Explore information about our Graduation ceremonies, held annually in Winchester Cathedral.

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Alan Titchmarsh shaking a graduate's hand


Here you'll find more information about our Graduation ceremonies. 

Graduation 2019

Enjoy photos from last year's ceremonies taken by photographer Dominic Parkes


Graduation 2020 - dates confirmed for July 2021

We have been working hard to secure dates for the ceremonies to take place safely and we are pleased to say they will now take place in Winchester Cathedral across the evenings of 19-23 and 26-29 July 2021. The order of ceremonies can be found here. Thank you for your patience over the last few months.

Once all students have registered their intention to attend, we will sort you into ceremony cohorts and let you know the time of your ceremony. This is likely to be announced in early June via email and on My Record.

Please also be aware that our plans are dependent on government public health advice and guidance at the time so may be subject to further change. We will keep you informed as early as possible of any changes.

Feel free to get in touch with us about any aspect of Graduation. Email us on graduation@winchester.ac.uk


Graduation Information

When will my ceremony be?

Graduation for the Class of 2020 will take place in the evenings of 19-23 and 26-29 July 2021. The order of ceremonies can be found on our Graduation Details 2020

Once all students have registered their intention to attend, we will sort you into ceremony cohorts and let you know the time of your ceremony. This is likely to be announced in early July via email and on My Record.

Please also be aware that our plans are dependent on government public health advice and guidance at the time so may be subject to further change. We will keep you informed as early as possible of any changes.

Am I eligible for graduation?

You will be eligible to attend the July 2021 graduation ceremonies if you have:

  • Formally completed your degree programme (i.e. received your final exam board letter confirming your degree) before 30 September 2020; and
  • Have no outstanding financial debts with the University, including with the library and multi-media centre, by 31 May 2021; and
  • Have completed a programme of study at Level 6 (Bachelor degree) or higher

Please note that CertHE and DipHE awardees are not eligible to attend graduation.

Graduation invitation

Your graduation invitation has been sent via email – to your unimail and personal email addresses (as recorded via My Record).

Once you have received your invitation, you need to follow the instructions in the email to confirm that you are attending as a physical or virtual attendee, or to request to graduate in absentia (this is the term used when you are unable to attend your graduation ceremony). 

If you have not had your graduation invitation by 14 May 2021, please contact graduation@winchester.ac.uk

Please note that you will need to register for graduation by 31 May 2021

Once you have registered you will receive an automated email to confirm your registration. If you log back into My Record you will also be able to see confirmation. My Record will also have links to the gown hire, photo pre-book and ticket websites once these become live from 7 June 2021.

The deadline for registering for Graduation is Monday 31 May 2021.  It will not be possible to include you in the graduation ceremonies if you have not registered by this date.

What happens if I cannot attend the ceremony?

If you are unable to physically attend your ceremony, you may like to attend as a virtual attendee. Your name will be read out during the ceremony and you can choose whether you also want your photo and name displayed on the screens. We are also hoping to have some interactive online elements available to both our physical and virtual attendees, more details to follow!

If you are unable to take part either as a physical or a virtual attendee, please follow the instructions on your Personal Graduation Invitation and indicate that you will not be attending. Your degree will then be conferred ‘in absentia’. Your name will appear in the programme but will not be read out during the ceremony.

In very exceptional circumstances you may be able to apply to defer your graduation until the next graduation period (October 2021). Please note that this will be decided on a case by case basis and we offer no guarantees that you will be able to defer.  Typically, deferment would be granted for things like ill-health, or death of a close relative, for example. If you wish to apply to defer your graduation please email graduation@winchester.ac.uk


The University takes the safety of our graduands, guests and staff very seriously. We recommend that everyone attending graduation, including staff, take regular lateral flow tests in the two weeks before graduation and only attend if the test results are negative.

On the day seating and social distancing will comply with the government regulations and Public Health England advice at the time. Tickets are limited to two per graduand to ensure everyone is able to enjoy proceedings in a COVID-secure environment.

It is likely that we will expect all those attending graduation, graduands, guests and staff, to wear a mask when inside any venue, including the Cathedral. We may also recommend you wear your mask when queuing outside. We expect students to be able to remove their mask to process across the stage, and for official studio photographs, but masks may need to be worn the rest of the time. Please note that the Chancellor is likely to be wearing a face covering on stage.

Please be aware that the University will be continually guided by government regulations and Public Health England, and may have to change or cancel the ceremonies at short notice. We will notify you at the earliest opportunity of any changes or cancellations.


Our aim is to offer to all students who register by the deadline of 31 May, the opportunity to request up to two guest tickets. You will need to order these via our ticket partner. The link will appear on My Record after the 7 June 2021, provided you have first registered your intention to attend your ceremony.

