Gowns, photos & certificates

SU president addressing ceremony
Graduation is a fantastic day of celebration. To ensure everything runs smoothly, there are some important things to prepare and consider before the day itself.

Gowns and official photographs must be ordered and paid for before the relevant deadlines. On Graduation day, don't forget to collect your degree certificates as an official record of your achievment and your time at the RCM.


As a matter of tradition, all graduands must wear a gown if they wish to take part of the graduation ceremony. Gowns and hoods can be hired from the RCM’s supplier, William Northam. 

The RCM has no formal dress code for Graduation. You can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable under your gown. However, this is an important ceremonial occasion, and most students dress smartly.

Deadline for hiring gowns: Friday 21 June 2024

Please make sure you have organised your gown hire by date by Friday 21st June at the latest. After this date William Northam will be preparing the gowns for dispatch and may not be able to accommodate a late order.

How to order your gown

William Northam operates an online ordering system, which includes clear instructions for hiring your gown. Please note that the RCM’s academic dress does not include a mortarboard.

The order form will open on Wednesday 29 May and close on Friday 21 June.

Hire a gown

If you would like to buy a gown please contact William Northam directly for details of prices and how to order. The gowns for purchase are made to order and take some time to produce, so you should contact them as soon as possible.

Clothing tips

When you collect your gown, specialist staff will show you how to put it on properly.

The gown and hood are made of quite heavy material and you wish to bring a kirby grip (bobby pin) or two to keep them in place. 

The RCM has no formal dress code for what you should wear underneath your gown, but Graduation is a formal occasion and smart clothing is recommended. 

Official photographs

The official Graduation photographer, Chris Christodoulou, will be taking individual portrait photos during Graduation week and a variety of photographs throughout the event.

Deadline for ordering photographs: Friday 21 June

Please complete the order form below and send it with payment directly to the photographer, as indicated on the form.

Individual portraits

Individual portrait photographs will be taken in Opera Room 1. There are two sessions to choose from. Please indicate your preferred date in your photo booking form.

Wednesday 3 July, 10am–3.30pm

The photographer will have a sample gown for you to wear for your photo. 

Thursday 4 July, 9.30am–3.30pm

Please collect your own gown from Northams staff before your photo.

When booking your photograph, you will be asked to indicate whether you wish to attend in the morning or afternoon.

Tips for preparing for your photo

If you are unexpectedly delayed on the day of your photo appointment, please call the photographer to let him know on 07976 157455.

Group photographs

Group photographs will be taken on the day of Graduation before registration for your ceremony.

Please make sure you are present for the group photograph (wearing your academic dress), even if you do not wish to purchase one. We would like to have a record for posterity of everyone who graduated this year!

How to order official photographs

Details of the photo packages available can be found in the PDF below. Orders should be made through our online form and all payments must be made direct to the photographer. Payment details can be found on the order form.

Photography packages

Photography questions

If you have questions about your photography order, these should be directed to the photographer, Chris Christodoulou at chris@photochris.co.uk

Graduation certificates

Graduates will be able to collect their Graduation certificates and official transcripts after their ceremony.

Registry staff will be in the Inner Foyer during each reception. Don’t forget to collect your certificate before you leave!

Outstanding fees

The RCM cannot release certificates if you have any outstanding tuition fees or re-assessment fees, so please make sure these are cleared before Graduation.

Certificates for graduates who are not attending Graduation

If you are unable to attend Graduation, please ensure that you let us know by completing the Graduation Reply Form. Certificates will be available for you to collect from Registry during normal working hours from Monday 8 July until Friday 19 July.

Alternatively, the RCM can post your certificate to you; please ensure that you provide your preferred delivery address when completing the reply form.

Additional copies of transcripts

Certificate and transcript questions

If you have questions about your certificate or transcript, please contact the Registry Assistants on registry@rcm.ac.uk.

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