Graduation Dates & Information

SIT graduation ceremonies are held at the end of the year, each year.Graduation is an important event that we are delighted to celebrate with our students. Graduation ceremonies are held in August and December each year.

During the ceremony SIT not only confers your qualification, but acknowledges the effort you have put in to earn it. Congratulations on achieving your qualification at Southern Institute of Technology!

Graduation dates for 2020 are:

  • Award Ceremony - Tuesday, 1 December 2020
  • Degree & Diploma Graduations - Friday, 11 December 2020
  • Certificate Graduation - Thursday, 17 December 2020
  • Christchurch Campus Graduation - Friday, 18 December 2020









Register to Graduate

Online registration for the Degree and Diploma ceremonies to be held on Friday 13 December 2019 is now open and will close on 11 October 2019.

Please register online in MySIT/My Study/Register to Graduate. 

  • You will be invited to register online for your graduation ceremony, your regalia and your guest tickets. If you have forgotten your password, please phone SIT Helpdesk on 0800 748 435 and advise it is regarding Graduation
  • You will receive email confirmation of your registration as well as details about the ceremony. You are able to make changes to your registration details on MySIT until 11th October.
  • If you have not registered in the required timeframe above, a late registration fee of $50.00 will apply
  • No registration will be accepted after 18th October
  • Your registration is subject to your successful completion of the requirements of your qualification prior to the ceremony
  • Any outstanding fees or fines must be cleared two weeks prior to the date of the graduation ceremony or you will be unable to attend the ceremony. 

The Ceremony

Procession into Theatre

SIT staff will place you in recipient order prior to the entry procession. Please ensure that you stay in this order at all times until the ceremony concludes.

Opening of the ceremony

Please stand when the Official Party enters the Civic Theatre at the beginning of the ceremonies. Each ceremony will last for approximately one hour and begin with Chairperson’s introductions, followed by the National Anthem.

Conferring of degrees and awarding of diplomas

The Chairperson will ask each Head of Faculty to announce the graduates and diplomates from their respective faculties.

Receiving your award on stage

  • When your qualification is called you will be told by staff when to stand up with a group of diplomates and wait in line in the right order for your turn on stage
  • When your name is called, walk up the steps and shake hands with SIT’s Chief Executive, Penny Simmonds
  • A photograph is taken at this point to capture the moment for you, so pause for a moment
  • The Chief Executive will give you an envelope containing your graduation certificate
  • You then move across the stage, go down the steps and return to your seat
  • Do not wear your trencher until you’ve been capped
  • When your qualification is called, you will be told by staff when to stand up with a group of graduands and wait in line in the right order for your turn on stage
  • When your name is called, walk up the steps holding your trencher in your left hand and shake hands with SIT Chief Executive, Penny Simmonds
  • The Chief Executive will give you an enveople containing your graduation certificate
  • You then take a couple of steps towards the Council Chair, who will hold a trencher above your head to “cap” you. This is the signal to place your own trencher on your head
  • A photograph is taken at this point to capture the moment for you, so pause for a moment
  • You then move across the stage, go down the steps and return to your seat
Postgraduate Diplomas/Postgraduate Certificates/Graduate Diplomas/ Graduate Certificates / Masters
  • If you have a degree you wear your trencher throughout the ceremony
  • When your qualification is called, you will be told by staff when to stand up with a group of graduates and wait in line in the right order for your turn
  • When your name is called, walk up the steps and shake hands with SIT’s Chief Executive, Penny Simmonds
  • The Chief Executive will give you an envelope containing your graduation certificate
  • You then take a couple of steps and shake hands with the Council Chair
  • A photograph is taken at this point to capture the moment for you, so pause for a moment
  • You then move across the stage, go down the steps and return to your seat

Film Coverage

The Graduation will be filmed by SIT2LRN Production Unit and will be available on SIT's You Tube channel.

Special Assistance Requirements

If you or your guests have a disability requiring special seating arrangements, you must indicate this at the time that you apply for a place in the ceremony and tickets, so that seats can be allocated in an appropriate area of the Theatre.

Wheelchair access to the Civic Theatre is via the side entrance from Tay Street.


SIT arranges a photographer as a service to students, however when arranging and ordering photographs, students are to deal directly with Vicki Mae Stenton, Photographer, at the following address:

Vicki Mae Stenton Photography, 164 Yarrow Street, Invercargill, ph 03 217 6555 or 027 229 2894. Email

Sizes and prices for crossing the stage photographs only.

