Graduates on Guildhall steps

What to expect on the day

Everything you and your guests need to know

Here's everything you need to know for your in-person ceremony in July 2022.

These measures are subject to change, depending on Government guidance.

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Before the ceremony

Arrive early 

One hour before your ceremony start time (for example 8.00am for a 9.00am ceremony), venue doors open and attendees will be invited to be seated. There are separate entrances for Graduates and guests. The doors will be closed at the ceremony start time and latecomers will not be able to join that ceremony. Subject to capacity and availability we may be able to accommodate you at a later ceremony but this cannot be guaranteed.

Tickets

Your e-Tickets will be available to download 24 hours before your ceremony. You need to download these from your Student View via the MyGraduation tab. Make sure you send your guest tickets to your guests as you will not be entering Portsmouth Guildhall through the same entrance. You will need your e-Ticket for scanning on arrival (on a mobile device or printed). Please don’t take screenshots of your e-Tickets as these cannot be scanned. It must be the original e-Ticket on Student View, either downloaded on a phone or printed.

If you have any queries you should go to the Helpdesk at MyPort Nuffield.

Travel information

For information on parking in the area and transport links into the city, please see the University's maps and directions information. Please note, for the safety of our Graduates and guests there will be restrictions on parking in St Paul’s Road, Waltham Street, Guildhall Walk and King Henry I Street.

Gowning

Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and we expect our Graduates and their guests to come dressed smartly. There's more advice available on what to wear under your academic dress and there will be videos showing you how to put on your academic dress. Staff will be available to check you have them on correctly.

Ceremony practicalities

All attendees are to be seated 15 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. The doors will be closed at the ceremony start time and latecomers will not be able to join that ceremony. Subject to capacity and availability we may be able to accommodate you at a later ceremony but this cannot be guaranteed.

Infants and children are welcome to attend the ceremony as long as they have booked in advance. Ceremonies can last around 1.5 hours and are very formal so it depends on the child as to whether they would be happy to sit still for that length of time. 

Please note that we are not able to accommodate pushchairs or buggies in the ceremony. We kindly request that buggies and pushchairs are left in the designated area as you enter the Guildhall.

Anyone without a ticket can watch the ceremony via the University’s Graduation YouTube channel.

Access information

Step-free access

There is step-free access to all our Graduation venues, please ask a member of University staff to direct you on the day.  

Dogs

Please be advised that dogs (except for registered assistance dogs) are not permitted inside the Portsmouth Guildhall, or other Graduation venues. 

Sign Language Interpreter

If you specified via the online booking system that you or one of your guests need a sign language interpreter, one will be provided for your ceremony and their seating will be arranged so that the interpreter is visible as necessary. 

Security

To make sure everyone is safe at Graduation you need to be aware of the following security arrangements:

  • No rucksacks, holdalls or large bags will be allowed in any of the venues
  • Random bag searches may be carried out by Portsmouth Guildhall staff as part of their security measures.

Please make sure all your guests are aware of these arrangements. If you see anything suspicious, let a member of the Graduation Team know.

Late arrivals

The doors will be closed at the ceremony start time and latecomers will not be able to join that ceremony. Subject to capacity and availability we may be able to accommodate you at a later ceremony but this cannot be guaranteed.

Any guests who arrive after the ceremony has started will be shown to the Portsmouth Room within the Guildhall where they will be able to watch a live stream of the ceremony.


At your ceremony 

When you enter the Guildhall your e-Ticket will be scanned to let us know you are present.

You will be directed through to the Graduate auditorium entrance and be guided to your seat. Your seat number can be found on your e-Ticket. It is crucial that you sit in the seat that has been assigned to you on your e-Ticket. This is because this is the order your name will be read out during the graduate procession and therefore the order in which you will need to cross the stage. Sitting in the wrong seat could lead to the wrong name being read out when you cross the stage. 

Early on in the ceremony we will play a video, at which point you will be raised row by row and escorted from the auditorium to join the Graduate procession. You should leave any items (eg bags/ceremony programmes) at your seat as you will not be able to cross the stage with these. 

The Graduate procession will be guided backstage through various checks to ensure you are in the correct order and are wearing your academic dress correctly. When you get to side stage and are at the front of the Graduate procession you will be asked to wait until your name is read on stage. 

When your name is read on stage you can then walk across the stage. At centre the stage you will be greeted by the Presidings Officer who will shake your hand before you continue to exit the stage on the other side. 

Once off stage, you will be directed back to your original seat to watch the remainder of the ceremony. 


After your ceremony

Photography

You can pre-booked your professional photography for either before your after your ceremony. 

Professional photography is available 7.30am - 7.00pm and you should allow 30 minutes. This is optional, though you will need to wear your academic dress. To guarantee a slot, we advise that you pre-book - and if you're short of time, we recommend you get your photos taken after your ceremony.

Gown return

You must return your gown by 7.30pm the day of your ceremony.

Social media 

Follow us on Twitter @UOPGraduation. Share your day with us using #uopgrad22  - and like the Alumni team's Facebook page to receive updates throughout your Graduation day.