How Many Guests are Allowed at Graduation?

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When you have finally battled through university, submitted all of your assignments and are ready to get a job in the real world, you probably want to tell and show everybody! As a result, it’s no wonder that many students want to invite a high number of guests to their graduation ceremonies. After all, graduating is a fantastic achievement and should be shared with everyone. However, don’t get too hopeful, as most of the time, there is a limit to the number of guests that you can actually bring with you.

The number of guests allowed at a graduation ceremony differs between different universities. It depends on the number of graduates present and the seating availability. However, for many universities, graduates are allowed to bring two guests. As a result, the number of guests allowed at graduation depends on the class size and whether everyone does bring two guests or not.

If you want to discover more about how many guests you are allowed to bring to graduation and how this differs across universities, check out the rest of this article.

How many guests can you bring to your graduation ceremony?

For most UK universities, you are only allowed to bring 2 guests to your graduation. This is displayed in the table below:

University Number of guests
University of Manchester 2
University of Liverpool 2
University of Edinburgh 2
University of Oxford 2
 University of Birmingham 2
Sheffield Hallam University 3
University of Leeds 2
London South Bank University 6

Click on each university name in the table if you wish to visit the corresponding university website in order to find out more about the number of guests each university allows you to bring.

As you can see, there are exceptions, as Sheffield Hallam University allows graduates to bring three guests! Furthermore, students can apply to bring up to ten guests! Also, London South Bank University allows up to 6 guests.

There are other popular universities which also have different rules. For example, the University of Durham doesn’t have an exact number of guests each student can bring which is fixed every year.

This is because it depends on each graduation ceremony. After all, there is only a limited number of spaces in Durham Cathedral and it depends on the number of graduates present.

This means that closer to the time, students are just advised on how many guests they should bring when they register, as shown in this article from the University of Durham website.

Is the number of guests allowed at a graduation ceremony the same for all universities?

As you have already read, the number of guests allowed at graduation is not the same for all universities. However, the majority of universities expect graduates to only bring a maximum of two guests.

Regardless, it is up to you to research your university and confirm how many guests you are allowed to bring, as the table above only shows a small number of universities. You may even be able to buy extra guest tickets on the day!

However, the actual graduation ceremony and what happens during the day is often quite similar between universities. The ceremony is often split into three stages and can be read about in more detail if you check out this article from Think Student.

Can you invite extra guests to your graduation ceremony?

Many people believe that two guests is the maximum amount a graduate can bring to their ceremony. However, according to this article from the University of Liverpool, there could be a chance to buy extra guest tickets.

However, this is only the case if extra spaces become available. For example, a student may decide that they only want to bring one guest and not two, allowing a different student to claim an extra ticket.

Many universities offer free tickets to graduation ceremonies for graduates and two guests. However, the extra tickets may cost money but this amount is not too extortionate in the grand scheme of things.

For instance, extra tickets for the University of Liverpool cost £10 each. This is well worth it if you really want another person very important to you to watch your graduation ceremony.

After all, you will probably be spending a much larger sum of money to complete your full graduation when you take into account paying for gown hire and filming costs.

Therefore, getting extra guest tickets probably won’t make much of a difference! You can find out more about the cost of graduation if you check out this article from Think Student.

The University College London also allows graduates to buy extra tickets on the day of the ceremony. These can be bought when you arrive to the ceremony. However, you better be quick, as it is a first come, first serve basis according to this article from University College London.

This is the case for a number of universities, so it is best to check their individual websites to get the full details.

Do you have to bring guests to your graduation ceremony?

You won’t be forced to bring guests to your graduation ceremony. However, bringing guests will most likely be wholly encouraged. After all, graduating is a big achievement and sharing this moment with close friends and family could be a great way to celebrate it.

However, if you really don’t want guests to attend your ceremony, this is not an issue! Most likely, it will mean that another student could possibly bring another guest as there will be extra space.

It’s true that if you didn’t have to think about the guests you would invite, you would have more thinking time for other things, such as what you would wear to your graduation! Obviously, you will be required to wear a cap and gown to receive your certificate.

However, most students fail to actually think about what they are required to wear underneath! If you want some advice on the kind of clothes that you should wear to your graduation ceremony, check out this article from Think Student.

Who can you invite to graduation ceremonies?

Now that you roughly know the number of guests you can bring to your graduation ceremony, it is probably time for you to decide who you would like to invite!

Most students choose to bring close friends or family, as the number of guests allowed are very limited! However, you can invite anybody that you want.

However, you must be aware that if you are inviting people from abroad, they may need to get visas. This is known as standard visitor visa and is needed for them to attend your graduation ceremony.

This is only the case if your family members or friends are visa national. It can be quite confusing to apply for this visa, so it is best to start sooner rather than later if you wish to invite guests who need visas to watch your ceremony.

To discover more information about this, check out this Student Hub article from the City, University of London’s website.

Regardless, when thinking about who to invite, it may be best to invite mainly adults. After all, young children may get fed up or bored of the ceremony. This can be frustrating, especially as it is supposed to be a proud moment for you!

Graduation ceremonies can take a couple of hours, which young children could find difficult to sit through. You can discover more information about how long UK graduation ceremonies are if you check out this article from Think Student.

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