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Graduation FAQs

We've put together these frequently asked questions to answer any queries that you might have about the 2018 BU Graduation ceremonies. We'll add more information as we get closer to the ceremony dates.

Visit the ceremony dates and add your ceremony to your calendar and check your contact details are up to date so we send your invitation email to the correct address.

If you have any further questions, please contact AskBU.


Important dates

  • Early August: We will start sending out invites
  • 11 October: Booking deadline - make sure you have booked before 11.59pm on this date, or you will not be able to attend
  • 12 October: Deadline to order your gown - you need this to be able to cross the stage
  • 5 – 9 November: Graduation time! Find the date for your ceremony on our graduation ceremony dates page.

On the day

When you arrive at the BIC make your way to the Solent Hall to collect your gown and have your professional photographs taken (if you have chosen to have them).

Guest seating is allocated by door number, so make sure your guests know which door to use, then they can choose their own seats. Graduate seating is via a different door at the front of the hall, so once your guests are settled you need to go and find your fellow graduates. Your course marshal will make sure you have the correct seat, which are allocated by course, alphabetically by surname.

After the ceremony you can meet your family, friends and lecturers in the Purbeck Hall for a glass of fizz and entertainment, this part of the day lasts for about an hour. There will also be photo opportunities in the Tregonwell Hall, which is also where you need to return your gown before you leave.

For more information about what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your special day watch our short video - What to expect at BU graduation.

Booking information

Booking for graduation closes at midnight (11.59pm) on Thursday 11 October 2018. Due to preparations for the ceremonies we can not accept requests to attend the ceremony after this date.

I’ve missed the booking deadline, what can I do?
Unfortunately, once the deadline of midnight on Thursday 11 October 2018 has passed, you will not be able to attend this year’s graduation ceremony. You can still request your certificate and this will be posted to you after the ceremonies.

Read the BU graduation ticketing terms and conditions (pdf 146kb)

Visa information

How do I get a student status letter?
If you need to apply for a visa to attend your graduation, either for yourself or family members, BU can provide a letter confirming your student status. You will need to complete the online letter request form. Please allow at least a week to receive this.

If you have any further queries please contact AskBU (please include your 7 digit BU student reference number).

Venue and dates

The dates for all ceremonies are available on our graduation pages.

Graduation takes place at the Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Rd, Bournemouth BH2 5BH. 

There is a pay & display car park at the venue but this can get very busy, a list of alternative public car parks can be found on the Bournemouth Council website. There are dedicated parking spaces for blue badge holders at the BIC, subject to availability.

Bournemouth International Centre does have a cloakroom facility, which costs £1.50 per item. For security reasons please do not bring large bags or cases to the venue. There will be an extra security presence at the BIC throughout graduation, and bags are subject to searches (including those left in the cloakroom).

Accessibility and special requirements

I have special requirements for my seat, how do I let you know?
You will be asked about this as part of your booking and we will allocate a suitable space for you in the halls with your fellow graduates. We may contact you ahead of the day to discuss in more detail.

A lift is available to access the stage, should you need it - please let us know when you book online.

My guests have specific requirements, do I need to tell you?
Yes please. When you book your tickets you’ll be asked if your guests have any special requirements. We will review these after the booking deadline in October and allocate suitable seating. We may contact you ahead of the day to discuss in more detail.

What arrangements can be made for people with additional requirements?

