Essential information: dates, tickets, costs and gowns

Graduation is held twice a year, in April and November, at Senate House in Bloomsbury, central London (WC1).

The November 2017 ceremonies will be held on 14, 15 and 16 November. Find out more.

Booking your ticket

  • Eligible graduates will be emailed an invitation around six weeks beforehand.
  • If you have not receive your invitation, please email the
  • Graduates may be initially limited to one guest for very full ceremonies, but most graduates are able to bring two guests. Occasionally, graduates can bring three guests, if there is space in the ceremony. 
  • If you do not contact us before the booking deadline, we will not be able to hold graduate or guest places and they will be reallocated. 
  • Tickets are available for collection on the day of your ceremony, from the Royal National Hotel

Gowns

  • Almost all graduates choose to hire an academic gown to wear to Graduation, which consists of a gown, hood and hat. 
  • You need to hire your own gown in advance of the ceremony. You can do this easily and directly with Birkbeck's academic gown supplier, Ede and Ravenscroft, who will be able to answer all of your queries about hiring and wearing a gown. 
  • The online system for academic gowns will open as soon as we email your invitation. It will close two to three weeks before the ceremony. 
  • Gown hire usually costs between £45 and £75. 
  • You collect your gown on the day from the Royal National Hotel, along with your tickets. 
  • There is no formal dress code for graduates and their guests, but many choose to wear formal clothing.  

Guest tickets 

  • Guests are very welcome, but the number of guests you can bring will depend on how full the Graduation ceremony is. Graduates may be initially limited to one guest for very full ceremonies, but most graduates are able to bring two guests. Occasionally, graduates can bring three guests, if there is space in the ceremony. 

Infants and children 

  • Birkbeck Graduation is a family friendly event and we welcome babies, infants, children and young adults (up to 17) who are accompanied by an adult. There is space to leave prams and pushchairs. 
  • Tickets for children aged between three and 17 years old cost £15. 
  • There is no charge for children from newborn to two years old, seated on an adult’s lap. 
  • We arrange for guests with young children to be seated near a door, so that you can leave the hall if necessary. 
  • If you are bringing young children, please bear in mind that the ceremony can feel quite long to young guests and includes formal speeches and presentations. 
  • We are unable to provide a creche.  

Disabled guests 

  • We will always make every effort to accommodate the needs of all of our guests, but it is important that we are made aware of disabled guest's requirements well in advance of the ceremony. Please make your requirements clear on your booking form and  if you wish to discuss your guest's needs in great detail, so we can make adequate provision. 

Extra guest tickets 

  • If a Graduation ceremony is not fully booked, we will release extra guest tickets for sale online after the booking deadline has passed. 
  • These are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and we will email details to all graduates. 

Ticket costs

  • Tickets for graduates are free. 
  • Tickets for guests are £33 each, if booked in advance.
  • Tickets for children and teenagers, aged from three to 17 years, cost £15. 
  • Tickets for newborn babies and infants, aged up to 2 years (seated on an adult’s lap), are free. 

Buying tickets on the day

  • If there is space available, tickets will be sold on the day. 
  • These tickets cost £37 and we can only accept payment in cash. The additional cost is to cover additional administration costs.  

Refunds

  • Refunds can only be given within seven days of purchase. 

Photography 

  • Professional photographers will provide studio and presentation portraits at the event. Please arrange this direct, via Ede and Ravenscroft portrait service.
  • Your guests may take photographs and/or use their own video cameras during the ceremony, but no tripods can be used. 
  • We ask guests to remain seated throughout the ceremony, so as not to block the view of other guests. 
  • We have a photographer on hand to take free photos of graduates and their guests for the Birkbeck Facebook page. We aim to upload the pictures to Facebook for you to share within a day of your ceremony. 

Merchandise 

  • A range of high quality Graduation souvenirs will be available to purchase, including Birkbeck engraved pens and paperweights. 

Acquiring a visa for Graduation 

  • If your Tier 4 visa will expire before your graduation date, you will need to return home (before your current visa expires) and apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to attend your Graduation ceremony. 
  • If you leave the UK after completing your course and your current Tier 4 visa is valid to cover your Graduation day, you will still need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa to come back to the UK.
  • If you require an invitation letter to your Graduation ceremony, please 
  • Read more about applying for a Standard Visitor visa on the Home Office website

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)