Student Administration

Castle Graduation Celebrations - Summer 2021

Graduates will be celebrating their achievements with friends and loved ones in a series of events at Edinburgh Castle.

We are delighted to be hosting graduation celebrations at the iconic venue of Edinburgh Castle between 26th and 29th August 2021. 

These special events, at this unique location, will be a celebration of graduates’ achievements, and not a graduation ceremony, as they have already officially graduated from the University. 

A walkthrough of the event with Students’ Association President, Ellen MacRae

Ellen gives a sneak preview of what students can expect on the day of our Graduation Celebrations at Edinburgh Castle. 

Video: Walkthrough of Castle Graduation Celebrations - Summer 2021
Ellen MacRae, President of the Students’ Association gives a sneak preview of what students can expect on the day of our Graduation Celebrations at Edinburgh Castle.

Information for attendees

We hope that you and your guests are looking forward to your graduation celebration event at Edinburgh Castle.

Download our app

In order to prepare for this event, and find out more about what to expect, we recommend downloading the University of Edinburgh Event app, where you will find the Castle Graduation Celebration Guide. This guide contains:

  • Everything that you need to do before the event (including registering at McEwan Hall and collecting your gown) 
  • The event map
  • The event schedule
  • ­Health and safety information
  • A livestream of each event as it occurs

You can download the free app and guide on Apple and Android devices. The app is compatible with iOS, Android, Blackberry 10+, and Amazon Kindle. To download the app:

  • Search for any of the following words: 'Edinburgh Events' or 'Edinburgh University events' on the Google Play or Apple App stores and download the ‘UoE Events App’.
  • Once you have downloaded the UoE Events App, you will see the Castle Graduation Celebrations Guide listed on the homepage, or by searching for it under ‘Find Guides’.

If you are unable to download the app, we have included the key information below.

Before the event

Please remember that before heading to the Castle, you and your guests will need to go to the McEwan Hall in Bristo Square to collect your security wristbands and to pick up your graduation gown. Your guests must be with you to collect their wrist bands as part of the Castle security measures.

You will not be allowed into Edinburgh Castle without these wristbands.

We recommend allowing at least 60 minutes to do this before your event starts. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from Bristo Square to Edinburgh Castle.

Ensure that you arrive at the Castle Esplanade for your chosen start time, and this is where the procession will begin.

Event schedule

  • These are walking events and mostly outdoors, so remember to come prepared for all weather conditions and with suitable shoes.
  • Each attendee has been given a different time when you will need to be at the Castle Esplanade. Please check your email confirmation to find out when your event starts.
  • Once you are at the Esplanade, you will walk over the Castle drawbridge, proceeding to the Great Hall, accompanied by performers from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Graduates will be capped by a senior University representative inside the Great Hall.
  • Once you are capped, you will then continue to walk through the Castle before ending your walk back at the Esplanade.

After your graduation event

Don’t forget to return your gown to McEwan Hall by 11pm on the day of your event, and also collect any luggage you may have left.

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.

If sharing on social media, use our graduations hashtag #EdinburghGrads and we’ll share some of our favourite photos and videos on our channels!

Health and safety information

Latest Covid-19 guidance

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

On 9th August, Scotland removed most Covid-19 restrictions:

Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance

However, some protective measures remain in place which all attendees will need to adhere to such as the use of face coverings and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect.

We encourage attendees to wear face coverings outdoors, and they will be required indoors.

Anyone who is self-isolating or has Covid-19 symptoms must not attend these events.

Health and Safety in the Castle

Please note that during the procession around the Castle, there will be uneven surfaces, including inclines and declines. It is important that you and your guests wear sensible footwear.

Further information

You can find FAQs about these Castle Graduation Celebrations below:

Castle Graduation Celebrations: FAQs

Contact us

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