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Before the Day

Find out everything you will need to know and do before your graduation

The FAQs on the below pages are our standard FAQs. Please note that not all will apply to July 2020, January 2021, and July 2021 graduands, who will be graduating in absentia due to COVID-19. Please see our Coronavirus Updates for the latest information.

About the Ceremonies

The University normally holds ceremonies twice a year, in July and January.

The July ceremonies are usually held during the third and fourth weeks after the end of the summer term, not including the weekend.

The January ceremonies are usually held over four days in the penultimate full week in January.

Undergraduates and postgraduates, receiving an award of degree level and above, can choose to attend their closest ceremony, or defer to the next set of summer or winter ceremonies.

Due to COVID-19 there will be no ceremonies in July 2020, January 2021, and July 2021. For more information please see our Coronavirus Updates.

Departments and their courses are assigned to a particular ceremony date and time, and you will be invited to the relevant ceremony for your course. The schedule of ceremonies is normally published in February for July ceremonies, and October for the January ceremonies. Joint courses will be assigned to the ceremony at which the lead administrative department has responsibility for the joint course. If you are unsure, please contact us to confirm which ceremony you will attend.

There are usually two ceremonies held each day, one at 11.00 and one at 15.00.

If you are an undergraduate student expecting to graduate during the summer (July), you should receive details around mid-May. Postgraduate students graduating during the summer may receive their email shortly thereafter.

If you are expecting to graduate during the winter we will contact you from early November onwards.

Please make sure you keep your contact details up to date on your Student Records Online as well as informing your department in order to ensure information regarding your graduation is sent to the correct place. If you think you may no longer have access to your Warwick email by the time you will receive an invite, please contact us with your personal email address and we will update your records.

No. If you cannot make the date and time of the ceremony that your course is assigned to, you have the option to defer your graduation ceremony to a future ceremony (although you cannot defer beyond one year), or, you can choose to graduate in absentia and receive your certificate in the post or request that it is held for collection from Student reception.

Eligibility Requirements

Not necessarily. Due to the proximity of examination boards and ceremonies it is usual to send out graduation invitations BEFORE results are known.

We look at your student record to check if you are potentially due to graduate (given your expected end date) and we contact students based on this and other information.

To be eligible to graduate you must have cleared all your debts and your name must appear on a Senate or Steering Committee approved pass list by the deadlines stated. Please check the Eligibility Criteria.

You must have cleared all of your study related debts with the University (it is your responsibility to do this), and your name must appear on a Senate or Steering Committee approved pass list by the deadlines published in the key dates section.

University regulations stipulate that a qualification cannot be awarded/conferred on any student who has study related debts outstanding to the University (including library fines). All study related debts must be cleared by the date published in the key dates in order to graduate. Payment by cash or credit card is recommended to avoid delays. Payments made by BACS or cheque are subject to a clearance period of 10 working days. If you are unsure, you can check your account balance through your Student Record Online account). If you no longer have access to your Student Record Online account you can also contact the Student Finance Office at studentcollections at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Due to the proximity of some Boards of Examiners meetings in relation to the deadline for receipt of pass lists and online registration, it is usually necessary for the Awards and Ceremonies Team to contact students BEFORE results are known. Receipt of any graduation email invite DOES NOT, therefore, imply successful completion of your studies and you must ensure that you meet the above criteria in order to graduate. If you are unsure of the date that your Examination Board is sitting, then please contact your departmental secretary, as the Awards and Ceremonies Team does not have a full list of Examination Board dates that are due to take place within the available time.

The qualifications of Diploma, Certificate and Award are NOT awarded at a Graduation Ceremony and so certificates for these qualifications are distributed to recipients by mail by the Awards and Ceremonies team as soon as possible after they have been approved by University Senate or Steering Committee. Read more about Award Certificates.

Postgraduate students will receive an email to confirm the conferral of their award after Steering Committee approval, although this will be sent out usually 1-3 weeks after Steering Committee approval has taken place.

Undergraduate results from May/June Examination Boards, will be available from your department shortly after the Examination Board has met.

Taught postgraduate students may be contacted shortly after the Examination Board has met by your department will contact you to confirm the outcome of the Examination Board decision. It would be reasonable to assume that if your department has contacted you to confirm the Examination Board decision (subject to Senate/Steering approval) which confirms the recommendation of a degree level award, and, they have sent the pass list to Student Administrative Services for approval 5 working days BEFORE the Pass List deadline, then you should be eligible to graduate (providing you have no debts outstanding to the University).