Size Photo only Matted/Framed
(incl SIT insignia)
15x10cm (6 x 4”) $16 $70
18x13cm (5x7”) $26 $95
20x30cm (8x12”) $50 $155
25x38cm (10x15”) $85 $195

Also available: A4 certificate frames with SIT insignia on - Matt (14 x 11") $125 - must be requested.

During the ceremonies Vicki Mae Stenton, Photographer, will photograph graduates crossing the stage.  These photographs will be on display for ordering after the procession in the main SIT reception and at the studio the next morning, from 9 am-12 noon at 164 Yarrow Street, Invercargill, thereafter by phone or email.  Photos of the graduation ceremony will also be available for viewing online in early January at http://vicki-mae-stenton-photography. The photographs will be available either as a photograph only, or framed with a special embossed SIT insignia.

  • Personalised studio portrait sitting - For your personalised studio portrait sitting which includes your families, please phone early to book as there are limited spaces available on the morning of graduation.  Studio prices will apply.
  • After the ceremony - Vicki Mae Stenton, Photographer, will be available  for individual, family and group photographs.  Please ask about this at the sales desk.  There is always a queue so please be patient.

Please double check your order before confirming.  The photographer will not take any responsibility for incorrect orders. No refunds will be given.

Photo only orders will be processed within 14 working days of payment being made.  (Photo only orders include standard post within NZ).  There is a pick up option and the studio will be open on specific days for picking up photos.  It will be your responsibility to ensure someone is available to pick up if you decide on this option.  All framed photos must include a courier fee. (South Island $15.00/North Island $25.00).

Copyright (the right to make copies) is legally owned by Vicki Mae Stenton, Photographer. The photographer asks that you respect this please. Any breach of copyright enables the copyright owner to liquidated damages of $500 and liability for Lawyer/Client costs of enforcement.

Guest Tickets

  • SIT allows up to 2 guest tickets per graduate. You are required to apply for these during online registration.
  • Guest admission is by ticket only and there is no charge. You may request up to 2 additional tickets online and if there are any tickets available after the registration close date, they will be allocated on a first-registered basis and you will be notified by email by the end of October.
  • Tickets can be collected with your regalia.
  • Guests (upon presentation of ticket) and graduates are entitled to one free drink and snacks at the SIT function after the procession. Additional drinks may be purchased.

Academic Dress

Staff Academic Dress

The great variety of regalia worn by staff reflects the many different tertiary institutions throughout the world attended by our staff. Staff wear the regalia appropriate to the tertiary institution at which they were awarded their highest qualification.

Graduating Students' Academic Dress


Southern Institute of Technology gowns have a unique woven yoke design symbolising Scottish tartan, Maori design and Pasifika design, to blend in with the style of the traditional academic gown.

Hoods for Bachelor Degrees; Graduate Certificates/Diplomas; Postgraduate Qualifications; Masters' Degrees

The hood for the bachelor degree is lined with coloured satin and generally bordered with white fur. The hood for postgraduate qualifications is bordered with satin, and the hood for the master's degree has no border. Graduate certificate/diploma students wear the stole in the colour of their graduate certificate/diploma discipline.


The traditional black academic headpiece is known as a mortar-board or trencher cap; hence the expression "to be capped" when the mortar-boards are placed on the heads of the new graduates for the first time after they receive their degree certificates.

 Graduate certificate/diploma and postgraduate students are not "capped" when they receive their awards.

Diploma Qualification

The diploma stoles are black, lined with orange coloured satin with a band and trim of the same colour. The design of the trim reflects a traditional pattern symbolising the steps towards the knowledge.

Each diploma student wears the same stole, irrespective of the subject of study. Mortar-boards or trenchers are traditionally not worn by diploma graduates.

Certificate Qualification

The certificate sashes are navy blue and bear the SIT logo. The design of the sash is a pattern symbolising the steps towards knowledge. Each certificate student wears the same sash, irrespective of the subject of study.

