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Academic Dress (Regalia)

A student being capped at graduation

Description of Regalia items

Members of the University must appear at its public ceremonies in their prescribed dress.  For graduation you must hire, borrow or buy the appropriate academic regalia as listed below:

  • Gown - there are four types of gowns: a black Bachelor's gown, a black Master's gown, a maroon gown for PhD, DClinDent, EdD and DMA degrees, and a scarlet gown for other doctoral degreesIllustration of a trencher also known as a cap

  • Cap - the cap for all Masters' and Bachelors' degrees is a black trencher or 'mortar board'. Doctoral graduates wear a black velvet cap

  • Hood - this hangs around your neck and down your back and the colour of the hood lining denotes the degree

Regalia is worn for only one degree at a time, so you should not mix a Master's gown with a Bachelor's hood, for instance.

Only one hood is worn at a time, therefore if you are receiving two degrees, you should choose which hood you will wear at the ceremony. You will not need the second hood for formal purposes, but may still wish to hire this for photographs.

Regalia hire volunteers and graduation marshals will advise you on wearing your regalia correctly.


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Which Regalia items to wear


Graduating with a Degree

If you are receiving a degree (including a doctoral degree) you need to hire a trencher (or cap), gown, and hood. You must wear your gown and hood to the ceremony, and carry your trencher (or cap) until you have received your degree.


Graduating with a Second or Postgraduate Degree

If you are receiving a second or postgraduate degree, you wear the regalia appropriate to your new degree and, as you will be capped again, you do not wear your trencher (or cap) until after you receive this degree.


Graduating with a Postgraduate Diploma

If you are receiving a postgraduate diploma, you wear the regalia appropriate to your degree (even if you obtained your degree from another institution), as diplomas do not have their own unique regalia.

As you are not being "capped", you must wear your trencher (or cap) while you are crossing the stage.  Men should remove their trencher (or cap) for the National Anthem.


Graduating with a Diploma (including a Postgraduate Diploma), No Previous Degree

If you are receiving a diploma (including a postgraduate diploma) and do not hold a degree, you need only a black Bachelor's gown worn without a hood or trencher.


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What to wear with your Regalia

There is no prescribed dress code, but most graduands chose to wear smart, semi-formal daywear with their regalia. Please be aware that Graduation day involves a lot of walking, including going up and down stairs, so very high heels may not be practical.

Korowai and equivalent ceremonial garments of other culture may be worn with academic regalia.


Hiring Regalia

Academic regalia is normally hired from the New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women (Otago Branch). Proceeds provide funds for fellowships, awards, and grants.

You can select the regalia that you wish to hire and pay the associated charge by credit card as part of your graduation application within your eVision student portal.  Please ensure that you make your payment at least five weeks before your graduation ceremony. 

If you are graduating with a diploma or a postgraduate diploma, and obtained your degree from another institution, please note that we cannot guarantee the availability of regalia from anywhere other than the University of Otago.

If you have other family members who hold a degree and wish to hire regalia for photographic purposes, they must contact one of the regalia conveners for your ceremony directly to arrange this.

Information about collecting and returning your regalia, and contact details for the regalia conveners will be sent to you via email approximately 6 weeks prior to your graduation ceremony.


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Payment for Regalia hire

You will be able to see how much you need to pay for the items you need to hire within your graduation application in your eVision student portal.  You will also be able to pay for your regalia hire by credit card.


Purchasing Regalia

If you wish to purchase your own set of regalia there are two companies within New Zealand (links to their contact details appear below), who make regalia to order.

If you are wanting to purchase regalia prior so you can wear this at your graduation ceremony, please ensure that you allow plenty of time for your regalia to be made and sent to you.

For further information about purchasing regalia including the cost, please contact either Ballantynes in Christchurch, or Étude Classique in Auckland, directly.

Go to Ballantynes "Contact Us" webpage

Go to Étude Classique "Contact Us" webpage


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