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Academic Dress Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) This Policy provides for the prescription and use of academic dress and establishes core principles governing the use of academic dress.

(2) This Procedure prescribes the academic dress to be worn on ceremonial occasions of the University by various categories of staff, University Council (Council) members, and graduands/graduates of University award courses.

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Section 2 - Scope

(3) Applies to:

  1. All campuses
  2. All programs
  3. All staff participating in graduation and presentation ceremonies of the University or in other events at which the wearing of academic dress is required or permitted 
  4. All graduands and graduates
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University will prescribe from time to time the academic dress to be worn on ceremonial occasions, including graduations and presentation ceremonies and such other occasions as the Council may specify, by:

  1. officers of the University, members of Council and other members of the University; and/or
  2. graduands or graduates of degrees and other awards of the University. 

(5) The colours used for gown facings, hoods or stoles for particular awards generally will reflect the discipline content of the award, rather than the specific award program or the academic unit that teaches the course. 

(6) Staff or students of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who are entitled to wear academic dress may opt to wear also a stole in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander colours. 

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Section 4 - Procedure

(7) Except where otherwise indicated, the colours referred to in this Procedure and in the associated Schedule of Colours of Academic Dress are those defined in the British dictionary of colour standards: adopted by the British Standards Institution as British standard no.543-1934, British Colour Council.

(8) Where the academic dress includes a hood, the hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on the right shoulder except where otherwise specified (i.e. in the case of Honours qualifications).

Part A - Chancellor

(9) The Chancellor will wear a gown of Ruby and Cardinal silk damask with gold braid trim, red silk lining and a black trencher with gold braid trim and gold tassel.

Part B - Deputy Chancellor

(10) The Deputy Chancellor will wear a gown of Ruby and Cardinal silk damask will silver braid trim, red silk lining and a black trencher with silver braid trim and silver tassel.

Part C - Vice-Chancellor and President

(11) The Vice-Chancellor and President will wear a gown of Oxford blue silk damask with silver braid trim, blue silk lining and black velvet Tudor bonnet with silver tassel.

Part D - Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Presidents

(12) The Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Presidents will wear a gown of Smalt cloth with a 10-cemtimetre wide silver braid trim, with blue silk lining and inserts of black velvet on the shoulders and a black Tudor bonnet with silver tassel.

Part E - Members of Council

(13) A member of Council will wear the academic dress appropriate to the degree of the Council member or, not being a graduate, a gown of Oxford blue cloth with a 10-centimetre wide Post Office red facing and cuffs and the shield of the University on the facing.

Part F - All Other Members of the University

(14) Graduate members of the University other than those listed in sections 1 to 5 above will wear the academic dress appropriate to the member’s qualification. Where the qualification was completed at an institution other than La Trobe University, the member may wear either the academic dress of that institution (which they must provide themselves) or the La Trobe academic dress appropriate to their highest qualification.

(15) Members who are not graduates will wear a gown of Oxford blue cloth without coloured facing or cuffs. No trencher is worn.

Part G - Visiting Academics

(16) Visiting academics who are participating in academic ceremonies or processions at La Trobe University may wear either their own academic dress or the La Trobe academic dress appropriate to their highest qualification. 

Part H - Graduands/Graduates of Sub-Degree Award Programs

(17) The academic dress worn by graduands or graduates of sub-degree award programs is a La Trobe University Bachelor’s gown, together with a stole ten centimetres wide lined with silk in the colour of the discipline. The stole is worn around the neck and drapes down the front of the gown. No trencher is worn.

Part I - Graduands/Graduates of Bachelor Degree Programs

(18) The academic dress worn by Bachelor graduands or graduates is a gown in Oxford blue cloth, with bell-shaped sleeves to the wrist, together with a Burgon style Oxford hood of Oxford blue cloth with a 10-centimetre-wide silk facing in the colour of the discipline, and a black cloth trencher. The hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on the right shoulder.

Part J - Graduands/Graduates of Bachelor Degree Programs with Honours

(19) The components of the academic dress worn by graduands or graduates of a Bachelor degree with Honours are identical to the components of the academic dress worn by graduates of a Bachelor pass degree. However, Honours graduates will wear the hood with the hood’s silk exposed on the left shoulder instead of on the right.

Part K - Graduands/Graduates of Graduate Certificates or Graduate Diplomas

(20) The academic dress worn by persons who have completed a Graduate Diploma or a Graduate Certificate is a La Trobe University Bachelor's gown with a stole ten centimetres wide lined with silk in the colour of the discipline, and a black cloth trencher. The stole is worn around the neck and drapes down the front of the gown.

Part L - Graduands/Graduates of Master Degree Courses

(21) The academic dress worn by Master graduands or graduates is a gown in Oxford blue cloth, with long sleeves that are squared and closed at the ends with a horizontal slit just above the elbow, together with a Burgon style Oxford hood of Oxford blue cloth lined and bound to a depth of two centimetres with silk in the colour of the discipline, and a black cloth trencher. The hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on the right shoulder.

