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Graduation Ceremonies

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To answer any questions that you may have about the graduation ceremonies, we have created some frequently asked questions guides. Most of your questions can be answered here. If you still cannot find the answer to your question you can find our contact information here.

 

 

Eligibility 

Am I eligible to attend graduation?

If you are eligible to attend, you will receive an invitation by email. This email has been sent to every email address that is stored on your Portico. Please check the Who can attend graduation section to check if you are eligible.

Please contact studentrecords@ucl.ac.uk  to discuss your eligibility to graduate.

Registration

How do I register to attend?

You can apply for your ticket to attend the UCL Graduation Ceremonies on Portico, after receiving your invitation email from the UCL Graduation Ceremonies Team. Your link to register to graduation will be included in your invitation email. All students awarded after September 2009 will be able to access their university email and Portico account for life.

If you are experiencing issues logging in your UCL account, please contact ISD support at
servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk or on +44 (0) 207 679 5000.

The deadline for student registration to the 2019 graduation ceremonies is April 24th 2019. Students must apply to attend even if they are not purchasing guest tickets.

Can I register on the day?

No, UCL cannot take registrations on the day. Please apply for your student tickets via Portico before the application deadline April 24th 2019.

I am having issues accessing Portico, how do I register?

If you are experiencing issues logging in your UCL account, please contact ISD support at
servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk or on +44 (0) 207 679 5000.

You can also report an issue with the Portico helpdesk either by telephone on 020 7679 0637 or by email at portico-services@ucl.ac.uk.

When will the date of my ceremony be confirmed?

Please note that all dates are provisional until you have received your final confirmation correspondence before the end of May. Because of this we advise students and guests not to make any travel or accommodation plans until the date has been cofirmed. 

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

Due to the year on year increase in the number of students eligible to attend UCL Graduation Ceremonies and venue capacity restrictions, UCL is no longer able to offer the deferral of graduation ceremony attendance. If you are unable to attend the ceremony due to exceptional circumstances such as illness, death in family or pregnancy please contact ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk.

If I cannot attend my ceremony. Does this affect my award?

Attendance at a UCL Graduation Ceremony is not mandatory and has no impact on the awarding of a student's degree. Please find more information on degree certificates on the UCL degree certificates website.

I received an invitation to my graduation ceremony, do I need to register for my student ticket or is this done automatically?

Yes, you will need to register. Although student tickets are complimentary, they are not automatically allocated to students. You must apply online via Portico.

I am having issues within Portico, how do I register? 

If you are experiencing in your UCL account, please contact the Portico helpdesk either by telephone on 020 7679 0637 or by email at portico-services@ucl.ac.uk.

Why has my graduation date changed?

Graduation dates remain provisional until the date has been confirmed in May. If a ceremony becomes oversubscribed we may have to move students to a different ceremony. Ceremonies become oversubscribed because it is not first come first served however we endeavour to allow all students who have or will receive their award within the graduation deadlines a space at a graduation ceremony. Students are moved in groups dependant on the degree they receive. So as not to create too much of an inconvenience we try to keep students within the same day or week. Because of this we urge students and guests not to book accommodation or travel in advance.

I've missed the deadline for registration, can I still register?

Unfortunately you cannot register for graduation if you have missed the deadline for graduation as it is a strict deadline.

Guest Tickets 

How do I book tickets for guests?

Students will receive an email invitation which will include a link where they can buy guest tickets. Guest tickets are purchased directly through the Royal Festival Hall website and are £45 each. Students can only purchase 2 guest tickets.

Can I buy additional guest tickets?

Students are guaranteed 2 guest tickets. If your ceremony has not been filled then there will be an opportunity to buy more guest tickets. Students will be notified when they are able to buy more guest tickets via email.

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

Unfortunately there are no alternative methods to make payment or book tickets in advance of your ceremony. 

How much does it cost to attend the ceremony?

Graduand tickets are free. Each guest ticket costs £45.

Can I bring children to the ceremony?

The Graduation Ceremonies are not suitable for babies or children under the age of five as they are long, formal occasions and so we advise you not bring your children. If you decide to bring children aged three and over will need to purchase guest tickets. There are no concessions.

When purchasing guest tickets with children we advise you to choose seating in the higher level for your own comfort.

Will my child need a ticket?

Everyone attending the graduation ceremonies, including children aged three and over, must have their own ticket. There are no ticket concessions.

