University’s first graduation ceremonies since pandemic’s start

University’s first graduation ceremonies since pandemic’s start

As the UK and world learns to live with Covid-19, the University of Cumbria is excited to be delivering a week of graduation ceremonies in Carlisle Cathedral for our classes of 2020 and 2021.

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Making a welcome return, these will be our university’s first graduations since November 2019.

Approximately 2,700 graduands will be attending over the course of five days, during which 17 ceremonies will take place in the heart of Carlisle’s Historic Quarter.

Starting Monday 25 April, these special Spring ceremonies celebrate the achievements of those who successfully completed and graduated from their academic programmes of study in 2020 and 2021.

Accompanied by their families, friends and loved one, these graduands will include those who studied programmes in academic fields from the arts, education, health, science and environment, and business, industry and leadership.

Delivering higher education to students in more than 100 countries, many international students will also be making the trip to celebrate, as will staff and students from the university’s campuses in Carlisle, Ambleside, Barrow, Lancaster and London.

Completing their courses in 2020 and 2021, the pandemic has prevented these graduands coming together to celebrate until now.

They include many who were called upon and continue to work on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic – from nurses who joined the NHS during their final year of study; allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, paramedics and occupational therapists helping patients with their recovery; to teachers, and other public service professionals – and many more.

University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell is thrilled to be fulfilling a promise she made to these graduands, that they would get to enjoy a full graduation experience, once measures and guidance allowed for such large-scale events to take place.

The week will also see the official inauguration of the University of Cumbria’s new Chancellor, The Most Revd & Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, and the awarding of Alumnus of the Year to Kerryann Wilson, who has been recognised nationally in the Pearson Teaching Awards for her impact and success at Energy Coast UTC in west Cumbria.

Get involved  

All of the graduation ceremonies will be streamed live online for the first time, so that anyone unable to attend these ticketed events in Carlisle can still enjoy the action.  Watch via

Everyone attending is being encouraged to share their celebrations across social media using the hashtag #wearecumbria

Find out more: 

  • Watch the ceremonies live online – 
  • Alumni Association – learn more about our growing global alumni community at
  • Graduates of UoC and those who studied at its legacy institutions including St Martin’s College and Cumbria Institute of the Arts can access further support and join Cumbria Network, which offers mentoring, learning, research and job opportunities. Further details available at
  • A graduation ceremony timetable can be found here on MyCumbria.



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