The Virtual Degree Ceremony


The VDC Project is exploring of the use of telepresence to reach out to online students who have completed their studies and wish to take part in a ceremonial event to mark this completion.

Traditionally, students and their guests are invited to a degree ceremony at which they don robes and receive certificates. In VDC events we are exploring how online technologies and the events themselves can change to suit a new type of remote learner. The last Virtual Degree Ceremony was webcast live on 5th July 2002.

Accessibility Statement.

  Open University


Coat of arms



The Virtual Degree Ceremony for 2003 was regrettably cancelled.


Launch the live event

VDC-2002 (all taught Masters graduates) - 5th July 2002.

For 2002, the virtual degree ceremony was opened up to graduates of all taught masters degree progams. The event was held on July 5th 2002 and featured a pre-recorded adress from the new University Vice Chancellor, Brenda Gourley.


Replay of 2001 event

VDC-2001 (MA in ODE) - 18th April 2001.

The second worldwide virtual degree ceremony from the Open University was webcast live on April 18th 2001 at 15:00 GMT/UT. Again, it was aimed at graduands of the OU Masters Programme in Open and Distance Education. The live ceremony included chat, slides and animations as well as audio and video from the Berrill Lecture Theatre in Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom.Apart from staff on stage, the auditorium itself was entirely empty during the presentation - as all the audience were remote!


Replay of 2000 event

VDC-2000 (MA in ODE) - March 31st 2000.

The first virtual degree ceremony is publicly available. This ceremony was aimed at the worldwide body of students graduating from the Masters Programme in Open and Distance Education. A streaming QuickTime replay of the event itself is presented here with a copy of the 2000 cohort student yearbook.