Academic dress

Learn about what to wear at the graduation ceremonies, including hiring information and the dress code.

Wearing academic dress

When taking part in any Victoria graduation ceremony you must wear academic dress, which consists of a gown; a hood or stole lined with the colour attributed to your degree, diploma or certificate; and a trencher (Bachelor’s and Master’s) or Knox Bonnet (PhD). Failure to wear the correct academic dress will mean that you will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. Your degree will therefore be conferred in absentia.

Embellishing your graduation regalia with garments of honour from your cultural tradition, such as a korowai or ta’ovala, is a welcome enrichment to the colour of the ceremony. These are worn under the hood or stole.

Academic dress hire

Academic dress for your graduation can be hired from Academic Dress Hire, which is owned by the Wellington Branch of Graduate Women New Zealand (GWNZ). GWNZ is a voluntary organisation of female graduates which focuses on education. Funds provided from the hire of academic dress are distributed for academic scholarships and other educational causes.

Hire charges

Item Hire charge
Gown $40
Hood/Stole $20
Trencher $20

A receipt will be issued to you at the time of ordering online or within four weeks of your cash payment order being received at the Academic Dress Hire office. This will acknowledge your order and inform you of collection and return times.

To hire academic dress and/or purchase a hood/stole, you can:

  • apply and pay online at, or
  • For cash or cheque payment only, download and fill in the Academic Dress hire form and return to Academic Dress Hire by 1 March for May ceremonies or 1 October for December ceremonies.

An additional fee of $20 is payable with all late orders. Orders received without payment will not be processed.

Purchasing academic dress

Hoods and stoles may be purchased ready-made.

Purchase prices

ItemPurchase price
Bachelor Hood$95
Honours’ Hood$95
Master’s Hood$75
Master’s Stole$95

PhD graduates wishing to purchase full academic dress should contact Academic Dress Hire.

Collecting your academic dress

Academic dress for May graduation ceremonies can be collected from MY109, Murphy building, Kelburn Parade. Bring your academic dress receipt or student ID card when collecting your academic dress.

Collection times

Ceremonies 1, 2: Tuesday 16 May at 1.30pm and 6pm
Collection times: Friday 12 May from 9am–6pm, Monday 15 May from 9am–6pm, Tuesday 16 May from 9am–5pm.
Ceremony 3: Wednesday 17 May at 1.30pm
Collection times: Friday 12 May from 9am–6pm, Monday 15 May from 9am–6pm, Tuesday 16 May from 9am–6pm, Wednesday 17 May from 9am–12.30pm.
Ceremony 4: Wednesday 17 May at 6pm
Collection times: Tuesday 16 May from 5–7pm, Wednesday 17 May 9am–5pm.
Ceremony 5, 6: Thursday 18 May at 6pm
Collection times: Wednesday 17 May from 12–7pm, Thursday 18 May from 9am–5pm

Return your academic dress

When you return your academic dress, be sure to bring your receipt. Academic dress can be returned at the Michael Fowler Centre:

  • Ceremonies 1, 2, 3 return immediately after your ceremony.
  • Ceremonies 4 return after the ceremony or after the parade on Thursday 18 May.
  • Ceremonies 5, 6 return after your ceremony.

Ceremonies, 4, 5, 6 can also return their academic dress to MU109, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade, during the following times:

  • Friday 19 May 9am–6pm
  • Saturday 20 May 10am–1pm

Failure to return regalia on time will result in a $100 late return fee. If you do not return your regalia at all, you will be charged for its total replacement value plus any debt collection costs incurred.

Dress code for graduation ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and we request that graduands dress appropriately. A shirt and trousers, dress or similar standard of formal clothing is advised. Whilst optional, a collared shirt and tie or buttoned clothing are helpful in attaching your hood securely. For health and safety reasons all graduands must wear footwear inside the Michael Fowler Centre, and while crossing the stage to receive their award.

How to wear your academic dress

The video below shows how to wear your academic dress. Information on wearing academic dress is also available in the Graduands Handbook (sent to graduands approximately six weeks before each ceremony). Before the ceremony there will be a desk in the Michael Fowler Centre foyer to assist you.