Graduating from Kent

A ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral

Guide to graduating

Graduations are an exciting time at the University of Kent, as it is when your degrees and awards are officially conferred, and you can celebrate your achievements! This page contains everything you need to know to prepare for your graduation, from invitations and registering, to hiring your gown, all the way through to your special day.

Ceremony dates

These will become available when dates have been confirmed.


Invitations to your ceremony

We will send the official invitation to your graduation ceremony by email, to both your Kent and personal (as on the Student Data System) email addresses. 

You will be able to select how many guest tickets you would like (up to a maximum of two) as part of the registration process, once you have received your invitation.

What to do when you receive your invitation

Book your gown hire

You need to hire a gown for your graduation ceremony through our supplier, the Graduate Gowning Company. 

Find out about hiring a gown

Extra tickets?

It is important to stress that students should not rely on extra ticket availability; we cannot guarantee that extra tickets will be available for your ceremonies. 

We will send you an email to let you know if there are any extra tickets, once registration has closed, and if so, how to purchase them.


Check your legal name on SDS

Please make sure your legal name is correct on the Student Data System - this is how it will be printed on your certificate! 

Check/amend your legal name

Request a visa letter

If you need a visa for you or your guests in order to attend your graduation ceremony, we can issue a visa letter to support your application. Please do not apply for a visa letter before you have received your invitation.    

Learn about requesting a visa letter

Clear any University debts

If you have a debt to the University, you may not be allowed to graduate.

Find out more

Let us know about any specific requirements you (or your guests) have

Your graduation day is a very special end to your academic career, and we want to ensure that you have the best experience possible on this day.  

Let us know about your specific requirements
Guests outside at Shirley Hall

On the day



You will need to arrive in good time to collect your gown and exchange your guests' e-receipts. We recommend arriving at least two hours before your ceremony start time. We cannot guarantee graduands who arrive late will be permitted to enter the Cathedral once the ceremony has started. 


Exchange e-receipts for guest tickets

We will send e-receipts to the email address you use to register, one week prior to your ceremony. 

The e-receipts will contain barcodes which need to be scanned and exchanged for physical tickets at Shirley Hall (Canterbury) or the Corn Exchange (Rochester). The e-receipts can be printed or brought on smartphones. 


Collect your gown

You can only collect your gown on the day of your ceremony, from Shirley Hall (Canterbury) or the Corn Exchange (Rochester). Hired gowns must be returned the same day. 


Get your official photographs

Official Graduation photography is organised by H Tempest. They offer the formal photographs of the graduand (with or without guests), and the photo taken of the graduand shaking hands with the Presiding Officer, during the ceremony. There is no need to book in advance.  


Guests - join the queue

Guests may begin queuing outside the Cathedral, around 90 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. Doors will open roughly one hour before the ceremony start time. Seats are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the medieval design of the Cathedrals some seats have restricted views - there are televisions showing a live stream of the ceremony for guests in these seats. 


Graduands - check in

To notify us that you are present for your ceremony on the day, you need to check in at Chapter House (Canterbury) or the Corn Exchange (Rochester). You must check in no later than one hour before your ceremony. 



After check-in, staff will then give you complete directions of what to expect during the ceremony. 

Congratulations and enjoy!