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Graduation FAQ

All general enquiries about the graduation venue, dress code, and so forth, should be made as early as possible when planning to attend Graduation.

Before you contact us, please check to see if your question is answered below.

Students at the London Graduation Ceremony, 2017
Find answers to your questions to ensure that your graduation day goes smoothly.

Have a question about graduation?

How do I know if I've had an invitation to attend?

If you are eligible to attend, you will receive an invitation by email. You can then access the online application system to order your tickets.

When will I receive an invitation to the ceremony?

The first batch of invitations for the 2020 graduation ceremony being held at the Barbican Centre are expected to be sent out at the end of November. Thereafter graduates can expect to receive an invitation soon after they receive their examination results.

Am I eligible to attend?

Anyone who qualifies to attend the ceremony will be sent an email invitation. If you have recently completed your course but have not received an invitation, please contact us.

How do I book tickets for guests?

You will need to book tickets for yourself and any guests attending. You can use the online booking system to book your ticket and guest tickets.

I cannot attend the ceremony this year, can I defer?

If you are unable to attend the ceremony, please contact us for more advice.

How do I register my attendance?

You need to book online and complete all necessary payments. Once you have completed these processes, you will receive confirmation emails containing your booking reference number. Please print these emails and bring them to the graduation ceremony, where we will exchange them for your tickets.

Are there any alternative methods to book my tickets and make payment?

If you have problems paying online, please call the Graduation Team on +44(0)207 862 8310 to make your payment over the telephone.

Payments made over the telephone must be made by the cardholder and can only be taken between 9:30am-15:45pm and 16:30pm-17:15pm (GMT), Monday-Friday, except bank holidays. All credit cards can be used, except American Express.

There may be a slight delay in receiving your confirmation email if payment is made by telephone. It is therefore advisable to make and complete an online booking where possible.

In exceptional circumstances, it is possible to pay by sending a banker’s draft. If you need to use this method of payment, please contact us.

Can I pay for my tickets in person?

The only payments that can be made in person are for any additional guest tickets on the day, which cannot be guaranteed.

How much does it cost to attend the ceremony?

Graduand tickets are free. Each guest ticket costs £50.

Can I bring children to the ceremony?

Children may attend the ceremony if they are accompanied by an adult. We do not offer any childcare facilities, nor can the University take any responsibility for any children.

Will my child need a ticket?

Children under 11 years may attend for free, but we need to know they are coming so we can allocate seating. Please email us with the name and age of any children attending, along with the graduand’s name and booking reference number.

Children aged 11 and above will need a standard guest ticket.

What is the booking/ payment deadline for my graduation ceremony ticket(s)?

The deadline for bookings and receipt of all payments is Friday 14 February. However, you are advised to make your booking, travel and any visa arrangements as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Can my tickets be refunded if I can no longer attend?

There is a strict refund policy outlined in your booking confirmation email. Please ensure you read this policy.

How can I get a visa to come to London for the ceremony?

We recommend that you and your guests meet all necessary visa requirements well in advance of the ceremony to avoid disappointment.

Please note:

  • The University cannot take responsibility for visa applications for you or your guests.
  • We can provide a visa support letter for those booked to attend the ceremony. This must be requested through our online booking system when you register to attend and cannot be amended afterwards. The letter (covering all guests) will be sent to the graduand’s email and postal addresses once full payment for tickets has been received. Our main point of contact will be the graduand.
  • Please make sure that you enter your name and the names of your guests as shown on your respective passports.
  • Please let us know the outcome of your visa application once you are notified. Please email us with the subject 'Visa outcome'.
  • Please note: the general invitation letter should not be used to support your visa application, as we may be asked by the authorities about your visa application and your booking.

Can I pay for my tickets after I have got a visa?

You must pay for your guest tickets before we send a visa support letter.

My visa has been rejected. Can I get extra support from the University of London?

We can only provide a visa support letter to assist you with your visa application. If the office issuing the visa has any further questions they must contact us directly.

We will provide a timely response to their query.

Can the University help to arrange accommodation?

You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation in London. We are unable to make recommendations. Please consider distance from the venue and transport options when booking accommodation.

How do I hire my gown?

The external gown supplier for this ceremony is Ede & Ravenscroft. Please visit their website to hire your gown.

We recommend you arrange this as early as possible, as University of London academic dress is a requirement. Payment is made directly with Ede & Ravenscroft.