Graduate Regalia

Diploma Qualification

Black gown / Orange Stole

Diploma - frontDiploma - back

Degree (Bachelor)

Black gown / Trencher / Hood (degree colour) with fur

Degree - back

Graduate Certificate

Black gown / Trencher / Stole (degree colour) without fringe

Graduate Certificate - frontGraduate Certificate - back

Graduate Diploma

Black gown / Trencher / Stole (degree colour) with fringe

Graduate Diploma - frontGraduate Diploma - back

Postgraduate Certificate

Black gown / Trencher / Hood (degree colour) with white trim

Postgraduate Certificate - frontPostgraduate Certificate - back

Postgraduate Diploma

Black gown / Trencher / Hood (degree colour) with purple trim

Postgraduate Diploma - frontPostgraduate Diploma - back


Black Masters' gown / Trencher / Hood (degree colour), no trim

Master - front Master - back


SIT Degree Colours

A different coloured hood is attached to each subject area. Hood colours for degrees, graduate certificates/diplomas, and postgraduate qualifications at Southern Institute of Technology:


Hood Colour

Applied Management


Applied Media Arts


Applied Health Sciences


Audio Production

Bottle Green


Mid Grey

Contemporary Music

Special Camel

Engineering Technology


Environmental Management

Emerald Green

Fashion (Design and Technology)

Petral Blue

Hotel Management

Deep Purple

Information Technology


Nursing / Health Science

Delphinium Blue

Professional Communication


Screen Arts


Sport and Exercise


Therapeutic and Sports Massage

Deep Royal Blue

Postgraduate Diploma in Business Enterprise

Gold, Blue Trim


Guide to Wearing Regalia

How to Wear Academic Regalia

Gowns: Your arm should emerge though the opening high up in the sleeve of your gown.

Hoods: The hood should rest high on your shoulders, the square panel lies against your back and the hood proper should be folded diagonally and fall to the left to show the lining and/or fur.

Trencher: The cap for graduates is a black trencher with a tassel. The shorter peak of the cap goes to the front. The board should be flat on your head and the tassel worn to the left. In the capping ceremony, the graduand carries the trencher; the Council Chair tips a cap over the graduand’s head, who then puts on his/her own cap as a graduate.

Diploma stoles: Diploma stoles are worn around your neck and sit over the top of your gown.

What to wear with your regalia

As this is a formal occasion to celebrate your achievements and you are expected to dress appropriately.

  • For males: dress trousers and shirts, or a formal suit
  • For females: dresses, skirts or dress pants
  • No jeans, sports shoes, caps, beanies, jandals, chewing gum, handbags, gumboots/boots, cellphones, cigarettes or alcohol

Students not meeting an appropriate dress code will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.

Please be aware that graduation day involves a lot of walking, including going up and down stairs, so very high heels may not be practical.

Please leave all items such as handbags and cellphones with your families/friends prior to the ceremony, and collect them after the graduation procession. Strictly NO smoking or consumption of alcohol or chewing gum while dressed in regalia.

Regalia Collection

Location: Hansen Hall, corner Forth and Ythan Streets (behind First Church)

  • For the 13th December ceremony: Monday 9th December 10.00am–6.00pm or Tuesday 10th December 10.00am–5.00pm

If you are unable to collect your regalia at the times indicated above, please arrange for a family member or friend to do so on your behalf.

Queenstown Students

Queenstown students will collect their regalia on arrival at the Scottish Hall around 11:45am on graduation day.

SIT2LRN or out-of-province students

If you are a SIT2LRN student ot an out-of-province student who is not able to collect regalia at the above times, you will be able to collect and pay for your regalia at SIT Hansen Hall between 9 - 10:45am on graduation day.

Regalia Return

All regalia must be returned to Hansen Hall either after the ceremony or by 12 noon on on the Monday following the ceremony. Late return will result in a $50.00 penalty. You will be required to pay replacement costs for lost or damaged regalia as follows:

  • Gown $350.00
  • Trencher $80.00
  • Hood $140.00
  • Stole $140.00

Regalia Hire Cost

You will be able to pay for your regalia hire either online when you register or by cash or EFTPOS when you collect your regalia:

  • $30.00 for Diplomates (students completing level 5-6 diplomas)
  • $50.00 for Graduands with bachelor degrees; graduate certificates; graduate diplomas; postgraduate certificates; postgraduate diplomas and masters)

In addition, a $50.00 late registration fee applies if you register after the close-off date.

Congratulations to our Graduates

Our Graduation ceremonies are a highlight of the year, when we get to see the results of our staff and students’ hard work. It is enormously satisfying to see how proud the graduates are of their achievements and also how pleased their friends and family are for them. It is a lovely time of year for us at SIT.

Penny Simmonds
Chief Executive

Graduation - December 2019

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