You will need to wear a University of Bristol gown. You can buy your own gown, or hire one for the day, prices to hire a gown start from £45. You may be able to apply for a Graduation gown bursary to help you cover the cost of gown hire.


Hats are not worn at the ceremony if you are graduating with a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree. Ede & Ravenscroft will give you the option of buying a hat, but this is not a requirement and you won't be allowed to wear this at the ceremony. There are hats available for you on the day, to wear in official photographs. 

Degrees that require a hat

You only need to wear a hat in the ceremony, if you are graduating with a Higher Doctorate:

  • DEng
  • DLitt
  • DMus
  • DSc
  • LLD

Order your gown

You will need to order your gown, and hat if applicable, from Ede & Ravenscroft. Gown hire will open when the graduation invitations are sent out.

Please note, you will not be able to graduate without the correct gown.

What the gown will look like

Undergraduate and Masters gowns are black, with a draping known as a hood. The colour of your hood depends on your degree.

If you are graduating with a BA, BSc or BEng you will have a red hood. If you are graduating with an LLB the red hood will have a violet trim. If you are graduating with an MBChB, BDS or BVSc your hood will be red with white trim.

If you are graduating with a Masters, you will have a red hood, with a white lining. Postgraduate doctors wear a scarlet gown with a dark violet facing, sleeves and hood lining. Higher doctorates wear a scarlet gown with salmon-coloured facing, sleeves and hood lining.

University of Bristol gowns - all degrees (PDF, 265kB)

What to wear with your gown

You should feel comfortable in the clothes you choose to wear. Most people decide to wear something smart that reflects that this is a special and more formal occasion. 

Traditional dress is also acceptable for graduation.

Picking up and dropping off your gown

Read our timetable of the day to find out where and when you need to pick up and drop off your gown. 


When you hire or purchase your gown, Ede & Ravenscroft will also give you the option of buying an official photography package.

Options range from a basic pack to multiple photographs in high-quality frames. Ordering prints is not a requirement. Find out more about your options, or contact Ede & Ravenscroft

The back of the BA or BSc gown, showing the red hood.
The back of the Masters gown, showing the red hood with the white lining.
Back of the PhD gown, showing the scarlet colour of the main body, red hood and dark violet sleeves and hood lining.
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