Applications to graduate in person at the December 2022 Graduation celebrations are now closed.

If you are unable to attend your December graduation celebration event, your certificate will be mailed out to you.  Unfortunately, you will not be able to attend a future celebration event.


Graduation Guide 

The Graduation Guide has eveyrthing you need to know for the December 2022 Celebrations.

Download it here: Graduation Guide December 2022

December 2022 Graduation celebrations will be held from 13-15 December at the Christchurch Arena.

Graduation Celebration dates and times

Tuesday 13 December 10am
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Education 
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Health
Tuesday 13 December  2pm
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Arts
Wednesday 14 December  2pm
  • Qualifications in the UC Business School 
Thursday 15 December  10am
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Science
Thursday 15 December 2pm
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Engineering
  • Qualifications in the Faculty of Law

Eke Tangaroa | Celebration for Māori graduates

Date: Friday 16 December
Time: 9am 
Venue: Engineering Core, University of Canterbury

Click here for more information>

Pasifika Gradaution Celebration

Date: Wednesday 14 December
Time: 10am - 1pm
Venue: Engineering Core, University of Canterbury

Click here for more information>

* Please note these dates and times may be subject to change.

If you’re attending a morning celebration

When you arrive at the Christchurch Arena, please assemble no later than 9am at the sign-posted area in the main carpark on Twigger Street wearing your regalia. The procession will begin between 9.30am and 9.40am.
From 9am, whānau and friends can enter the Christchurch Arena through the main doors where staff will scan their graduation entrance tickets. Please ask your whānau and friends to be seated by 9.20am.
The procession is filmed and projected onto the screens inside the Arena for the audience to watch.

If you’re attending an afternoon celebration

When you arrive at the Christchurch Arena, please assemble no later than 1pm at the sign-posted area in the main carpark on Twigger Street wearing your regalia. The procession will begin between 1.30pm and 1.40pm.
From 1pm, whānau and friends can enter the Christchurch Arena through the main doors where staff will scan their graduation entrance tickets. Please ask your whānau and friends to be seated by 1.20pm.
The procession is filmed and projected onto the screens inside the Arena for the audience to watch.

Procession cancellation procedures

If the procession is cancelled due to weather, all graduates will be notified. Please assemble at the rear of the main stage, entering through Door 1. There will be staff and signage to direct you to the assembly point.

Graduation memorabilia available to purchase:

  • Honour Rings
  • Graduation Bears
  • Degree Frames
  • Flowers

Video and Photography:

The ceremonies are filmed and photographed and this footage will be publicly available on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the Linton Photography webpage and may be used in University Publications.

Graduation Portraits

To book a graduation portrait please visit

Ticket Information 

The December Graduation celebrations are held in the larger location of the Christchurch Arena to accommodate more friends and whānau. Tickets will be available from the week of 7 November. You will receive a link to the ticket platform where you can select up to five guest tickets.

Tickets are valid subject to confirmation of your degree and your student ID is needed to access your tickets.

Graduation Photography 

Linton Photography are the Official University of Canterbury Graduation Photographers.  

They have been photographing graduations since 1994 and have the skills and ability to create graduation photos that you and your family can be proud of.

They will be photographing every graduand as they are presented on stage.

A studio portrait service is available either at their studio or at the venue on graduation day, so you can have formal portraits taken with family or friends.

Portrait session times may be booked in advance, plus it is also possible to be photographed without a booking on a first in, first served basis following your ceremony. 

To learn more about the portrait services available or to view your on stage photos after the ceremony visit


Academic regalia

Full academic regalia is required to graduate, and Aotearoa New Zealand universities have a system of academic regalia which is worn by graduates to indicate their degree. The colour of the hood denotes the different faculties or disciplines, except for the peony red PhD hood.

The stock of academic dress for Ōtautahi Christchurch graduation celebrations of the University of Canterbury is owned and maintained by GWC Regalia Hire.

Ordering regalia

  • Follow link provided by GWC Regalia Hire – Click here
  • Click on University of Canterbury, December 2022
  • Follow the GWC Regalia Hire step-by-step process to the end, and ensure you select your correct qualification and celebration
  • Please include your height and head circumference when selecting your regalia
  • Once your order is complete, you will receive a confirmation email

Collect your regalia from GWC, Dovedale Campus, Wairarapa building, Block ED15, Ilam.

If you are unable to collect your regalia at the specified time, you may ask a friend or relative to collect it for you.

