Academic dress and gown hire information

In addition to the gown and either a mortar board or soft cap, sub fusc should also be worn underneath for matriculation, examinations and graduation, as well as for various other formal events. 

Please note, you may be prevented from entering the Examination Schools or Sheldonian Theatre if you are not wearing the correct gowning, so it is very important that you adhere strictly to the dress code.

Full details may be found on the University's website. Additional instructions concerning academic dress and the changing of gowns specifically during the graduation ceremony can be found on the College's graduation ceremonies page.


What is academic dress?
Students are required to wear either the gown of their current Oxford degree, if previously conferred, or the advanced student gown over their sub fusc. Students must also carry a mortarboard or soft cap at all times.

What is the advanced student gown?
This is a slightly longer version of the undergraduate gown, and is worn by students starting a postgraduate course at Oxford who do not already hold an Oxford postgraduate degree.

Where can academic attire be hired or purchased?
Students are responsible for hiring or purchasing their own gowning items from the vendor of their choice. Entering "Oxford gown hire" into a search engine will direct you to most of the vendors on the High Street, Turl Street and Broad Street. Shops that hire and sell academic dress in Oxford include Castell & Son Ltd, Ede and Ravenscroft, Shepherd and Woodward and Walters of Oxford. Watch out for Fresher's offers and deals each September/early October. They can sell out quickly!

Useful videos are available to view from Shepherd and Woodward and Walters of Oxford.

What is sub fusc?
Sub fusc consists of the following items of clothing worn underneath the gown:

1. One of the following combinations:
       a. Dark suit with dark socks or
       b. Dark skirt with plain black tights or stockings or
       c. Dark trousers with plain dark socks

2. Plain white collared shirt or blouse

3. One of the following:
       a. White bow tie or
       b. Black bow tie or
       c. Black full-length tie or
       d. Black ribbon

4. Black shoes

5. A dark coat, if desired

For enquiries, please contact the Academic Office.

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