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On the Day of Your Graduation

A graduate in their graduation gown having a photo taken with their parents.

There’ll be staff around to guide you through the day from arrival to the reception, but here are some details to help you know where to go and what to do.

Are you ready?

We want you to enjoy your day so do make sure you’ve covered everything.

Have you:

Getting there

Graduation ceremonies are taking place at:

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
View Map or visit Transport for London to plan your journey.

Coming by car?

Royal Festival Hall is located within the Central London Congestion Charging Zone which operates from 07:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.

Check the Congestion Charging site for details of exemptions for disabled badge holders and certain classes of vehicles. Make sure you register your exemption at least a fortnight in advance.

Find out more about Parking at the Southbank Centre.


Check out Visit London for more on finding a place to stay.

Getting ready

You should arrive at least 90 minutes before your ceremony starts, so you have enough time to:

Collect your tickets

When you arrive you’ll be directed to the Registration Area to collect tickets.
Guests aren’t allowed in this area (it gets crowded), so graduates should make sure they have the money to pay for any extra tickets before they head in.

Collect your robe

Have your reference number ready – it’ll help staff get your robe much quicker

Take photos

  • It’s a good idea to pre-book your photos and check our tips on photos and dvds.
  • Official photographers will be on site from 8:30am until an hour after the ceremony.
  • Friendly reminder: you can only take photos inside the ceremony with hand-held cameras. No recording equipment is allowed in the hall

Getting seated

Before you go in, you should agree on a meeting point with your guests, so you don’t lose anyone afterwards. The auditorium opens one hour before the ceremony starts.

  • Graduates must be seated no later than 30 minutes before the ceremony.
  • You’ll be seated at the front of the auditorium; by course and in alphabetical order by your surname.
  • Guests should also aim to take their seats 30 minutes before the ceremony. They’ll be seated in the rear stalls and balcony.
  • We ask that guests please remain seated until the ceremony ends and the procession and graduates have left.

Bringing children (under 16) to the ceremony?

Please review our important information on attending with children.

Students and guests filling the auditorium for a graduation ceremony

The Ceremony

Your graduation ceremony will last about 90 – 120 minutes, with the following:

  • Speeches, honorary guests and awards
  • Graduates crossing the stage and collecting their programmes and certificate (where applicable)
  • Then the procession, graduates and guests will leave the hall (in that order).

Watch it live

If you’re unable attend any of the UAL Award Ceremonies you can watch them live wherever you are. Check out the dates and times - you can watch it from our graduation homepage.

You can also order a DVD of the ceremony from

The Reception

We know you’ll be excited to get out and celebrate but we ask that graduates stay seated at the end of ceremony and cooperate with the marshals as they direct you to the reception areas.

Here you and your guests can enjoy light refreshments, and you can access the Bars if you wish.

And finally...

  • You can have more photos taken up to an hour after the ceremony and buy any merchandise
  • Please return your gowns to the robing area before you leave

Congratulations again and have an amazing day!