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Celebrating your achievements

Graduation day

Graduation day is an opportunity to look back and celebrate your achievements at AUB with classmates, friends and family present. To ensure graduands enjoy a rewarding and memorable experience at their graduation; we've outlined below some important information for those attending (both graduating and guests) on what to expect for the day ahead.

What to wear

Graduation Day is a milestone event and most guests and graduands choose to wear smart attire to commemorate the importance of the day.

We recommend graduands wear light layers in case of hot weather as the venue can be warm in summer.

When to arrive and where to go

Graduands must arrive early to the Pavilion Ballroom to collect and be fitted with your cap and gown. Please be prepared to queue to get your gown. We recommend arriving between 90 and 120 minutes prior to your ceremony start time.

Once all graduands have arrived and are gowned, you'll be called into your course groups and put into alphabetical order. Then each course will be led into the theatre to be seated. This process takes considerable time which is why we ask you to arrive so early.

Guests may arrive at the same time as graduands, but please be aware that seating will begin no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. While they wait outside the Pavilion, there will be a stand from which to purchase refreshments and the Campus Clothing stand which sells AUB graduation memorabilia.

What to expect

This is for your information only, please rest assured you don't need to memorise these instructions! You'll be guided through the entire procedure from start to finish on the day.

Please arrive early.

As a reminder, if you are arriving to Bournemouth by car, you'll be able to park at any of the car parks located in the town centre - most of which are just a short walking distance away from the venue. Please note there is no parking available at the Pavilion Theatre. There is, however, a convenient passenger drop-off area in front of the Pavilion.

You are welcome to gather and meet with your friends briefly outside the main entrance and take photos in front of the fountain. There will be a stand with AUB memorabilia available for purchase and a refreshment cart where your guests may purchase refreshments while they wait till the Pavilion doors open for seating (30 minutes prior to ceremony start time).

Please cross the barrier marked 'Graduand and Academic Access Only' to join the queue for Graduand gowning (signposted). Once you enter this area, you may not exit again. There is a cloakroom available in the Pavilion, but we recommend leaving any valuables with your guests before joining the queue to be owned.

Please be prepared to queue for a while outside in all weathers. Graduands will enter the gowning room in small groups at a time to reduce crowding. Gowns will have pockets so you can keep your phone there and keep it with you.

Once inside, you'll be asked for your name at the door and then enter the Ballroom to be gowned. Please make sure you bring your E&R booking code (if you have one) given when hiring your gown. Staff will assist you to adjust your cap and gown.

You'll have time to drop off any (non-valuable) belongings at the cloakroom, use the washrooms, and grab a drink of water if needed, whilst waiting for your course usher to gather your group.

Course ushers will gather in the Ballroom with signs displaying each course name. They'll call out for you to head towards the course usher, so please listen carefully.

Your course usher will give you your name card and line you up in alphabetical order. You must keep hold of this card as you'll pass to the Orator on stage who will call out your name.

Thirty (30) minutes before the ceremony begins, course ushers will lead you into the theatre where you'll be seated.

  1. Your course usher will get you up in plenty of time to lead you over towards the stage. Graduands are announced alphabetically in their course groups. We don't announce what level of degree you have been awarded.

  2. You’ll be invited to climb up the stage steps and wait there for your turn.

  3. You’ll be invited to hand your name card to the announcer.

  4. Your name will be announced, cross the stage and pause centre stage.

  5. To minimise physical contact, in lieu of a handshake this year you'll be asked instead to pause midway across the stage, make eye contact and doff your cap to Chancellor Sir Christopher Frayling as a formal gesture. Then continue to cross to the other side of the stage where you'll go down the steps.

  6. At the bottom of the steps, you’ll be directed out into the corridor and around to re-enter the theatre through a different entrance and be directed to an available seat (note this will be a different seat than the one in which you were originally seated).

  7. Please note that you'll not be handed your scroll or certificate on stage at graduation. This will be sent to you by post afterwards.

There will be a staggered departure from the theatre. Once the stage party has left the stage, graduates will be invited to leave the theatre, head down the corridor and down some flights of stairs to exit the building straight out onto the lower terraces meeting point.

Guests will then be invited to exit the theatre and directly outside onto the West Terrace, then down a flight of steps to the lower terraces where they'll reconvene with graduates at the dedicated meeting point which will be signposted. Guests and graduates will reconvene at the rear of the building.

After exiting, you can follow the signs to the photography studio at Pavilion Dance to have your pre-booked photos taken (this will involve queuing) and/or follow AUB staff directing you to walk to the Beach Marquee (approx. 15-minute walk) where the post-ceremony Reception takes place. Please note last entry is 15 min. before the end of the reception.

Your reception ticket is needed for entry and entitles you to one glass of champagne. A live band will be performing. No ticket, no entry, no exceptions (this includes graduates!).

Before you leave the event, please remember to return your gown to Ede & Ravenscroft (if hired from our recommended supplier E&R) at Pavilion Dance by 18:00 at the latest.

If you have an accessibility (or other special) requirement

Graduands with an accessibility requirement (e.g., unable to climb steps) or other special requests should let us know of their requirement in advance when registering for graduation. A member of the graduation Team will be in touch directly with you. We will do our best to accommodate you and make suitable arrangements, so you are comfortable on the day.

To read more about accessibility at the venues, please refer to our Accessibility requirements page.

Explore more

A theatre full of people in graduation dress, viewed form the back with a stage blurred in the background.


AUB's graduation ceremony is a great time to celebrate your achievements with your family and friends
A large crowd of people, many of them in graduation dress, gather on a beach in front of a pier for a photo.

Graduation FAQs

We've answered some questions you might have about our graduation ceremonies
Two people lift up a person in graduation dress and pose as a photographer takes their photo on a beach.

Costs – planning ahead

Please be aware there are some additional costs associated with participating in Graduation. We appreciate that students are often on...
Students at their graduation celebrating on Bournemouth beach

Guest tickets

Each graduand is entitled to bring a maximum of two guests to attend their ceremony. These guest tickets can be purchased for £25 each...
People in graduation dress gathering on Bournemouth's pier approach.

Gown hire and photography

Once you receive your invite to register for graduation, you may book your gown, hood and cap. We recommend hiring these directly...
Image of the outside of a theatre building with bushes and palm trees in the foreground. The word "Pavilion" is on the outside of the building.

Venue and live video stream

Graduation ceremonies will be held at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre which is in the town centre. A Video live stream will also be...
Three people in graduation dress pose for a photo inside a marquee.

Graduation terms and conditions

Please read this section carefully as your registration and (if applicable) purchase of guest tickets for your graduation ceremony is...
People in graduation dress throw mortar board hats into the air.

Filming and photography

We'll have our in-house photographers circling throughout the event capturing those special moments of your day.
Two people in graduation dress hug.


We've collected photos and videos of the AUB graduation ceremonies from over the years, which are free for you to download and enjoy