Generally, if all students invited to a ceremony are able to attend, and each take up their two offered tickets, the ceremony will be full and there will be no extra tickets available. Please do not contact the University or ticket vendor for additional tickets – should any become available then we will contact all attendees in early July with details of how to apply for extra tickets.


You will need to order a guest ticket for any child. Whilst social distancing rules remain in place all children, including babies, will count as part of your 2 guest allocation. All guests, including children and babies, will need to show a ticket to gain entry to the cathedral. Please be aware that children cannot sit with graduands, therefore all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult guest.

Please note that it is not possible to bring prams/pushchairs into the main body of the seating, as this is a fire safety hazard.  There is a small area at the side when you first enter the cathedral for pushchairs and prams but please try and avoid bringing these if possible. 

Whilst we do welcome children to the cathedral, please be aware that the ceremonies are quite long, and are not very exciting for young children. We kindly ask guests to take children outside if they are becoming restless/unhappy, to avoid disturbing the ceremony for other guests and graduands. Guests with young children may be asked to sit on the aisle near the back of the cathedral, so that they can easily take children outside if necessary. 

Live stream

The ceremonies will be live-streamed on the day. The link for the live stream will be available on the graduation webpages, on the day of your graduation ceremony. 

The live-stream is provided for us via our film company, so whilst we will endeavour to provide an error free stream, the University accepts no liability if you are unable to access the live-stream or if there is interference or a break-up of footage.

The film company also sells high-quality edited footage of your graduation ceremony which is a lasting memory of your special day and something to share with friends and family who are unable to attend. DVDs can be ordered via their website.


You can purchase University branded gifts at any time on our Online Merchandise Store

What to wear

Graduation is a formal ceremony and you will need to be wearing academic robes to take part. The University robes are a black gown with a hood of purple and ivory silk and a black mortar board. The design of the Bachelor’s hoods are a different shape to the Master’s hoods, but both are purple and ivory.

You will be able to book your gown from the 7 June, once you have registered to attend. The link will appear on My Record. Our gown company are J.Wippell & Co. You will need to know your degree level (i.e. Bachelors, Masters etc), the date and time of your ceremony, your height, chest/bust size and your hat size (i.e. the circumference of your head in centimetres/inches).  You will also need your credit/debit card handy to make payment. It costs £45 to hire a Bachelors gown, £46 for a Masters and £50 for a Doctorate. When you book your gown on the Wippells website a little icon on the right hand side will show you what the outfit will look like.

It is up to you what you wear with your gown, but we would recommend smart, formal clothes, a bit like you might wear to a wedding or a job interview (so no jeans, tracksuits or trainers). Also, remember that although Graduation is in July you and your guests will be walking and queueing outside so do check the weather forecast and come prepared. Inside the Cathedral the floor is paved with old stones, and you will have to go up some shallow steps onto the stage then down again when you are presented for your degree, so make sure you are wearing shoes you can walk confidently in.

It is our tradition that mortar boards are not worn until after your degree has been presented, so you will be asked to remove these when you enter the Cathedral. At the end of your ceremony you can put your mortar board on ready to process out as a graduate rather than a graduand!

Special requirements

Please let us know if you or your guests have any particular access requirements we should be aware of. There is an option to do this when you register for graduation or you can email graduation@winchester.ac.uk

There is a stair-free access route to the cathedral by the guest door, and a ramp onto the stage. Do let us know if you would like any assistance getting on/off the stage as the ushers are very willing to help.

There is a hearing loop in the cathedral and we can print the inner pages of the programme for the day in large print if this is requested at least two weeks in advance.

We can reserve aisle seats or seats near the exit if requested in advance.

Please be aware that reserved guest seating may still have a restricted view and is not necessarily near to the stage. Graduand reserved seating may mean that you are not sitting with your cohort, but the ushers will let you know when it is your time to go on stage so that you are presented in the correct order.

Graduation assistance fund

Graduation is a special day which we want you to be able to enjoy. We work closely with our partners to try and keep costs down, but we are aware that for some students the cost of the gown might prevent them from attending.

The Graduation Assistance Fund covers the cost of gown hire. If your application is successful the University will arrange your gown hire directly, so please wait to book these until you have heard back from us.

You can apply for the assistance fund if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You have received your award letter confirming your degree
  • You don’t have any outstanding debts with the University
  • You have been assessed by Student Finance England as living in a low-income household (i.e. under £42,875) OR you are a Sanctuary Award student
  • You are contactable by email the week of the 31 May 2021

To apply, please email graduation@winchester.ac.uk by the deadline of Monday 24 May 2021. 

Please make sure you include your student number on all communication with us.

You will be notified by Monday 7 June if your application has been successful or not. If we receive more applications than we can fund, winning applications will be picked at random from all eligible entries.

Please note that there are already graduation bursaries available for care leavers and estranged students, so these students are not eligible for the Graduation Assistance Fund. Please contact studentsandmoney@winchester.ac.uk to find out more.

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