Graduation FAQs

If you have a graduation query or wish to inform us of any special requirements for your graduation that cannot be answered by the frequently answered questions listed below please contact:

The Graduations Team

T: +44 (0)116 257 7307, lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

What happens during the ceremony?

Please see the animated clip explaining what happens during the ceremonies by following -  @DMULeicester

The following is a sample itinerary of the ceremony proceedings and DMU staff will be there at all times to guide you, answer all your questions and a full briefing will be given

  • Stand when the procession music starts and the academic procession enters the hall and take their seats on the platform
  • Remain standing for the National Anthem
  • There will be  welcome speeches by the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor
  • A member of DMU staff will signal when it is time to leave your seat and graduate, checking your name.
  • DMU marshals will guide you along the route that you will need to take keeping you in the correct order. Don’t worry there will be mirrors along the way to check your appearance and the DMU robers will be on hand to adjust your hat and hood.  There will be plenty of opportunities to practice ‘doffing’ your hat.
  • At the point that  your name is read out your name will appear on the large screen and a DMU member of staff will send you along the runway and onto the platform. Please ‘doff’ your hat to the Chancellor (do not take it off, just put your hand to the edge and give it a little nod in the direction of the large gold chair on the left). 
  • Carry on walking, shake hands with the Vice-Chancellor (or his representative) and collect your certificate. DMU staff will guide you back to a seat. 
  • At the closure of the ceremony, remain standing until the procession has cleared

Aspects of the ceremony may contain loud music, lighting effects and theatrical haze

Graduates sit in a different area to their guests and must sit in the seat indicated on their ticket

Please leave all your belongings including your brochure with your guests. You will only need to bring your ticket, issued at the registration desk, with you into the hall.

You must be in your seat at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony

If you are not seated with the rest of your group, please do not worry and do not change seats, you will graduate with the rest of your cohort

Can I sit with my friends during the ceremony?

All Graduands will be allocated a seat according to their surname and the award they are receiving. You must sit in the seat that has been allocated to you; graduands are called to the stage in a particular order and the seating plan is designed around this. Failure to sit in your allocated seat may result in your name not being called out during the ceremony

How long is the ceremony?

Each ceremony lasts approximately an hour and a half.

Are degree classifications read out at the ceremony?

No. Only the title of the award gained is announced.

When will I receive my Certificate?

You will receive your Certificate (if you have not already received it through the post) or congratulatory letter as part of the ceremony proceedings. For students who choose not to attend the graduation ceremonies, certificates will be posted out by recorded delivery after the ceremonies to your permanent address that you have recorded on your student record at the time of posting, unless stated otherwise when you declined your place at the ceremonies.  Those who have an outstanding debt with the University will not receive their certificate until such time as this debt has been paid,  this still applies if a payment arrangement is in place.

If you would like to collect your certificate or nominate a friend to collect on your behalf, please email with your Pnumber, name and course so that an appointment can be made for collection.

Why do I have to pay for my guests’ tickets? Shouldn’t they be free?

DMU stages graduation ceremonies which are among the best in the country and which last summer received a 97% satisfaction rating from graduating students.

All graduating students attend free of charge. We have charged for guest tickets to attend graduation since 1998. In 2016 we reduced the price of tickets to £15 when we brought the ceremonies ‘home’ onto campus even though this increased the costs significantly. We are pleased to have held the guest price at the same level this year, a price which is comparable to other universities, and one which we believe offers good value for money given the very high standard of experience our ceremonies offer. It should be noted that the costs of holding the ceremonies are only partially met by the sale of tickets.

We continue to invest in our graduation ceremonies to ensure they give excellent value for money. The Graduation Marquee  gives students and guests the opportunity to celebrate before and after the ceremonies including a free drink for guests who have tickets. Content is individualized, including the opportunity to have red carpet photos taken as graduates arrive and their names flashing on screen when collecting their degree. There are two free graduation brochures per graduate and live streaming of ceremonies in the marquee and on our giant outdoor screen at the heart of our campus for guests who don’t have tickets.

We are pleased to announce the University has the Graduation Support Fund available to help students who are facing genuine and unavoidable hardship and cannot meet the costs of attending their graduation. Graduands can apply for this fund from 2 April 2020 from the link that will be available here.

