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Graduation Guest Information

This page provides further information and guidance for family and friends attending a graduation ceremony.

Key Facts

  • Dress code: smart dress code
  • Doors open 30 minutes prior to the ceremony
  • Drinks reception held after the ceremony
  • National dress is welcome should Graduands and their guests wish

The Ceremony

Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

All guests are asked to take their seats at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. You can check ceremony start time and the day’s itinerary here.

At the beginning and end of the ceremony, please stand for the processions of the Platform Party.

You are welcome to take photos from your seat, however please refrain from using the flash or leaving your seat to take photos during the ceremony, due to the health and safety of all attending.

We kindly request that no large banners or balloons are brought into the Concert Hall.

Children are welcome to attend graduation celebrations. A separate guest ticket is required for any child over the age of two who would like to watch the ceremony in the Concert Hall.

There is also an option to watch the event via the live stream in the main foyer area outside the Concert Hall.

Please note, we are not able to accommodate pushchairs or buggies in the Concert Hall so please check these into the cloakroom free-of-charge prior to the ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony, the Graduates will process out of the Concert Hall. We ask that guests remain in the hall until the Platform Party has exited, at which point you may leave via the main doors and meet the graduates outside in the foyer area.

A drinks reception will be held in the foyer areas on both floors outside the Concert Hall.

Your e-ticket will specify where your seats are allocated within the Concert Hall. Please check your e-ticket before entering the hall. E-tickets can be digital or printed; if digital, we recommend taking a screenshot for ease of access to details.

Graduands are seated in a separate area of the hall; it is not possible for Graduands and guests to sit together.

As this is a formal celebration, we ask that guests dress accordingly, in smart attire. Casual clothing such as jeans, trainers and t-shirts are not suitable for this event.

If you are an international guest coming from abroad, you may need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to attend a graduation. The process you need to follow depends on whether you are visa national or non-visa national. Please visit HERE to see if you need a Standard Visitor visa before entering the UK.

How to apply for a Standard Visitor visa

If you are from a visa national country, you must apply for a Standard Visitor visa before travelling to the UK. You can find further information on how to apply in your country HERE. The visa application fee is £115 in local currency and you will need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • Passport (with at least 1 blank page).
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds for your visit (we recommend you have sufficient funds for at least 3 months even if your visit is shorter).
  • Proof that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit (for e.g. your return flight details).
  • Evidence of where you will be staying in the UK (for e.g. hotel reservation).
  • A copy of the graduating students’ official graduation ceremony invitation email.
  • An invitation letter from the graduating student. An example letter of invitation can be downloaded HERE.

All documents, apart from passports, can be originals, scans, or photocopies.

If you submit a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. Each translation must contain:

  • Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document.
  • The date of translation
  • The translator’s full name and signature
  • The translator’s contact details.

For more information please visit HERE

If you are non-visa nationals, you do not need to apply for a visa in advance but you can request entry as a visitor when you arrive. You should still carry all of the documents listed above in case you are asked to show them to the Immigration Officer.