How do I get a refund for a guest ticket?

If you need to get a refund for guest tickets you must contact the Royal Festival Hall directly. You can find their contact details here.

Who can buy guest tickets?

Only students can buy guest tickets. Once they have received their email with a link to buy guest tickets they must use their student ID to log into the Royal Festival Hall website to purchase guest tickets.

Visas 

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

If you are attending a Graduation Ceremony, you will receive confirmation of the date and time of your graduation ceremony in the confirmation email in May. If you require a copy of the confirmation letter to support your visa application you will be able to receive this when you log into portico after you have received your confirmation of ceremony letter in May. Please note that UCL is unable to provide any kind of additional invitation letter to support visa applications for guests. We recommend that you and your guests meet all necessary visa requirements well in advance of the ceremony to avoid disappointment.

For additional information about visas please see our visa website

Can UCL provide a visa letter for my guests?

UCL is unable to provide any kind of additional invitation letter to support visa applications for guests. We recommend that you and your guests meet all necessary visa requirements well in advance of the ceremony to avoid disappointment.

For additional information about visas please see our visa website

Gowns

How do I hire my gown?

Academic dress (robe) is mandatory at all UCL Graduation Ceremonies for Students, and Academic Staff who are part of the academic procession.

The academic dress (robes) you wear depends on your qualification and the institution making the award. Although UCL received awarding powers in 2005 there are still some students who will receive a University of London award. You can check your awarding institution on your Portico.

UCL has a recommended supplier, J. Wippell & Co. Ltd. If, however, Students opt to source their own academic dress independently they should check that it adheres to UCL regulations.

Where do I collect my gown before the ceremony?

If you have hired your robes from J. Wippell & Co. Ltd, you will collect these at the venue on the day of your ceremony. Graduands will be directed to robe collection after you have registered.

Can I wear my own gown?

If you opt to source your own academic dress independently, you should check that it adheres to UCL regulations.

What should I wear under my gown?

Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and therefore smart dress is appropriate. Remember your clothes can be seen under your academic dress (robe).  Students are welcome to wear traditional or national dress. Robes are designed to be worn with shirts. You may wish to bring safety pins to secure the robe in place.  
Please wear appropriate footwear for walking up and down the steps. Please note that shorts, denim and trainers are not appropriate attire for a graduation ceremony.

On the day

Can UCL help to arrange student or guest accommodation?

Graduands and their guests are responsible for arranging their own accommodation in London. We are unable to make recommendations. Please consider distance from the venue and transport options when booking accommodation. You can find out more information about transport to the Royal Festival Hall by clicking here.

Do I need to register on the day?

Yes, you will need to register on the day of your graduation at the graduation desk. Please ensure you have your UCL Student ID card or another form of ID

On arrival, you will be directed by UCL staff to the registration desk at the venue. Registration will close 10 minutes before the ceremony starts. If you do not register you will not be able to get your gown or attend your ceremony.

Once you have registered, you will be directed to gowning to collect your robe, before proceeding to the official photography area.

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 your ceremony begins. If guests arrive after graduands are seated, it is not be possible for them to enter the ceremony hall.

My guests/I have access requirements, how do I let you know?

For students with access requirements you will need to make this clear by selecting that you have access requirements when you regsiter with Portico.

Guests with access requirements should make this known when they buy guests tickets with the Royal Festival Hall.

Is food available at the ceremony?

There are many cafes and restaurants on the Southbank, you can find more information and suggestions here. Each graduation ceremony will be followed by a reception where canapés and drinks will be served.

Is there a cloakroom at the venue?

Cloakroom facilities are managed by the Southbank Centre and are available at a charge. We encourage students and guests to refrain from bringing large items.

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 an hour long reception.

Can I have professional graduation photographs taken at the ceremony?

Tempest will have photography studios set up for photographs before the ceremony. Students are strongly encouraged to visit the photography studios prior to their ceremony, we recommend that you and your guests proceed to photography immediately after gowning where possible.

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 venue.

What is the schedule for the day?

Students are strongly advised to plan their day so as to allow sufficient time to enjoy all aspects of their graduation.