On the day of your graduation, you must wear appropriate academic regalia when taking part in the celebration. Please note, if you are not wearing academic regalia, you will not be able to graduate.

Outstanding credits

If you have outstanding credit from a previous order when you didn’t hire your regalia, please email to receive an individual credit code.

If you have ordered for this graduation and you will no longer attend, email for a refund of your order.

Late orders

A late fee will apply for any orders later than two weeks prior to graduation.


Applications to attend the December Graduation Celebrations closed on 7 October 2022 Late applications will not be considered.

PLEASE NOTE:  For those completing their qualifications in Semester Two 2022, all results for this semester must be received by the Academic Records section no later than Friday 2 December 2022 to ensure they can check your eligibility to graduate.  If any results are outstanding after Friday 2 December, your application to attend the December 2022 Graduation Celebration will be withdrawn and you will be notified via your graduation email address on record.  This includes any student who has an outstanding Special Consideration application remedy decision pending on Friday 2 December 2022 (or have submitted a late Special Consideration application).

Applications to attend the April 2023 Graduation Celebrations will open on Monday 12 December 2022 and close on Sunday 12 February 2023.   

If you are intending to complete your qualification in Semester Two or have completed your qualification and have yet to have your qualification conferred, and you wish to attend a graduation celebration in April 2023, please apply online when applications open, via MyUC selecting the following option:

  • Attend the April 2023 Graduation Celebration.

Information with respect to the actual dates/times for each Faculty for the April 2023 Celebrations will not be available until late mid-February 2023 and will be made available on this web page as soon as they have been decided. 

Multiple qualifications

If you are graduating with more than one qualification and they are from different Faculties, you may receive both qualifications together at one celebration.

Multiple qualification application process

When you apply to graduate, please indicate in the 'Comments' field which Faculty Celebration you wish to attend to receive both qualifications.

Multiple qualification celebration options

You can choose which Faculty hood you wear at the celebration. You can not wear both together but may wish to order both hoods for photographs.

If your qualifications would normally be conferred at the same celebration, they will automatically be awarded together. That is, you would not cross the stage twice in one celebration.

Please note: If both of your qualifications are from the same suite of qualifications, you will not receive both in person. For example, if you were receiving a BA(Hons) and a BA, the BA(Hons) would be conferred in person and the BA would be conferred in absentia.

Planning further study?

If you are eligible to graduate with a qualification, but intend to undertake further study towards that qualification to complete a second major, or you intend to transfer your courses to a higher qualification (for example, from a postgraduate certificate to a postgraduate diploma), you must seek further academic advice from your Faculty Office. See Student Advisors (Continuing Students) for details.

If you have completed a qualification and you are planning to continue to a new qualification, for example, you have completed a BA and plan to enrol in a BA(Hons), these are separate qualifications and you can graduate with them separately.

Transcripts and Letters

If you require your official academic record or an official letter from the University confirming your eligibility to graduate, please see . Once your qualification has been awarded, your name will be added to the online Graduate Search which is publicly accessible. The University also gives names of graduates to their former secondary school.

Stay connected with UC

When you graduate, you become a member of the UC Alumni. To join the Alumni network and remain connected to UC, visit the Alumni and Fundraising website.

Students who choose to graduate in absentia and NOT attend a Graduation celebration in August or December, will have their qualification conferred in absentia at a regular monthly UC Council meeting, which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Conferment is subject to a successful completion check of academic requirements. An application to graduate must be received two weeks prior to the Council meeting for the conferment to take place (please see the relevant application and conferment dates below). After the UC Council meeting that the student’s qualification is conferred at, they will be able to access their qualification certificate and transcript (usually within 48 hours of the UC Council meeting). The physical copy of the qualification certificate will be posted to the student.

Applications received for graduation*Council conferment date
20 April 20224 May 2022
18 May 20221 June 2022
22 June 20226 July 2022
20 July 20223 August 2022
24 August 20227 September 2022
21 September 20225 October 2022
19 October 20222 November 2022

* If an application is not received by the deadline listed above, the conferment at Council will automatically be deferred until the following month's Council meeting.


Māori graduates and graduands

Māori graduands are encouraged to wear their family korowai over their gown at their graduation. The hood must be worn on top of the korowai.

The University also holds celebrations for Māori Graduates and Graduands to celebrate the achievements of our Māori students at the University of Canterbury. It is an opportunity for Māori graduates to be presented to their whanau, the Māori community and the University.