  • Seating arrangements can be made to meet additional requirements. Student seating is located on the flat floor area in front of the stage. Guest seating is normally on the tiered area behind the students so it is important we know of any mobility issues to help us allocate seating.
  • A lift is available to help you access the stage to receive your award, otherwise steps are used to get on and off the stage. If use of the lift is required please let us know when booking and we will contact you to confirm arrangements for the day.
  • If you or your guests require the loan of a wheelchair for the day, your local British Red Cross may be able to assist you.
  • Dedicated parking for holders of special permits and blue badges are available at the BIC, subject to availabilty.
  • BSL interpreters are only available upon request. Please let us know when you book if you need BSL interpreters at the ceremony and if you or your guests need to be seated in clear sight of them. 
  • Induction loop system - The BIC is able to supply additional equipment to anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing in order to make use of their induction loop system. Please let us know when you book if you or your guests need to use this service.
  • Assistance dogs are permitted at the BIC, but please let us know when booking if you or your guests will be bringing an assistance dog with you so we can allocate you suitable seating. Water for assistance dogs is available from the First Aid Room, located on the ground floor of the BIC.
  • Please let us know when you book if you would like the Graduation Ceremony Programme to be made available in Braille.

Guest tickets

How much are guest tickets?
Two guest tickets are guaranteed up until the booking deadline (Thursday 11 October 2018) and these are free. When you book to attend you’ll have the option to request and pay for additional tickets at a cost of £15 each. We will confirm if we can accommodate your request after the booking deadline has passed. If we aren’t able to accommodate your request we will automatically refund your ticket(s).

What’s the difference between guaranteed and requested tickets?
We have to manage guest numbers at the BIC and make sure everyone has an equal chance of having their guests with them on graduation day. To do this we can only guarantee two guest tickets per graduate, you can book these at any time up until the booking deadline and these are free.

We also give you the opportunity to request and pay for additional tickets and we’ll let you know if these are available after the booking deadline. If we aren’t able to accommodate your request we will automatically refund your ticket(s).

Can children come to the ceremony?
Your graduation ceremony could last up to two hours (this varies depending on the number of graduates attending) so we advise against bringing young children. If you need to bring children with you they will still need a ticket - tickets for children under 12 are free (when you book you’ll be asked to confirm the ages of any children attending). 

The guest seating area is in a separate part of the hall from the graduates’ seating area so children will need to come with another guest to supervise them.

When will I receive my tickets?
Guest ticket allocation will be confirmed towards the end of October via email. You will receive your tickets via email just before your ceremony at the beginning of November.

If you are worried you haven't received them please contact AskBU (please include your 7 digit BU student reference number).

Where will my guests be sitting?
Your guest tickets will have a door number for one of the entrances to the Windsor Hall at the BIC. We ask that they use the correct door but once inside the hall they can sit anywhere - either as a group, or separately if they prefer.

The guest seating area is in a separate part of the hall from the graduates’ seating area.

What is the cancellation policy for guest tickets?
Please read the BU graduation ticketing terms and conditions (pdf 146kb) for more information.

My guests can’t come, can they watch it online?
Yes, all ceremonies will be live streamed on the university website, they’ll also be available later in the week on our YouTube channel.

Will BU and others be filming and taking photos during graduation?

BU will be filming the graduation ceremonies. The film will be live-streamed through the BU website, and will later be available to view on YouTube. If you have any concerns about this, please contact to discuss - however please note that we are unlikely to be able to guarantee your privacy, particularly with regard to the live-stream.

BU will also be taking photographs, and filming, throughout the day of all graduation ceremonies, and will be including some of these films and photographs in frequent social media posts. Please see here for our standard information about use of personal images recorded at BU events. However, due to the size and nature of the graduation event we are unlikely to be able to guarantee that we will not include particular individuals in photographs, film or social media on the day. Again, please contact us if you have any queries or concerns about this. We will take into account any concerns or objections you have in relation to future use of photographs in our marketing or publicity materials.

Graduation merchandise

BU hoodies and gifts are available to order from the Students' Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU). Graduation hoodies - with graduate names - are also be available to pre-order. A selection of these will be available during graduation but we recommend pre-ordering to ensure you get your preferred size and colour. You will be asked if you are happy for your name to be included on SUBU merchandise (this includes hoodies) when you register for your ceremony.

SUBU graduation parties

Check out the celebratory graduation parties SUBU will be hosting at Old Fire Station throughout the week. You can book your tickets for these from the 1 September.