How to hire your gown

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Hiring your gown

Cancelling your gown before the ceremony

Collecting your gown

Returning your gown

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 must be hired from the William Northam website from 6 March until 24 June 2019. If done online the cost is £25.

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:

If you miss the deadline, gowns can be hired on the day of your ceremony; however, the hire cost will be considerably more. 

Please note that William Northams is our official provider 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.

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

Cancelling your gown before the ceremony

If you are unsuccessful in passing your course you must cancel your robe in order to receive a refund. This must be done directly with Northams no less than 7 days prior to the date of your ceremony.

You should also ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions on the William Northam website, especially with regard to cancellation of robe hire.

Please also email to inform us that you will no longer be attending your ceremony.

Collecting your gown on the day

Gowns should be collected from the University Campus on the day of your ceremony once you have registered at the Registration Desk.  Please see the arrival times and deadlines part of this website for details of collection and return times.

Returning your gown

Gowns should be returned on the day of your ceremony to the returns area located on the University Campus.


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