Graduation day is a momentous occasion for every student and a highlight in the University’s calendar.

Graduation ceremony in McEwan Hall

The ceremony marks the culmination of years of hard work, and is a day to celebrate with friends and family.

Every year, the University confers about 5,000 degrees and 250 diplomas and certificates.

Full details of all our graduation ceremonies are available on our Student Administration website.


The prinicipal doffing the head of a student with the geneva bonnet to confer his degree
According to University legend, the graduation cap (the Geneva Bonnet) was made using material from the breeches of John Knox.

The ceremonies

The graduation ceremonies follow time-honoured traditions, some of which can be traced back to the founding of the University in 1583.

From the carrying of the mace in the academic procession, to the ‘bonnet’, with which the Principal doffs the heads of students, it is a solemn but exciting occasion.

Honorary graduates

Conferring honorary degrees on distinguished public figures makes graduation day all the more special for students, who receive their degrees in illustrious company.

Among the many distinguished names honoured in recent years are JK Rowling, Chris Hoy, Michael Palin, Jackie Stewart and Professor Daniel Dennett.

Honorary graduates

Graduation gifts

Visit the University Visitor Centre or our online gift shop for official University gifts.

Find the University Visitor Centre on campus maps

University Gift Shop

Alumni services

After you graduate, there will always be a place for you at Edinburgh.

Keep in touch with your friends and the University through our worldwide alumni network.