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UCO Graduation 2023

UCO Graduation 2023

Wednesday 18 Oct 2023

  -  13:30PM

Graduation Livestream

For those who are unable to attend the graduation ceremony, we will be live streaming the event on YouTube.
Watch Here

This year’s ceremony will take place on Wednesday 18th October 2023 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Below you can find information about the ceremony and tickets, as well as being able to order your gown and photography via the links in each section. If you have any questions or problems relating to the Graduation Ceremony, please contact the UCO Graduation Team on 0161 344 8800.

Please be aware:

  • Invitations to the ceremonies are issued to all final year students in anticipation of the successful completion of their course in time for the ceremonies.
  • To be eligible to attend a graduation ceremony, graduands must have i) passed an award ii) paid all outstanding academic tuition fees iii) paid any outstanding library fees/fines. If you register to graduate and find you are unable to attend due to one of the above reasons any costs incurred will be fully refunded to you.
  • Invitations will be posted out to your home address.
  • Gowning, photography and tickets should be booked directly with William Northam (details below).
  • Students may apply for TWO guest tickets in the first instance.
  • Closing dates for registration of attendance and payment for guest tickets must be adhered to in order to guarantee seats in the venue. The dates will be advertised as part of the invitation process. 
  • Certificates are not issued at the ceremonies; these are posted to your home address within four months of your Course Assessment Board.
Booking your tickets

If you are eligible to graduate this year you will be sent an invitation shortly. You can book your tickets via the William Northam website along with your official robes and photographs.

Graduand’s Ticket

There is no charge for the graduand to attend the ceremony. As the graduand you will receive the following:

  • An invitation to the ceremony
  • A souvenir programme
  • Use of the University Careers Service for three years
Guest Tickets

A maximum of 2 guest tickets may be purchased. Tickets are £10 each. You must complete all purchases online by Wednesday 4th October 2023. Due to the limited capacity of the Hall, requests to attend after this date cannot be guaranteed.

Guest seating is unallocated. Guests may choose their own seats and these are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Children aged 2 years and over must have their own seat in the hall and therefore must be included in your guest numbers. This is due to Health and Safety regulations.

Additional Guest Tickets

After the registration closing date has passed the number of spare tickets for the ceremony is calculated. Availability of these tickets is dependent on ceremony capacity, the number of students invited, the number of students who have applied to attend and the number of tickets which have been sold when registration is complete.

Any spare tickets for the ceremony will be available from 10am on Monday 9th October until Sunday the 15th October via William Northam. An email confirming the date and time of release will be issued nearer the time. They are available strictly on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to two per student.

Please note that eligibility to attend the ceremony is still dependent on the successful completion of your degree and no outstanding tuition or library fees.

Hiring your official robes and photography

Wearing academic dress at an award ceremony is compulsory and you cannot participate without it. It comprises of gown, hood and mortarboard and denotes your university and the title of the award you have obtained. On the day of your ceremony you should wear smart dress and it is recommended that you wear a shirt or blouse with buttons.

This year William Northam are offering a gowning and photography package deal for UCO students. This comprises:

  • Standard robe hire
  • (One) 10” x 8” portrait
  • (Two) 5” x 4” portraits (of the same image)

Alternatively, you can hire just robes, prices are available on the website. Order online at Gown hire is now open and orders must be placed by Wednesday 4th October 2023.

Use of the William Northam online booking system will enable you to receive your confirmation and order reference in one easy transaction.

Before you order, you need to have the following information available:

  • The name of the award which you will be receiving.
  • The time and date of your ceremony.
  • Your chest size and your height – should you require any special requirements i.e. an extra-large or small gown, please make this clear when ordering. William Northam will endeavour to meet your requirements.
  • Your hat size – measure the circumference of your head approximately 2.5cms above your eyebrows, and state the measurement in centimetres or inches.
  • Your credit/debit card details.
  • You should wear the academic dress of the degree which you are being awarded, NOT the dress of a degree which you may already hold.

