Graduation Ceremonies


Frequently asked graduation questions

Everything you need to know to prepare for and attend your 2023 graduation ceremony.

We are looking forward to celebrating with you at our September 2023 graduation ceremonies. 

Registration for graduation ceremonies is now closed. Pre-booking for gowns and guest tickets has now closed as well, but both will be available to purchase on the day. 

If you have any questions about the ceremonies that are not answered in the FAQs, please contact ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk.

About the 2023 ceremonies 

When are the 2023 events?

Our next 2023 graduation ceremonies take place in September.

We look forward to our September events which take place between Monday 4 September and Friday 8 September. 
These ceremonies are for: 
•    undergraduate students (apart from MBBS graduates who had their ceremony in July)
•    the following Postgraduates – Graduates of MAPS, Laws or SSEES Faculties.

View the schedule of the ceremonies for details on dates and times. 

Where are the September 2023 ceremonies taking place?

We are delighted that our September events will take place at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre. This is a beloved and prestigious venue, however, it is worth noting that our main arrival and gowning spaces are in the publicly accessible areas and can get busy. Please therefore arrive and register at least 2 hours before your ceremony. 

What is the date and time of my ceremony? And how long does it last?

View the schedule of the ceremonies for details on dates and times. 

The ceremony is about 75 minutes long. There is lots of preparation needed when you arrive and, with hundreds of students and around 2,000 people per ceremony in total, you’ll want to arrive in good time.
Before the day you will be given your specific arrival time, which will be at least two hours before the ceremony starts and no less than 90 minutes before your ceremony.

If you do not arrive in good time, you may be marked as not in attendance and your name will not be read out.

After the ceremony, you will be invited to the drinks reception.

You are welcome to return to campus after your ceremony and we will have a red carpet leading to the large UCL letters in the Main Quad, which is a perfect spot for a graduation photograph in your gown.

UCL alumni musicians, Matt Ginno and Leo Kelly-Gee, will be providing musical entertainment from 12pm to 5pm also in the Main Quad. 

What do I need to do to attend a ceremony and by when?

Registration for 2023 UCL graduations has now closed.

Is there a cost for me to attend the ceremony?

Student ticket

There is no cost for the student ticket. Your ticket will include a complementary reception drink and special graduation snack. 

Guest tickets

You can no longer pre-book guest tickets but there may be some available on the day on a first come first serve basis. Guest tickets cost £35 and include entrance to the ceremony and a reception drink.

Private box for guests

You can still pre-book a private box which seats up to 4 people and costs £249 - these will be on sale until they are sold out. If you have already bought guest tickets and would now like a private box instead, you can hire the box below and then request a refund for your original guest tickets by contacting Marston Events using this form (subject to their terms and conditions).  

Select the date of your ceremony below to hire a private box.


Monday 4 September

Tuesday 5 September

Wednesday 6 September

Thursday 7 September

Friday 8 September


You can no longer pre-order a gowns. If you still need to hire your gown, they will be available at the gowning station on the day for £55.


You can still book a photography package on the graduation portal until Monday 28 August 2023. If you are not sure which package you would like and want to wait until you have seen your photo, you can select the non refundable £15 fee to reserve a session with a photographer. 

Is there a ceremony programme available?

We will send you an email containing a link to an online programme. There will be no hard copies.

Will the September 2023 ceremonies be affected by the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB)?

We know graduation is an important milestone to celebrate alongside your course-mates, friends and supporters. If you are affected by the MAB, you will still be able to attend our upcoming ceremonies, have your name read out on the day and celebrate your time at UCL. 

Affected students can choose to defer to a ceremony in 2024, if they prefer. Fill out this form to let us know you would like to defer.

As in any year, if you have failed or not completed the final year for reasons not directly related to the Marking and Assessment Boycott, you would not be expected to participate in the ceremony. Your department will provide you with details about next steps should this be the case.  

