Skip to main content

Official and Academic Dress

A. Official Dress

1. The Chancellor

The Chancellor shall wear a robe of black damask figured silk, the fronts, hem, sleeves, back, sides and flap collar trimmed with gold lace two inches and a half in width; the sleeve shall be faced with twelve bars of gold lace one inch and three quarters in width running horizontally, four above the arm slit and eight below; the sleeve ends shall be square.

The cap shall be square and of black silk velvet trimmed with a gold lace band one inch in width with gold bullion tassel and button.

2. The Pro-Chancellors (including Chair of Council)

The Pro-Chancellors shall wear robes of black damask figured silk, the fronts and flap collar trimmed with gold lace two inches in width; there shall be one broad bar of gold lace placed horizontally at the bottom of each sleeve which shall be square ended. The hem and sleeve slits shall be trimmed with gold lace one inch in width. The caps shall be square and of black silk velvet trimmed with gold lace bands three-quarters of an inch in width with gold bullion button and gold silk tassel.

3. The President and Vice-Chancellor

The President and Vice-Chancellor shall wear a robe of black damask figured silk, the fronts, yoke and sleeves being trimmed with gold lace one inch and three quarters in width; the sleeves and yoke shall be in the Oxford MA style. The cap shall be square and of black silk velvet, trimmed with a gold lace band half an inch in width with a gold button and black silk tassel.

4. The Vice-Presidents

The Vice-Presidents shall wear robes of the same material and pattern as that prescribed for the Vice-Chancellor, the fronts, yoke and sleeves being trimmed with silver lace one inch and three quarters in width. The caps shall be square and of black silk velvet trimmed with silver lace bands half an inch in width, with silver button and black silk tassel.

5. The Esquire Bedell

The Esquire Bedell shall wear a ceremonial robe of black damask figured silk of the Oxford MA pattern but with a flap collar and front facings, the armholes being bound with gold lace two inches in width, and the flap collar edged with gold lace one inch and three quarters in width. The cap shall be round and of black velvet with gold cord and tassel.

6. The Marshal

The Marshal shall wear a gown of plain black russell cord in the Oxford MA pattern with facings to the yoke edged with two and a half inches of University blue taffeta and sleeves trimmed one inch University blue ribbon. The yoke shall be trimmed with a blue cord and button.

The cap shall be round and of black velvet with blue cord and tassel.

B. Academic Dress

1. Degree Colours

The colours distinctive of the various degrees shall be:

Arts and Letters (including Arts in Education and Music)Mid-cerise
Science (including Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Oceanography, Geology, Geophysics, Environmental, Biological and Science in EducationRich Gold
EngineeringPrimrose Yellow
Science in the Social SciencesLight Green
LawsBlue (as the University silk)
Medicine and SurgeryCrimson
Medical SciencesRich Gold edged with crimson cord piping
Nursing and MidwiferyPowder Blue
Science in Medicine, Health & Biological Sciences (including Occupational Therapy, Podiatry and Physiotherapy)Turquoise
Philosophy (postgraduate research only)Claret
The following degree colours are no longer awarded but retained for historical purposes: 
MusicIvory
TheologyPurple
EducationWhite
Business AdministrationPetrol Blue

2. Gowns

All Diplomas, Foundation, Bachelor and Masters at first degree level, and Diplomas and Certificates at Postgraduate level, shall be entitled to wear a black gown of the approved material, as listed in the Appendix, and of the London BA pattern, the sleeves being looped and gathered at the elbow by a cord and button of University blue, and the gown shall have a similar cord and button on the yoke.

All Fellows shall be entitled to wear a black gown of the approved material and of the Oxford MA pattern with a cord and button of University blue on the yoke. Fellows will not wear a hood as a degree is not being conferred.

Masters at second degree level shall wear a black gown of the approved material and of the Oxford MA pattern with a cord and button of University blue on the yoke.

Doctors of Philosophy in undress shall wear a black gown of the approved material of the same pattern as that prescribed for Masters, save that the armhole shall be bound with one row of braid, and with a claret cord and button on the yoke.

Doctors of Philosophy in full dress shall wear a robe of claret-coloured cloth of the Oxford Doctor's pattern, the sleeves being of the University silk, the fronts faced with the same silk to a width of five inches and with a claret cord and button on the yoke.

Doctors other than Doctors of Philosophy in undress shall wear a black gown of the approved material of the same pattern as that prescribed for Masters, save that the armhole shall be bound with two rows of braid, and with a cord and button of the degree colour on the yoke.

Doctors other than Doctors of Philosophy in full dress shall wear a robe of scarlet superfine cloth of the Oxford Doctor's pattern, the sleeves being of the University silk, and the fronts being faced with the same silk to a width of five inches. There shall be a cord and button of the degree colour on the yoke.

Doctors of Design shall wear a robe of scarlet superfine cloth of the Oxford Doctor's pattern, the sleeves being of the University silk, and the fronts being faced with the same silk to a width of five inches. There shall be a pink cord and button on the yoke.

Doctors of the University shall wear a robe of scarlet superfine cloth of the Oxford Doctor's pattern, the sleeves being of the University silk, and the fronts being faced with the same silk to a width of five inches. There shall be a scarlet cord and button on the yoke.

