Graduation FAQs

Attending the ceremony


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

Am I eligible to attend the ceremony?
I cannot attend the ceremony this year, can I defer?
How do I register my attendance?
How do I book tickets for my guests?
Are there any alternative methods to book my tickets and make payment?
How much does it cost to attend the ceremony?
Can I bring children to the ceremony?
Will my child need a ticket?
Can I bring children to the dinner?
What is the booking/ payment deadline for my graduation ceremony ticket(s)?
Can I pay for my tickets in person?
Can my tickets be refunded if I can no longer attend?
How can I get a visa to come to London for the ceremony?
Can I pay for my tickets after I have got a visa?
My visa has been rejected. Can I get extra support from the University of London to re-apply?
Is there a Graduation Dinner in the evening?
I sat my examinations in October/ November this year, can I book a place before I receive my examination results?

Gown hire

How do I hire my gown?
How much does it cost to hire a gown?
Where do I collect my gown before the ceremony?
Can I wear my own gown?

On the day

Will I be given instructions for the day?
What is the dress code for the Graduation Ceremony?
What time should I arrive?
How do I get to the Barbican?
Where do I go once I arrive?
When should my guests arrive?
Is there somewhere to eat and drink at the Barbican?
How long does the Graduation Ceremony last?

Photos and framing

Can I have professional graduation photographs taken at the Barbican Centre?
Will I be able to get a frame for my photograph and my degree certificate?
Can I buy photographs of the Graduation Ceremony?
Will I be able to take photos during the ceremony?
Should I book my photography session prior to attending the ceremony?
Can I purchase a DVD of the ceremony?
Will the ceremony be broadcast on the internet?
Key points to remember
 

Enquiries near to the Graduation Ceremony

All general enquiries about the venue, dress code, things to do in London, hotel accommodation and so forth, should be made as early as possible, because the Graduation Team will be busy organising the logistics of the event nearer the time. However, we will try and help you with your enquiries, but it would be helpful if those of a generic nature could be sent to us well in advance.

Attending the ceremony

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

All students eligible to attend will receive details on how to book a place at the graduation ceremony after their examination results are released. This will provide guidance on how to access the online application and payments system to order your tickets. You and your guests are required to book a ticket to attend the event.

If you have completed your study programme in previous years and are interested in attending the ceremony, please contact us to find out if you are eligible to attend, and if so, we will send you the guidance notes. Please write to: universityevents@london.ac.uk.

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Am I eligible to attend the ceremony?

All those qualifying to attend the ceremony will be sent an email invitation giving them details on how to register their attendance and book tickets for their guests. If you have recently received your examination results and successfully completed your study programme, but have not had an email invitation to attend the ceremony, please contact us at universityevents@london.ac.uk. We will then provide you with guidance on your eligibility to attend.

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

If you are unable to attend the 2016 Graduation Ceremony, you may be able to defer to attend the ceremony taking place in London during March 2017. Please contact us at universityevents@london.ac.uk for more advice.

Please note: Students completing their studies in the same academic year as the graduation ceremony are given priority to attend, but we do not envisage any problems in accommodating other attendees.

How do I register my attendance?

All graduands will be required to make an online booking to secure their attendance at the graduation ceremony. When you arrive at the homepage for the online application system, please click on the University of London International Programmes logo to take you to a web page containing detailed information on the 2016 London Graduation Ceremony. When you have finished reading this information, click the ‘Book Now’ button at the bottom of the page, and then enter your Student Registration Number (SRN) and Date of Birth to enter the system in order to complete your booking.

You will receive a booking confirmation email once you have completed your online booking and this will be followed by a Payment Confirmation email. Both emails include a booking reference number which is personal to you. Please print these emails and bring them with you to the graduation ceremony in London on Tuesday 8 March 2016. These emails will be exchanged for your tickets and contain the all-important booking reference number which we use to locate your ticket pack.

