so than in the last few months.

At York we aim to transform people’s lives, by advancing knowledge through teaching and research, and by enabling our students to become truly global citizens with the social and intellectual tools to succeed in life, coupled with a strong sense of public duty.

Every year graduates tell me what a privilege it has been to study here and to have been able to absorb all that York has offered, both academically and beyond. And your relationship with the University doesn’t stop at graduation. You will become part of an active global alumni community, creating professional networks between former students both young and old, all with a lifelong connection to York.

I wish you every success in your future career and life.

— Professor Sir Malcolm Grant, Chancellor

With you, friends

Each week in the run-up to the ceremonies, we shared well-wishes from our past alumni and honorary graduates far and wide.

Hear from our extra-special guests

Give cheers and congratulations to those you love, and tell us how you celebrated the occasion from home, sweet home.

Share the day with others

Meet your summer 2020 honorary graduates

"Dear graduands of the University of York Class of 2020, I send you my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for the future. Well done, and do your best to really celebrate your wonderful achievements."

Dame Judi Dench, Doctor of the University of York HC (1983)
Photo credit: Caroline Bonarde Ucci

A message from YUSU

Congratulations on graduating from the University of York - we're so excited for your next steps! To help celebrate the occasion, we're providing a range of hoodies, hats and other merchandise so you can take a piece of York with you wherever you go.

Make sure to follow YUSU on Facebook too, as we'll be reminiscing about the best events to take place from over the last few years.


Annotated Studios are offering engraved jewellery to celebrate your time at York, and more gifts can be found in the University's online store.

A message from the GSA

A huge round of applause from the Graduate Students’ Association to all our postgraduate achievers! It's been such a great honour to know so many of you during your stay here, and we hope you'll continue to flourish, wherever you find yourself next.

Be sure to keep in touch as you continue your adventure, down whichever path that leads. We wish you luck, and wish you well!

Your award documentation

You'll be able to view and share your documentation electronically using our new Secure Document Portal (Gradintel) - use the email you received on Monday 24 August to register. Certificates and transcripts will be available to view and share after your graduation ceremony. We'll still send you a paper certificate when we're back on campus.

York Global
Alumni Association

The very day that you graduated, you joined our huge community out in the wider world. York Global Alumni Association offer a range of support and other ways to keep in touch, including:

Alumni Voices

Keep up to date with stories from alumni and friends of the University of York through our monthly alumni blog.

Photo credit: Dr Jess Walkup,
Station Leader for the British Antarctic Survey,
BSc Biology, 2009

Continue the journey

Your future career

Our Careers and Placements team are with you forever, not just through your time at York.

As an alum, you'll still have access to support and advice to help you into your dream profession. Talk to us.

And remember...

We're working hard to make sure that a full celebration goes ahead,
whenever it's safe to do so, elbow bumps and all. We'll be together soon.