Graduation guests sat in the awards ceremony whilst the Vice-Chancellor gives a speech

On your graduation day

On your graduation day

Please note that the information below is regarding February 2024 graduation. 

Approximately one week before your graduation ceremony, anyone who has booked to attend graduation will be e-mailed final instructions and details about the day.

Below you will find some initial information to help give you an idea of what you will need to do on the day. Please note, at this stage, the information is a guide and is subject to change. 

The ceremonies usually start at 11.00am or 2.30pm. Each ceremony will last around an hour. On the day you need to arrive at the University’s High Wycombe Campus. Directions can be found on our travel webpage.

The ceremony itself will take place in the Wycombe Swan Theatre across the road from the High Wycombe Campus.

You must be registered, gowned and seated in the Wycombe Swan Theatre half an hour before your ceremony is due to start so that university staff can explain the ceremony proceedings to you.

We recommend that you arrive at the University two hours before the start of your ceremony as Registration and gowning can become extremely busy.

Due to space restrictions please note guests will not be allowed access to these areas, access is only for those who will be graduating. 

The registration desk will usually be open from 9am for a morning ceremony and 12.30pm for an afternoon ceremony. The Registration Desk will close 30 minutes before your ceremony is due to start.

On arrival, you must go to the Registration Desk first, which will be signposted on the day, so we know you have arrived, and you can collect your tickets. You will then be directed to the gowning area

At registration you will be given a Wycombe Swan Theatre ticket for yourself and separate tickets for your guests (if you ordered guest tickets) as well as information about the day. Graduands are seated together in the theatre stalls, in strict alphabetical order within each course. This is the order you will cross the stage in. Guest seating is in the rear stalls, side stalls, circle and upper circle. You cannot change the tickets allocated to you. 

If you arrive in plenty of time, we would encourage you to get your photographs taken before the ceremony as photography gets extremely busy after the ceremonies and we wouldn’t wish for anyone to miss their celebration time.

Due to space restrictions please note guests will not be allowed access to these areas, access is only for those who will be graduating. 

Following registration, you will be directed to the gowning area where our designated gown supplier staff will fit your academic gown that you should have ordered in advance.

Gowns should have been hired in advance, so please remember to bring your gown hire confirmation with you on the day. If you have not hired a gown, there may be some available to hire on the day but please note this is not guaranteed. 

Please note that you must be correctly gowned and dressed appropriately to take part in your ceremony. You cannot graduate if you are not correctly gowned. 

Your graduation is a celebration of your achievements and a formal occasion, so you need to wear the appropriate academic dress (consisting of robe, hood and mortarboard which collectively we call the gown) which is mandatory for the ceremony.

This is a formal event and we ask that you please dress appropriately and smartly for the occasion. However, there is no formal dress code beyond the requirement for the above detailed academic dress. It is advisable to wear suitable footwear as there is a short walk to the theatre from the campus and you may  have to negotiate steps up to and down from the stage. Hair grips and safety pins are often required so if you think you will need them, please bring them with you.

Military uniform or national dress can be worn by graduands as long as the academic robe, hood and mortarboard are able to be worn with it.

The University retains the right to refuse you entrance to the ceremony if it is considered you are inappropriately dressed.

If we have any unsold tickets (this is not guarantee) for your ceremony, you will be able to purchase extra tickets from the Ticket Sales desk near the Gateway Reception area on the day of graduation. Please note we cannot guarantee that we will be able to seat all your guests together if you buy more tickets on the day.

No longer require tickets already bought? The University cannot resell your unwanted guest tickets for you on the day if you no longer require them. If you are unable to attend, please see our refunds information.

Please note there is no car parking on campus. There are public car parks within a short walking distance of the campus, or the park and ride service is available. Further information can be found on our travel webpage.

Information on the format of programmes for your ceremony will be available from the registration desk when you register your arrival.

The photography studios of our official supplier will operate all day. Photography can be pre-booked at the same time you book your gown. If you arrive in good time, you are strongly encouraged to have your photographs taken before the ceremony.

There will be a photographer taking photos of each graduand as they cross the stage. These photos can be purchased after the ceremony.

Please see our gown hire and photography page for more information.

We are planning to have various pop up photography locations across campus. These can be utilised by all to take your own photographs. You do not need to book a slot; they are available throughout the day to use at your convenience. 

Please note these are not manned and no camera is provided. It is intended that you will take your own photographs with your own camera.

Event stewards will be on duty throughout the day at the University and at the Wycombe Swan Theatre to assist and direct you. They can be identified by their gowns or sashes.

Seats for guests are pre-allocated separately from the graduands. Tickets are issued for the rear stalls, side stalls, circle and upper circle. Theatre staff will ask to see valid tickets and will help your guests to find their seats.

Guests must be in their seats 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony. Announcements will be made in plenty of time in the gowning and photography areas, in the Wycombe Swan theatre foyer and outside the entrance.

Guests are asked to remain in their seats at the end of the ceremony until the academic procession have left the auditorium.

For more information on tickets, please see the your attendance and your guest tickets section of the website.

Graduands will be seated in the stalls in strict alphabetical order within each course. This is the order you will cross the stage in. Find your allocated seat as soon as you enter the auditorium and then remain seated. University staff and the theatre ushers will be in the auditorium to assist you and ensure that you find the right seat.

Graduands must be seated 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. This is so we can ensure you are correctly seated and so you hear the important information ahead of your ceremony. 

You are strongly advised not to take bags or personal belongings with you into the theatre as you cannot take this on stage with you. All possessions are your responsibility to keep safe. You are not allowed to take any beverages into the auditorium.

When the ceremony starts everyone will stand while the academic procession enters. The academic procession consists of University officials and the academic staff from your School or partner college. Once the procession has reached the platform and the ceremony has been declared open, everyone will sit down.

University staff will direct you during the presentation. At the appropriate moment you and others in your row will be asked to form a line to the side of the auditorium. Do not change seats or position in the line-up for the presentation as you will not be in the correct order for the presenter to read out your name and you may miss your opportunity to cross the stage. The University staff can remove you from the ceremony script if you are not in the right seat or move positions in the line.

Please do not carry anything with you on to the stage. When it is your turn, the presenter will read out your name and you will cross the stage, stop in the middle of the stage to shake hands and/or to bow your head to the University official(s) and then continue across the stage and exit back to your seat.

You must return to the same seat after you have crossed the stage. At the end of the ceremony, you will be asked to stand up and wait for everyone on the stage to process out of the theatre. Please remain at your seats until staff tell you to leave. Graduates will then process out of the auditorium one row at a time. Guests will then follow. 

You must wear your mortarboard throughout the ceremony and when processing out of the auditorium.

Certificates are sent out either in advance or after the ceremony depending on the date of your award being issued. No certificates are presented at graduation.

After the ceremony you are invited to join us at a post-ceremony reception in the Hospitality Zone at our High Wycombe Campus. You must have a valid ticket to enter the Hospitality Zone and your ticket includes refreshments. 

This is an optional, informal part of the day for those who graduated or purchased tickets for the ceremony that lasts approximately an hour. 

There will be no additional tickets to purchase just for the Hospitality Zone. 

Please visit the catering page to find out more about the refreshments available during the celebration in the Hospitality Zone.