New University of Malta Ph.D. and Master’s Gowns
following International Design Competition
The Doctor of Philosophy degree was introduced into the University of Malta in 1975. Since then, 121 students have graduated Ph.D. with at least another 5 expected to be awarded a Ph.D. at this year’s graduation ceremony. Now, for the first time, the University of Malta has created its own Ph.D. and Master’s academic gowns. The University called an international competition and invited designs for a gown, colours and cap for both its Master’s and its Ph.D. graduates. This brought in entries from designers both in Malta and from overseas. The winning designs, which have both been approved by Senate, were submitted by Dr Nicholas Groves, from Norfolk, England.
Dr Groves M.A., B.Mus., Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S., F.B.S. is a founding Fellow of the Burgon Society, the learned society dealing with the history, design, and development of academic dress. He served as Dean of Studies at FBS from 2000 until 2003, and remains on the Council, regularly supervising and examining candidates for the Society's Fellowship. He is Editor of the third edition of Shaw's Academic Dress, which has just recently been published. Dr Groves has designed or revised the robes of a number of UK institutions.
In his proposal, Dr Groves wrote that he was including a bell-sleeved gown as this is historically the gown used in Continental academic dress - an ideal model is to be found in the full-dress doctoral robes as used at the University of Oxford. The requirement that the robes incorporate elements of the university arms is observed in that red and white, the 'tinctures' of the arms, are used, as is gold. The shade of red is post office or cardinal red, whilst the shade of white is an off-white, as this gives a less glaring effect: stone-white or ivory. The shade of gold for the piping is yellow ochre.
The Master’s Gown
The Master’s gown is relatively plain compared to the Ph.D. gown and is made in black wool or wool-polyester mix panama. The back of the gown is gathered into a 'bridge' yoke, with 'organ-pipe' pleats. It has bell sleeves, which do not reverse, and are unlined, and which reach to just above the wrist when worn.
The facings are of black watered silk, with a piping of red and white along the outer edge and round the top.
The hood will include the colours of the various courses and is similar in shape to that of the Ph.D. gown.
The hat is a standard black cloth trencher or square cap, with black silk tassel.
The Ph.D. Gown
Master's Gown Master's Hood
The gown has bell sleeves and a bridge yoke, and is made in black wool panama cloth. Doctoral gowns are traditionally worn full-length.
The facings are covered with red watered silk, and the outer facings with white watered silk. Along the outer edge of each facing there is a gold binding which runs along the top of each facing.
The sleeves are lined with red watered silk, the lower part being reversed as a cuff. The sleeve, when worn, reaches to just above the wrist.
The separate hood is of full shape with rounded corners to the cape, in black panama. It is lined with watered silk, the lining to be divided vertically when worn: white on the wearer’s left shoulder, and red on the right. The whole hood, cape and cowl, is bound with a gold binding. The neckband, which does not reverse, is black lined black whilst the gold binding continues onto it on both edges.
The hat is a biretta with four points made in black watered silk, and black tuft.
Ph.D. Gown Ph.D. Hood
During a recent visit to Malta, Dr Groves, received his prize from the Registrar of the University, Ms Veronica Grech. Commenting at the presentation he said: 'I am delighted, but at the same time rather awed, that my designs will be used by your graduates for years to come.'
Dr Groves will be attending the first Postgraduate Graduation Ceremony at the University Church, Valletta on Friday, 18 November when the new Ph.D. gowns will be worn for the first time.
All Ph.D. graduates of the University of Malta who wish to purchase a gown can contact the Communications & Alumni Relations Office by email
. The new Master’s gowns will be introduced gradually.
Ms Veronica Grech, Registrar of the University of Malta presenting Dr Nicholas Groves, winner of the Gown Design Competition, with his prize.