Before the Graduation Ceremony

This page details what you and your guests need to do on graduation day, before the ceremony.

Please plan ahead and allow extra time to get to UNSW for your ceremony.

Due to the light rail construction there are changed traffic conditions, and limited parking around UNSW Kensington campus.

Detailed information can be found below.

Getting to UNSW - traffic restrictions

Please be aware of changed traffic conditions near the UNSW Kensington Campus, particularly on High Street at Gate 9 where there is high pedestrian activity.

We encourage all graduates and guests to use public transport to get to Kensington campus for graduation ceremonies.

A preferred pick up/drop off area will be located on the northern side of High Street (diagonally opposite Gate 8), Access Map (PDF, 1.3 MB).

UNSW Examinations are also held during the graduation festival. Please refer to UNSW Exam Buses for changes to bus routes and further information.

Where can you find more information?


For the latest information on traffic conditions related to construction in the area, visit  

For more information about the CBD and South East Light Rail work in the area, call 1800 684 490, email or visit

For information on current construction, traffic conditions, and bus access around UNSW visit Lightrail to UNSW website.

Arriving by Taxi or Uber

Changed traffic conditions are currently in place around Kensington campus due to light rail construction.

Please refer to this Access Map (PDF, 1MB) for taxi and uber drop-off and pick-up zones.

Public transport

Parking is limited at UNSW Kensington campus. We encourage graduates and guests to take public transport.

For service and timetable information:

Car parking

Limited meter parking is available on campus. Enter through Gate 11, Botany Street or Gate 14, Barker Street (PDF).  See also Kensington Campus Parking Map (PDF).

  • Limited short-term meter parking is available on entry through all gates, in ground-level outdoor parking areas.
  • A small number of disabled parking bays are available near the Clancy Auditorium. Enter through Gate 9 on High Street and immediately turn left. Other disabled parking is marked on the Accessibility and Parking Map.
  • For morning graduation ceremonies during term, we recommend that graduates and their guests use public transport, as only limited parking is available on campus and in surrounding side streets.
  • For afternoon and evening ceremonies there is some parking in surrounding streets, although some restrictions apply.
  • Parking is unrestricted from 7.30pm in all UNSW permit holder spaces (excluding loading zones, reserve zones and ticketed parking zones).


Sydney ceremonies are held for Kensington and Paddington students at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium on the Kensington campus. This page mainly deals with Kensington campus ceremonies.

Other ceremonies are held at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA)

Arrival time

  • Guests - We advise guests to arrive at least one hour prior to the graduation ceremony, as there is no allocated seating for guests.
  • Graduates - Graduates must register at the Clancy Auditorium and be in their allocated seat at least 30 minutes before the start time of their ceremony.

Collect academic dress

Collect your academic dress from the Arc Grad Shop in the Mathews Pavilion. Follow the signs for GOWN COLLECTION.

Arc staff will be available to help you from 7.30am for a 10am ceremony, and for 3 hours prior to afternoon and evening ceremonies.

Leave belongings with guests

Please leave all your personal belongings with guests prior to registration, as you will not be returning to your original seat after you cross the stage.

Graduate registration and briefing

Enter the Clancy Auditorium through the front doors. The registration desk is on the right side of the foyer. Your seat will be allocated to you when you register.

Graduates must be gowned, registered and in their allocated seats in the auditorium at least 30 minutes before the ceremony starts.

During the briefing in the auditorium, graduation staff will explain graduates' participation in the ceremony. Graduates must follow the instructions of staff during the ceremony.