All queries relating to the hire of your gown should be directed to Ede and Ravenscroft by telephone on +44 (0) 1223 861 854, or by email.

Please note: The University cannot take responsibility for any bookings made with Ede & Ravenscroft. We recommend that you book your gown and photography online at least 21 days before the ceremony.

Where do I collect my gown before the ceremony?

You collect your gown at the venue on the day of the ceremony. Instructions for the day are included in the booking confirmation email, which you will receive once you complete your booking.

Can I wear my own gown?

No. You must wear an official University of London gown representing the degree for which you are being presented.

Will I be given instructions for the day?

Yes, instructions are sent with your booking confirmation email. Please print your confirmation emails and bring them to the Graduation Ceremony. We exchange these for your tickets.

For security purposes, graduates must provide photographic ID when collecting your tickets (such as an ID card or passport). Without ID, you will not be issued tickets or presented on the day. This must be the original document registered by officials to the graduand. Scanned copies and pictures on mobile devices cannot be accepted.

What is the dress code for the Graduation Ceremony?

The Graduation Ceremony is a formal event but we like our graduates to feel comfortable and confident in what they wear.

For men, the appropriate dress to accompany an academic gown is a smart suit or trousers, collar and tie with smart shoes. For women, a smart suit, skirt or trousers with a blouse, or a smart dress, would be appropriate. Alternatively, national dress may be worn.

It is inappropriate to wear casual clothes such as jeans, tracksuits, trainers, or similar.

What time should I arrive?

  • Morning Ceremony: The Ticket Collection Point will open at 8:30am on Level Minus 1. Please allow ample time for gowning and photography before being seated by 10:15am.
  • Afternoon Ceremony: We recommend that you arrive by 13:00pm to allow ample time for gowning and photography before being seated by 14:15pm.

How do I get to the venue?

Please see 'the venue' on our Graduation page.

Where do I go once I arrive?

Please make your way to the Ticket Collection Point on Level Minus 1. Here, we will exchange your booking and payment confirmation emails for your tickets.

Once you have collected tickets, make your way to gowning, before proceeding to the official photography (if you have booked this service).

When should my guests arrive?

Ideally we recommend that you and your guests arrive at the same time. If this is not possible, guests must arrive before the seating time of 10.15am for the morning ceremony, or 14:15pm for the afternoon ceremony. We recommend you arrive on time to avoid disappointment.

For security purposes, the graduand is responsible for collecting all ceremony tickets. Guests will not be able to collect tickets.

If guests arrive after graduands are seated, it may not be possible for them to enter. If you are aware of any serious reason why your guest(s) might be late, please let us know as soon as possible.

Is food available at the Barbican Centre?

There are many cafes and restaurants in the vicinity of the Barbican Centre. Each Graduation Ceremony will be followed by a reception where canapes and drinks will be served.

How long does the Graduation Ceremony last?

Each ceremony will last about one and a half hours, depending on the number of graduands being presented. Each ceremony is followed by a reception where you will have an opportunity to meet other graduates and academics of the University of London.

Can I have professional graduation photographs taken at the Barbican Centre?

Yes, Ede & Ravenscroft will have photography studios set up for photographs before and/or after the ceremony. We recommend that you and your guests proceed to photography immediately after gowning where possible. You may wish to book a session online prior to the ceremony.

Should I book my photography session prior to attending the ceremony?

We highly recommend that you book in advance, as this will help the official photography team to plan for the event, to ensure that the process is as efficient as possible.

Will I be able to get a frame for my photograph and my degree certificate?

Ede & Ravenscroft sell a range of frames for certificates and photographs. Please check the website for further details.

Can I buy photographs of the Graduation Ceremony?

Yes, Ede & Ravenscroft will photograph graduands being presented at the ceremony, and make these available for purchase. Please contact Ede & Ravenscroft for more information.

Will I be able to take photos during the ceremony?

Photography is not allowed during the ceremony. However, you are welcome to take photographs before and after the ceremony in and around the Barbican Centre.

Key points to remember

  • Book your tickets online.
  • The general invitation letter should not be used to support your visa application, as we may be asked by the authorities about your visa application and your booking.
  • Book your official gown (and photography, if you wish).
  • Visa support letters are requested through the online ticket booking system.
  • Visa support letters are sent out only when we receive full payment for tickets.
  • Check that names for visa support letters are correct when making the request.
  • The University can only issue visa support letters and answer enquiries from official agencies about the event.
  • The graduation ceremony may be webcast, and photographs will be taken on the day.