2021 graduation arrangements

Recently we asked you about your graduation experience and how you'd prefer to celebrate your successes, whether your course ends this year or you completed your studies in 2020.

Almost 5,000 of you responded and we've used your feedback to shape our plans.

  • Only 17 per cent of you said you wanted a virtual graduation ceremony
  • 94 per cent of 2020 graduates told us they still wanted a formal graduation ceremony
  • The three things you said mattered most were having family and friends with you, being on campus, and being able to wear academic dress

With this in mind, we will ensure that everyone who graduated in 2020, and those of you due to graduate in 2021, are able to attend an in-person graduation ceremony, in the Great Hall with academic dress. Because of current restrictions, we can't give you a date as to when this will be, but are planning for it to be in Spring 2022. We'll share more detail as soon as we can, and with at least three months' notice so you can make arrangements to attend.

We understand that some of you may be disappointed that graduation celebrations won't be held this summer. We felt that with the uncertainty about what COVID-19 restrictions we might need to have in place and the time needed to plan graduation ceremonies it was preferable to plan activities we are confident we can deliver and save you the inconvenience of booking travel and making arrangements to attend an event that may be cancelled. However, we are determined to ensure that you will have the chance to mark your achievements.

On-campus celebrations this summer

We want to give those of you who are due to graduate this summer and who are still in or around Leeds an opportunity to celebrate your achievements and the end of the academic year. We’re arranging, for two weeks from Monday 14 June until Friday 25, a summer celebration on campus providing you with the opportunity to socialise and celebrate outdoors on campus (with appropriate COVID measures in place). This will include street food and music and the opportunity for those of you who are in your final year, and still in Leeds to have official photographs taken in academic dress.

Planned activities will take place on weekdays between 11 am and 7 pm, and will include:

Food and drink: Catering will consist of BBQ, street food, and the LUU bars offering a full range of drinks.

Entertainment: There will be a socially distanced caricaturist every day from 12 pm - 4 pm. A screen will be set up in the marquee where we will be screening the European Football Championships. There will also be music and films playing in the precinct.

Photographs and Gowns: We know many of you might not find it practicable to return to Leeds for formal celebrations next year, and so are giving you an opportunity this month to have your official photographs taken while wearing academic dress. Gown hire is free for those of you who purchase photos. You will need to book gowns and photos in advance depending on which days you attend. If you want to attend between 14 June – 18 June then photos and gowns must be ordered before 9 June. If you want to attend between 21 June – 25 June then photos and gowns must be ordered before 16 June. You can book this through the Ede and Ravenscroft website. You will need to use the code LEEDSGOWN at checkout to get the 100% discount for the gown hire if you have ordered photos.

Gown collection and return will be located in the Dance Studios in LUU near the Co-Op and the photography will take place in the Riley Smith theatre where a one-way system will be in place. If you do book a gown, you will be able to collect and use the gown for the duration of the day.

If you’re a 2020 graduate still in Leeds and want to attend, you are welcome to join. You will need to contact the graduation team to book any photography and/or hire gowns. In order to adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines and avoid overcrowding on campus, we are not encouraging students to travel to Leeds to join in the celebrations.

As noted above, graduates from 2020 and 2021 will have the opportunity to return to campus for formal degree ceremonies in spring 2022. 

We are also exploring the feasibility of having some online ceremonies for students who want them and will let you have further details over the next few weeks.

If you do have any questions, please contact the Student Information Helpline.

Digital confirmation of your award

You will of course receive a digital confirmation of your award shortly after the award date (due to be sent 21 July), which you can use as proof of your qualification with employers. Your degree certificate will be posted to you over the Summer. 

We understand that due to the current situation, your time at Leeds may not have ended how you would have wanted. We want you to have the celebration you deserve and while this may be delayed, we are committed to giving you a celebration of your time at Leeds that properly reflects your amazing achievements.

 

When is the celebration taking place?  

