Graduation - Frequently asked questions | Harper Adams University


Frequently asked questions

Preparing to graduate

Who is eligible to graduate?

Students in their final year of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes based at Harper Adams University, who have successfully passed all elements of their course of study. There are separate arrangements for Workforce Development programmes which are run in conjunction with employers.

If you are uncertain whether you are eligible to celebrate your graduation at this ceremony, please contact

What if I have unpaid fees?

If you have unpaid fees, unless you have reached an agreement with the Director of Finance, your results will not be released and you will not be permitted to attend a graduation ceremony. Please contact the Finance Office for further information if you are in this position at or on 01952 815214.

Do I need a ticket?

Yes. All graduands and guests will require a ticket each.

You must confirm whether or not you wish to attend your Graduation Ceremony as soon as possible and no later than 5.00pm on 4th September 2017 using the online registration form. Your place at the ceremony will not be automatically allocated.

Tickets, for yourself and your guests, will be available for collection from the Faccenda Centre foyer from 8.00am, in exchange for sight of your student ID and emailed registration receipt. Please ensure you bring this with you. Note that tickets for the morning ceremony must be collected before 10.20am. Tickets for the afternoon ceremony must be collected before 2.20pm

Anyone who has booked into a ceremony and whose award is not due to be conferred until the assessment board in September, but is not successful, will be removed from the attendance list for the 2017 ceremony.

If you have registered your intention to attend the ceremony and are subsequently unable to attend, please inform us via the online registration form.

Can I defer my graduation ceremony?

No. If you qualify for your award before the 22nd September 2017 and cannot attend this ceremony, you will be listed on the programme as graduating in absentia and your certificate will be sent to you by secure post. Please ensure the University Registry has your correct contact details by emailing Student Records.

What should I wear?

Graduands should be smartly, but simply, dressed as they will be wearing formal academic gowns (available to hire from J Wippell & Co of Exeter) over their day wear. Wippells will be on campus throughout Graduation Day. They provide a bespoke service and will be happy to assist graduands with putting on their robes correctly. Jeans, shorts and trainers are not appropriate. You should also note that you will be required to walk up a ramp onto the stage and then back down, so please take this into consideration when selecting shoes for the ceremony, particularly the height and stability of heels.

Your academic dress consists of a gown, hood and mortar board. There are various Harper Adams University academic dress styles, which are bespoke for each award.

Robes for the morning ceremony are available for collection between 8.00am and 10.20am from the Sports Hall and must be returned before 6.00pm.

Robes for the afternoon ceremony are available for collection from the Sports Hall between 11.15am and 2.20pm and must be returned by 6.00pm

Can I book accommodation on campus for the night before and/or the night following graduation?


Bed and Breakfast is available for graduands and can be booked here.

Please note: This is for graduands only and not for their guests, and are offered on a first come first served basis.


If you or your guests wish to stay overnight in the local area, we have arranged some special rates for accommodation, as detailed below. Please contact the providers directly. Please note that we are unable to recommend or take responsibility for any off campus accommodation arrangements and that there are other providers in the area, including in and around Newport (such as The Swan and Premier Inn).

  • Holiday Inn, Telford
    £72 room only, £82 Bed and Breakfast. (Quote: Harper Adams) -
  • International Hotel, Telford
    £60 Bed and Breakfast (with a Continental plus breakfast). (Quote: Harper Adams) -
  • Lilleshall National Sports & Conferencing Centre, Nr Newport. Quote: HARPER17 to receive 10% off rates advertised on their website -
  • Ramada, Ironbridge, Telford
    £62 room only, £72 Bed and Breakfast. (Quote: Harper Adams) -
  • University of Wolverhampton (Priorslee, Telford campus)
    £42 single-ensuite Bed and Breakfast -

Bringing guests to graduation

How do I order tickets for my guests?

Graduands are entitled to a maximum of 2 complimentary tickets for their guests.

All guest tickets must be requested before 5.00pm on 4th September 2017 when you register your own attendance using the registration form. Requests for complimentary tickets after this time cannot be accommodated.

Guest tickets will be available for collection, by graduands only, in the Faccenda Centre foyer from 8.00am on graduation day, in exchange for sight of your ID and emailed registration receipt which confirms the numbers of complimentary guests you will be bringing (that is either 0, 1 or 2). Please ensure you bring this with you. All tickets for the morning ceremony must be collected by 10.20am. All tickets for the afternoon ceremony must be collected by 2.20pm.

If your registered guests are subsequently unable to attend, please inform us via the registration form.

Can I request extra tickets?

