Gowns and academic dress

We encourage all graduates to wear academic dress to the formal graduation ceremony. This comprises a gown, hood, and mortarboard which is usually worn over smart or formal attire.

You can order your gown hire in advance from the University’s supplier, J. Wippell & Co. Ltd.  This can be done via their online hire shop. 

Wippells will close online bookings at 10am on 3 July.  Any orders on the day and this will be subject to availability will be at a charge of £55.

Wippell & Co have informed us that the company is closing at the end of 2023. However, they have also reassured us that graduation gown hire for main summer awards ceremonies and ceremonies planned for Staffordshire University London and Institute of Policing will be unaffected by the closure. We realise this is a difficult time for the company and would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Wippell & Co and its employees who have supported Staffordshire University graduation ceremonies over many years.

When ordering your gown, pease have the following details ready:

  • height
  • chest measurement
  • hat size (circumference of your head taken just above your ears)
  • the date of your ceremony
  • the time of your ceremony
  • your qualification level (as different qualifications are represented by slightly different colours and styles)

Where and when should I collect my gown?

You will be able to collect your gown from the gowning area after you have checked in on the day of your ceremony.  We recommend that, wherever possible, you arrive approximately 90 minutes ahead of the start of your ceremony to register and collect your gown and tickets.

Staff will be available to help you into your robes and show you how to position the hood.

The gown is yours to keep for the day but must be returned before you leave.

What should I wear?

The award ceremony is a formal occasion and we encourage graduates to dress appropriately. You will find it useful to wear a buttoned top to which the academic hood can be fastened, or alternatively bring some small safety pins to affix the button-loop of the hood to your clothes. Hair pins are also useful to secure the mortar board (hat).

Please check the weather forecast on the day of your ceremony to ensure that your clothes are appropriate for the expected conditions.

What if I am eligible for two awards?

You may find that both of your awards are being celebrated in the same ceremony, though more often they will be scheduled in two separate ceremonies. This will usually depend on whether your awards are in different or the same subject areas and if they were awarded in the same, or different academic years.

If your awards are celebrated in the same ceremony, it's standard practice that your higher award will take precedence. We will invite you to cross the stage twice, but we’d recommend that you hire the academic dress associated with your higher award as there will not be opportunity to change during the ceremony.

If your awards are celebrated in different ceremonies, it is up to you whether to attend both ceremonies or just one.

What will my hood and gown look like?

When you pre-order your academic dress through the J. Wippell & Co. Ltd. online hire-shop, you will be asked to enter the type of award you have studied (e.g. Bachelor of Arts).  Wippells will then select the appropriate hood and gown for your award. Examples of Staffordshire University’s academic dress colours are shown below:


Red gown
Red hood with blue lining and trim
Red bonnet


Grey gown with blue trim
Grey hood with blue lining and trim
Grey mortar board


Grey gown 
Grey hood with blue lining and trim 
Grey mortar board


Black gown 
Black hood with blue lining and trim 
Black mortar board


Black gown 
Grey hood with red lining and blue trim 
Black mortar board


Black gown
Grey hood with red lining and trim
Black mortar board


Black gown
Black hood with white lining and trim
Black mortar board


Foundation Degree
Black gown
Grey hood with red lining and white trim
Black mortar board


University Diploma/Certificate in Edcuation (PCET)
Black gown 
Black hood with white lining and trim 
Black mortar board


University Certificate/CertHE
Black gown 
Black hood with grey lining and trim 
Black mortar board


Black gown 
Red hood with blue lining 
Black mortar board

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