We're arranging two weeks of on-campus celebrations from 14 June until 25 June. These will take place on weekdays between 11 am and 7 pm. 

Who are these celebrations for? 

The end of year celebrations are for final year students who are still in and around Leeds. 

Can family and friends join in the celebrations? 

In order to adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines and avoid overcrowding on campus, these celebrations are for students only and we do not encourage you, or your family and friends, to travel to Leeds for these. 

Family and friends won’t be able to join you in the studio while pictures are taken by Ede and Ravenscroft. 

What is happening on campus? 

Planned activities for the end of year celebration will include:  

  • Food and drink: Catering will consist of BBQ, street food, and the LUU bars offering a full range of drinks. 

  • Entertainment: There will be a caricaturist every day from 12 pm - 4 pm. A screen will be set up in the marquee where we will be screening the European Football Championships. There will also be music and films playing in the precinct. 

  • Photographs and Gowns: We know many of you might not find it practicable to return to Leeds for formal celebrations next year, and so are giving you an opportunity this month to have your official photographs taken while wearing academic dress. 

  • Gown collection and return will be located in the Dance Studios in LUU near the Co-Op and the photography will take place in the Riley Smith theatre.  

  • If you do book a gown, you will be able to collect and use the gown for the duration of the day. 

See what is planned where on this map of campus. 

How do I get my gown hire for free? 

Gown hire is free for those of you who also purchase a photography package and you will need to include the code “LEEDSGOWN” when booking. 

If you have already ordered and paid for a photography package and gown hire, please contact customersupport@academic-services.co.uk to arrange a refund for the gown hire.  

If you only want to hire a gown and not buy photos, you will need to pay for gown hire. 

Is there a deadline for booking gown hire and photography? 

Yes. You will need to book gowns and photos in advance, and the deadline will depend on when you choose to you attend.  

If you want to attend between 14 June – 18 June then photos and gowns must be ordered before 9 June.  

If you want to attend between 21 June – 25 June then photos and gowns must be ordered before 16 June.  

You can book this through the Ede and Ravenscroft website

Can I join the celebrations on more than one day?  

Yes. You are free to attend on more than one day but you can only make one booking for gown hire and photography.  

Can I take my gown off-campus before I return it at the end of the day? 

If you book a gown, you will be able to collect and use the gown for the duration of the day.  

We recommend you stay on campus while you have a gown. Remember, your gown should be returned in good condition and at the appropriate time. There will be a charge for late returns and/or damaged gowns.  

Do I need to be tested before I join the celebrations? 

Yes. If you do not have any coronavirus symptoms, we ask that you book a free and fast asymptomatic lateral flow test on campus before joining the celebrations. Alternatively, you can collect home test kits from a collection point at the south entrance to LUU. Find more information about home test kits. 
  
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you must not book an asymptomatic test or attend campus. Instead, you must stay at home and book a test through the NHS Test and Trace Service and let us know through our online reporting system

Will I need to wear a facemask? 

Government guidelines around the use of face coverings change frequently and you can find the latest advice online. 

Will these celebrations replace formal degree ceremonies?  

No. Graduates from 2020 and 2021 will have the opportunity to return to campus for formal degree ceremonies in spring 2022. We will be in touch with you at least three months before to share more details so you can make plans to attend.  

Can the class of 2020 attend the end of year celebrations? 

Although these celebrations are for final year students, we understand that some of our class of 2020 will also want to join in.  

If you are a 2020 graduate still in Leeds and want to attend, you are welcome to join. You will need to contact the graduation team to book any photography and/or hire gowns. In order to adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines and avoid overcrowding on campus, we are not encouraging students (or their family and friends) to travel to Leeds to join in the celebrations. 

What other activities is the University planning?  

We will continue to celebrate your achievements on social media and are planning several digital activities that will take place around results day, Monday 19 July.    
  
We will share more details about these and the support that will be available to you once you graduate in the coming weeks. Until then, we look forward to welcoming those of you who are still in Leeds back on campus to celebrate the end of this academic year.