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Graduation Venues

Our ceremonies and associated activities take place over two locations:

  • Waterside Campus
  • The Royal & Derngate Theatre

Students will need to visit both of these locations for their ceremony and, depending upon their ability and involvement, guests will also visit both locations.

Gowning and photography will take place before your ceremony at Waterside Campus. Once gowning and photography has finished, students and guests need to make their own way to the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton Town Centre.

A ceremonies walking route has been planned for those choosing to walk from Waterside to the theatre. This walk is half a mile and we would anticipate this taking a maximum of 20 minutes (slow pace.)

After the ceremony has finished gowns will need to be returned to Waterside Campus.

Waterside Campus

Gowning and Photography both take place on Waterside Campus. Alongside this there will be a variety of other stalls such as merchandising, Alumni, and the Academic Partnership office.

A large variety of refreshments specially provided for the ceremonies will be available on campus and will range from sit-down dinners, street food, ice-cream, and prosecco through to coffee, and bespoke graduation cupcakes.

Our Waterside Bar and Restaurant will be open during the weekend and tables for a family meal can be booked in advance of the weekend.

Family-Friendly Viewing Area

There is a family-friendly viewing area in the Learning Hub on Waterside Campus. The ceremonies will be live streamed to a big screen for any guests without tickets and those with children under the age of five.

Alongside the viewing screen, there will also be some activities for children and guests such as face-painting, giant games, and multiple photo opportunities.


We now have a hotel on Waterside Campus, Sunley Hotel. You can find details on our special graduation rate by downloading our Sunley flyer.

The Royal & Derngate Theatre

Our ceremonies take place at the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

Upon arrival at the theatre, all students will need to register in the foyer. Once the auditorium is open all students and guests will need to enter and be directed to their seats.

All graduating students enter the auditorium via doors C and D, no tickets are needed. Graduates will be met by a ceremony marshal who will take them to their allocated seat and provide final ceremony instructions.

Guests enter the auditorium via the door letter indicated on their guest ticket; tickets can be shown on paper or on a device. The doors are as follows:

  • Doors A – F: Ground floor entry; some steps involved except for door F which is flat access.
  • Doors G – K: First floor entry; stairs and lifts available. Doors H and J allow flat access into the auditorium.
  • Doors L – M: Second Floor entry; stairs access only, no lift to this floor.

Students should ensure guests have their tickets once registration has been completed, as students will not be with their guests they need to show their tickets to gain access to the auditorium.

The threatre has a variety of refreshment options available for students and guests, ranging from coffees and cake, through to alcoholic beverages to celebrate, and sit-down meal options.

The ceremonies will also be streamed live to TV screens in the foyer should guests not have tickets to access the auditorium.

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