Please note:

  1. Your booking will only be confirmed once you make the payment for your tickets in full. If you encounter any problems paying via Paypal, please contact us on +44(0)207 862 8310/8543.
  2. If you request a visa support letter, this will only be sent once you have paid for your tickets.

How do I book tickets for my guests?

You will only be able to purchase guest tickets if you register your attendance as a graduand. Once you have registered your attendance, using the process above, you can continue with the booking and add as many guest tickets as you require to your shopping basket.

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

If you have problems paying through PayPal, please call us on +44(0)207 862 8310/8543 to make your payment over the telephone. Payments made over the telephone must be made by the cardholder and can only be taken between 9.30 and 17.00 (GMT), Monday – Friday, except bank holidays. All credit cards can be used, except American Express.

Please note that if you pay over the telephone there will be a slight delay in receiving your Payment confirmation email due to our internal procedures.

Alternatively, and only in exceptional circumstances, it is possible to pay for your graduation tickets by sending a banker’s draft, which needs to be made payable to the University of London International Academy. Please contact us for more details concerning this method of payment.

How much does it cost to attend the ceremony?

Graduand tickets are free, and each guest ticket costs £50. Tickets for the Formal Evening Dinner cost £75 each for both graduands and guests.

Can I bring children to the ceremony?

Children may attend the ceremony if they are accompanied by an adult. If this is not possible, please ensure that you have made prior childcare arrangements for the duration of the ceremonies. Please note that we do not offer any childcare facilities for the ceremonies, nor can the University take any responsibility for any child left alone.

Will my child need a ticket?

Children up to the age of 10 do not require a paid ticket, but we need to be informed that they are attending so that appropriate seating arrangements can be made. Please email: universityevents@london.ac.uk marking it in the subject header section as ‘Children Attending’. In the email please provide the names of the children, their age and the name and booking reference number of the graduand attending. If any children are over 10, a guest ticket will need to be purchased for them.

Can I bring children to the dinner?

Due to the formal nature of the evening we do not recommend that children attend the dinner. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us at universityevents@london.ac.uk.

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

The deadline for bookings and receipt of all payments is Monday 15 February. However, you are advised to make your booking, travel and any visa arrangements as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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Can I pay for my tickets in person?

You are required to book your tickets online to attend the ceremony, and can pay for them either through PayPal or over the telephone. The only payments that can be made in person are for any spare additional tickets on the day, which cannot be guaranteed.

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

There is a strict refund policy. We are only able to offer refunds for purchased tickets once a request has been made, in writing, within 14 days of purchasing the tickets. Any refunds made within this time will be subject to a £10 administration fee per ticket.

The only other refunds that will be made are for graduates who have had their visas turned down by the authorities, but they will need to provide written evidence to support their application to be considered for a refund. This application must be made in writing and these refund applications will also be subject to the £10 administration fee per ticket.

Refunds cannot be made for graduands and their guests who cannot attend for personal reasons having booked their tickets.

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

Graduands and their guests are advised to meet all necessary visa requirements well in advance of the ceremony on Tuesday 8 March 2015, to avoid disappointment.

Please note:

  • The University cannot take responsibility for visa applications for the graduand or their guests.
  • However, the University is able to provide a visa support letter for those booked to attend the London Graduation Ceremony. This will be sent to the graduand’s email and postal address, and can only be issued once full payment to attend the ceremony has been made. Our main point of contact for all correspondence will be the graduand.
  • When you register to attend the graduation ceremony on our online booking system, please fill in the relevant section stating whether you or any of your guests require a visa support letter.
  • Please make sure that you enter the names of you and your guests, as you would like them to appear on the official visa support letter.

We ask that you let us know the outcome of your visa application, no matter whether it is accepted or rejected, as soon as you are notified of the decision, by emailing us at universityevents@london.ac.uk. This will ensure that all appropriate arrangements are made for you to be presented at the ceremony and we do not send you any unnecessary email reminders and if you are unable to attend, we can ensure that all arrangements for you are cancelled so that other graduates can be presented without interruption.

