Student Administration

Castle Graduation Celebrations - FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Graduation Celebrations at Edinburgh Castle in August 2021.


Who can attend these events?

Students who graduated in Summer/Winter 2020, and Summer 2021 were able to book tickets on a first-come-first-served basis.

How many students can go to these events?

Each event will have a capacity of 1,200 graduates. Each attendee will also be able to bring two guests.

Will it be a similar event to the usual graduations at the McEwan Hall?

No – these are not graduation ceremonies as students who are being invited to attend have already officially graduated from the University. These events will instead be a celebration of our graduates’ achievements.

Will there be seating?

No – these are walking events. There will, however, be a mobility car available to ensure the events are accessible for all.  

Will I need to hire a gown?

Each graduate will need to wear a gown for the event and gowning will take place at the McEwan Hall. 

Graduates who hired a gown for the July 2021 photo opportunity at the McEwan Hall, or who made use of the ship to home service in either 2020 or 2021 - and have now booked to attend the Edinburgh Castle celebration - will receive a £10 refund from Ede & Ravenscroft. This will be paid directly to your account.

How much will I need to pay for the event?

The event itself is free, but gowns will be required. If you have already attended our photo opportunity at McEwan Hall, or made use of the home delivery service, you will receive a discount on gown hire for this event. 

Why are we holding these events now?

We are responding to clear demand from students to hold some kind of in-person graduation celebration this year. 

Over the past few months, we have been exploring what options might be available to the University that would to allow us to safely celebrate our students’ achievements, within Scottish Government guidelines.

Following the easing of Scottish Covid-19 restrictions in August, and greater numbers of the population receiving their vaccinations, our plans for in-person ‘graduation celebrations’ this year were able to come together.

We have chosen to host the events at Edinburgh Castle rather than the McEwan Hall, because it will allow us to have a larger capacity than we would be able to normally, so that we can accommodate graduates from 2020 and 2021.

Will I still be able to attend a future in-person graduation event?

If you choose to attend an event at Edinburgh Castle, you will not be able to also attend a future in-person graduation event.

We understand that you might not want to, or be able to, attend the events in August. Our commitment remains that you can attend a future in-person graduation event once they recommence. 

Should I book travel and accommodation now?

We are asking graduates to not book travel or accommodation until they have had their place at an event confirmed. All attendees booking travel and accommodation do so at their own risk, and we would strongly advise students to have travel/cancellation insurance.

What if I can't attend because of Covid-19 restrictions?

We recognise that a lot of international students will not be able to attend these events. Our commitment remains that students can attend a future in-person graduation event once they recommence. 

Attendees from the rest of the UK: Attendees book tickets at their own risk and will need to abide by all Covid-19 rules for the UK when travelling to and attending the event.

Is it safe to hold these events?

These events have been planned in line with Scottish Government guidance, and will take place mainly outdoors to further reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Attendees will be expected to continue to abide by all Covid-19 regulations when they attend these events. Anyone who is self-isolating or has Covid-19 symptoms should not attend these events.

If you do not feel comfortable attending one of these events, you can instead attend a future in-person graduation event once they recommence.

Will I get a refund if I unexpectedly can’t attend my event (e.g. I need to self-isolate, travel restrictions)?

All attendees booking travel and accommodation do so at their own risk, and we would strongly advise students to have travel/cancellation insurance.

Will there be a professional photographer to take my photo?

There will be a bookable professional photographer from Ede and Ravenscroft in the McEwan Hall. 

There will not be an official photographer to take your capping photo in the Great Hall, but as a memento of your capping in the Great Hall, you will receive a personalised video clip. This will be sent to your email account for you to keep and share with friends and family.

Will the events be live streamed for those that are unable to attend?

Yes, it is our intention to live-stream the events for those who are unable to attend.

How do these events tie in with the photo opportunities for graduates, provided earlier this month, and the virtual graduation?

Our plans for these in-person events have only been confirmed recently. We will continue to offer the other graduation opportunities – such as the photo opportunity and virtual graduation online events – that we have already committed to.

Do I have to wear a face covering at any time?

We are encouraging attendees to wear face coverings during the outdoors part of the event, and they will be required when indoors.

What should I wear for the event?

This event will involve standing and walking, on sometimes uneven surfaces, so we advise all attendees to wear comfortable shoes, and clothing that is suitable for wearing underneath a gown.

These events are outside. What if it rains?

We unfortunately can’t control the weather and we do ask that attendees bring appropriate clothing (and umbrellas) in the event of adverse weather.

If you have any specific questions about these events that aren’t covered on this webpage, please contact