Before you graduate

Everything you need to know to prepare for your graduation

COVID-19 update for graduating students

Lancaster University has taken the difficult decision to postpone Graduation ceremonies due to take place in July 2021. 

The decision was made due to a significant number of unknowns and risks around holding large events this summer and was also directly informed by the results of a recent survey sent to graduating students.  

The next Graduation session being planned is the Winter graduation for postgraduates in December 2021, followed by an extended Summer graduation in 2022 for the undergraduate Class of 2020, 2021 and 2022.  

We also plan to increase capacity at graduation ceremonies for up to five years, so anyone not able to return to the next ceremony session will have additional opportunities to return to Lancaster for a future graduation ceremony when it suits them and their guests. 

We are committed to providing all students the opportunity to attend a traditional graduation ceremony at Lancaster.

We have prepared frequently asked questions where you will find answers to many of your questions about this postponement.   We will continue to provide more information as and when it is available. 

An online Celebration for the undergraduate Class of 2021 and recently conferred PhDs will be planned for late July 2021, and we will provide more information nearer the time 

Tab Content: Summer Graduation Timeline

Please note these timings do not apply to the postponed 2020 ceremonies, and the timeline may change for the 2021 ceremony session.

Start of Lent Term

Start of Lent Term – All students due to graduate are sent a pre-ceremony email to confirm the range of dates for Graduation. Ceremony times for students have not yet been confirmed

End of February

Deadline for PhD candidates to be eligible to attend Graduation

Early March

Full timetable of ceremonies confirmed

Mid March

Registration opens for students to confirm they want to attend Graduation

Mid April

Registration closes – after this date students can enquire about late registration

End of May

Student guest ticket allocation confirmed (available to view on my LUSI)

Early June

Graduation guest tickets available to collect from your College (Undergraduates); Postgraduate tickets will be held for collection or posted to UK address

Mid June

Deadline to book your Graduation gown, and pre-book your Graduation photography (on day options for both are available, but will be more expensive)

End June

Deadline to collect guest tickets from Colleges

Early July

Pre-ceremony information emailed to all students due to attend

Mid July

Graduation ceremonies

Tab Content: Winter Graduation Timeline

Please note these timings will not apply for the postponed Postgraduates 2020 graduation ceremonies.

In the Summer Term

All students due to graduate are sent a pre-ceremony email to confirm the range of dates for Graduation. Ceremony times for students have not yet been confirmed

Mid/End of September

Deadline for PhD candidates to be eligible to attend Graduation

Early October

Full timetable of Ceremonies confirmed

Early October

Registration opens for students to confirm they want to attend Graduation

End Oct/Early Nov

Registration closes – after this date students can enquire about late registration - Eligibility deadline for other research degrees

Early November

Student guest ticket allocation confirmed (available to view on my LUSI)


Graduation guest tickets posted to UK address or held for collection

Mid/Late November

Deadline to book your Graduation gown, and pre-book your Graduation photography (on day options for both are available, but will be more expensive)

Early December

Pre-ceremony information emailed to all students due to attend

Mid December

Graduation Ceremonies

Tab Content: Postponed 2020 Ceremonies

Following to decision to postpone the July and December 2020 ceremonies, Lancaster University's Graduation team are currently working on the arrangements for postponed ceremonies.

Further information will be available in early 2021.

We will only run Graduation ceremonies if it is safe and practicable to do so.

Register for your ceremony

All students eligible to attend graduation will be emailed to confirm when registration is open. 

Please note that some process may be modified for the postponed 2020 ceremonies, and further details will be confirmed in early 2021. 

step-by-step guide to Graduation registration on LUSI will help you through the whole processes. 

All eligible students will be emailed when booking is open. If you are expecting to attend Graduation and have not received an email by mid March for the Summer ceremony, or mid October for the Winter ceremony, contact the Graduation team. For Postponed ceremonies, you can check when the last update was sent to eligible students in the Covid-19 FAQs " How will you let me know about further graduation information"

If you miss the deadline to register, contact the Graduation team to enquire about late registration.

Accessibility help

When registering, please let us know about any access requirements you or your guests may have. We will work with Student Disabilities 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.

Visa Applications

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 your ceremony date has been confirmed, you can apply for this using the Document Ordering service available via your Student Portal. 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

Guest Tickets

  • All guest tickets are free of charge.
  • Graduating students do NOT need a ticket for themselves.  All requests for guest tickets must come from the graduating student.
  • If you have more than two guests that want to join you on campus for Graduation, you can request up to two additional guest tickets for the Great Hall 

(please note that this information is subject to change for any postponed 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, or have limited mobility. 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-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 deadline (mid-April for ceremonies or end of October for Winter ceremonies).
  • Each guest ticket is for a numbered seat in the Great Hall for a specific Graduation ceremony.
  • Guests without tickets can watch the graduation ceremony on big screens in our live broadcast venue, or a number of other locations across campus

Tickets for Children

  • Children under six can sit on the lap of a guest without a guest ticket – but you must let us know that you are planning to do this when registering for tickets so we can allocate you appropriate tickets.
  • Children aged six or 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 the live broadcast location. (Faraday Lecture Theatre in the Summer and in the Winter, the venue varies subject to ceremony timings.)
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any childcare services specifically for Graduation.

