Two students walking up the stairs at Guildhall for their graduation

What to expect on the day

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 2023.


Jump to:

Ceremony timeline

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

on the day diagram

Here’s a handy checklist of things to do on your special day


  • Make your way to the Graduation Village after your ceremony
  • Attend your celebratory reception in Ravelin Park 
  • Participate in your group photo in Ravelin Park
  • Return your gown to Ravelin Sports Centre by 8pm
  • Collect your certificate the Ravelin Sports Centre by 8pm


Top tips

  • Have your portrait photo taken in Ravelin Sports Centre
  • Purchase some University merchandise from the pop-up shop
  • Get a bite to eat on Gunhouse Green
  • Visit the alumni team’s photo booth
  • Say hello to staff from UoP Global and International College Portsmouth
  • Share your pictures on social media using #UoPGrad


Map of Graduation Sites

Graduation Map

Before the ceremony


One and a half hours before your ceremony time (for example 7.45am for a 9.15am ceremony), collect your gown from Ravelin Sports Centre. 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

Forty-five before your ceremony start time (for example 8.30 am for a 9.15 am 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. Please note it is a 20 minute walk from Ravelin Sports Centre to Portsmouth Guildhall.



Do not be late. The doors will be closed at the ceremony start time and latecomers will not be able to join that ceremony. We will do our best to accommodate you at a later ceremony but this may not always be possible.


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 Ravelin Sports Centre. 

A limited number of on the day tickets may be available for purchase in the Ravelin Sports Centre. You will be emailed prior to your ceremony if additional tickets are available. On the day tickets cost £16 for adults. These can be purchased by debit/credit card only (we are unable to accept AmEx cards)

Travel information

Please note there are rail strikes planned for 20 July. Please factor this into your travel plans

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 King Henry I Street.

Ceremony Practicalities

All attendees are to be seated at least 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. Please be aware that ceremonies can last up to one and a half hours and are very formal. If you do not feel your child will remain comfortable throughout this, there is a separate screening room in the Portsmouth Room at the Guildhall for those with tickets, which allows for more space if needed.  For guests without tickets, the ceremonies are also being screened in the Park Building. 

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.


Souvenir Programmes, Order of Ceremonies and Order of Candidates

All graduates and guests with tickets to the Guildhall will be given a souvenir programme as they enter the building along with a printed Order of Ceremony. On the Order of Ceremony will be a QR code which will link to the digital Order of Candidates. Only graduates who have consented to have their name appear on the digital list and whose award details were available at the time of publishing. Graduates whose name does not appear will be able to request that it is added after the ceremony by completing this form.

If you would like a printed copy of the Order of Candidates for your ceremony you may request this by ordering via this link. Each copy will cost £5 + P&P. All orders and updates must be received by 4pm on 1 September 2023 after which time the webpages will be updated and printed copies produced. The webpages will be live until 31 January 2024.


Viewing Areas

We will have a viewing area available for guests who do not have tickets. This will be in Room 2.23, 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 inside 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.


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

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 on how many people are in your group. Your group number will be on your e-ticket so please make a note of this. Group photography will take place in the outdoor amphitheatre in Ravelin Park.

Group photos and other images from the Graduation period will be available to order from the following photo gallery.

Fun activities

The Alumni team will have a photo booth set up in Ravelin Park. UoP Global and ICP will also have a gazebo set up on Gun House Green, so please pop by and say hello. The Students’ Union will also have a pop up shop where you can buy graduation merchandise.

On Gun House Green there will be a range of “village fete” type activities for all the family to enjoy. There will also be a range of food vendors for you to purchase snacks should you get a little peckish. 

In the event of wet weather the photo booth and a small number of activities 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 Ravelin Sports Centre. 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 collection will be open from 10am-8pm on the day of your ceremony. It will not be possible to collect your award documents on a different day.


Certificate Framing

If you would like to get your certificate framed, our photography supplier will have a range of frames with the University of Portsmouth mounts for you to purchase. You can also purchase a certificate folder or tube if you would prefer. They will be located in Ravelin Sports Centre.

All framing on site is for certificates only and any photography orders in frames will be delivered in the advertised 6-8 week window once you have chosen the photos that you wish to go to editing.


Gown return

You must return your gown by 8.00pm the day of your ceremony.

If you are late in returning your gown and the gowning hall has closed then you have until 10.00pm to return this to the rail of gown returns at the main reception of Ravelin Sports Centre. 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 on the day of your ceremony will be subject to an additional charge of £15.


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

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.