Your suggested schedule for the day

Details to follow shortly.

Travel and parking

Where possible, we would recommend that you and your visitors use public transport to reach Aston – we are easily accessible by train, bus or coach and air. 

There is no car parking on the University campus or at the Town Hall Birmingham for graduands and guests on graduation day. 

Alternative parking may be found a few minutes’ walk away at Millennium Point and in the city centre.  Aston University provides coaches to take you and your guests to and from the Town Hall Birmingham on graduation day. We will also provide a bus with disabled access to accommodate graduands and guests who require mobility access. 

The coaches and bus will be situated on Coleshill Street, near to the lake on campus and will take you to Cornwall Street (which is a short three minute walk away from the Town Hall Birmingham) and will pick you and your guests up at the same location and return you back to campus after your ceremony. 

Where do the ceremonies take place?

We hold all graduation ceremonies at the Town Hall Birmingham. This provides an attractive setting for your special day. 

Please ensure that your guests are at the Town Hall to take their seats at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start. 

Any latecomers will not be permitted into the ceremony. We will not delay the ceremony for you.  Please be considerate to your fellow graduands and guests by turning up on time, thank you.

Procedures during the graduation ceremony

We often get asked to explain the difference between a graduand and a graduate. At the beginning of the graduation ceremony, you will be a graduand which means that you have passed all the examinations required for a particular award and therefore will be eligible to graduate. By the end of the ceremony you will have become a graduate of the University as your award will have been conferred and your degree certificate will be given to you. It is not until the Chancellor or their designated representative admit you into the University Convocation that you are an official graduate of Aston University. 

The procession

The ceremony begins with the entry of the procession. You should stand as the procession music begins and remain standing until the Chancellor or their designated representative declares the congregation ‘open’.  

Honorary degrees

In addition to your degrees, the University often confers honorary degrees. These are presented at the beginning of the ceremony.


Your guests may take photographs or film during the ceremony, but only from their seats. Due to health and safety regulations, all aisles and gangways are to be kept clear at all times.

Presentation of awards

When the presentation of awards begins, the marshals will signal to one row of graduands at a time to file out from their seats. It is important that you remain in the correct order. 

When your name is called, walk across the stage and shake hands with the Chancellor or designated representative. Some people may choose not to shake hands, if this applies to you, then you should keep your hands behind your back when approaching the Chancellor or their designated representative. Leave the stage, collect your degree certificate and return to your seat.


PhD and DSc graduands doff their caps when approaching the Chancellor or their designated representative. 

End of the ceremony

 At the end of the ceremony stand for the National Anthem and remain standing while the academic procession leaves the platform. The marshals will then instruct you to file out a row at a time to follow the academic procession out of the auditorium.  



Please note that the University asks you to be at checkpoint (located at the Town Hall Birmingham) an hour before your ceremony starts.

  • 9:30 (for the 10:30 ceremony)
  • 12:30 (for the 13:30 ceremony)
  • 15:30 (for the 16:30 ceremony)

This is to ensure that all procedures and paperwork are in place for your ceremony to commence on time. If you are late for checkpoint, you may not be able to go through your ceremony, as we cannot delay the ceremony to accommodate you, therefore please be on time for checkpoint.

If your guests are running late, please do not wait for them as it may mean you could be late for checkpoint. Guests need to be seated half an hour before the ceremony starts.


The official photographers are Ede & Ravenscroft.

 Ede & Ravenscroft Photography will be at Aston University on the day and located in The Great Hall, Upper Ground Floor of the Main Building from 07:30 to 18:30.

Hospitality and prize giving 

Aston University provide free hospitality and light refreshments on the Aston campus after the ceremony for you and your guests. Hospitality will be in a marquee situated by the lake on campus. School prize giving for the following schools; School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Languages and Social Sciences and the School of Life and Health Sciences takes place in the marquee.

Aston Business School will hold prize giving on Monday 6 April 2020 for postgraduate graduands (only).  Aston Business School graduands will receive notification directly from the Business School.

Details of prize giving will be given to you on graduation day at the Town Hall Birmingham. The Graduation Office will also advise where you can pick up hospitality vouchers (for you and your guests) on the day.

Overnight accommodation, celebration lunches, afternoon tea and dining

Conference Aston, located within the Aston Business School, will be serving celebration lunches, afternoon tea and celebration dinners. Prices start from £20.95 per person for lunch and from £21.99 per person for dinner. They also offer discounted accommodation for you and your family.

Medical aid, accidents and incidents

Birmingham Town Hall have their own trained first aiders and security staff. There will also be a First Aider present in the Auditorium during the ceremonies.

At Aston, all security officers at Aston University are trained in First Aid.

Emergency procedures

If an emergency occurs during degree congregations an alarm will sound.  An appropriate member of Town Hall staff will go up on to the stage and take charge of the proceedings, instructing the guests on evacuation procedures. Auditorium marshals will open all doors immediately to allow easy evacuation. Guests should leave through the nearest exit. Town Hall staff will manage the evacuation of any guests in wheelchairs.

If an emergency occurs at Aston University during graduation, the Security team will initiate relevant evacuation procedures. Security can be contacted on: x2222 (internal), 0121 359 2922 (external).