Extra Tickets

  • In addition to the two guaranteed guest tickets, at the point of registration, each graduating student is entitled to request up to two extra tickets.
  • When an application is made for extra tickets by a graduating student, the system automatically logs this and allocates the request to a waiting list.
  • If extra tickets become available in a specific ceremony, the Graduation Team will allocate these extra tickets strictly in the order specified by the waiting list.
  • We do try our very best to allocate more tickets but please be aware that in the vast majority of cases, students only receive two tickets each.
  • On the day of Graduation, some additional tickets for ceremonies may become available. These are given out on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be reserved in advance. Occasionally we get returned tickets throughout the day of Graduation, and some tickets can become available less than one hour before the ceremony. The Ticket Office will display signs to show the availability of tickets to save students queueing.
  • For extra guests without tickets, each ceremony is broadcast live in a fully staffed and accessible venue screening on campus. In the Summer, this is the Faraday Lecture Theatre and in the Winter the venue varies subject to ceremony timings. The live broadcast venue will also have copies of the Graduation programme. In addition to the live broadcast venue, many other places on campus show Graduation, including the Big Screen in Alexandra Square, the Marketplace (which is an informal setting with access to food and drink), and some College bars.

Returning guest tickets

If you are unable to attend Graduation, please let us know as soon as possible. Your guest tickets need to be returned to the Graduation Team. 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.

Live Broadcast

For each ceremony, there is a fully staffed and accessible venue screening the ceremony. In the Summer, this is the Faraday Lecture Theatre and in the Winter the venue varies subject to ceremony timings. The live broadcast venue will also have copies of the Graduation programme.

In addition to the live broadcast venue, many other places on campus show Graduation, including the Big Screen in Alexandra Square, the Marketplace (which is an informal setting with access to food and drink), and some College bars.

Hire your academic dress

In keeping with the academic nature of the occasion and ceremonial tradition, all students attending graduation must wear the correct academic dress. 

You should hire it from our official academic gown supplier, Graduation Attire

They do provide an option to purchase your gown or extend your hire. 

At Home Hire

While 2020 ceremonies are postponed, some students may want to hire or purchase their graduation gowns to be able to celebrate at home. Please visit Graduation Attire's dedicated at-home gown hire site for full details.

Ceremony hire

You should hire your academic dress in advance. The deadline for advance booking will be confirmed to invited students.

Further information is available at Graduation Attire's website, or you can contact them on or call them on 01234 673001

Dress Code

Graduation is a formal occasion and you should wear smart clothes for your graduation ceremony; jeans and trainers are not acceptable.

Normal wear under gowns is a suit and tie for men and a dress or skirt/trouser suit for women. 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. 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. 

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 Wi-Fi, tea & coffee and complimentary toiletries. We provide breakfast in either the Marketplace or Barker House Farm and with a range of bars and cafes on campus, you don't have to step 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.

Other options

You can search for other hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering options in Lancaster via the website for Lancaster Tourist Information.

Travelling to Lancaster

By Rail

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.

By Bus

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

By Car

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 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 car-parking bay, or have parked where directed to by the marshals. You can then catch one of the Graduation shuttle buses provided by Stagecoach to LICA. Parking on Graduation Day is free.

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 shuttlebuses 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.

Book your on Campus Celebrations

In the Summer, College celebrations are planned for undergraduates and Faculties arrange celebrations for PhDs

In the Winter – Faculties and/or departments may hold celebrations.  

More details will be confirmed nearer to your ceremony

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 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 the Creative Studio's website.

In ceremony photos

During the ceremony, our photographer captures the moment when you shake hands with the Presiding Officer. 6x8 prints in a university mount are available to view and purchase shortly after the ceremony. In the Summer these are sold in the Graduation Marquee, and in the Winter they are in LICA foyer.

These photos are can be purchased on the day of Graduation, or by contacting the Creative Studio after the ceremony.

College photos

During Summer 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. If your photo is directly after the ceremony, please proceed directly to Lancaster Square for the photograph, and arrange to meet your guests in Lancaster Square.

(Please note that College photos are not planned in 2021, but we expect them to be part of the postponed graduation ceremonies in 2022)

Ceremony recordings

Lancaster’s ceremonies are professionally captured and recorded by If you wish to purchase a recording of your ceremony as a keepsake of your day, then staff from iamagraduate will be available to showcase the range of products available. Products include DVDs, BluRays, recordings on memory sticks and personalised clips of students crossing the stage.

You can purchase an on the day DVD from approximately 1 hour after your ceremony and take it home right away, or order a specially mastered ceremony DVD, BlueRay, or USB recording which will arrive 4-8 weeks after the ceremony.

You can also purchase these online from

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 the special souvenir jewellery from Annotated Studios. Available to purchase on your Graduation Day from the Graduation Village 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 or more. 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 Graduation Village (July) or the LICA Building (December) 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.

Management School graduates can connect with fellow alumni online via the new online platform: LUMS Connect. Register to expand your network, receive insights and support from alumni mentors, keep up-to-date with LUMS news… and more!

To learn more about what happens on the day of Graduation, including timings, lining up details, and what happens during the ceremony visit our On Graduation day page.

Not sure when your graduation is? Visit our When is my ceremony page

If you have any questions not covered here, get in touch with the Graduation team by emailing, or calling 01524 592190