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Regalia (Graduation Gear)

As part of the formal graduation ceremony, you are required to wear official Ara regalia. Regalia is traditional academic clothing such as the hood and gown, and differs depending on what your qualification is.

All graduands, no matter what qualification you are receiving, are required to wear regalia. If you are not wearing regalia, you will not be able to cross the stage.

You are responsible for ordering your own regalia. You need to do this through  GWC Regalia Hire who own and maintain the regalia for Ara ceremonies.

An order link will be emailed to you approximately four weeks prior to the ceremony.

Please DO NOT use the GWC Casual Hire form.

Christchurch graduates collect collect your regalia from GWC's premises on the UC Dovedale Campus, Wairarapa Building, Block ED15, Ilam. Parking is in Car Park 1, off Parkstone Ave or Solway Ave.

During graduation season, GWC’s hours are extended and you can collect your regalia anytime between 8am – 7pm the day before graduation.

If you are unable to collect your regalia, a family member or friend can collect it on your behalf. However, you MUST give your nominated collection person your correct height measurement - and if you are eligible to wear a trencher - your head circumference (measured just above the ears).

Regalia must be returned, in good order, before 7pm on your graduation day. A family member or friend can return regalia on your behalf if necessary.

After graduation, the GWC Regalia Hire opening hours go back to standard hours which are Tuesdays and Thursdays 9.30am – 2.30pm.

The online form makes ordering your regalia really easy. You just select your qualification and it automatically tells you what you need. A link to the form will be emailed to you approximately four weeks before the ceremony.


A black, Cambridge-style gown is worn under the Ara graduation scarf or hood. The sleeves on the Cambridge gown have two openings:

  • graduates for a certificate, diploma or degree that have no previous degree use the lower opening
  • any graduate with a previous degree, new degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, postgraduate or Masters use the higher opening

Diploma and certificate scarf

A diploma scarf (dark teal) is worn by graduates receiving diplomas or graduate diplomas and a certificate scarf (light teal) is worn by graduates receiving certificates or graduate certificates.

Degree hood

The degree hood incorporates an Ara diploma scarf. The hood is worn with the scarf sitting on the shoulders and the hood hanging down the wearer’s back.

Note: Please don’t iron your hood! It can cause damage, and you will be charged the full replacement cost of $180.

Hood lining colours

Each degree hood lining is a different colour denoting the degree being conferred

Korowai or ta’ōvala

Some graduates also add traditional elements such as korowai or ta’ōvala. These may be worn over your academic gown. If you are wearing one of these elements, please request a lighter-weight gown when ordering your regalia.



Degree (Bachelor of)

Hood Colour


Applied Management

  Sky Blue

Hospitality, Business & Service Industries

Applied Science


Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Architectural Studies


Engineering & Architectural Studies

Broadcasting Communications

  Silver Grey

Creative Arts & Digital Information




Engineering & Architectural Studies



Creative Arts & Digital Information

Engineering Technology


Engineering & Architectural Studies

Information & Communication Technologies


Hospitality, Business & Service Industries

Language (Japanese)



Language (Māori)

  Scarlet & Kowhaiwhai


Medical Imaging

  Irish Green

Health Practice


  Burnished Gold

Health Practice


  Cobalt Blue

Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Musical Arts

  Old Gold

Creative Arts & Digital Information



Health Practice

Performing Arts


Creative Arts & Digital Information

Social Work


Applied Sciences and Social Practice

Sustainability & Outdoor Education

  Forest Green


Tourism and Hospitality Management

  Blue Sapphire

Hospitality, Business & Service Industries

Post Graduate Certificates and Diplomas


All Departments


Gold with blue stripes

All Departments


Note: If you already have a degree and are now receiving an Ara degree, you are required to wear the Ara regalia. It’s not appropriate to wear two hoods.

Yes absolutely! You are welcome to add traditional adornments such as korowai, ta’ōvala or other cultural garments of honour. These may be worn over your academic gown – you still need to order regalia.

If you are wearing one of these garments, please request a lighter-weight gown when ordering your regalia.

If you notify Ara that you are withdrawing from your Graduation ceremony at least 7 working days before the ceremony, you will receive a full refund of your regalia hire costs minus a $10 administration fee.

However, if you do not collect your regalia and do not let us know in advance, there are no refunds.

If you are prevented from attending graduation at the last minute due to illness or travel disruption, you can hire your regalia for photos or a private ceremony at another time.

To advise your withdrawal from a graduation ceremony, please email

The hire cost of your regalia will depend on the qualification you are receiving.

The online order form will automatically tell you what regalia you need, or you can check 'What type of regalia do I wear'.



 Ara scarf (certificate or diploma)




 Ara hood


 Trencher Hat



In addition to the regalia hire fee, a $50 security hold will be applied to the card used to purchase the regalia hire with GWC. If you cannot provide this amount AT CHECK-IN, you will not be able to collect your regalia. This security hold cannot be paid in cash. 

The security hold will show as a pending transaction and will automatically ‘drop off’ after 7 days, once it’s been confirmed that the regalia was returned undamaged within the above timeframe.

Please be aware if regalia is not returned, or is damaged, you will be charged at replacement cost which is:

  • Gown - $650
  • Hood - $180
  • Trencher Hat - $225
  • Scarf - $100

Check out our How to Graduate video – it shows you exactly how to wear the regalia depending on your qualification.

We recommend that you dress in smart/semi-formal wear, under your regalia.

There is no set dress code but most graduands and guests choose to wear smart, semi-formal day wear with their regalia.