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

You are required to pay for your guest tickets before we send a visa support letter. However, if you provide us with confirmation that your visa has been rejected then we will refund the ticket, subject to a £10.00 administration charge per ticket.

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

We can only provide a visa support letter to assist you with your visa application. If the office issuing the visa have any further questions and contact us directly, we will provide a response to their query.

If your visa has been rejected and you will not be attending the graduation ceremony, please email universityevents@london.ac.uk to let us know. This will enable us to reallocate your ticket to someone else and cancel all arrangements we would have made for you to attend.

Is there a Graduation Dinner in the evening?

Yes, we will hold a Formal Evening Dinner at The Brewery, 52 Chiswell St, London EC1Y 4SD. Tickets for graduands and guests can be purchased through the online booking system alongside tickets for the 2016 London Graduation Ceremony. These tickets are very popular, and are available on a first come, first served basis.

I will sit my examinations in October/November this year, can I book a place before I receive my examination results?

Results for examinations taken during the October/November session will be sent out at the end of the year. As soon as these are sent, all graduands will be invited by email to register their attendance at the London Graduation Ceremony as well as book tickets for their guests. Graduands and their guests are also invited to attend the evening dinner, for which you will need to book tickets.

If you receive your examination results in November/ December, we will be holding back tickets for you and your guests to avoid disappointment.

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Gown hire

How do I hire my gown?

If you have registered to attend the 2016 London Graduation Ceremony, our external gown supplier for this ceremony is Ede & Ravenscroft so please visit their website to hire your gown at www.edeandravenscroft.co.uk.

We recommend you book this as soon as possible and at least 21 days before the event to guarantee your academic attire is at the Barbican on the day of the ceremony. You will be required to wear the University of London academic dress. Please download How to order your academic dress and photography online [PDF 1pg 356KB ] for step by step guidance.

Payment must be made directly with Ede and 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 21 days before the graduation ceremony.

Graduands are not permitted to be presented without being in the correct University of London academic gown.

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How much does it cost to hire a gown?

To hire your graduation gown, hood and mortar board for the day will cost around £50-£60, depending on which degree you are being presented for. The exact price for your particular robes will be confirmed once you place your order with Ede & Ravenscroft. You may also purchase your academic dress outright if you wish to keep it, but you will have to contact the gown supplier to make such a purchase.

Where do I collect my gown before the ceremony?

You will collect your gown at the Barbican Centre on the day of the ceremony. All final instructions for the day are included in the booking summary email you will receive after completing your booking.

Please note: you are required to collect your tickets from the International Programmes reception desk at the Barbican Centre, which will be based on Level Minus 1, before being gowned on the day of the graduation ceremony.

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Can I wear my own gown?

No, it must be an official University of London gown representing the degree for which you are being presented at the Graduation Ceremony.

On the day

Will I be given instructions for the day?

Yes, we will provide all our graduands with instructions for the day through our online booking system. Instructions will be part of your booking summary email – please remember to bring this with you on the day. An outline of the day is also available on our website.

Please collect your tickets first and make your way to gowning, before proceeding to the official photography. Please allow ample time to do this, prior to making your way to the auditorium. It is expected that there will be more than 3,000 people celebrating their success on Tuesday 8 March 2016, and the Barbican will therefore be very busy throughout the day. It is important that you carefully follow the instructions provided to ensure that everyone attending the Graduation Ceremony has a pleasant day.

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 with the academic gown. Please note that it would be inappropriate to wear casual clothes such as jeans, tracksuits, or similar.

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What time should I arrive?

Morning Ceremony: We recommend that graduands for the morning ceremony arrive at the Barbican Centre at 8.30am for registration, and allow ample time for gowning and photography before being seated by 10.15am.

Afternoon Ceremony: We recommend that graduands for the afternoon ceremony arrive at the Barbican Centre at 11.30am for registration, and allow ample time for gowning and photography before being seated by 2.15pm.

How do I get to the Barbican?

There are excellent public transport links to the Barbican Centre: the nearest tube stations are Barbican (Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines), and Moorgate (Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Northern lines). Please download a tube map from Transport for London [PDF 2pgs 200KB] for more information.

