Summer Graduation 2019 - Information for guests

Graduation is a proud day for everyone involved.  The information below should answer any questions you may have regarding this special day. We have also provided links to more detailed information on the right hand side of this page.  We look forward to welcoming you to The University of Sheffield.

Dates and times of ceremonies

Graduation Week Ceremony Schedule

Venue - guest info

Venue, travel & parking

Graduation ceremonies are held in Convocation Hall, The Octagon Centre, with related activities for graduands and their guests (such as gown hire and photography) taking place in the Students' Union next door. The Octagon Centre and Students' Union can be found at map reference D4 (118) and E4 (120) respectively on the Campus Map.

Information on travelling to the University, along with details on car parking facilities, can be found by using the link on the right hand side of the page. We strongly advise planning to arrive on campus at least 90 minutes before the start time of the ceremony.

Security - guest info


The safety and security of visitors to the university has always been, and continues to be, our highest priority. As a condition of entry the following procedures will be in place:

  • A search regime will be in place and all bags will be searched. No bag larger than a small handbag will be allowed into the building. Please do not bring large bags or suitcases to the Octagon Centre or the Sheffield Students' Union.
  • There will be person searches on entry. Please be assured that the male and female staff conducting them are trained in person searches and will conduct them appropriately and with dignity.
  • Alcohol is not permitted in the Octagon Centre and anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted entry.
  • Please arrive as near as possible to the published opening times. Please bear in mind that you will need to arrive, robed, at the published time for your ceremony. Graduands will be given priority access to the Octagon Centre.

We would ask that guests be patient and understand that these heightened security procedures may impact on queue times and/or the prohibition of items permitted in the Octagon Centre.

Tickets - guest info


The graduand you are accompanying will request guest tickets on your behalf when they register for graduation.  Each graduand is guaranteed a maximum of two guest tickets for family or friends who wish to attend the ceremony. We recognise that limiting guest tickets in this way may cause disappointment, but you will appreciate that the seating capacity of the hall is limited.

The majority of graduands will be issued with e-tickets which they can print or bring on an electronic device, when they access their examination results.  Graduands will be notified by email of the date and time that these will be available.

Special seats - guest info

Guests with special requirements

Your graduand was given the opportunity to advise us of any special requirements when they registered for graduation.  Therefore, suitable seats will be reserved in the hall for guests with disabilities or mobility difficulties.  Induction loop facilities are available in the hall for those with hearing impairments and we can also make arrangements for a BSL signer to be available, providing we are advised when the graduand registers for the ceremony. 

Due to data protection laws, we cannot confirm to a third party if a graduand has made arrangements.  Therefore, please ask your graduand to ensure they have advised us of any special arrangements of this nature when they registered for graduation.

Grad screening - guest info

Live screening of the ceremonies

If you don't have a ticket to the ceremony but would like to join in the celebrations on the day, you can watch the ceremony live in the Auditorium in the Students' Union, where the atmosphere is informal and no tickets are required. The venue is fully accessible.

Each ceremony is also broadcast live online, enabling you to watch from anywhere in the world.  The stream will go live 30 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony.  You can access the stream by using the link on the right.

Please note that these are live broadcasts, not recordings, so will not be available to view afterwards. More information can be found by clicking the link on the right of this page.

Souvenir programme - guest info

Souvenir programme

Graduation programmes are free of charge and copies are available in Convocation Hall, Octagon Centre for all graduands and guests.

The ceremony

Door opening times for guests

Doors to guests will be opened approximately 30 minutes prior to the start time of the ceremony, or as soon as possible once all graduands are seated. Guests should be in their allocated seats 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

Doors to the hall will be closed 10 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. 

Guests with children

Due to the length and formal nature of proceedings we do not reccomend taking young children in ot the ceremony.  Children over the age of three attending the ceremony require a ticket. As an alternative, you may wish to watch the ceremony live in the Auditorium in the Students' Union, where the atmosphere is informal and no tickets are required. 

Due to health and safety restrictions, prams should be left in the complementary Octagon cloakroom.

Photography and film

Guests are welcome to take photographs and record the ceremony from seats so that the view is not obstructed.  Tripods and other equipment are not permitted and there is strictly no admittance onto the platform at any time.

Dress code for guests

There is no official dress code for guests, however the ceremony is a formal occasion and most people choose to dress smartly in accordance with this.

Movement during the ceremony

Wherever possible, guests are requested to remain seated for the duration of the ceremony.  Anyone leaving the hall may be asked to wait until a suitable break in proceedings before being allowed to return.

Graduand and guest conduct

Graduands and guests are expected to behave in a manner fitting for the occasion. Any person who becomes disruptive will be asked to leave the hall.

Ceremony length

We expect each ceremony to last between 60 and 90 minutes.