Diploma Ceremonies

Diploma ceremonies are one of the most popular events in the College calendar. We understand the significance of coming together with your friends and family to celebrate your Diploma after the hard work, commitment, and dedication that you have put into getting to this stage of your career.

You will find full details of how to attend a ceremony and what the day itself looks like below. It may be your second visit (after the examination); we hope it will be less nerve-wracking than the first and that you are persuaded to come back and see us many more times thereafter!

Please note, we are currently experiencing very high demand for our Diploma ceremonies. If you do wish to attend, we will initially place your name on the waiting list, and you will be contacted with date options in due course.

The Ceremony

Fellows and Members travel from all over the world to attend our Diploma ceremonies, which take place in our unique Playfair Hall.

During the ceremony, you will be presented with your Diploma scroll on stage by the President or Dean of the Dental Faculty. Other special medals, Diplomas and awards, such as Honorary Fellowships, Fellowship ad hominem and medals for candidates with outstanding examination results are often also presented.

Each Diploma is hand-signed by the President or Dean of the Dental Faculty, and Honorary Secretary, and then embossed with the College seal.

We will take a photograph of you receiving your Diploma scroll on stage and post them on our Facebook site which you can share with family and friends.

When we were able to begin running ceremonies again after COVID restrictions were lifted, we had to reconsider the format of these events to allow for social distancing in the venue. As such, guests have been seated in a separate hall from the diplomates, viewing the ceremony on large screens. Diplomates then join their guests for the drink’s reception post-ceremony.

We have received extremely positive feedback from previous diplomates and guests regarding this format and will therefore be continuing with this for future ceremonies. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the diploma ceremony at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. It was a suitable end to the examination process. It was good to meet up with fellow graduates from all over the country.

Ben Stutchfield MRCSEd, Specialty Registrar in General Surgery

Drinks Reception and Dinner

Our Diploma ceremonies generally take place on Fridays at either 2:30pm or 4pm and are followed by a drink’s reception and on some occasions, a formal dinner. During the drink’s reception you will be served some light refreshments and canapes, and it provides a fantastic opportunity to meet the President, committee members and fellow graduates from all over the world.  

The ceremony and drinks reception are complimentary for diplomates, with guests kindly asked to pay £20.00 each. Each diplomate can bring up to three guests. Children are also more than welcome to attend the ceremony, however, cannot attend the evening dinner.

The formal evening dinners take place following our July and November ceremonies.

If you would like to join us for the dinner, the cost is £65.00 per person. Please note tickets for the dinners are limited and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

A link to purchase ceremony and dinner tickets will be sent out a couple of months prior to the event date.

Other Activities

There will be a professional photographer available before and after the ceremony, offering a great variety of photography packages.

You can walk around our campus and visit the library or browse the items at our College shop, offering a fantastic variety of College branded items and gifts.

Library Services

On the day of your Diploma ceremony, staff from the College Library and Archive Team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and to give you an introduction to the extensive free services available to you as a Member or Fellow. You will also have a chance to view some of the College’s rare books and treasured items on display and have an opportunity to sign up for the NHS Scotland Knowledge Network. This invaluable resource, kindly provided by NHS Scotland to our Membership, allows for access to thousands of journals, databases and other titles for free anywhere in the world via OpenAthens.


The award-winning Museums will also be open from 10am – 5pm on the day of your Diploma ceremony and over the weekend. Entry is free of charge during this period to diplomates and their guests attending the ceremony. The Museums are home to one of the largest and most historic pathology collections in the United Kingdom and are well worth a visit while you are at the College.

Click here for a step-by-step account of how to attend a Diploma ceremony.

Click here for our Ceremonial FAQs.

For any other queries relating to the ceremony, please contact the Ceremonial Administrator on ceremonial@rcsed.ac.uk or 0131 527 1655

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