Academic dress

Learn about what to wear at the graduation ceremonies, dress code and where to hire graduation robes.

Graduation is a formal occasion and you must wear academic dress for any Victoria graduation ceremonies, otherwise you won’t be allowed to participate and your qualification will 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

    The items you’ll need can be hired from Academic Dress Hire. This is the Wellington Branch of Graduate Women New Zealand (GWNZ), a voluntary organisation of female graduates which raises funds through their hire fees to support academic scholarships and other educational causes.

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

    • complete the academic dress hire form with online payment at Grad Gear

    Orders received without payment will not be processed.

    A receipt is 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 acknowledges your order and informs you of collection and return times.

    If you’re experiencing financial hardship and are unable to cover the cost of academic dress, contact Student Finance to discuss possible assistance.

    If you're unable to apply online, it is possible to accept cash or cheques. You'll need to download and print a form, complete and post it with payment. Please be aware it will take longer to receive and process than online applications. To use this method, download the Academic dress hire form.


    Hire fees:

    • Gown—$50
    • Hood or stole—$25
    • Trencher—$25

    Orders placed by 7 October will receive a early order discount of $20 off the total order cost. An additional fee of $20 is payable with all orders placed from 1 December.

    Hoods and stoles may also be bought ready-made.

    Purchase prices:

    • Bachelor Hood—$95
    • Honours’ Hood—$95
    • Master’s Hood—$75
    • Master’s Stole—$95

    PhD graduands who wish to purchase full academic dress should contact Academic Dress Hire.

    Collecting your academic dress

    Academic dress for graduation ceremonies can be collected from the Ground Floor, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade. Bring your academic dress receipt or student ID card when collecting.

    December 2018 graduation collection times

    • Monday 10 December, 10am–5pm
    • Tuesday 11 December, 9am–6pm
    • Wednesday 12 December, 9am–6pm
    • Thursday 13 December, 9am–5pm
    • Friday 14 December, 8.30am–9.30am (for Te Herenga Waka Marae ceremony)

    How to wear your academic dress

    The video below shows how to wear your academic dress. Before the ceremony there will be university staff available to help you.

    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.

    What you’ll need to wear is dependent on the qualification you’ll receive. If you’re receiving more than one qualification you’ll need to wear the hood or stole for the qualification that you choose to cross the stage with.

    If you are graduating with a diploma or certificate and hold a degree, you will need to wear the academic dress appropriate to your degree.

      Doctoral degrees

      • Black or scarlet Cambridge Master of Arts gown
      • Hood or stole in qualification colour
      • John Knox cap (PhD) or black trencher with tassel

      Master’s degrees

      • Black Cambridge Master of Arts gown
      • Hood or stole in qualification colour
      • Black trencher with tassel

      Bachelor’s degrees

      • Black Cambridge Bachelor of Arts gown
      • Hood in qualification colour
      • Black trencher with tassel

      Diplomas and certificates

      • Black Cambridge Bachelor of Arts gown
      • Victoria University of Wellington stole

      Returning 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 immediately after your ceremony.

      It can also be returned to the Ground Floor, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade.

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

      December 2018 graduation return times

      Return your academic dress to either location during the following times.

      Michael Fowler Centre academic dress desk

      • Wednesday 12 December, open for one hour after the ceremony
      • Thursday 13 December, 12.30pm–9pm

      Ground Floor, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

      • Thursday 13 December, 9am–5pm
      • Friday 14 December, 9am–5pm
      • Saturday 15 December, 10am–1pm