3. Hoods

All Foundation degree hoods shall be of an approved black material in the CNAA/Aberdeen shape, lined in black. A tapered edging inside the cowl of University silk shall commence 10 inches from the loop to a width of one and a half inches.

All Pre-Registration Diplomate Nurses hoods shall be of an approved black material in the CNAA style, lined in black. The hood proper shall be edged three-eighths of an inch inside the cowl in University blue silk.

All Bachelors, Masters and Doctors hoods shall be fully lined with the University silk. The neck portion shall be cut on the curve with a single central seam, no neck band shall be let in and the neck shall not be edged.

All Bachelors and Masters at first degree level shall wear a black hood of approved material fully lined with the University silk and of the improved Oxford MA Burgon type, of the pattern deposited with the Robemakers. Except as stated below, the hood proper shall be edged inside and out with the appropriate degree colour to a width of three-eighths of an inch. In the case of the Bachelor of Laws, the lining shall be turned over three-eighths of an inch on the outside so as to provide an outside edging. In the case of Masters at first degree level the width of the edging shall be one inch.

Masters at second degree level and Masters of Surgery, shall wear a black hood of approved material fully lined with the University silk and of the London MA type, of the pattern deposited with the Robemakers. The hood proper shall be edged inside and out with the appropriate degree colour (except in the case of the Master of Laws) to a width of three-eighths of an inch. In the case of the Master of Laws the lining shall be turned over three-eighths of an inch on the outside of the hood proper. In all Masters' hoods the cape shall be well rounded and the lining of the cape shall be turned over on the outside to a width of three-eighths of an inch.

Masters of Surgery shall wear a hood of black superfine cloth fully lined with the University silk and of the Oxford Doctor's type, of the pattern deposited with the Robemakers. The hood proper shall be edged inside and out with crimson and the lining of the cape shall be turned over on the outside, both to a width of three-eighths of an inch.

Doctors of Philosophy shall wear a hood of maroon or claret-coloured cloth fully lined with the University silk and of the Oxford Doctor's type, of the pattern deposited with the Robemakers.

Doctors other than Doctors of Philosophy shall wear a hood of scarlet superfine cloth fully lined with the University silk and of the Oxford Doctor's type, of the pattern deposited with the Robemakers.

4. Caps

All Diplomas, Foundation, Bachelors, all Masters and Doctors in undress shall wear square caps of the mortar-board pattern of black cloth with black silk tassel.

All Fellows shall wear a black velour bonnet with pale blue bullion cord and tassel.

Doctors of Philosophy in full dress shall wear a round cap of black cloth with claret cord and tassel.

Doctors other than Doctors of Philosophy in full dress shall wear a round cap of black velvet with cord and tassel of the appropriate degree colour.

Doctors of the University shall wear a round cap of black velvet with scarlet cord and tassel.

5. Graduates Honoris Causa

The holders of a degree of the University awarded honoris causa shall be entitled to wear the robe or gown, hood and cap of the degree as hereinbefore described.

6. Correct Wear with Academic Dress

When wearing full academic dress, smart dress should be worn. Where appropriate, national dress or full military uniform can be worn.

7. Previous Regulations

Doctors of Philosophy who graduated before 1968 may continue to wear the gown and robe prescribed under the previous Regulations (see 1967-68 Calendar, pp. 103-105). The academic dress for Bachelors of Arts in Law, Bachelors, Masters and Doctors of Science in Engineering is prescribed in the previous Regulations (see 1967-68 Calendar, pp. 103-105). The academic dress for Bachelors, Masters and Doctors of Science in Economics is the same as that prescribed above for similar degrees in Science in the Social Sciences. The academic dress for Bachelors of Music is prescribed in the previous Regulations (see 1978-79 Calendar, Vol. I, pp. 191-193).

The holders of the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (Collegiate), Bachelor of Science (Collegiate) and Bachelor of Education (Collegiate) shall wear the gowns, hoods and caps prescribed respectively for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education.

The holders of the degrees of Master of Arts (Education), Master of Science (Education), Master of Music, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Education shall wear the gowns, hoods and caps as prescribed in the previous Regulations (see 2004-05 Calendar, Section IV/Official and Academic Dress).

8. Change in Roles

The following no longer play a part in ceremonies: The Chief Operating Officer, the Vice-Chair of Council, the Treasurer, members of Council.

Appendix1 - Materials

9. The approved materials shall be:

  • Bachelor's Gown and Hood: Russell-cord, poplin or ribbed rayon.
  • Master's Gown: Russell-cord, poplin, ribbed rayon or corded Ottoman silk.
  • Doctor's Undress Gown and Master's Hood: Poplin, ribbed rayon, or corded Ottoman silk.

10. The Official Robes and a System of Academic Dress for the University were designed in 1953 by Charles A H Franklyn, Esq, MA MD MRCS FLS FSA and amended in 1997.

11. The University's Official Robemakers are Graduation Attire, Evess Group, Unit 1, FUSE Business Park, Wixams, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK45 3RG.

 

Reviewed/updated in July 2017
Reviewed/updated in June 2023

Back
to top