If you are unsuccessful in passing your course this time, you will need to cancel your robe. In order to receive a refund this must be done directly with Northam’s no less than 7 days prior to the date of your ceremony.

You should also ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions on the William Northam website, especially with regard to cancellation of robe hire.

Collecting and returning gowns

Gowns can be collected from the Queen Elizabeth Hall from 8.30am on the day of the ceremony and returned by 2.30pm the same day.

Please be aware that the UCO official photographers will be taking photographs on the day of the ceremony which may be used in UCO publicity. Wherever possible your consent will be obtained but this may not be practical in all circumstances (for instance, crowd images).


Registration, gowning and photography will all take place at Queen Elizabeth Hall. The doors will be open from 8.30am.

There will be a procession through the town centre prior to the ceremony (weather and any route restrictions permitting).  All graduands are expected to take part in the procession except for special circumstances.  Graduands will leave the Queen Elizabeth Hall and make their way to the Town Centre (location to be confirmed).  Guests are asked to make their way directly to the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  Please note: the road surface of some parts of the route are cobbles, so it is advised that you don’t wear any high heels/stilettos.

What happens at the ceremony?

The following will outline the procedures to be followed once you are inside the hall;

  • Once the procession arrives at the Hall, you will be put into seat order and process in to your seats.
  • Your guests will not be seated with you.
  • If you have not already advised us that you do not wish to shake hands with the Chair of Ceremony, please inform an usher before you take your seat.
  • Please ensure that all mobiles phones are switched to silent or switched off.
  • Fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins members of staff will ensure that students are sitting in the correct seats.
  • At the start of the ceremony you will be asked to stand as the academics process through the auditorium to the stage.
  • When the academics have taken their seats, you should sit down.
  • During the opening address, an usher will guide the first row of students from their seats to the stage.
  • During the ceremony, the usher will return to the end of each row in order to indicate when it is that row’s turn to move. Please wait for the usher to appear before leaving your seat.
  • If you are receiving an undergraduate or postgraduate award you will stand at the edge of the stage until your name is called. You will then cross the stage to shake hands with a member of staff from the Awarding Body institution. This is the conferment of your award and no certificate will be presented.
    Upon leaving the stage, you should follow the ushers’ directions to your seat. It is possible that you may not return to your original seat.
  • The conferment of awards is followed by the official speeches. At the end of the ceremony, you will be asked to stand whilst the academics process from the stage to form the guard of honour, through which students will be directed row by row.
  • Once all graduates have left the ceremony venue, your guests will be directed to join you.

We will be holding a Graduate Reception at the Queen Elizabeth Hall after the ceremony. We look forward to welcoming all graduates and their guests.

The refreshments will include:

  • Selection of Canapés*
  • Glass of fruit juice

*Vegetarian options available, please advise of any requirements when booking.

Tea and Coffee will be available for graduands and guests to purchase before the ceremony, please note this will be a cash only service.

Cancellation Policy

In the event that the Graduation Ceremony cannot take place, is delayed, or times for the Graduation Ceremony are changed as a result of any events, omissions, or non-events that are beyond the reasonable control of UCO, including (without limitation) acts of God, riots, war, acts of terrorism, epidemic or pandemic, UK Government imposed restrictions and/or health and safety guidance related to Covid-19, period of national mourning, fire, floor, storm, earthquake or industrial action, UCO shall not be liable for any losses, direct or otherwise, incurred by Graduates and their guests.

Other University Graduations

As UCO is a collaborative partner with other universities, some of you will also be invited to a Graduation Ceremony at those universities, you may, if you wish, attend either the UCO, the other or even both graduation ceremonies. It is entirely your decision, therefore you may well be contacted by these universities with details of their Graduation Ceremonies or you may check out further details yourself using the links below:

University of Huddersfield 

University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)

Sheffield Hallam University