Graduating from university is a landmark event for any student. Having invested three or more years into a course, there’s a tremendous sense of achievement for having come out the other side stronger, wiser and qualified.

For the parents of those students, it’s all about an overwhelming pride for what your son or daughter has achieved.

It can be an expensive, occasionally stressful, experience helping your child through the university experience.   However when it comes to seeing them graduate you’ll know that it’s all been worth it.

Most graduations take place at a venue near to the university, such as a theater, hall or cathedral. These establishments help reflect the grandeur of the occasion and provide an opportunity for friends and family of every student to share the moment.

The first to remember is that graduations are traditionally formal occasions. Graduating students wear cap and gowns, so it stands to reason that guests should avoid jeans and trainers.


Prior to the ceremony, your son or daughter will go to collect and put on their cap and gown. Some universities then provide a fake scroll with which they can be photographed. However, many others arrange the photography to take place after the ceremony has been completed and the graduates have their real scrolls in hand.

Many parents take this opportunity to present their child with a graduation gift. Jewelry is one the most popular choices and by giving them something to wear, it can then form part of their attire for the ceremony.

The ceremony

Most graduation ceremonies start with an opening address by the dean of the school before processions begin. Traditionally, names are called out in sections. These are usually split by the school to which their course belongs, such as humanities, arts, sports or mathematics.

Each student then walks across the stage, shakes hands with the dean (or, in some cases, an honorary guest) and smiles for a photo while accepting their scroll. Many parents choose to film or take photos at this stage of the proceedings.

After the ceremony, you’ll be free to meet up with your son or daughter and take a few more photos. Many people then head somewhere for a pub lunch or casual drink and to meet up with other family and friends who perhaps couldn’t get a ticket to the ceremony. Afterward, some graduates opt to meet up with fellow classmates for a night of celebration.

Either way, prepare yourself for an emotional and proud day and one you’ll remember for years to come.