Before you graduate
Everything you need to know to prepare for your graduation. Scroll down for more information or click on the menu below to quickly access the section of your choice. For more information on Graduation Day, visit What happens on Graduation day? If you have any questions not covered, check out our FAQs page.
Register for your ceremony
All eligible students will receive an email when registration is open with an individual link to register for their ceremony. If you are expecting to attend Graduation and have not received an email by mid-March for the July ceremonies, or mid-October for the December ceremonies, please contact the Graduation Team. If you miss the deadline to register, contact the Graduation team to enquire about late registration.
When registering, please let us know about any access requirements you or your guests may have. We will work with Student Disability Services to make sure you have the help and support you need to attend your graduation – we’ll even arrange for guide dogs to have their own hat and gown if needed! Please note that we are not able to lend out wheelchairs on graduation day.
We want you to enjoy your day so if you have any concerns at all about attending graduation, including not wanting to be filmed or if you have anxiety or claustrophobia concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Graduation Team.
Some international students may need to apply for a visa to attend graduation. The University can provide an invitation letter confirming a student's eligibility to attend their ceremony. Once you have registered for your ceremony, you will be automatically emailed this letter. The University does not provide letters in support of graduation guests' visa applications. Such documents are completed by the graduating student. Further information together with a template letter to use to support guests' visa applications is available via the Student and Education Services webpages
Graduating by college
All eligible undergraduate students will graduate by college. Students wishing to change college ahead of graduation should apply directly to their College Manager by Wednesday 22 February 2023. Please note, college transfers are not guaranteed and depend on availability of vacancies within the receiving college. Colleges will try their best to accommodate any requests.
- All guest tickets are free of charge.
- Each graduating student can request two guest tickets as long as they register by the deadline.
- Graduating students do not need a ticket.
- All requests for guest tickets must come from the graduating student at registration.
- If you have more than two guests that wish to join you on campus for graduation, guest tickets are available for our live broadcast venues on campus.
Please note that this information is subject to change for any graduation ceremony sessions, and any changes will be fully communicated to eligible students.
- When requesting tickets, remember to tell us about any of your guests’ access requirements, such as if they use a wheelchair, have limited mobility or need an aisle seat. If we are not informed in advance of any requirements, we cannot guarantee that guest seats will be suitable.
- The doors to the Great Hall will open 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to the ceremony, with all guests asked to take their seats 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. Guests with tickets who have not taken their seats 30 minutes prior to the ceremony starting, may have their seats re-allocated to guests without tickets.
- We guarantee two guest tickets to every graduating student who registers to attend their ceremony by the advertised registration deadline.
- Guests without Great Hall tickets can watch the graduation ceremony on big screens in our live broadcast venues, or a number of other locations across campus.
- Guest seating will not be allocated, to minimise the need for additional movement amongst guests.
Tickets for children
- Children six years and under can sit on the lap of a registered guest – but you must let us know that you are planning to do this when registering for tickets so we can allocate you appropriate tickets (there is a box on the registration form).
- Any children aged seven and over will require a standard guest ticket to gain entry to the Great Hall.
- Buggies, prams and other child seats (including portable car seats) are not allowed in the Great Hall and should be left outside the Great Hall, or in the cloakroom.
- If you are bringing children who may not be able to sit quietly, please be prepared to leave the auditorium if they become restless.
- Young children may be more comfortable watching the ceremony at an alternative location on campus where the ceremony is shown, such as the Big Screen in Alexandra Square, the Marketplace, or in one of the live broadcast locations.
- Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any childcare services specifically for graduation.
Returning guest tickets
If you are unable to attend graduation, please let us know as soon as possible. Guest tickets are not transferable and will be invalid if given to another student. Guest tickets that are returned are then re-allocated to students who have not received any guest tickets.
For each ceremony, there is a fully staffed and accessible venue screening the ceremony. In July 2023, this will be the Margaret Fell Lecture Theatre. The live broadcast venue will also have copies of the printed Graduation Programme.
In addition to the live broadcast venue, many other places on campus show the graduation ceremonies, including the big screen in Alexandra Square, the Marketplace (which is an informal setting with access to food and drink), and some college bars. Ceremonies are also streamed live on YouTube.
In keeping with the academic nature of the occasion and ceremonial tradition, all students attending graduation must wear the correct academic dress, along with the hood for their degree.