There will be 250 additional tickets available, at each Graduation Ceremony, at a cost of £20 each. Please note that these additional guest tickets will not permit entry to the separate, (by invitation only), Awards and Prize Giving presentations.

Graduands are limited to one additional guest ticket which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, following payment. If you would like to purchase an additional guest ticket, please indicate this on the online registration form. From here, you will then be directed to an online payment system. Once your payment has been accepted and you have completed registration, your receipt will acknowledge your additional guest ticket. Please note that you will have to show sight of your student ID and this receipt to collect the additional guest ticket from the Faccenda Centre foyer, along with your ticket and your two complimentary guest entry tickets.

Any minors must be seated with an accompanying adult and are included within the guest ticket allocation. Minors must have a seat, even if it will not be used. Minors and accompanying adults will be seated at the rear of the marquee, adjacent to exits.

Please note: No refunds for additional tickets will be processed if your plans change or if you are ineligible to attend the graduation ceremony.

Are young children allowed to attend?

Yes - but please note due to fire regulations and associated capacity limits, we are required to have an accurate count of how many people are in the marquee. Therefore all guests, including babies and children, will require their own ticket, from within a graduand's maximum or purchased allocation. Accordingly, graduands should include any babies or children when requesting the total number of tickets that they would like for their ceremony. Please ensure that, where a ticket is intended for a baby or child, this is mentioned in the 'additional information' section of the online registration form. Please also note that any minors must be seated with an accompanying adult.

Please note: This is a ceremonial occasion and may not be suitable for young children. If guests are bringing young children who may not be able to sit quietly through the entire ceremony, they must be prepared to leave the marquee with them if they become restless, at the request of a steward. Stewards will seat all guests with children near the back of the marquee, adjacent to an exit, so as to cause minimum disruption to the ceremony or other guests should they need to leave.

What if I have disabled guests?

The University will endeavour to make special seating arrangements where requirements are detailed in the 'additional information' section of the online registration form before 5.00pm on 4th September. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee special seating or other arrangements unless we are made aware when you book your tickets.

On graduation day

Will I need a parking permit?

Other than passes for disabled drivers/guests, no graduand or guest requires a parking permit on the day of the ceremony, although drivers must park where directed, in order to ease the flow of traffic. Staff will be on hand to direct cars as they arrive. If you or a guest requires accessible parking, please indicate this in the 'additional information' section of the online registration form.

It is strongly advised that graduands and guests attending the afternoon ceremony arrive after 12.00pm, unless a graduand (and their two complimentary guests only) have been invited to a separate Awards and Prize Giving presentation.

How do I register and collect tickets?

All graduands are required to register and collect tickets and guest tickets from the Faccenda Centre foyer. You will need to bring your student ID and your confirmation email(s) with you in order to collect your tickets. Entry to the marquee will only be permitted with a ticket.

Graduands for the morning ceremony will need to collect their tickets (including guest tickets) before 10.20am.

Graduands for the afternoon ceremony will need to collect their tickets (including guest tickets) before 2.20pm.

Will my photograph be taken?

If you wish to have a photograph taken in your academic dress, a photography service provided by Ede and Ravenscroft will be available between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Both single portraits and family photographs will be available.

It is strongly recommended that you pre-register your details with Ede and Ravenscroft to reduce your waiting time on Graduation Day.

Please note that the official photographers use mock scrolls for the photographs. Therefore, graduands can arrange for their photographs to be taken before collection of their real Certificate.

Will I be given academic robes?

These are required and items may be bought or hired directly from J Wippell and Co of Exeter. Orders must be placed in advance.

Morning ceremony graduands can collect robes between 8.00am and 10.20am from the Sports Hall.

Afternoon ceremony graduands should collect their robes between 11.15am and 2.20pm unless they have been invited to the separate Awards and Prize Giving morning ceremony, in which case they are able to collect robes from 8.00am

All hired robes must be returned to the Sports Hall by 6.00pm.

Will I be able to get something to eat?

The Graze Café, in the Faccenda Centre, will be open between 8.00am and 3.00pm serving a range of breakfasts, hot and cold lunches and snacks.

The Kaldi Coffee Shop, in the Bamford Library building, will be open between 8.00am and 3.00pm and serves light refreshments including sandwiches and home baked cakes.

The Main Dining Room, in Queen Mother Hall (QMH) will be open between 7.30am and 9.00am for cooked and continental style breakfasts and between 11.30am and 2.30pm for lunch. Lunch includes hot meals, a salad bar and a selection of desserts.

There will also be a marquee café, in the Photography Marquee which will be open between 8.00am and 5.00pm. The Photography Marquee Café will serve light refreshments such as: a selection of sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee.

Can I buy commemorative merchandise?

