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UWS Graduations

Graduation is a significant moment – and at UWS we take pride in helping to make it a day to remember.

Graduation ceremonies are held at Ayr, Lanarkshire and Paisley campuses twice a year and at Dumfries and London campuses once a year.


The ceremonies in November are generally for undergraduate and postgraduate level students whose results are confirmed after May 30.

The 2019 UWS winter graduation ceremonies will take place on:

  • Dumfries – Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Ayr – Tuesday 5 November 2019
  • Lanarkshire – Thursday 7 November 2019
  • Paisley – Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November 2019

You can find full details of all the ceremonies by programme here.


The ceremonies in June/July are generally for Honours level students who have completed their studies in April of that year, and for undergraduate and postgraduate level students whose results are confirmed by May 30 of that year.

The UWS summer graduation ceremonies will take place on:

  • Lanarkshire - Tuesday 23 June 2020
  • Ayr - Friday 26 June 2020
  • Paisley - Tuesday 7, Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 July 2020

Certificate & Diploma Awards

Depending on the programme being studied, students who have been awarded Certificates and Diplomas generally do not attend a graduation ceremony, but will be sent their parchments by post. Students eligible to attend a graduation ceremony will be given graduation details along with their assessment results.

Registering for Graduation

If you’re eligible to graduate, you will receive further details with your assessment results.

Before graduation, all students must register for a graduation ceremony. The graduation registration fee is £40 if you are attending the ceremony, and £10 if you are graduating without attending.

Graduation without attending is known as graduating ‘in absentia’. This is the term used in university graduation programmes and brochures. Students who graduate in absentia are not allowed to attend a graduation ceremony in person at a later date. 

How to register for your graduation

Eligible students will be notified by email, approximately 5-6 weeks before the ceremony and asked to register for their graduation online using Self Service Banner. During the registration process, you can confirm whether you plan to attend a graduation ceremony or graduate in absentia. Once registered, the graduation fee can be paid through the UWS Online Store.

Graduation Hardship Fund

Students in financial hardship, who are unable to pay the £40 registration fee to attend the ceremony, are invited to apply to the Graduation Hardship Fund. Full details of who can apply and how you apply can be found on the front page of the application form, available below.

Graduation Hardship Fund Application Form

Applications should be completed electronically and submitted by email, from your student email account.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is midnight on Sunday 6th October.

We aim to update all applicants of the outcome of their application in advance of the Graduation Registration deadline.

Outstanding debts

If you have a tuition fee debt to the university, the university’s finance office will contact you about this before the ceremony.

Preparing FOR Graduation

Guest tickets

Each student attending graduation can receive up to two tickets for guests. You can order these as part of the online graduation registration process.

A limited number of additional tickets may be available for each ceremony. These are allocated via a ballot, which takes place a week before the ceremony. You’ll get details of how to enter the ballot when you go through registration. Tickets allocated via the ballot cost £10 each.


The University’s official graduation photographers are Success Photography Ltd. You can place your order via their website -

Guests may take photographs during the graduation ceremony. However, please stay seated and don’t obstruct the view of other guests.

What to wear on Graduation Day

Graduation is a formal academic occasion and you should dress accordingly. You should attend in formal wear and comfortable shoes, bearing in mind there may be stairs and a platform to be crossed when you are capped and hooded. Alternatively, you are also very welcome to wear recognised traditional national dress. You should not attend in denim jeans or shorts.

The UWS academic gown is black. You may find it helpful to note that the gown will not completely cover your clothes and does not fasten at the front. The signature colour of UWS academic hoods is red and includes a self-coloured paisley pattern design. 

You will have to walk to the platform, there may be some standing in line and steps to go up then you will be invited to shake hands with the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor should you so wish. You should not carry anything with you in your hand. When you are presented to the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor you will need to bend slightly to be capped and hooded. 

Our ceremonies are live streamed on YouTube so while of course you want to look your best you will also want to feel comfortable and confident as you approach your big moment.

Please do not bring large bags or luggage to the ceremony as this cannot be accommodated.

Gown hire

Gowns may be hired from Ede and Ravenscroft, the University's official gown provider, at least 21 days before the ceremony. Hire cost will be between £42 and £47. You’ll get details of how to order gowns at the time you register for graduation.


On graduation you’ll receive a formal award parchment, confirming your award and endorsed with the University seal. If you attend your ceremony, you will generally receive your parchment on the day.

If you graduate in absentia, your parchment will be posted to your home address within a week of the ceremony. 

Publication & photographs

Graduation ceremonies are public events. The University publishes the names of all graduands, including those graduating in absentia, in the graduation programme. If you object to publication of your name, award, and academic performance in the programme please contact Student Administration on your Campus. Your name, award and academic performance will only be published in newspapers if you give your consent by opting-in at online registration for graduation.

Crowd shots will be taken by the University photographers at the venue and at our graduation receptions and these may include images of you and your guests. During the ceremony and the subsequent celebrations, members of University staff will be present taking photographs, and this may include photographs of you and your guests as individuals or part of a small group. These images may be used on the University's graduation website and social media channels. They may also be used in future graduation brochures and booklets and in our marketing and promotional materials both in the UK and overseas. We will use these images in both printed and electronic format and may use them for a period of up to 5 years after they have been taken. The photographer will ask for you and your guests' verbal consent before taking any pictures of you individually or as part of a small group. If you do not wish for your photograph to be taken and used in the way described you should tell the photographer when they ask for your consent.

Full Privacy Notice for UWS Graduation Ceremony (pdf).

Join the community

As a graduate, you’ll automatically become a member of the UWS Alumni Association.

UWS alumni make up a diverse network of over 100,000 graduates across Scotland and the world. We’re here to support you in your future career and keep you in touch with old friends and the university.  

Join the alumni LinkedIn group and keep in touch on Facebook and Twitter.

Last updated: 02/10/2019