Academic Dress at Sheffield Hallam University

Academic Dress at Sheffield Hallam University

11th September, 2019

Today we're taking a closer look at the academic dress worn by graduating students at Sheffield Hallam University, one of few UK universities to graduate in the winter.

Origins of the University

Sheffield Hallam University traces its roots back to Sheffield School of Design, which was founded during the industrial revolution when Sheffield became an important manufacturing hub. In 1969 the design school merged with Sheffield’s College of Technology to form Sheffield Polytechnic, which then again merged with two teacher training colleges in the 1970s.

Like many polytechnics, Sheffield Polytechnic was awarded university status in 1992 and Sheffield Hallam University was born. ‘Hallam’ is actually a historical name for the area of South Yorkshire in which Sheffield sits. With the power to award its own degrees came the need to design a new scheme of academic dress, which has remained the same to the present day.

Academic Dress at Sheffield Hallam

The academic gowns and hoods at Sheffield Hallam are based on a similar colour scheme to the University’s branding and logo, incorporating maroon, silver and black cross all levels of study.

Sheffield Hallam Bachelors Gown


Interestingly Sheffield Hallam is one of very few universities outside of Wales to use the Welsh style of gown, which can be recognised for its 3 buttons and ‘W’ shaped detailing on each sleeve. This design was based on the Prince of Wales coat of arms, however it is unclear why it was adopted at Sheffield Hallam.

Welsh Style Academic Gown


Bachelors and masters students both wear black hoods lined with a combination of maroon and silver silk, whilst doctoral students wear a hood made of maroon cloth, lined entirely with silver.

Graduation Ceremonies at Sheffield Hallam

Sheffield Hallam are one of few UK universities that hold their main graduation ceremony in the winter, with both undergraduate and postgraduate students receiving their degrees in November. The graduation ceremony is run by the University’s dedicated graduation department and hosted at Sheffield City Hall. More information about the event can be found on the University website

Sheffield Hallam University graduation gown sets are available to hire or purchase via the Churchill Gowns website and are priced from £34.