The Students' Union will be running a stall on Graduation Day where you will be able to purchase SU merchandise. Please see the Student Union website for more information.

Will the graduation ceremony still go ahead in wet weather?

Yes. If the wet weather affects key information we have previously communicated, we will let you know the changes when you register and collect your tickets. In the event of inclement weather, please encourage your guests to use all available areas to shelter, eg Kaldi café, Graze café, Photography marquee café, QMH Dining Room (downstairs), Weston Building, SU Bar, as well as the Faccenda Centre foyer. Please watch and listen for information on the day, including the display screens around the campus. Please bring your own umbrella!

The ceremony

Where do I sit?

All graduands are assigned a specific seat, in programme order.

Morning ceremony

Morning ceremony graduands are to be seated by 10.30am at the latest, so that Course Managers can ensure that seating is in accordance with the programme.

Afternoon ceremony

Afternoon ceremony graduands are to be seated by 2.30pm at the latest, so that Course Managers can ensure that seating is in accordance with the programme.

Where do my guests sit?

Guests take their seats separately from graduands and are advised to do so in good time as guest seating is not pre-assigned and fills very quickly.

Morning ceremony

Morning ceremony ticketed guests may enter the marquee from 10.00am onwards, and should be seated by 11.00am. We cannot guarantee admittance after this time.

Afternoon ceremony

Afternoon ceremony ticketed guests may enter the marquee from 2.15pm onwards, and should be seated by 3.00pm. We cannot guarantee admittance after this time.

What happens if I am late for my ceremony?

We are sometimes able to accommodate the late arrival of graduands, although once the proceedings have reached a certain point no latecomers can be admitted.

We cannot guarantee access to morning ceremony guests after 11.00am.

We cannot guarantee access to afternoon ceremony guests after 3.00pm.

How long is the ceremony?

The morning ceremony commences at 11.15am and finishes at approximately 12.15pm.

The afternoon ceremony commences at 3.15pm and finishes at approximately 4.15pm.

What happens during the ceremony?

There is a short musical introduction, procession of academic staff, welcome and address. Following this, a steward will lead graduands to the front of the marquee where they wait in line for their name to be announced. Once their name is called, graduands walk up a ramp, across to the centre of the stage where our Guest of Honour will shake their hand in celebration of their award. Graduands then continue across the stage and down a ramp before returning to their seat from the opposite end of the row from which they left.

After all awards have been announced and the Guest of Honour and Student Union President have addressed the congregation, the Chair of the Board of Governors closes the proceedings. The platform party then leaves the marquee, followed by the new graduates, led by stewards, and guests should follow promptly.

Will the ceremony be recorded?

For guests who are unable to attend, the ceremony will be streamed live on the Harper Adams University website. A recording will remain available for one month following the ceremony.

After the ceremony

What happens when then ceremony is over?

Graduands and their guests will each receive complimentary light refreshments upon sight/receipt of their tickets in a location specific to course area. It is important that you and your guests attend the assigned venue for your course area. This information will be provided when graduands collect their tickets.

Please make arrangements to meet guests following your ceremony at the assigned venues, which will be shown on your Graduation Day campus map. It is important that the processional party vacates the area immediately surrounding the marquee promptly so that there is available space for others to exit the marquee behind them.

Will I receive my certificate on graduation day?

We will endeavour to distribute all certificates in the Sports Hall following the end of your graduation ceremony when you return your gown.

These are important documents and can only be collected by the recipient, who must show their student ID, after their ceremony.

Morning ceremony

Staff will be available to hand out morning ceremony certificates ONLY between 12.15pm and 1.45pm. (Official photographers use mock scrolls for the photographs.)

Afternoon ceremony

Staff will be available to hand out afternoon ceremony certificates ONLY between 4.15pm and 5.45pm. (Official photographers use mock scrolls for the photographs.)

Please note:Occasionally, it has not proved possible to distribute all certificates on the day of the ceremony, due to the security conditions associated with the external production of the certificates, which are valuable documents. On such occasions, the certificates are sent by secure postage to the registered home address of each graduate, at the University's expense.

What happens if I forget to collect my certificate on graduation day?

If graduands attend the ceremony and forget to collect their certificate in person within the time set out, it can either:

  • Be sent out to their registered home address by secure postage, after they have paid the cost for doing so (£20), or
  • Be collected in person, by prior arrangement only, with the Examinations Office.
Will my award be publicised in my local press or elsewhere?

Yes, but only if you work with the press team to prepare a story about you and your award. Look out for requests from the press office, via email and social media, to take part in photo shoots, videos and interviews.

If you have any other questions please contact or for urgent queries please contact Veronica Miller on 01952 815011

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