Everything you and your guests need to know


Please note, your e-Ticket will be available to download 24 hours before your ceremony.

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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Ceremony timeline

The graphic below shows a rough timeline of what to expect on the day of your ceremony:


Before the ceremony


One and a half hours before your ceremony time (for example 7.30am for a 9.00am ceremony), collect your gown from Spinnaker Sports Hall. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to collect before your ceremony starts.

Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and we expect our Graduates and their guests to come dressed smartly. There is 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. If you are not appropriately dressed you will not be allowed into the ceremony.

Students will be sent a text message when their gowns are ready to collect. They are registered with a GradTag chip which holds your details. 

Arrive early 

One hour before your ceremony start time (for example 8.00am for a 9.00am ceremony), the doors at the Guildhall open and attendees will be invited to be seated. There are separate entrances for Graduates and guests which will be clearly marked. 

Do not be late. The doors will be closed at the ceremony start time and latecomers will not be able to join that ceremony.   Warning, we may also not be able to accommodate you at a later ceremony.


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 do not 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 Spinnaker Sports Centre. 

A limited number of on the day tickets may be available for purchase in the Spinnaker Sports Centre. You will be emailed prior to your ceremony if additional tickets are available. On the day tickets cost £15 for adults. These can be purchased by debit/credit card only (we are unable to accept AmEx cards)

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.

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 between 1 - 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.

Viewing Areas

We will have two viewing areas available for guests who do not have tickets. These will be in Park Building, situated behind the Guildhall. The ceremony will also be live streamed on the Big Screen in the Guildhall Square.

If you have friends and family who are unable to attend in person, they can watch the ceremony via the University’s 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.  


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 have 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. 


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 with tickets 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.


The latest government guidance on COVID-19 can be found here. Graduates and their guests are advised to:

  1. Practise good hygiene:
  • wash your hands
  • cover your coughs and sneezes
  • clean your surroundings frequently
  1. Wear a face covering or a face mask.
  2. Stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Face coverings and face masks can help reduce the chance of you spreading infection to others, especially in crowded and enclosed spaces, and may protect you from becoming infected by some respiratory viruses.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

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 the side of the stage and are at the front of the Graduate procession you will be asked to wait until your name is read out on stage. 

When your name is read on stage you can then walk across the stage. At the centre of the stage you will be greeted by the Presiding Officer who will shake your hand, you will then shake hands with the Executive Dean for your Faculty, before you continue to exit the stage on the other side. If you have been awarded a prize this will be read out on stage as well. In some ceremonies prizes may be given out as part of the ceremony.

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

After your ceremony

Studio Photography

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

Professional photography is available from 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.

Celebratory Reception

After your ceremony, you should make your way to Ravelin Park to join your fellow Graduates, guests and members of academic staff to celebrate your achievements. There will be a marquee set up where you can collect a glass of sparkling wine (non-alcoholic alternatives will be available). Top-up stations for you to get a refill of your drink will be located in the park. Staff will be circulating through the park with a selection of vegan canapes for you to enjoy (gluten free options are available on request to a member of staff). There will be a live saxophonist near the marquee to add to the ambience. You will also be able to take your photo next to the University’s giant deckchair. In the event of wet weather, the reception will take place in the Students Union building.


Group Photography 

During the celebratory reception you will be called with fellow Graduates from your School to have a group photograph taken. Depending on the number of Graduates will depend how many people are in your group. Your group number will be on your e-ticket so please make a note of this. You will be asked to line up in height order and then the photographer will move you onto the tiered staging.

Fun activities

The Alumni team will have a range of fun activities including a photo booth set up on Gun House Green by the Student’s Union building. UoP Global and ICP will also have a gazebo set up on Gun House Green, so please pop by and say hello. In the event of wet weather the photo booth will be located upstairs in the Student Union Building.

Award documentation 

You may be able to collect your award documentation after your ceremony. If your documents are available they will be at our collection point in Third Space. You will need to show your e-ticket/student ID to collect your award documents. You can’t collect somebody else’s documents on their behalf.

If your award documents aren’t ready for collection they will be posted to your correspondence address once the graduation ceremonies have finished. 

Certificate Framing

If you would like to get your certificate framed, our photography supplier will have a range of frames with University of Portsmouth mounts for you to purchase. They will be located in Third Space.

Gown return

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

If you are late in returning your gown and the Spinnaker Sports Centre is closed then you have until midnight to return this to the rail of gown returns inside the turnstile at the University of Portsmouth’s Library. This rail will be collected the next morning by our official supplier, who will scan your GradTag chip and contact you to confirm your gown has been returned. Any gowns which are not returned by midnight on the day of your ceremony will be subject to an additional charge.

Summer Socialising 

Whilst you’re out and about this summer, stay vigilant. If you see something that doesn’t look right, trust your instincts and ACT. Report in confidence at gov.uk/act.

In an emergency call 999. #CommunitiesDefeatTerrorism

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.

Careers and Employability

For advice on graduate roles, pop in to the Careers and Employability Service on Guildhall Walk.