For more information about the Marking and Assessment Boycott, how it may impact you and what support you can access, please go to our FAQs on our industrial action

Do I have to attend the 2023 ceremonies in order to graduate?

We would be delighted to welcome as many of our students to celebrate your achievements with us. However, attendance at graduations is optional. Your degree will be valid, and degree certificates and final transcripts are dispatched within five months of your award being conferred, regardless of whether you attend.   

If you’ve lost your degree certificate or never received it, you can contact Student Records to get a new one. Please see their webpage for more information. 

Booking your ceremony

How and when can I register and when do I need to register by?

Registration for the ceremony is now closed. 

How do I book my ticket for the graduation ceremony?

Registration for the ceremony is now closed. 

Preparing for the day

What should I wear?

All students crossing the stage must wear a gown which identifies your degree level of the award you have studied - the people at the gowning station will help you with this. We suggest graduates wear smart or formal wear under the gown. View the checklist for details.

How do I book my gown?

It is mandatory for all graduates to wear a gown to be able to cross the stage. Pre-booking gowns has now closed but you can still hire one on the day for £55 when you arrive at the Royal Festival Hall. If you need financial assistance, please look at the financial support section of these FAQs. 

Marston Events are our appointed supplier who will be on site at the graduation ceremonies to help graduates collect and put on the gowns that have been hired or purchased through them. You can arrange a gown from elsewhere.

If you have chosen to get your gown elsewhere, please contact us to make sure it complies with UCL's gown specification - ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk.

When can I collect/return my gown?

Collect your gown from the gowning station on the day at the Royal Festival Hall. 

Return you gown either at the Royal Festival Hall once the ceremony has finished or the Haldane room, Portico, Main Quad by 5pm the same day.

If your ceremony is at the end of the day (from 4pm onwards) you can return your gown to the Royal Festival Hall or the Haldane room, Portico, Main Quad by 12pm the next day.

How do I arrange official graduation photography?

The photographers will be extremely busy on the day so you must prebook a photography package here. If you are not sure of what package you would like and want to wait until you have seen your photo, you can select the non refundable £15 fee to reserve a session with a photographer. 

Can I provide any information to make sure my name is read out correctly?

We know it’s important that your moment crossing the stage is as special as possible. When you register for your student ticket, we ask you to share with us how you’d like your name to be read out when you cross the stage, including phonetic spelling. An example of phonetic spelling can be found below where capitals are used to show where emphasis should be placed:
Alma-mun Qureshi
(Al as in Gal, Ma as in Magic, Mun to rhyme with MOON; Kwuh-RESH-ee) 


Will I be able to buy tickets for my friends and family? How many can I buy?

We hope you’ll bring friends and family to attend your graduation to celebrate with you. A guest ticket costs £35. 

Guest seats already purchased will be allocated seats starting from the front and working to the back of the Royal Festival Hall in order of the first purchase made.

Additional guest tickets will be available for purchase on the day and will be seated seperately from any pre-booked tickets. These will be available for purchase on arrival, on a first come first served basis. 

Alternatively you can book a private box for your guests. These boxes seat up to four people and are still available to book using the links below.

Monday ceremonies - Tuesday ceremonies - Wednesday ceremonies - Thursday ceremonies - Friday ceremonies 

Can I buy extra tickets on the day?

Additional guest tickets will be available for purchase on the day and will be seated seperately from any pre-booked tickets.

These will be available for purchase on arrival, on a first come first served basis. 

Is there allocated seating and will my guests be sitting together?

All students have allocated seats which are ordered by course to make sure we read the correct name out as you cross the stage.

All pre-booked guests have allocated seats in the Royal Festival Hall and we ask that guests sit in the seat number provided on their ticket. All guest tickets bought on the portal will be seated together, even if they are bought at separate pre-order windows.

If you are buying additional tickets on the day alongside your pre-ordered tickets, the additional guests will not be able to sit with your original party. 

Can I bring my children?