Gowns, hoods and hats are different in shape and colours depending on the degree obtained.
To ensure you wear the correct robes, you should book it with our official academic gown supplier, Graduation Attire, once you have registered for your graduation ceremony.
Lancaster University Academic Dress
Click here to view Lancaster University Summer Academic Dress
Click here to view Lancaster University Winter Academic Dress
Click here to view Lancaster University Honorary Academic Dress
Book your graduation gown
Once you have registered for your graduation ceremony, you should book your robes with our official academic gown supplier, Graduation Attire. If you wish to hire your robes beyond the ceremony or purchase it, there are options to do so on the booking form. Further information is available at Graduation Attire's website, or you can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 01234 673001.
You should hire your academic dress in advance. The deadline for booking your robes for July 2023 will be confirmed when registration opens.
Graduation is a formal occasion and you should wear smart clothes for your graduation ceremony; jeans, shorts and trainers are not acceptable.
The academic gown and hood will be worn on top of any other clothing. Normal wear under gowns is a suit and tie, or a dress, or skirt/trouser and shirt combination. You may want to wear a shirt/dress with buttons, as your hood can be attached to a button, but all hoods are also able to be secured without a button. Graduands are also welcome to wear their national dress or other cultural dress and decoration.
Please also ensure you wear appropriate footwear for walking up and down the stage steps. Graduation day can include significant periods of standing and walking between graduation venues.
Plan your travel and accommodation
As soon as the date and time of your Graduation is confirmed, you may want to start planning your travel and accommodation plans.
Lancaster has limited accommodation, and places fill up quickly.
Lancaster is approximately 1 hour from Manchester and 2.5 hours from London by train.
There is a range of accommodation options in Lancaster including our rooms on campus.
On-campus guest rooms
We have a large number of guest rooms on campus, with a mix of single, twin and double rooms, all of which offer WiFi, tea and coffee making facilties and complimentary toiletries. Breakfast is available for on-campus guests in either the Marketplace or Barker House Farm and with a range of bars and cafes on campus, you don't have to set foot off campus for a meal or refreshments.
Visit the Visitor Room Booking website for information on guest rooms on campus.
Lancaster House Hotel
Lancaster House Hotel is a 4-star hotel situated next to the University campus. There are a number of room types available depending on your requirements.
You can search for other hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering options in Lancaster via the website for Lancaster Tourist Information.
Travelling to Lancaster
Lancaster train station is approximately 1 hour from Manchester Airport, and approximately 2.5 hours from London. A taxi to campus from the train station takes approximately 15-20 minutes, or buses depart from the city centre to campus regularly. The #4 bus goes from the station to campus, but can take 30+ minutes. The main bus station is a 5-minute walk from the train station, where there are more frequent and direct buses to campus.
Numerous buses operate between Lancaster City Centre, Preston, Galgate and the University underpass. Visit the Bus and Coach Travel page for more information including route maps and timetables. Bus departures are also shown in the iLancaster App
If you are staying locally, you may prefer to get a taxi to campus. Taxis can drop off or pick up near the Chaplaincy Centre, which is a short walk to LICA and the Great Hall. There are numerous local taxi firms, but we advise you to pre-book your return journey as they can get busy. More information on taxis
Leave the M6 motorway at Junction 33 and take the A6 north towards Lancaster. Please follow directions for Alexandra Park (south end of campus), turn right at the second set of traffic lights on the A6 into Barkers Drive and turn left at the roundabout into Alexandra Park Drive. Use the postcode LA1 4WA in your SatNav.
Parking on graduation day
On graduation day the parking zones are lifted, and visitors can park in any standard marked space (including those marked as staff parking). Please note that only cars with Blue Badge can park in a disabled parking space, and only electric cars should park in electric car charging spaces. Additional disabled parking is available at the Chaplaincy Centre.
Please note that parking on graduation day is limited, and while we make every effort to accommodate our visitors, the campus can be very busy. Make sure to give yourself time to find a space, or consider taking public transport to campus.
Dedicated graduation parking is located in South/South West Campus, please enter via the Alexandra Park entrance (Postcode LA1 4WA). On your arrival into Alexandra Park, please follow the directions of the parking marshals who are in place to safely direct you around campus and into a parking space. On parking, please ensure that you have occupied a marked-up bay, or have parked where directed to by the marshals. You can then catch one of the graduation shuttle buses provided by Stagecoach to the LICA building, where you'll collect your robes. Parking is free on graduation day.