Eke Tangaroa Celebration - Friday 16 December starting at 9am

Further information is available at Celebration for Māori Graduates and Graduands (Māori Students website).

Pasifika graduates and graduands

Pasifika Graduation Celebration 2022
Wednesday 14 December 2022, 10am – 1pm
Engineering Core, University of Canterbury

The Pacific Development Team holds a celebration for Pacific students who have recently graduated from the University. For further information, please visit Pasifika Graduation Celebration.

After graduating

Your years of study at UC may be over, but we want your connection with us to last a lifetime.

Graduation may mark the beginning of your career, or you might be considering further study. Whatever you do next we'd love to hear about it.

Stay connnected with UC 

Further Study 

We offer a wide range of postgraduate qualifications. Find out more about your options. 

Alumni networks

As a UC graduate you become an alumni and can benefit our extensive networks. 

Career support

UC graduates have full access to Careers, Internship and Employment services. 

Graduation through the ages

University graduation ceremonies are part of an 800-year tradition which stretches back to the establishment of the first universities in Europe in the 12th century, when Latin was the language of scholarship.

Origin of the word 'university'

A universitas was a guild or union of masters (MAs) who had a licence to teach. Both "degree" and "graduate" come from gradus, meaning "step"; the first step was admission to a bachelor’s degree, followed by the second masters step which won the graduate admission to the universitas.

Why gowns are worn

The University of Canterbury's foundation in 1873 owes much to the graduates of Oxford University's cathedral/college Christ Church and the Canterbury ceremonies reflect that tradition. The gowns and hoods which characterise academic dress have evolved from the daily dress of university staff in the Middle Ages, which was in turn based on the attire worn by medieval clergy. Nowadays the gown and the hood are strictly controlled and indicate the wearer’s university and degree.

The gowns for Canterbury graduates are the same as for Cambridge University graduates; the hoods are of a standard shape and size with a slate grey exterior. The colour of the lining indicates the degree of the wearer. The rich variety of academic dress worn by Canterbury staff reflects the many universities which they attended.

Graduation ceremony

At each ceremony the procession of graduands and staff is led by the Esquire or Madam Bedel carrying the University mace, the symbol of institutional authority. Historically the Bedel had a number of functions but in a modern university only the ceremonial role at graduation survives. The University mace provides a tangible link with Christ Church, Oxford, where it was designed and made. The shaft of the mace is of oak from a beam removed from Big Tom Tower when the bell was rehung in 1953. Even in 1680, when the beam was installed in the Sir Christopher Wren-designed tower, the timber was described as ‘well-seasoned oak’. The mace has been used for every graduation ceremony since 1957.

Graduation at UC

The first Canterbury degrees were conferred in 1878 in the Canterbury Provincial Chambers with the ceremonies moving to the College Hall, now the Great Hall of the Arts Centre, after its completion in 1882.

The early graduation ceremonies, known as Diploma Days, were decorous affairs but by 1884 discordant notes were sounded in the form of ‘tootings on a very unmusical instrument’. A tradition of specially-composed songs developed, reaching its heyday in 1899.

After a break during the First World War, ceremonies resumed in the College Hall in 1921 but pressure of numbers forced a move in 1946 to the Civic Theatre, the first year in which an academic procession through the city was held. This format continued, apart from three occasions when it was held in the St James Theatre, until 1962 when further pressure of numbers prompted a move to King Edward Barracks.

In 1968 the ceremony was divided into two and in 1971 it was made voluntary. The Christchurch Town Hall became the venue in 1973, with a move to three ceremonies in 1987, four ceremonies in 1994 and to five ceremonies, four in autumn and one in summer, in 1997. Following the merger with the Christchurch College of Education on 1 January 2007, there are now eight ceremonies, including a ceremony held in Rotorua for College of Education students based in the North Island.

In April 2011, graduation celebrations were held in a marquee on Ilam fields. The Christchurch graduation ceremonies have been held in the Horncastle Arena (formerly CBS Canterbury Arena) since December 2011.


Academic Regalia Refers to the academic gown, hood and trencher worn at the graduation ceremony (also known as Academic dress)
Awarded When you officially receive your diploma
Conferred When you officially receive your degree
Testamur The official certificate you receive when your degree has been conferred or your diploma awarded
Graduand When you are eligible to graduate but have not yet done so
Graduate Once your degree has been conferred or your diploma awarded
In absentia You will not be attending a graduation ceremony and instead receive your diploma by mail

4-6 April 2023

4-6 September 2023

Prepare for your graduation

What to expect