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Preparing for your ceremony

Academic dress and graduation photography

Your new qualification entitles you to wear Open University academic dress which consists of a robe and hood.

It is not compulsory to wear academic dress at your ceremony however, most students prefer to.

For convenience, the Open University works with Ede and Ravenscroft who attend all ceremonies to provide academic dress and professional photography for graduates.  

Hiring through Ede and Ravenscroft means the correct academic dress will be available for you upon arrival at the ceremony venue, and their team will be available to support you with correctly placing your hood, ensuring you look your best for your photos and celebrations.

More information is available at or telephone +44 (0) 1223 861854.

Please note, hire of academic dress and purchase of photography should be arranged after you have booked your ceremony place and at least 15 working days before your ceremony date.

Mortarboards, hats, or bonnets are not worn at our degree ceremonies and graduates are not allowed to wear these or any other institutional / non institutional academic dress at the ceremony.

If you would like to wear a mortarboard, hat, or bonnet for your official photographs, there will be some available to borrow for this purpose only from the photography studios.

The academic dress that you will wear for your ceremony will be specific to the qualification you have completed. Different robe and hood colours signify graduates of different qualification types. If you would like to view the complete range of Open University academic dress, you can do so here.

In addition to the studio photography available on your ceremony day, Ede & Ravenscroft photographers will be capturing images of graduates as they cross the stage which you will be able to buy and take home on the day. These do not need to be pre-booked.

Alternatively, these presentation photographs can be viewed in the online gallery on the Ede & Ravenscroft website a few days after the ceremony date, where they are available to purchase. A password will be required to access the photo gallery which will be sent to you by email approximately 2 weeks before your ceremony date. If you do not want your photograph included in the online gallery, please email to request its removal.

For those students who are awaiting their final module result, we recommend that you do not arrange the hire of academic dress until your qualification completion has been confirmed.

What to wear with your gown

Most people choose to wear smart or more formal attire to reflect this special occasion. You can also wear your national or cultural dress. Military uniforms may also be worn.


On your ceremony day, your name will be announced to the congregation as you are presented to the Presiding Officer. It is important to us that your name is pronounced correctly, and while human error remains a possibility, we strive to avoid mispronunciation as much as possible. To assist us in getting this right, please contact us 4 weeks before your ceremony date with a phonetic pronunciation of your full name. This tool can help you work out the phonetic spelling of your name: #MyNameIs - Name Pronunciation Tool - Race Equality Matters

Additional requirements

If you indicated that you or any of your guests have additional requirements when making your ceremony booking – e.g. wheelchair users, difficulty negotiating stairs, etc. – you will be contacted by a member of our Ceremonies team in the weeks before your ceremony. They will contact you to request the details of your / your guest’s additional requirement so that we can take these into consideration when making our arrangements for the ceremony day.

Visit your ceremony information page

Ahead of your ceremony day, you should familiarise yourself with the information page for your specific ceremony. This page can be accessed by visiting our List of ceremonies page and then by clicking the ‘View’ button next to your chosen ceremony.

This page contains helpful information such as a schedule for the ceremony day, where registration / photography / academic dress collection, etc. will be located and important details about the venue itself (i.e. facilities available, travel information, etc.). The page will also contain a link to a map of the venue to help you get around on your ceremony day.

Contact us

The Ceremonies Centre is open and ready to support you.

Ceremonies Centre
PO Box 123
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
+44 (0) 1908 541079
Mon to Thurs 09:00 - 16:30
Fri 09:00 - 16:00

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