Relaxed graduation experience

If you’re graduating in December 2023, there’s the option of joining a Relaxed Graduation for any students or guests who may find an alternative format more comfortable. 

Who is Relaxed Graduation suitable for? 

This experience is designed for students or guests with learning difficulties, autism, social anxiety, or sensory processing difficulties, but is open to any students or guests who may find this alternative format more comfortable, subject to availability.  

All schools and faculties will be included as part of the day, so it’s open to everyone eligible to attend graduation. 

I’ve registered, what do I need to do now? 

We’re really excited to welcome you to your Graduation. Ahead of your day, there’s a couple of things you need to do in advance. 

  • You need to make sure you have booked your gown, as you’ll need this for your ceremony.  
  • You also need to book your photography  if you’d like a professional photo taken.  

It would also be helpful to think about how you’ll travel to your ceremony, and if you want to book accommodation. We’ve already got some helpful information on this for you.  

What will my day look like? 

This is your day and you can choose what to do. You and your guests are welcome to arrive at Baines Wing anytime from 10am and stay until 2:30pm. 

Getting ready to graduate: 10am-12pm  

Between 10am and 12pm, you need to collect and be dressed in your academic gown. You can prebook this or pay on the day. Ede & Ravenscroft will supply the gowns and help you make sure they fit just right. There will be rooms available for private fitting if you prefer. If wearing a gown is uncomfortable or distracting to you, then speak to a member of staff who will be in the room. 

Photography will also be available during this time with timeslots available throughout the day. You’ll also have the option to drop-in without a booking if you prefer. 

Once you have your gown and pictures, you can take photos in your robe and explore campus with your guests. The Baines Wing café will be open for you and your guests throughout the day and there are also smaller private rooms you can use.  

Your ceremony: 12:15-1pm 

You can choose whether to stay for the ceremony. This is where we will read your name aloud and you will collect your scroll. The ceremony will run from 12:15pm-1pm and will be in a quieter room in the Great Hall building.  

When you enter the room, there will be and places to sit down, with a variety of seating options and table heights. You will also be able to talk with Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Jeff Grabill, ahead of the ceremony.  

If you want to attend the ceremony, this will take place in the Great Hall building, in room UG.09 at 12:15-12:45pm.  These buildings are right next to each other. There are accessible routes to all areas of your ceremony, and our friendly staff team will be on hand to guide you. 

The ceremony, excluding name readings, will be BSL-interpreted. The ceremony isn’t being live streamed, but it will be filmed so you can have a memory of the day. For the comfort of our graduates and guests, we’ll be having a relaxed ceremony. This means there won’t be clapping or loud music.  

If there’s anything happening at the ceremony that impacts your comfort or enjoyment, please let a member of our team know. We’ll be really happy to do what we can to help.  

If you don’t want to attend the ceremony 

You’re still more than welcome to celebrate. If attending the ceremony isn’t for you, you can take some time to relax in the Baines Wing café, take photos or continue celebrating your day.  

After the ceremony: 1pm-3pm 

After the ceremony is over, there will be a buffet featuring light bites and soft drinks and. There will be vegetarian and vegan options and a mix of savoury and sweet. You’re welcome to stay in your ceremony room, or go outside to continue celebrating.  

You’ll need to return your robe back to where you picked it up from no later than 2:30pm.  

What to wear 

The only requirement is that you’ll need to wear official University of Leeds academic dress during the formal part of the day. You can order the hire of this online in advance. You can also hire a gown on the day. Under your gown, we usually recommend wearing formal attire such as a dark suit or dress, although you are welcome to wear any clothing you find comfortable. 


For students and guests attending Relaxed Graduation, we have options for Blue Badge parking and information about accessibility of our venues. You can also learn more about where to park for your ceremony. Please note, the Cinder Moor care park is not available on the 19 December.  

Venue accessibility 

Both buildings have step-free and/or lift access to get you where you need to be. There are accessible facilities available both Baines Wing and the Great Hall building, as well as gender neutral facilities.  

On the day, our helpful teams will be available to guide you and answer any questions. 

You can learn more about the accessibility of Baines Wing and the Great Hall buildings on Accessible.  

We’re here to help 

If there are any details you’d like to check in advance of your graduation day, you can contact our team by email to