Children are very welcome, though we wish to note these can be long and formal events for a child. It is also not possible to take any buggies into the auditorium, so these will need to be left outside. If they are young enough (we suggest three and under), they can sit on another guest’s lap. If they need their own seat, you must purchase a guest ticket for them. 

What do I do if I or my guests have accessibility requirements?

The Royal Festival Hall is fully wheelchair-accessible and has hearing loop capability.

You will have the opportunity to let us know about any accessibility requirements when registering for your ceremony and to alert us to any needs of your guests when booking their tickets. If you have any concerns about your accessibility requirements, please contact ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk with your name and student number. We will get back to you to discuss how we can meet your needs and to make sure you all enjoy the ceremony.

Can I book a private box area at the Royal Festival Hall?

The Royal Festival Hall has a number of private boxes available. These seat up to four people and cost £249. 

There are 30 available per ceremony and the cost is a set price even if you are bringing fewer than four guests.

These boxes are still available to book at the links below: 

Monday ceremonies - Tuesday ceremonies - Wednesday ceremonies - Thursday ceremonies - Friday ceremonies 

If you have already bought a guest tickets and would now like to hire a private box for these guests, you will need to seperately hire the private box and request a refund from Marston Events using this form.

Refunding Guest Tickets

If one or more of your guests is unable to attend, you can request a refund directly from Marston Events up to seven days before your ceremony using this form, subject to their terms and conditions.

Any refund requests that come in after Monday 21 August will not be processed until after the graduation period ends, on the week of Monday 11 September.


What if I need a visa to attend?

Please check the UK Government guidance on whether you need a visa to travel to London.

For students graduating this year - if you require a visa invitation letter from UCL, you will be able to download one on the Portico visa letter application once registration has opened. Obtaining a visa might take several weeks and we ask that you make sure you request a visa letter from UCL and complete all legal requirements before you travel.  

What if my family need a visa?

We can only provide invitation letters for our students and graduates. We cannot write invitations to family and friends who also want to attend. Details on how you can write your own invitation and apply for guest visas are available on the UCL visitor visa page.   

Financial support

Can I get help towards the cost of attending the graduation ceremony?

We understand that the cost of living crisis is impacting a number of our students. We are pleased to share that through the Students’ Union UCL Participation Fund, we can offer some financial support to students with gown hire and/or guest tickets.
This is a limited fund which works by reimbursing students up to £80 towards the cost of attending the ceremony. Find out more about the Fund and apply. 


Who is eligible to attend the graduation ceremonies in 2023?


For awards conferred* from 

For awards conferred* by

Undergraduate students 

02 August 2022

01 August 2023 

Taught Graduate and PGCE students 

01 May 2022

01 April 2023 

Research Graduate students (PhD) 

05 May 2022

28 April 2023 

*Conferral is the date on which a UCL degree is confirmed as being completed and awarded to the student. 

Students who are affected by the Marking and Assessment Boycott are also able to attend, please see the FAQs above.

Outstanding debt

Please make sure you have no outstanding debt on your account which will have an impact on your eligibility to attend graduation. Please contact fees@ucl.ac.uk  to arrange payment by the conferral dates listed above. 

Late summer assessment 

Any students that need to complete late summer assessments will not be eligible to attend ceremonies in 2023.  

We will invite you to a ceremony in summer 2024. Please make sure your email address is up to date in Portico to receive information about this.

Will there be alumni specific ceremonies in September?

No, unfortunately our September ceremonies are allocated for our 2023 undergraduate students and capacity is limited. We will look into delivering more events for alumni in the future, so make sure you are signed up to receive our alumni emails.

Contact us 

If your questions have not been answered in our FAQs or the other pages of the website, you can contact the Graduation Ceremonies Team by emailing ceremonies@ucl.ac.uk.   
Please remember to quote your student number (for example: 12345678) when emailing. Be assured that we are doing our best to answer all of your emails in 5-10 working days. 

Find the Graduations Terms & Conditions here including use of data.