Gowning and Photography

Academic dress can be hired from our gowning partner, who supply graduation wear for many of the world’s leading institutions. This will include a gown, mortar board and hood. It is also possible to purchase academic dress, should you wish to.

Your graduation is a special day that you’ll look back on in years to come. It’s an opportunity to celebrate your success with friends and family and take a moment to reflect. We recommended all graduates and their guests dress smartly on the day with suits, dresses or national costume. Smart, sensible shoes should also be worn. 

Graduates, you may find it helpful to bring some hair clips and safety pins along on the day. They can help keep your mortar board and gown in place! 

Gown hire

We will contact you when booking is open for hiring your academic dress. All academic dress must be booked and paid for by the closing date of registration.

Most students choose to hire their academic dress for the day. Hire orders are delivered directly to your graduation venue, allowing you to collect your academic dress before your ceremony. You’ll wear your outfit for the duration of your ceremony and for your photography session if you choose to purchase a photography package. 

All academic dress must be returned immediately after the Alumni Reception.

While it’s common to hire your gown for just one day, you can opt to hire one for an extra seven days for an additional cost. This enables you to leave your graduation ceremony with your gown and keep it for one week.

You will then be required to return the gown to our gowning partner in the pre-paid bag provided. Instructions regarding the use of this bag are listed inside the bag and you must get proof of posting. Please be aware that you aren’t allowed to take your academic dress out of the UK.

If you choose to buy your own gown, orders are to be collected at the venue from the "Purchase Rail" which ensures that the attire still looks its best on the day of the ceremony.

Academic dress should be hired or purchased during registration. When placing your order with our gowning partner, you will be asked to confirm your STU number and your email address.

Your gown will be ready for you to collect at the venue, after you have registered and collected your tickets.


You can have your official graduation portraits captured in the photography studio, which will open approximately two hours before your ceremony starts. You can purchase your official Arden graduation day photography package when ordering your gown. Pre-ordering will save you time and money, but don't worry if you're not ready to order yet - you can also purchase your official photographs on the day if necessary.

Our partner and marketing teams will also be sitting in on your graduation ceremony to capture the moment when you cross the stage. These photographs can be purchased along with your official portraits. You will receive an email approximately three weeks after the ceremony with details on how to purchase your photo.

Photography and recording are permitted in the venue; however, we ask guests to be considerate of others and not block aisles or exits.

gowning uk graduation

Please note, these costs may be subject to change.

Image capture statement

We would like to inform you that Arden University graduation ceremonies are photographed, videoed and/or otherwise captured in image form. Images and video content may then be used by Arden University for publicity and promotional purposes, such as prospectuses, advertising campaigns, websites, exhibition stands, posters, leaflets, national or local press articles, etc. It is important to note that if any images are published on the internet, they will be accessible to users from all over the world. It is possible that representatives from the press, television or radio may attend the graduation ceremonies and capture their own images for publication or broadcast purposes. 

Due to the scale of these events, we are unable to obtain written consent from each individual attending or working at the events. Therefore, we will assume that whilst participating in these events all persons agree to their image(s) being captured for the purposes stated above. Click here to view our Privacy Policy. If you do object to your image(s) being used in this way, please make yourself known to one of the organisers on the day or email graduation@arden.ac.uk before you attend.

Journey To Graduation
Video • 3 mins