Graduation gown hire

Hiring your Graduation robe

You need to hire your academic robe, hood and mortar board/cap from the University’s official gowning company, the Graduate Gowning Company. You will receive an email confirming how and when to book your Gown.

We strongly advise you book your gown in advance as it will cost more if you hire it on the day of Graduation.

  • Advanced orders (online) - £45
  • Hire on the day - £52

Further information about the day of the ceremony including where to collect and return your gown can be found on our Graduation pages.

Refunds

If you have ordered and paid for your gown and then find you are unable to attend your ceremony, please contact the Graduate Gowning Company directly to see if you are eligible for a refund.

Important Information

Graduation is a formal event and all Graduands are expected to wear the gown appropriate for their level of award.

The University of Essex has appointed the Graduate Gowning Company as our official Graduation Gown supplier, meaning you will only be able to attend your ceremony as a Graduand wearing a gown they have provided. If you hire or purchase a gown provided by other companies such as Churchill Gowns, Gowning Street, Graduation or Evess you will not be permitted to attend your ceremony unless you hire an official robe from the Graduate Gowning Company (at full cost). The University of Essex is not liable for any additional costs incurred if you hire/purchase a gown from an unaffiliated gowning company.

Buying your Graduation robe

You can buy your full Graduation attire including robe, mortarboard/cap, and hood from our official supplier the Graduate Gowning Company. Please contact the Graduate Gowning Company directly for prices and general enquiries.

To be eligible to buy any part of your Graduation robing you must have had a degree awarded. If you are not sure then please contact graduation@essex.ac.uk who will be more than happy to advise.

Dress code

Graduation is a formal ceremony and as such smart attire must be worn. Any graduand who does not comply with the dress code may not be admitted to the ceremony. Graduands can wear what they feel fits their gender identity and expression best underneath their gowns as long as it is ‘smart attire’. Denim, t-shirts, trainers, flip-flops and other items of casual clothing are not deemed appropriate for Graduation events.

National dress

International students who would like to wear their own national dress are very welcome to do so along with the gown, hood and mortar board/cap.

Footwear

During the ceremony, you will be required to walk up and down steep stairs within the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall to be presented to the Chancellor or Presiding Officer. We strongly recommend that you wear comfortable footwear. If you are wearing high heels please ensure that you feel comfortable wearing them in order to walk up and down stairs. It is recommended that you bring a pair of flat shoes so that you can change into them if you have problems.

Wheelchair users

If you are a wheelchair user, the gowning company may be able to alter a gown so that it is easier for you to wear. Please contact the Graduate Gowning Company directly to discuss this.

Photos of University of Essex gowns

Below are examples of some of the University official gowns. For full details of the gowns for your degree please see the University's gowning company.

Foundation degrees (FdA and FdSc)

Foundation Degree Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is partly lined in the University red, and a black mortar board. (The red stripe around the neck of the hood is slightly narrower than the stripe around the neck of the Bachelors Degree hood).

Graduation gown foundation front
Graduation gown foundation back

Bachelors degrees (BA, BSc, BEng, LLB)

Bachelors Degree Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is fully lined in the University red, and a black mortar board. (The red stripe around the neck of the hood is slightly wider than the stripe around the neck of the Foundation Degree hood).

Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas

Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is edged in the University red and white, and a black mortar board.

Masters degrees (MA, MSc)

Masters Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is lined with the University red and edged in white, and a black mortar board.

LLM degrees

Master of Law Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is lined with the University red and edged in white and black, and a black mortar board.

Graduation gown llm front
Graduation gown llm back

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Master of Philosophy Graduands wear a black gown, a black hood that is lined in the University red and white, and a black mortar board.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy Graduands wear a gown with the body in black and the sleeves in maroon, a hood in red with a maroon lining, and a black cap (bonnet) with a maroon cord.

Professional Doctorate

Professional Doctorate Graduands wear a gown with the body in black and the sleeves in maroon, a hood in red with a maroon lining, the edge trimmed in black, and a black cap (bonnet) with a maroon cord.

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