Hiring your gown

Wearing academic dress at a graduation ceremony is compulsory and you can not participate or cross the stage without it. It comprises of gown, hood and mortarboard and denotes your university and the level of the award you have obtained. On the day of your ceremony you should wear smart dress and it is recommended that you wear a shirt or blouse with buttons. Below are just a few examples of the style the gown will take; for a full gallery, please see gowns of the University.

gowns BA front  ‌ gowns BA back   gowns MSc back   gowns PhD front  

Gowns should be hired from our official provider through the William Northam website, by following How to hire your gown. Hiring the gown online will cost £26. Gown hire for the July 2024 graduation ceremonies will open once you receive your ceremony invite and close on Monday 24 June 2024. If you do not hire your gown before the deadline, you will need to hire your gown on the day at the higher cost of £30.

If you previously booked your gown for November 2023 and would like to transfer this to July 2024, please email customerservices@williamnortham.com, advise them of your new ceremony date and time and they can make the amendments to your order. 

Before you order, you need to have the following information available:

  • Your student ID number
  • The name of the award which you will be receiving
  • The time and date of your ceremony
  • Your chest size and your height – should you require any special requirements i.e. an extra large or small gown please make this clear when ordering. William Northam will endeavour to meet your requirements.
  • Your hat size - measure the circumference of your head approximately 2.5cms above your eyebrows, and state the measurement in centimetres or inches.
  • Your credit/debit card details.

In the event of problems, they can be contacted at:

Please note that William Northams is our official gown partner and you are advised not to purchase or hire your gown from any other supplier as the quality and design requirements cannot be guaranteed by alternative companies. Any student whose garment does not match the University’s design will not be allowed to cross the stage unless they first hire a correct gown, thus incurring further expense. We have a contract with Northam’s to ensure you can hire the right gown at a reasonable price. As part of that contract, Northam’s pays the University a small fee which we then re-invest into our graduation day offer, including the provision of a complimentary reception to celebrate your achievement. 

You should wear the academic dress of the degree which you are being awarded, NOT the dress of a degree which you may already hold.

Education students: if you have been awarded a Certificate in Education (Lifelong Learning) please select:

  • Level of award: Certificates and Diplomas
  • Name of award: CertEd

Further details of these charges, including the cost of additional hire time or purchasing a gown, can be found at www.williamnortham.com.

To facilitate a more comprehensive service, the University will share your name, student ID number, level and title of your award and date of your ceremony with our supplier of graduation gowns, William Northam.  That organisation is bound by an obligation to process personal data in accordance with the governing principles behind the Data Protection Act and specific contractual arrangements with the University.  Your information will not be shared with any other third party. Northams’ privacy policy, which explains how your personal data is used by them, can be found at www.williamnortham.com.