COVID-19: Student FAQs

Nautical Graduation - On the Day

What to wear

As the ceremony is a formal occasion, you will need to wear full academic robes, which you must obtain yourself - please see the Checklist section of the website for details on how to book your gown.  Beneath the robe we recommend wearing a suit and tie for men and a plain dress or skirt/trouser suit for women. Stewards will be available to assist graduands with gowning up.

When to arrive

The ceremony starts at 2pm and we recommend arriving no later than 1.00pm but not before 12.00pm. When you arrive at the venue, there will be staff on hand to guide you to where you need to be.

Collecting your gown

Staff will be on hand to guide you to the room where you can collect your gown. Only graduands and staff are allowed in the gowning room. We recommend you collect your gown as soon as possible after you arrive to avoid having to queue. After the ceremony you will need to return your gown to the gowning room.


Studio photographs – The event’s official photographer is RS Studio, available both before the ceremony and for half an hour afterwards (but not while the ceremony is taking place). The temporary studio will be set up in the foyer area.

Where to sit

Within the venue, there will be designated seating areas for both graduands and guests. Stewards will be on hand to help you and your guests be seated.

  • Graduands – All those receiving awards have reserved seats.
  • Guests – Guests may sit wherever they like within the designated seating areas.

Special requirements/disabilities – For graduands and guests with disabilities or special requirements, assistance will be available on arrival. If you filled in the relevant section of the booking form then seats will have been reserved for you.

The ceremony – What happens exactly

  • Opening fanfare – The ceremony will start with a fanfare and, led by the flag-bearer, graduands and members of the stage party will make their way to their seats in procession. Any graduand leaving the hall during the ceremony will not be re-admitted.
  • Welcome – The Chair of the Corporation Board will officially open the ceremony and the College Principal will then give her address.
  • Awards presentation – The awards will be presented by the guest of honour, in group order according to the programme. The awards will be announced by a staff member, and as your name is called out, you will walk across the stage, shake hands with the guest of honour and receive a scroll.
  • Closing words – Once all graduands have received their awards and are seated, the Vice-Principal will ask graduands to stand; she will then request that the Pro-Vice Chancellor confers the degrees. The guest of honour will say a few closing words and a new graduate will officially close the ceremony.
  • Closing fanfare – A fanfare will play again and the stage party, staff and VIPs will process to the foyer. Graduates and guests should remain seated until the procession has left the room.


Once the ceremony has ended, graduands and their guests will be invited to join the Principal and staff for refreshments. A bar service will also be available.

Things to be aware of

  • Personal belongings – We recommend that graduands and guests do not leave their personal belongings unattended in any part of the venue.
  • Mobile phones – Please ensure your mobile phone is switched off during the ceremony.
  • Conduct – The event is a happy occasion and we want you to enjoy yourself. To ensure everyone’s experience is a positive one could we please ask you to exercise courtesy and respect at all times, especially during the ceremony itself. We reserve the right to refuse admission to the ceremony to anyone who is inebriated or likely to cause disturbance.

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