Accessibility and Support at Graduations

We are committed to making graduation ceremonies accessible for all graduands and guests. If you have any accessibility requirements or are anxious about the ceremony and need some support, we will do our best to help. This information is for the December 2023 congregations.

If you would like to get in touch, please email us at and we will be happy to talk through the options available to you. This contact address should be used for graduation accessibility and special request purposes only. For general graduation enquiries, please contact us at

We ask you to let us know of any access requirements for you and/or your guests at least two weeks before your ceremony so that appropriate arrangements can be organised. Please note, more advance notice will be needed for BSL bookings.

The support we have previously provided at ceremonies includes British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, walk-throughs of the venue in advance for those with a vision impairment or anxiety, a quiet room for those with sensory access needs or those who are breast-feeding, assistance with getting into the Great Hall for elderly guests, and extra carer tickets. Requests for carer tickets will need to come from the graduating student directly.

Where can I find disabled parking?

If you are driving to the celebrations, parking for blue badge holders is available on campus and is identifiable via the campus mobility map. Some disabled parking may require you to enter restricted campus areas. If this is the case, please press the buzzer to speak to security, who will be able to open the appropriate gate for you. Please ensure that you display your blue badge clearly.

The Venue - Great Hall

Your graduation ceremony will take place on our Edgbaston Campus in the Great Hall (Aston Webb Building). The campus mobility map shows level access routes to the Great Hall. If you require level access, you should enter via the Bramall Building (reference R12 on the campus mobility map).

Entrance of Bramall Music BuildingEntrance of Bramall Music Building 








Items such as mobility scooters and pushchairs can be left in designated areas. These tend to be outside of the Great Hall itself but please speak to a member of staff at the Accessibility & Support Stand on the day of your ceremony for further guidance. 

For hearing aid users, the Aston Webb reception and foyer area has an induction loop system installed and the Great Hall is fitted with an infrared (IR) hearing system.

Registered assistance animals can be brought into the Great Hall. If you are a graduand and have an assistance animal that you plan to bring with you to the Degree Congregations, please email so that we can discuss your requirements.


Graduating students have an allocated seat at the back of the Great Hall. Guest seating is at the front of the Great Hall and is unallocated.

If you are a graduand and would like to request specific seating arrangements due to access needs, please email us at and we can discuss your options. If you are a guest and require special seating arrangements, for example end of row seating, please ensure you arrive at the Aston Webb reception an hour before the ceremony start time and a member of staff will accompany you into the Great Hall to find suitable seating.

Logistics of the graduation ceremonies

Your ceremony will involve:

  • Being seated for approximately one and a half hours (both graduands and guests)
  • Waiting in line for approximately five minutes before your name is read out
  • Accessing the stage by a set of stairs (please let us know beforehand if you have any mobility access needs that would require alternative arrangements)
  • Leaving the stage and returning to your seat at the back of the hall via the central aisle

There will also be moments of music and clapping throughout the ceremony, which can become very loud.

You can get a feel for what your graduation ceremony may look like by watching recordings of previous congregations on the University of Birmingham's YouTube Channel.

If you have any concerns about the logistics of your graduation ceremony, please email us at to discuss how we can make the day easier for you.

Robing and certificate collection


If you have hired robes to wear at your graduation ceremony, these will need to be collected from the first floor of the Bramall building (reference R12 on the campus mobility map), which can be accessed using a lift. There will be members of staff from Ede and Ravenscroft available to help you put on your robes correctly. The robe return point will be on the lower-ground floor of the Bramall Music Building. 

Bramall Lift

 Certificate Collection

Students who attend a Degree Congregation in the Great Hall, or who graduate in absentia and opt to collect their certificate from campus, will be able to collect their documents from the lower-ground floor of the Bramall Music Building (next to the robe return point).


Ede and Ravenscroft offer a range of photography packages, which can be booked online using the same form as for hiring academic dress. Portrait photography will take place in the Nuffield Building which has level access. The studios will be open from 08:00 until 20:00 on ceremony days.

Entrance to Nuffield Building

Where can I find accessibility support on the day?

There will be an Accessibility & Support Stand on the day of your ceremony located in the Bramall Music Building (R12 on the campus mobility map). Please visit us here if you have any questions or concerns on the day, and a member of staff will be able to assist you.

The university is unable to provide wheelchairs for graduands and guests to borrow. However, you can speak to a member of staff at our Accessibility & Support Stand who will be able to support you and suggest limited walking routes.