 
 10:00am ceremony2:00pm ceremony6:00pm ceremony
Students register at the Registration Desk on Level 1Open from 7:30amOpen from 11:30am Open from 3:30pm
Collect academic robes from J. Wippell & Co. Ltd on Level 2, Blue sideOpen from 7:30amOpen from 11:30am Open from 3:30pm
Have your photograph taken by the professional photographers in studios on Level 1Open from 7:30amOpen from 11:30am Open from 3:30pm
Students take their seats in the auditoriumTo be seated by 10:00am (auditorium opens at 9:30am)To be seated by 2:00pm (auditorium opens at 1:30pm) To be seated by 6:00pm (auditorium opens at 5:30pm)
Registration closes 9:50am1:50pm 5:50pm
Guests take their seats in the auditoriumTo be seated by 10:00am (auditorium opens at 9:30am)To be seated by 2:00pm (auditorium opens at 1:30pm) To be seated by 6:00pm (auditorium opens at 5:30pm)
Graduation CeremonyRunning time 10:00am - 11:30am (approximately)Running time 2:00pm - 3:30pm (approximately) Running time 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Reception on Level 4, Blue or Green sideMake your way to your reception where refreshments will be served for approximately 1 hour immediately after the ceremonyMake your way to your reception where refreshments will be served for approximately 1 hour immediately after the ceremony Make your way to your reception where refreshments will be served for approximately 1 hour immediately after the ceremony
 Return academic dress (robe) to J. Wippell & Co. Ltd. Robe Return point on Level 2, Blue side Return by 3:00pm Return by 5:30pm Return by 9:00pm
Can I change my seat?

You must sit in the seat allocated to you. You will not be able to change your seat. 

Will my award level be read out or printed in the programme?

The level of the award that you have received will not printed in the programme or read out when walking across the stage. Students walk across the stage in alphabetical order after they are grouped in subject and type of award. You will walk across the stage individually.

Can I be called by my nick-name or have it printed in the programme?

Students must use their full birth given names for the programme and during the ceremony. If you feel there may be a mistake on your Portico account please visit the student records website.

Photography 

Can I have professional graduation photographs taken at the ceremony?

Tempest will have photography studios set up for photographs before the ceremony. Students are strongly encouraged to visit photography prior to their ceremony, we recommend that you and your guests proceed to photography immediately after gowning where possible.

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

Unfortunately you are unable to pre-book ceremony photography. On the day you will be able to browse and pay for photography packages before your ceremony starts.

What time do the photography studios open and close on the day?

Photography studios will open 2 hours before your ceremony and close 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.

What type of photography is available on the day?

There are two styles of photography available on the day, each giving students the opportunity to capture that special moment. Photography services are available before your ceremony. If you would like to have photographs taken in the professional studios, to avoid disappointment, you should arrive with enough time to robe, register and have photographs taken. The studios will close 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.

In all studios, the photographer will take portrait style shots of you on your own or with a group and will then produce proofs so that you can see what your final photographs will look like. Once you have chosen your preferred image(s) you can make your way to the sales desk where you can chose the photography package that you would like to purchase.

Tempest Classic Service

The service offers conventional photography and will take place in a studio against a standard backdrop. This style of photography is traditional.  As there are a large number of these studios you do not need to book in advance for this service, you simply queue on the day.

Studio b3

This is a bespoke service which will provide contemporary photography in a darkened studio with customised lighting. 'Studio b3' will offer students and their guests a personalised service with more studio time and a range of hand-crafted frames. To complete these bespoke frames students will be offered the choice of black and white or colour photographs, and black and white overlays.

'Studio b3' is by pre-arranged appointment only. We advise you to make the appointment for the period before your ceremony to ensure you don't miss out on your reception. To book please contact Tempest directly. You can find their contact information here.
 

I didn’t receive my graduation photographs

If your studio graduation photographs have not arrived please contact Tempest photography on graduation-photographs@htempest.co.uk  and they will be able to advise you on how to receive your photographs. 

I was unable to attend my ceremony can I still take graduation photographs?

Unfortunately we do not provide a service after the ceremonies for students to take graduation style studio photographs. You can still take photographs in a graduation style by renting a gown from our gowning provider at https://www.wippellgownhire.co.uk/ and hiring a photography studio in your own time.

Certificates 

I still haven't received my graduation certificate 

If you have not received your certificate by post within 3 months, please email student records on to check the delivery status of your degree certificate. Please find more information on degree certificates on the UCL degree certificates website.

Do I need to attend my ceremony to get my certificate?

You do not need to attend a ceremony to receive your degree certificate and transcript. Please find more information on degree certificates on the UCL degree certificates website.