Access to North Campus on graduation day will be limited to passenger pick-up and drop off at the Chaplaincy Centre, and blue badge parking. If you park in a disabled parking space, you must display a valid blue badge. North Drive by LICA, and Bowland Avenue by the Chaplaincy Centre are the closest areas to the Great Hall with blue badge spaces. If there are no blue badge spaces, speak to the parking marshals at the Chaplaincy Centre for assistance. You may wish to drop off guests at the Chaplaincy Centre and then park in another available space.
Getting around campus - graduation shuttle buses
When you have parked your car, please follow the campus signage to North Campus (Great Hall and LICA). There will also be free shuttle buses from Stagecoach that will circle the campus. The main pick up/drop off stops will be in Alexandra Park and North Drive by LICA. On graduation day, you will also be able to take any Stagecoach bus to and from campus locations for free (ie from the underpass to Alexandra Park).
If you are directed to park in the overflow car park, you can catch a bus from outside the Sports Centre to take you up to the University underpass, which is then a 3-5 minute walk to the Great Hall or LICA
Please see our campus map or our exciting new interactive MazeMap of the University campus to locate the various parking areas and graduation venues.
Exploring the region
While you are here, why not explore the city of Lancaster and surrounding coast and countryside?
The Lancaster Visitor Information Centre can help with any questions and help you plan what to see and do during your stay. Contact 01524 582394, email email@example.com, follow on Facebook or visit in person at The Storey, Meeting House Lane, LA1 1TH (Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm). Visiting in person is also a great opportunity to pick up a local Lancaster souvenir as a reminder of your university days!
Attend your on-campus celebrations
In the July graduation session, college celebrations are planned for undergraduates and faculties arrange celebrations for graduating PhDs
In the December graduation session, faculties and/or departments may hold celebrations.
More details will be confirmed closer to your ceremony date.
Graduation photography and memorabilia
Professional portrait photography
Lancaster University's Creative Studio is our official graduation photographer. We are one of the few UK universities that don’t use an external company, which means we have some of the lowest prices for graduation photography.
Our photography area in LICA can be busy directly before and after your ceremony, so check out your ceremony timetable for suggestions of when it may be less busy.
Full details of Graduation photography is available at Creative Studio's website.
In ceremony photos
During the ceremony, our photographer captures the moment when you meet the Presiding Officer. 6x8 prints in a University mount are available to view and purchase shortly after the ceremony. In July, these are sold in the graduation marquee, and in December they are available in the LICA foyer.
These photos are can be purchased on the day of graduation, or by contacting the Creative Studio after the ceremony.
During July graduations your whole college will gather for a group photograph. Please check the timetable of college photographs, as your photo may be scheduled before your ceremony.
If your college photo is before your ceremony, please ensure you collect your gown at least 1 hour prior to this. If your photo is directly after the ceremony, please proceed directly to Lancaster Square after the conclusion of your ceremony for the photograph, and arrange to meet your guests in Lancaster Square.
Lancaster’s ceremonies are professionally captured and recorded by Iamgraduate. If you wish to purchase a recording of your ceremony as a keepsake of your day, you can do so on their dedicated website: iamagraduate.com. Products include DVDs, BluRays, recordings on memory sticks and personalised clips of students crossing the stage.
Lancaster University and colleges memorabilia
There is a wide range of memorabilia available to view online and purchase from Lancaster University. There are Lancaster University items as well as college-specific products available including hoodies, mugs, ties, badges and T-shirts.
You may wish to remember times at Lancaster with special souvenir jewellery from Annotated Studios. Available to purchase on your graduation day, or to order in advance and collect on the day, the jewellery is individually crafted to reflect your time at University. All rings are custom-made to ensure the perfect fit for the wearer and are only made from precious metals to ensure they last a lifetime. Other jewellery pieces such as charms and cufflinks are also available.
Lancaster University Alumni: Friends for life
On your graduation day, you can receive a free Lancaster University alumni t-shirt from the Alumni team. If you’re not attending graduation you can still sign up to the alumni programme.
Visit the alumni stand in the Round House Building to collect your welcome pack and t-shirt. As Lancaster Alumni, you will belong to a fantastic community of 148,000 fellow graduates from around the world in 180 countries. Find out more about the Alumni Network.
If you have any questions not covered here, please get in touch with the Graduation Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.