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Planning your day

Here is a step by step guide to your graduation day. It has everything you need to help you plan, so you can relax and be sure you're doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right place. There will be staff and signs on hand at all venues to help you find your way. You can also download our handy table of timings so you can refer to it easily on the day.

Get social with us and appear on the big screen!

Hat tossShare your special moments with us throughout your graduation day on Instagram and Twitter using the official graduation hashtag #MadeInKingston. We want to see your excitement and celebrations; you may even spot yourself on the big screen in the auditorium of the Rose Theatre.

For updates about your ceremony and hints and tips to plan your day, our key information page is updated with the latest graduation information.

Arriving for your graduation ceremony

Arrive at the suggested arrival time for your ceremony and go to Surrey County Hall, opposite Penrhyn Road campus, where you can pick up your gown and have official photographs taken.  

Suggested arrival times

  • 10.30am ceremony arrive 8am.
  • 2pm ceremony arrive 11.30am.
  • 5.30pm ceremony arrive 3pm.

Collect your gown

The first thing you need to do is collect your gown. Only graduates are allowed in the gowning area. There is a waiting area for guests. You must collect your gown at least 1 hour before your ceremony start time.


Make your way to the photography studios run by Tempest, the official graduation photographers. You are welcome to have photographs taken with your family and friends. Having photos taken is free so we recommend taking advantage of this opportunity - you can purchase any images you'd like to at a later date.

Priority timeslots are allocated to each ceremony, please have your photographs taken within the times listed in the table below.  If you are unable to have photos taken within these times, you can visit the studios outside of these times but you may have to queue longer.

Please make sure you check the opening and closing times of the studios for your graduation day.

Please note: you do not need to pay for or book a slot for photography in advance.

Priority timeslots

 10.30am ceremony

2pm ceremony

5.30pm ceremony

8 – 10am

11.30am – 1.30pm

3 – 5pm

If you do not wish to have photography taken, please make your way to The Rose Theatre at least 1 hour before your ceremony.

Collect your tickets

Make your way to the Rose Theatre to collect the tickets for your ceremony. Ticket collection is located on the first floor of the Rose Theatre. Please bring your confirmation email and some form of ID. You will be given a name card (which is also your graduate ticket) along with any guest tickets that you have purchased online.

 Ceremony time

Ticket collection opens

Ticket collection closes










Buying extra tickets on the day of your ceremony

If there are any extra guests tickets available to purchase on the day of your ceremony, they are £27 (cash only) and sold at the information desk on the ground floor of the Rose Theatre 90 minutes before the ceremony start time, on a first-come, first-served basis. Our key information page will be updated with information about extra tickets approximately a week before the ceremonies start.

Please note: the graduate does not need to be present to purchase extra tickets on the day of the ceremony.

Guests without tickets

If you are not able to purchase all the tickets that you need either in advance or on the day, guests can still come along and enjoy the graduation day. Guests may be able to view the ceremony on-screen in the Rose café, and guests not attending on the day can watch the ceremony online via the live stream. (Link will be available nearer the time.)

The ceremony

Once you have collected your gown, had your photography taken and collected your tickets you can relax and maybe grab a drink or some food from the theatre bar while you wait for the auditorium doors to open - listen out for an announcement approx. 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. The ceremony will last around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Don't forget to share your pictures for a chance to get on the big screen in the auditorium! #MadeInKingston.

Finding your seat

Before you enter the auditorium, you must leave bags, coats etc in the theatre cloakroom or with your guests, you will not be allowed in the auditorium with your belongings. The cloakroom has limited space for large bags - please avoid bringing large bags/luggage where possible.  

Your seat number is on your graduate name card and seating is arranged in alphabetical order by course, so you will be sat with your classmates. Please sit in the seat you have been allocated.

What happens during the ceremony?

The graduation programme will detail a brief running order of the ceremony including who will be speaking. There are a few speeches before the graduates are presented on the stage.

  • When it is time for you to be presented on stage, a member of staff will tell you which way to leave the auditorium. Take your name card with you.
  • When you are told to enter the stage, walk along the red carpet and give your name card to the person standing at the lectern. Wait for them to read your name.
  • Once they have read your name continue to the centre of the stage to shake hands with the ceremony host.
  • Continue to walk along the red carpet until you are off-stage. A member of staff will direct you through the wings and back to the theatre foyer.
  • Collect your certificate and make your way back into the auditorium (please note you may not return to the same seat)

The moment you cross the stage will be both photographed and filmed.

Your free StageClip will be available to share online after your ceremony from the StageClip website you'll be asked to complete a very short survey before you can download it.

Your presentation photograph will be available to view and purchase from your ceremony reception.

The ceremony reception

It's time to celebrate! We invite you all for some refreshments at the Guildhall so you can toast your success with your friends, family, fellow graduates and academics. It's our way of sending you off in style and welcoming you to the Alumni Association.

After the ceremony has finished, The Rose Theatre and the street outside can get very congested. Please make your way straight to the Guildhall (across the road) and if you can, try and arrange to meet your guests there. If you have put any belongings in the cloakroom, collect them first. The ceremony reception will last approximately one hour.

Return your gown

You must return your gown on your graduation day unless you have made a special arrangement with the gowning company. You can return your gown at the Guildhall or Surrey County Council, any time before the venues close.

Start your journey with Kingston University's Alumni Association

The Kingston University alumni team are here to support you now that you're alumni. Check out the Kingston University Alumni Association website; join the LinkedIn group; like the Alumni Association Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the goings on at KU.

Tell us what you think

After your ceremony we will be sending you a link to our graduation survey. Fill it out for a chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher.

Contact us

Kingston University
Kingston Hill campus (Yorkon Building)
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7LB 
Email us

Contact us

Kingston University
Kingston Hill campus (Yorkon Building)
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7LB 
Email us

What our graduates say

"I liked being able to catch up with classmates and getting my certificate that I worked hard for."

James Schacht – Human Resource Management PgDip


We suggest you check our FAQs to find out everything you need to know about the graduation ceremonies.


Booking your tickets to your graduation ceremony indicates that you adhere to the University's Graduation Ceremony Policies.

Download the Graduation Ceremonies Policies (PDF).

Ready to graduate?

Have you...

  • Checked your ceremony date and time?
  • Cleared any outstanding debt with the University?
  • Applied for your graduate and guest tickets?
  • Received an email confirming your tickets have been purchased?
  • Hired your gown?
  • Downloaded and printed your ceremony information leaflet?
  • Informed the graduations team of any special requirements you or your guests have?

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