Lily Lewis at Graduation 2018 by Joe Cotton

Graduation Attire

The correct academical dress to wear for Congregation is a somewhat complicated affair.

Lily Lewis at Graduation 2018 by Joe Cotton

Graduation Attire

You will hire academical dress to receive your Degree, which can be hired hired from any robemaker in Cambridge. The robemakers are normally quite helpful in helping you select the correct dress (but they do sometimes get it wrong), so we have created a flow chart to assist you. Two robe makers are listed here and there are others: you must collect your items personally, despite websites indicating that academical dress will be delivered to the College!

Cambridge Robemakers

Ryder & Amies
22 Kings Parade
Cambridge CB2 1SP
Tel: 01223 350371

Ede & Ravenscroft
71-72 Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1RJ
Tel: 01223 350048

Rules for Academical Dress

A person who already holds a Degree of the University of Cambridge wears the gown and hood of the highest Degree he or she has already received from the University. 

For any person who does not already hold a Degree from Cambridge University, the following regulations apply:

  • all those proceeding to an undergraduate degree wear the undergraduate gown for graduate Colleges (it has a blue button and string on each sleeve).
  • those proceeding to a postgraduate degree (LLM, MCL, MPhil, MASt, MFin, MRes, MEd, MSt, MBA, PhD) wear an MA status gown if aged 24 or over at the time of conferral, or BA status gown if under 24, with the hood of the Degree (or the higher of the Degrees, if taking two at the same time), which he or she is to receive.
  • a person being admitted to a Degree by Incorporation or to the MA Degree under Statute B II 2 wears the gown and hood of the Degree he or she is to receive.
  • Under no circumstances should the academical dress of another university be worn by a graduand.

Academical dress flow chart

More information on academical dress is available on Wikipedia and from the Graduate Union Gown Guide.

Medical & Veterinary Graduands

  • Vet students being admitted VetMB must wear the BA gown and hood in the Senate House, unless they already have the MA. However, when being admitted MA after graduating VetMB, the VetMB gown and hood must be worn (often the robemakers get this point wrong: do not be misled).
  • Medical students, after passing their Final MB examination have the degree of BChir automatically conferred upon them. During the calendar year following, they may supplicate (apply) to take the MB degree at any Congregation except at General Admission, but, if they do not, at the expiry of the year, the MB is automatically conferred upon them in exactly the same way as the BChir.

What to Wear

As graduation is a formal occasion, an appropriate standard of dress is expected. The dress code is strictly enforced at ceremonies, and if you do not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on a particular occasion. Your Praelector or Presenter is able to offer further advice on dress.   The dress code is detailed on the University website.