All of this goes into making a day that we are confident is a unique, unforgettable and affordable experience for all our graduating students. 

The Graduation Support Fund will open at 12noon on 2 April and close and close at 5pm 18 May 2020.  

As our graduation ceremonies continue to grow in size, you are strongly advised to book your ticket,  and if required, up to two guest tickets by 5pm on 18 May 2020 to avoid disappointment.

Do I need to wait for my results before I register for the ceremony?

No – please don’t wait.  You should confirm your attendance at graduation as soon as you receive the invitation and by no later than 5pm Monday 18 May 2020.  Graduands who have paid for guest tickets but are unsuccessful in their study will receive a full refund from the University by the end of August 2020.

What if I fail my course or my circumstances change but I've already ordered my gown?

If you have not successfully completed and passed all aspects of your course, you will not be eligible to attend graduation. Students who no longer require their gowns should inform William Northam by email at least 7 days before the date of the ceremony to obtain a full refund or transfer the gown hire to the January or July 2021 ceremonies. 

How do I accept an intermediate Award?

Please see our policy on intermediate awards

I owe money to the University, can I attend my graduation ceremony?

In order to attend your graduation ceremony and receive your certificate you must have cleared ALL outstanding debt to the University including library, equipment debt and debt from a University trip. If you have a payment plan with the University, you will not be able to attend your ceremony until this is paid in full.  If you are in possession of University property, for example library books, you will not be eligible to attend until these are returned.

What should I wear?

All graduands must wear full academic dress for their ceremony. Graduands are expected to dress smartly (no jeans or trainers).  Male Graduands can usually secure the hood under a tie.  Those dressed inappropriately may not be admitted to the ceremony.

When should I collect my gown?

All graduands must wear full academic dress for their ceremony.  Graduation robes can only be ordered from the University’s approved suppliers William Northam before 5pm on 3 July 2020.  

Gowns can be collected on the day of your ceremony from the 2nd floor of the Campus Centre.  Please remember to bring your order confirmation with you.

Unless you have made arrangements to hire your gown for a longer period, it should be returned on the day of your ceremony.

Can I pre order photographs?

Pre-ordering your photos at William Northam is recommended. The full range of photographs can be viewed here. If you haven't pre booked you can still have your photos taken on the day.

Can I have my photographs taken elsewhere?

Should you wish your graduation photograph to be taken elsewhere, you may have to pay extra and hire your robes for a longer period of time.

Please note photographers will also be capturing informal pre and post show images of you and your guests that you will be able to purchase afterwards.  Details of how you can access the images taken will be provided on the day.

Is there time to collect my academic gown and have photographs taken? 

Northams Robing and Photography Studios will be located  on the  2nd floor of the Campus Centre. We recommend visiting the studios from the following times.

Robing and photography times
Ceremomy time Robing Available from Photography  studios open from
 10am  8.00am -7.00pm  8am - 7.00pm
 2pm  10.30am-7.00pm  8.30am -7.00pm
5pm 12.30am-7.00pm 10.30am -7.00pm

PLEASE NOTE: Where there are no ceremonies at 5pm, robing and photography will close at 5pm.

Our photography studios can be very busy and you may have to queue for a while.

I would like to buy more than two guest tickets, is that possible? 

The Graduation ceremonies are held at The Venue on campus and seating is limited.  Please see our checklist and timeline ‘preparing for your graduation, booking your place and guest tickets’.  There is an opportunity to buy additional and surplus tickets, only subject to availability and restricted to opening and closing times of our ticket sales – this link has more information concerning when there are opportunities to buy more than two guest tickets. You may have to arrange for someone else to buy tickets for you if you won't be able to access the online procedure at the time of released tickets.

In order to buy surplus tickets, if they are available, you will need an account on the DMU online store, if you haven’t bought any item on the online store before then you will need to set up your account in order to buy surplus tickets.  Remember if you buy surplus tickets your guests will not be seated together with any guest tickets previously purchased.

Do not make costly travel or accommodation arrangements for yourself or others unless tickets have been confirmed only by the graduation team. 

Can children attend?

