This article will explain what you need to do on the day of your graduation.

Please note this information is correct for Graduation 2016, but may be updated for Graduation 2017.  

Getting to Portsmouth

Make sure you allow plenty of time to get into Portsmouth - graduation is a busy time and transport will be affected. For questions on the day, please call +44 (0)23 9284 3434.

Arrival, tickets and gowning

Graduands need to arrive at least an hour and a half before their ceremony begins at the Spinnaker Sports Hall to book and collect academic dress and tickets, and to walk over to the Guildhall, where the ceremony is held.

Once you have your gown and tickets there will be an opportunity to have informal photographs taken with your family outside the Nuffield Centre. Following this, you should make your way to the Guildhall.

Check-in time

Ceremony Time

Check-in time at Spinnaker Sports Hall







Please note that the check-in service at the Spinnaker Sports Hall closes 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

You will be given your student wrist band, reception ticket along with your guest tickets and will then be able to collect your academic dress. You and your guests will need your tickets to enter the Guildhall.

If you have difficulty travelling on the day and you believe you will not arrive before the closing time, please telephone +44 (0)23 9284 3434 and if possible arrangements will be made to meet you at the Guildhall.

Official photography

If you have booked or wish to have official photography taken, visit the photographers in St Paul’s Sports Hall once you have your gown and tickets. 

In the Guildhall

You and your guests should be seated in the Guildhall at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. Graduates will be seated by course in the order they will be called to the stage. (Graduates and guests enter the Guildhall through separate doors and are seated separately.)

The ceremony

Ceremonies will last approximately an hour to an hour and a half depending on the number of graduates.

Once graduates and guests are seated, the University procession enters and makes its way up onto the stage. A congratulatory speech is made, and if there is an honorary graduate they will be presented. The honorary graduate will make a short response after they have accepted their award from the Chancellor.

Examples of the order of proceedings can be found here:

The main body of the ceremony involves the reading of the graduates’ names as they are received and congratulated on the stage by the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Pro Vice-Chancellor, and closes with a speech from the Chancellor. 

On-stage procedure

You will be guided to the stage in a continuous procession. Once the Head of Department or their representative has announced your name, you will walk across the stage, stopping to shake hands with the Chancellor and the Dean, and then continuing across the stage to the exit door.

After the ceremony

You and your guests will leave the auditorium of the Guildhall.

Departmental photographs on the steps of the Guildhall will happen at this point - there will be marshals providing instructions after the ceremony ends to graduates who wish to be part of these photographs. Each department’s photo will be available to purchase on the Success Photography website (subject to change for graduation 2017) after the graduation ceremonies. You may visit the photographer after the ceremony if you have not yet done so before the ceremony. 

There will be a reception held in Ravelin Park after each ceremony, giving you the chance to meet your friends’ families and say a final goodbye to your lecturers. Access to the reception will be free to all, but each ceremony ticket will include one free glass of Prosecco.

You should return your hired academic dress to Squash Court 1 in the Nuffield Centre before 18:00. You may be charged if you don’t return your gown by the specified time. 


Parchments are sent to the mailing correspondence address on the student records system. Please check address details in the Student Portal and notify your school or departmental office of any changes by date to be confirmed for Graduation 2017. This will ensure that you receive parchments without delay. All parchments will be posted by recorded delivery.

If you haven’t received your parchment by the end of August, please email

Graduation filming

Ceremonies are filmed to provide free downloads to all graduates. The graduation ceremonies will also be broadcast online from the University website and on the big screen in the Guildhall Square. Please note the University may also use the images filmed for promotional and/or information purposes.

Data protection

The graduation ceremonies of the University of Portsmouth are regarded as public events. This means that the names of graduands are published in the graduation programme, and audio-visual images of the ceremony are publicly available, e.g. through free downloads of ceremonies for students through the Success Photography website. Additionally, the names of graduands are displayed on graduation products, e.g. graduation T-shirts and the local Portsmouth newspaper.

If you object to the publication of your personal data as described, you should, on the grounds that this use of data may cause you damage or distress, inform the Assistant Registrar (Graduation) of your objection. This should be done by emailing  - deadline for Graduation 2017 to be confirmed.



Enter your email address to receive a notification when the article is updated
Email Address

Was this article helpful
Thank you for your feedback
How can we improve?