Relaxed graduation experience

If you’re graduating in July 2024, 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. 

How do I register? 

You’ll need to complete the registration form available when you register your graduation choice online. Relaxed Graduation is on Friday 26 July, and is an alternative option to the other ceremonies. You should only register for one type of ceremony.

Soon after you have registered, we’ll send you information about how to book a gown, as you’ll need this for your ceremony.

You’ll also be able to book your photography if you’d like a professional photo taken.

Can my friends and family attend the ceremony?

Yes. During the registration process you can request up to two guest tickets. To keep the ceremony relaxed, we have a limited capacity for the ceremony, but there may be an opportunity for you to express an interest in up to two extra guest tickets. Extra guests without a tickets are still welcome to join you on campus and enjoy the other aspects of the day outside of the ceremony itself.

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 before the ceremony and stay on campus after. Relaxed Graduation will take place in rooms within the Great Hall building. 

The timing of the ceremony will depend on the number of graduates who register for the relaxed graduation. Ceremonies will usually be in the middle part of the day, starting between 11am and 2pm, with each lasting around between 30 minutes and 1 hour. 

Getting ready to graduate

Before your ceremony 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. Cafés on campus will be open for you and your guests throughout the day and there are also smaller private rooms you can use.  

Your ceremony

You can choose whether to stay for the ceremony. This is where we will read your name aloud and you will have the opportunity to shake hands with the Presiding Officer. The ceremony will be in a quieter room in the Great Hall building.  

When you enter the room, there will be places to sit down, with a variety of seating options and table heights. You will also be able to talk with the ceremony’s Presiding Officer ahead of the ceremony.  

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. This will be sent to you shortly after the day. For the comfort of our graduates and guests, we’ll be having a relaxed ceremony. This means there won’t be applause, 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 cafés nearby, take photos or continue celebrating your day.   

After the ceremony

Once the ceremony is over, you’re welcome to stay in the Great Hall, or go outside to continue celebrating.  

You’ll need to return your robe back to where you picked it up before the latest drop-off time. 

What to wear 

The only requirement is that you’ll need to wear official University of Leeds academic dress during the ceremony part of the day. You can order the hire of this online in advance. You can also hire a gown on the day, subject to availability. 

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 car park is not available on 26 July.  

Venue accessibility 

The buildings where Relaxed Graduation will take place 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