Of course your graduation is a time of family celebration of your achievements and children are welcome to attend. However, the graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and we do not recommend that  babies and young children attend. If they do, they will require a ticket, which will be charged at £15, this includes babies in arms.  Please see our graduation booking policy

The ceremony will include moments of darkness and loud music and noise, so if you do intend on bringing along younger guests you may want to consider bringing ear defenders, unfortunately we can’t supply these.  We respectfully request that small children be taken outside if they become unsettled during the ceremony so as not to disturb proceedings.

Will the ceremonies be streamed live?

Yes, all ceremonies will be streamed live to the Graduation Marquee located adjacent to The Venue.

What facilities are available at The Venue and surrounding areas?

The following rooms will be available

  • Push chair/mobility scooter storage (left at your own risk) - The Venue
  • Prayer Room - Portland Building
  • Breast feeding facilities - The Venue  

I can't attend the ceremony in July 2020, can I defer my graduation to a later date?

Yes, although you do have to notify us as we will not automatically invite you to the next ceremonies.  If you wish to attend either January or July 2021 you still need to reply to the invitation to July 2020 but can indicate you would like to attend a future ceremony. 

Do I have to wear academic dress ?

Yes, no student will be allowed to join the ceremony unless wearing full academic dress and only hired from our robing partners William Northam. 

What does my gown and hood look like?

The colour of your gown and hood will depend upon the degree or diploma you have been awarded. Read our information about 

De Montfort University academic dress.

I'm an international student and need some help with visa applications

Please see our separate guidance here to assist with visa applications.  Individual letters  to support your visa application to attend your ceremony are not necessary. The receipt that you receive after booking your place and guest tickets if required, will contain all the information required by the Embasssy. 

I / my guest have special access requirements, how do I let you know?

Please email the graduation team at by 4 June 2020.  We may not be able to accommodate 'on the day' requests.

Will my name be published anywhere?

All Graduands receiving an academic award will have their name published in the Graduation Brochure; student names will also appear on a large screen as students proceed along the platform, this will be live streamed.

If you wish your name to be removed from the brochure and the screen you must notify the graduation team by 30 June 2020 by emailing

Where can I park?

As a city centre campus, parking in and around De Montfort University is very restricted.

There are three park and ride schemes operating in Leicester. Visit Leicestershire County Council's website for information on the city’s park and ride services. Access to the University and public car parks near the campus can be found here. Please allow at least 20 minutes to walk from the car park to the campus

Permits for blue badge holders will be issued prior to the ceremony and can be requested via emailing at least two weeks before your ceremony. Please state date and time of your ceremony and name of student graduating. Please note: These places are limited and cannot be guaranteed.

Where can I stay?

If you require overnight accommodation you may find the following website useful:

Where can I buy refreshments?

There will be a wide variety of refreshments and snacks available to purchase around the University campus.

The Vijay Patel Building food court

The Campus Centre coffee shop

The Graduation Marquee

The marquee will be situated in the outside area surrounding The Venue entrance and will be open from 8.30am (closing times vary according the ceremony)

Also on offer will be:

  • A complimentary glass of fizz (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for each graduate and guest either before or after the ceremony, on presentation of your voucher contained in your guest ticket pack. 
  • Unlimited cups of tea, coffee and water, free of charge
  • A bar serving everything that you need to celebrate - Prosecco, Pimms, Beers and Soft Drinks
  • Snacks and Nibbles
  • Sandwiches
  • Additional seasonal fare

What are DMU Memories? 

One of the key moments in the ceremony, is a segment called DMU memories.  This is where we show a selection of images taken by students to showcase your favourite times at De Montfort University.

The photos could be of a memorable event such as a DMUglobal trip, final course hand-ins, sport and society involvement or volunteering projects.

Please email any photos you'd like to be featured at your graduation ceremony to dmugraduations@hollandalexander.comAlternatively, if you have existing photos featured on your Twitter & Instagram profiles from your time at DMU, you can simply comment '#DMUgrads' for them to be noticed by a member of the social media team, please ensure that they are set to public. The deadline to submit photos is 3 July 2020.

Please consider the following when sending your images:

  • Briefly tell us why the image/s are important to you
  • Reference the course you are graduating in
  • Ensure you have permission from everyone in your photos for them to be used in the ceremony
  • Family friendly content

We are limited by the number of image submissions we can accept so please send your images as soon as possible to ensure that your memories are shown.

Please note that De Montfort University reserves the right to not use your image in the ceremonies at their discretion.

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