It is advisable to travel to the Barbican Centre by public transport; however, there are two public car parks nearby subject to limited availability. You may want to check the Barbican website [external website] prior to arrival for more information.

Where do I go once I arrive?

Please make your way to the University of London registration desk on Level -1 (Minus 1), which is on the same level as the cloakroom. Make sure that you have your booking summary email, which will have your booking reference number on it, to exchange for your seat tickets. Once you have collected your tickets, please make your way to the gowning area, followed by official photography, and then be seated in the auditorium for the ceremony.

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When should my guests arrive?

Ideally we recommend that graduands and their guests arrive at the same time, but if this is not possible guests must ensure they arrive before the guests’ seating time of 10.30am for the morning ceremony, or 2.30pm for the afternoon ceremony. Please note we highly recommend you arrive on time to avoid any disappointment.

The graduand is responsible for collecting all ceremony tickets from the Information Desk. If guests arrive after the graduand has been seated, it may not be possible for the guest(s) to enter the auditorium. If for any serious reason you know that your guest(s) might be late, please let us know as soon as possible by email: universityevents@london.ac.uk.

Is there somewhere to eat and drink at the Barbican?

Yes, the Barbican has several cafes, restaurants and kiosks across different floor levels.

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How long does the Graduation Ceremony last?

Each ceremony will last about 1 ½ hours, depending on the final number of graduands being presented. Each ceremony is then followed by a reception where you will have an opportunity to meet with other graduates from around the world and academics of the University of London.

Photos and framing

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

Yes, Ede and Ravenscroft are the official photographers on the day. They will have photography studios set up at the Barbican to enable graduands and their guests to be photographed before and/or after the ceremony. However, where possible we recommend that graduands and their guests take advantage of the photography session immediately after gowning for the ceremony. We also recommend that you book your photography session online with Ede and Ravenscroft [external link] at least 21 days prior to the ceremony.

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

Ede & Ravenscroft offer a range of frames for sale for both certificates and photographs. Please check their website Ede and Ravenscroft [external link] for further details.

Can I buy photographs of the Graduation Ceremony?

Yes, Ede & Ravenscroft [external link] will take photographs of graduands being presented at the ceremony, and these are made available for purchase after the event. Please contact Ede & Ravenscroft [external link for more information]

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Will I be able to take photos during the ceremony?

All photography is prohibited during the ceremony itself; however, you will be able to take as many photographs as you like before and after the ceremony in and around the Barbican Centre.

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

We highly recommend that you book in advance, as this will help us to make appropriate arrangements for the number of photography studios required.

Can I purchase a DVD of the ceremony?

Yes, you can pre-order a DVD of your Graduation Ceremony when you register your attendance and purchase your guest and/or dinner tickets, for the discounted price of £20. You will also be able to order a copy of your DVD Ceremony on the day of your Graduation, but please note that these will be charged at £25 each.

Will the ceremony be broadcast on the internet?

Yes, the whole graduation day will be streamed in a live webcast over the internet. Further information – including the link to the webcast – will be circulated nearer the time.

After graduation

Note: you automatically become a member of our Alumni Association. For more information see the alumni area of our website.

Key points to remember

  • Book your tickets for the graduation ceremony online and these can only be collected on the day of the graduation ceremony at the Barbican Centre. You must bring your booking summary email and your booking payment and summary email with you to collect your tickets.
  • Please remember to book your official gown and photography at least 21 days before graduation.
  • Visa support letters can be requested through the online ticket booking system.
  • Visa support letters will only be sent out once we receive full payment for all the tickets.
  • It is the students’ responsibility to check that any names for the visa support letters are correct and official at the time of making a request for a visa support letter.
  • The University cannot intervene in the Visa application process, other than by issuing the visa support letters and answering any calls received from official agencies about the event.
  • The graduation ceremony will be webcast on the day and the University assumes that it has permission to do so from all graduands and their guests, unless we are informed otherwise in writing.

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