Part M - Graduands/Graduates of the Doctor of Philosophy

(22) The academic dress worn by Doctor of Philosophy graduands or graduates is a gown in Signal red cloth with 10-centimetre-wide facing and cuffs, together with an Oxford doctorate cut hood in Signal red lined with Vitrix blue silk, and a black velvet Tudor bonnet with a Post Office red cord and tassel. The hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on both shoulders.Graduands/Graduates of Other Doctoral Degree Programs and Honorary Doctorates

(23) Other doctoral degrees, including honorary degrees, have the same dress as for the Doctor of Philosophy, except for the colour of the silk facing. The schedule of colours are as follows:

  1. Doctor of the University – Signal red
  2. Doctor of Laws – Crocus
  3. Doctor of Letters – Turquoise
  4. Doctor of Science – Saffron

(24) The hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on both shoulders.

Part N - Graduands/Graduates of Professional Doctorate Programs

(25) The academic dress worn by graduands and graduates with professional doctorates is a gown in Oxford blue cloth with a ten centimetre wide Signal red silk facing and cuffs, together with an Oxford doctorate cut hood in Oxford blue, lined with Signal red silk, and a black velvet Tudor bonnet with a Signal red cord and tassel. The hood is worn with the hood’s silk exposed on both shoulders.

(26) Professional doctorates include the degrees of Doctor of Education, Doctor of Health Psychology, Doctor of Nursing and Doctor of Psychology and any other doctorates determined by Council to be professional doctorates.

Part O - Recipients of Honorary Degrees Other Than Doctorates

(27) Recipients of an honorary degree other than a doctorate will wear the academic dress appropriate to the degree being awarded. (Honorary doctorates are covered in Part N.)

Part P - Graduands/Graduates of Multiple-Award Programs

(28) In the case of students graduating from a multiple-award La Trobe University program (i.e. double or combined qualification), the student normally will wear the colours of, and participate in the ceremony for, one degree only, that being, in descending order: the colours of the highest level award; the colours of the most specialised award; or in the case of two degrees of equivalent specialisation, colours of one award as chosen by the graduate.

(29) Where the qualification for which the colours are worn has been completed with Honours, the relevant hood(s) will be worn with the silk exposed on the left shoulder instead of on the right.

Part Q - Graduands/Graduates of More Than One Stand-alone Program

(30) Where a student graduates at a single ceremony with more than one stand-alone qualification, the student normally will wear the colours of, and participate in the ceremony for, one degree only, that being, in descending order: the colours of the highest level award; the colours of the most specialised award; or in the case of two degrees of equivalent specialisation, colours of one award as chosen by the graduate.

(31) Where the qualification for which the colours are worn has been completed with Honours, the relevant hood will be worn with the silk exposed on the left shoulder instead of on the right.

Part R - Graduands/Graduates of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Descent

(32) Graduands/graduates of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent may opt to wear, in addition to the appropriate academic dress described above,  a stole ten centimetres wide of the following colours:

  1. Aboriginal: Equal bands of Jet Black, Saffron and Post Office red silks. 
  2. Torres Strait Islander: Larkspur silk edged on each side with Juniper silk, each colour separated by a narrow band of black piping.

(33) Graduands requiring one or both of these stoles should notify the Graduations Officer, Student Services and Administration, well in advance of the ceremony that they will be attending.

Part S - Recording of Academic Dress Requirements

(34) At the time a new award course is approved by the University, the academic dress requirements that pertain to that award will be identified by the Student Services and Administration Division and recorded in the Student Information System. The colour of the hood or stole for each course will be the colour prescribed for the discipline area in the Schedule of Colour Standards for Academic Dress.

(35) Where the course is the first course offered by the University in a new discipline area, an application for a discipline colour must be made in accordance with clause 37.

Part T - Requests for Changes or Additions to Academic Dress

(36) Any requests for changes to the University’s approved academic dress must be submitted for approval to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), through the Executive Director, Student Services and Administration. The request must be supported by a business case. Approved changes will be duly recorded and actioned.

(37) Where the University introduces a qualification in a discipline not previously taught by La Trobe, the responsible College must recommend to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), through the Executive Director, Student Services and Administration, the colour of silk to be used for the gown facing, hood or stole. A justification must be provided. Approved colours will be duly recorded and actioned.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(38) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Academic dress: the gown, hood or stole and cap, or combination thereof, worn by persons who are entitled to wear them by virtue of their completion of a University award. Academic dress is normally worn only on ceremonial occasions, such as graduations, at which the wearing of academic dress is required or permitted.
  2. Specialised award: a higher education program that prepares a graduate for a specific career that is generally identified in the name of the award (e.g. Bachelor of Laws, Master of Physiotherapy Practice). It normally requires the graduate to meet the requirements of an external accreditation or registration body as well as the University’s own requirements.
  3. Trencher: mortarboard; a kind of cap with a stiff, flat, cloth-covered square piece.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Executive Director, Student Services and Administration; and Chief Marketing Officer.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).