Tickets and guest information

Book tickets
Family hugging at graduation

Celebrate together

Graduation is the highlight of our academic year and we’re really excited to be welcoming you back to campus to help you celebrate your achievement with your family and friends.

Purchasing guest tickets

Before making your booking for Graduation in 2022, please ensure you review and agree to the University’s Graduation COVID-19 Policy (.pdf). The COVID-19 Graduation Policy sets out the arrangements the University of Essex has in place to deliver our commitments to safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of the University and wider community in response to COVID-19, while delivering a high quality Graduation experience for our graduates and their friends, family and supporters.

All guest ticket bookings for Graduation are subject to our Graduation booking terms and conditions (.pdf) and Graduation COVID-19 Policy (.pdf). The University reserves the right to make changes to any arrangements set out in this policy related to Graduation in order to respond to Government guidelines, our legal obligations and to maintain the safety of our community.

Your ticket

You do not have to pay for your own Graduation ticket which allows you entry to your ceremony and your departmental reception afterwards. A complimentary Graduation programme which includes your name and a Certificate holder will also be available to take away with you.

Guest tickets

In the first phase of ticket sales, each student can purchase two tickets at a cost of £25 per guest, which will admit guests to the graduation ceremony in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall and to the departmental reception, which includes light refreshments.

Bringing children to Graduation

Children aged five and over are welcome at Graduation but every child must be accompanied by an adult who is responsible for the child's behaviour whilst on campus.


Babies and children under five years of age will not be admitted into the ceremony. Please see our Guest Tickets Policy (.pdf) for information. Children aged five and over may attend the ceremony accompanied by an adult and must have a ticket purchased for them. There are no discounts for children's tickets. Please note, it is not possible to leave the ceremony once it has started; the ceremony will last for approximately two hours.

If a ticket has been purchased for a child under five, then a cancellation request must be submitted by the deadline below as the child will not be admitted to the ceremony and money will not be refunded on the day.

Live screening

Children of any age can visit the live screening of the ceremony in the Lakeside Theatre in Square 5 accompanied by an adult. The ceremony will be screened free of charge and it is possible to leave the room during the ceremony if your child is unsettled. We recommend this option as more suitable for younger children.

Inviting additional guests onto campus for Graduation

Additional guests can visit the Colchester Campus with you on the day of your Graduation, but will not be able to enter the ceremony or departmental reception without a guest ticket.

The Graduation ceremony will be screened live and any guests without tickets are welcome to use this facility to watch the ceremony. Children under five are welcome to watch the ceremony in the Lakeside Theatre too so long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Cancelling your guest tickets and refunds

Cancel your guest tickets

If you wish to cancel your guest tickets, you must do so in writing via email or letter to the Graduation Office. Requests must be sent by the student and contain the student's full name, registration number and address, with details of the number of guest tickets that should be cancelled.


All refunds will be processed after Graduation when the University's Income Section will arrange to reimburse the payment card you used. In exceptional circumstances, a cheque can be issued and sent to a student's permanent home address, unless an alternative address has been provided. It is very important that you keep your home address up to date via MyEssex.

Refunds will be off-set against any outstanding debt owed by the student to the University. Where the outstanding debt is higher than the sum of the refund, no refund will be given.

If you have purchased guest tickets but subsequently become ineligible to receive an award, as determined by the Board of Examiners, you will automatically have your booking cancelled and a full refund will be processed in August. Postgraduate research students, who have not had their award conferred upon them ahead of their Graduation ceremony, will also receive a refund in August.

The Academic Registrar may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a refund in respect of cancellation requests.

Unable to attend

If you are unable to attend your graduation ceremony, in some circumstances you can request a deferral to attend a graduation ceremony at a later date. More information on deferrals and the grounds for making request can be found in our Graduation Deferral Policy and Procedure (.pdf). Please read this information before submitting a request for deferral.

Dress code for guests

Guests should wear smart/formal dress, suitable for the occasion.

Accommodation for guests

For information about accommodation during Graduation, phone +44 (0) 1206 872358.

Help with graduation costs

If you’re having financial difficulties, we may be able to help you with the cost of attending your Graduation. The University’s Graduation Assistance Fund is available to students experiencing financial hardship who are eligible to attend a Graduation ceremony in July 2022.  The fund covers the cost of up to two guest tickets and the advance hire of an academic gown.   

You must meet the eligibility requirements to be considered, please read the full eligibility criteria for the Graduation Assistance Fund (.pdf), prior to submitting your application. All applications must be submitted via our online form alongside all relevant supporting evidence. The deadline for submitting applications is midnight on Sunday 26 June – applications made after this deadline will not be considered.   

Successful applicants will be allocated up to two guest tickets for their Graduation ceremony and have an academic gown ordered for them – there is no cash alternative. Successful applicants who have already purchased their guest tickets and/or their academic gowns, will be refunded via their original payment method as soon as possible after the ceremonies have concluded. 

Access and disability needs

If you or your guests have any individual needs, for example, if special seating or wheelchair space is required, please complete Step 3 of the online booking system where you will be able to provide full details of what you need. Please note that we don't provide wheelchairs for Graduation.


Students and guests with mobility problems are usually seated at the front of the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall (ICLH) in reserved seating where there is adequate leg room, and where there are no steps to climb. If a guest requires reserved seating, we would also reserve seats for all the guests in the group so that they can sit together, or sit in rows behind or in front of each other depending on whether wheelchair space is required. Stewards are available at Graduation specifically to show students and guests to where the reserved seating is.

Students can choose to progress out through the central aisle of the ICLH with the rest of the graduates or via another route. If you would like to take a look at the ICLH when it is set up for the ceremonies to see what is involved, then please contact


With regard to disabled parking, students and/or guests can park in the South campus car park in a reserved area which is closest to the ICLH. Again you will need to complete Step 3 of the online booking system in order to provide us with details, for example, car registration number and the name of the disabled person.

If you would prefer to speak to someone in person about a specific medical condition, then please contact Be assured that we will do all that we can to help your Graduation run smoothly.

Graduation tickets

We're excited to welcome you back to campus to celebrate your success with your family and friends. The online booking system for guest tickets is now open for our Winter Graduation ceremonies and Spring Graduation ceremonies.

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