Otago Polytechnic

Next graduation:

Friday 8 December 2017

Registrations open:

October - November 2017

Dunedin and Central Graduation

Students graduating from the Dunedin and Central campus will have their ceremony in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Watch the livestream online (the stream will activate on the day).

  Graduation Registration Information

You are expected to graduate within 18 months of completing your qualification and the marjority of graduands do graduate within three months of completion.

You must register for graduation online via the link sent to your email address. The link will be sent to both your personal and Otago Polytechnic email address, however you need only respond once

It is important that all your contact information is up to date so you do not miss important graduation messages we send.

 When registering for graduation you will be asked to tell us;

  • whether you will be graduating in person or in absentia
  • whether you will be attending the Maori Pre-Graduation Celebration and/or your School Pre-Graduation Function
  • about any special seating arrangements required for yourself or your guests
  • your academic dress height and head size information. 

Gown Room Location

Click here to see a complete campus map >

Gown room

  Guest Tickets

As a graduand, you do not require a ticket to the Graduation Ceremony for yourself. Four guest tickets will be allocated to each graduand who registers to attend the Graduation Ceremony. Applications for extra tickets can be made by emailing graduation@op.ac.nz

Tickets will be available to collect with your academic dress at the Otago Polytechnic Gown Room (opening hours available in the Quick Guide to Graduation information sheet).

  Programme of Main Events

Details available here soon!

  Special Student Awards

The Special Student Awards will be presented by the Chief Executive following the academic award presentations. Those students receiving Special Student Awards will be notified in writing prior to the Graduation Ceremony.

  School/College Pre-graduation Functions

Details available here soon!


Whether you're travelling to Graduation to attend the ceremony yourself or visiting to support your loved ones, you may need to book accommodation quite early to ensure you find something,

To find accommodation near the Dunedin campus, visit HotelsCombined

  Presentation of Awards

All Certificates will be presented first, followed by Diplomas and Degrees.  Graduands’ names are all read alphabetically.

Conferring of Degrees

For those receiving Masters and Bachelor Degrees, please hold the trencher in your left hand when making your way onto the stage. The Chairperson will confer your Degree by holding a trencher over your head.  For those receiving Postgraduate Degrees, please wear your trencher onto the stage. The Chairperson will shake your hand and the Chief Executive will then hand you your Degree. Once you have received your Degree you should then put on your trencher and continue across the stage and exit by the steps at the far side.  The trencher should be worn for the remainder of the ceremony.

You will not necessarily return to the same seat after you have been across the stage, so it is best not to bring cameras, handbags, or other items into the Dunedin Town Hall. Please note that there will be no facilities in the Dunedin Town Hall for leaving valuables; these should therefore be left with friends or family members.

  Graduation Ceremony Dates & Times

Otago Polytechnic now has three graduations for Dunedin and Central campus students every year. There are two ceremonies in December and one ceremony in March.  For the Schools/Colleges Ceremony details please see below:

Colleges/Schools that graduate in December each year are:

Ceremony 1 - 12.30 pm

Capable NZ

College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing ( Social Services)

College of Te Ohu Ora ( Sports and Massage)

Ceremony 2 - 3.30 pm

Central Campus

College of Art & Design (Dunedin School of Art & School of Design

College of Enterprise and Developoment (Business and IT)

School of Nursing

Colleges/Schools that graduate in March each year are:

Ceremony - 3.00 pm

Central Campus

College of Engineering, Construction and Living Sciences (ABE & VET)

College of Te Ohu Ora (Occupational Therapy)

Food Design Institute

School of Midwfiery

Upcoming graduation dates confirmed:

Firiday 8 December 2017

Friday 9 March 2018

Friday 14 December 2018

Friday 8 March 2019

Friday 13 December 2019

Friday 13 March 2020

Friday 11 December 2020

Friday 12 March 2021

Friday 10 December 2021


Arrangements have been made with McRobie Studios for an individual photograph to be taken of those who cross the stage at the Graduation Ceremony. Photographs will be taken as degrees are conferred and awards are presented.

These photographs, along with frames and mattes with the Otago Polytechnic logo*, will be available for purchase through McRobie Studios. 

Photos are $15.00

Framed photos are $65.00*

To assist us on the day in finding the graduate, please have the page number ready in the graduation booklet.

EFTPOS, Visa and MasterCard facilities are available on the day.

Prices are subject to change and price includes GST. A full price list for extra photos, enlargements and frames will be supplied with the original photo.

In addition, there will be degree and diploma/certificate frames available.

Photographs are now available to view and order online within 24 hours of the Graduation Ceremony at McRobies.  

Alternatively, you may write, email or phone McRobie Studios. Please advise the date of the ceremony, the graduate’s name and the page number they are listed on in the Graduation Booklet. It is also advisable to add some extra helpful details such as hair colour and length, any distinctive clothing from the waist up, such as suit or dress colour, tie, jewellery, male/female etc.

Contact details:

McRobie Studios, PO Box 11019,

Musselburgh 9049, DUNEDIN

Phone/fax: 03 477 5801,

email: studio@mcrobie.co.nz

  Karaka and Mihi Maiōhā

In 2013, Otago Polytechnic re-signed the 10 year old Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Papatipu Rūnaka ki Arai-Te-ūru (Moeraki, Puketeraki, Ōtākou and Hokonui). Much progress has been made in strengthening the relationship between the Papatipu Rūnaka and the Polytechnic with the implementation and monitoring of the Maori Strategic Framework which was developed from the MOU. Since March 2007, as an acknowledgement of this important relationship, Otago Polytechnic Graduation Ceremonies commence with karaka and a mihi maiōhā.

The purpose of the mihi maiōhā is to greet, in Māori, all visitors and all graduands to this place, while also acknowledging Kai Tahu’s place in the Otago Polytechnic Graduation Ceremony. A mihi maiōhā is not surrounded by the formality of powhiri and differs from mihi whakatau in that this ceremonial begins and ends with the woman’s or women's voice through karaka (or karanga in Northern dialect).

The mihi maiōhā will contain an element of the recitation of the landscape and our tūpuna (ancestral names within it). It will briefly welcome all those attending the graduation to the place of those ancestors and will acknowledge that it is an honour for Kai Tahu to have been invited to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Following the maiōhā there will be a waiata kī naki (song of support for the maiōhā), E tu Kahikatea sung by staff and it will end with the karaka once more to signal its closure.