For research degrees, your name will not be presented on a Pass List until the Doctoral College is in receipt of all documentation, including both External and Internal Examiners' reports, usually after the viva has taken place and any corrections have been submitted and signed off by the Internal Examiner. This also includes receipt of your bound copies and CD for the library. If you are unsure if you will complete in time, please seek advice from the doctoralcollege at warwick dot ac dot uk before booking any arrangements for your ceremony.

Check the key dates to confirm the deadline for awards to be conferred by Senate in order to graduate at the next available ceremony.

Online Registration

You will need to complete the online registration form linked in the invitation email from us.

Online registration for July ceremonies usually opens during May and the online registration form for the January ceremonies usually opens early November.

Students graduating in absentia due to COVID-19 will still need to complete online registration so that we can collect details for sending their certificates. Invitations to register will be be sent to potentially eligible students as per the normal timeframe (i.e. May for summer graduands and November for winter graduands).

Yes. If you are eligible to graduate at the next ceremonies, you MUST register even if you do not want to attend the ceremony or you are planning to defer to attend a future ceremony. If deferring, you need to opt out of the first available ceremonies. This means that we can transfer your details to your chosen future ceremony. If you do not do this, you will graduate in absentia, by default, at the first available ceremonies at which you are eligible to graduate - you would not be permitted to defer your graduation after the registration deadline. You should also register to let us know if you are not attending the ceremony and wish to graduate in absentia in order to confirm your address, otherwise we will not be able to post your certificate to you after the ceremonies.

We also gather further information relating to the use of your personal information by the University, so it is important for you to complete this.

You will need to complete online registration even if you are graduating in absentia due to COVID-19 so that we can collect details for receiving your certificate. If you do not complete online registration we will not have the required information to send your certificate and it will be held at the University until you contact us at later date.

You should not wait for your results before registering for graduation. It is usual practice to invite students to the ceremony before results are known, given various time constraints. If it transpires that you are not eligible to graduate, your name will not appear on our graduation lists for the day and you will be notified that your graduation registration has been cancelled.

Please also ensure that you register by the deadline given.

The venue for graduation ceremonies has a maximum capacity so not all graduands are guaranteed a place. Places are booked on a first come, first served basis so we strongly advise you to complete the online registration as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

When you register online, you can choose to attend the ceremony, graduate in absentia (i.e. not attend), or defer your graduation with the intention to attend a future ceremony. If you have already deferred graduation previously, you will NOT be given the option to defer again.

Depending on your choices, you will need to complete the details on the screens presented to you as you work through the form.

Our online registration process will be updated accordingly to reflect the options that only apply to students who will be graduating in absentia due to COVID-19.

Your certificate will be posted out to you 2-4 weeks after the ceremonies finish (if you have provided your address), by our normal postal method (i.e. Second Class post for UK and Airmail for overseas addresses). If you have requested the option of delivery by courier, a payment of £20.00 for UK, or £40.00 for overseas addresses is required - courier requests (paid for) will be posted within 1-2 weeks after the ceremonies. You can also opt to have your certificate held for collection at Student Services in Senate House. Read more about award certificates.

You will not be eligible to attend a future ceremony if you choose to graduate in absentia.

If you choose to defer your graduation, you will still need to register, otherwise you will automatically graduate in absentia. You can choose to defer to the next set of ceremonies or the ones after that i.e up to a year's time. You will then be invited to register again once registration opens for the ceremonies you have chosen to defer to. Please note that if you defer your graduation you will NOT receive your certificate until the ceremony you are attending.

Students who are receiving their certificate by post due to COVID-19 will not be able to defer, as they will have already graduated in absentia. However, providing it is safe to do so, all graduates of 2020 and 2021 will be invited back to campus in summer 2022 for a celebratory event.

You can change your details by re-accessing the online registration process, anytime up until the registration deadline. After the deadline, it depends how close we are to the event as to what options are still available to you, but you should contact us as soon as you know you cannot attend to discuss what options you have at that time. We regret that we cannot guarantee that we are able to change registration requests received after the registration deadline.

Your name will be crossed off the list of names to be called out and your degree will be awarded in absentia instead.

You will not be permitted to attend a future ceremony.

Your certificate will be posted to you after the ceremonies, if you have provided your address (please allow up to 8 weeks for delivery). Read more about award certificates.

If you have paid for hire of robes, and ordered photos etc, you will be able to request refunds of these direct from the various companies – please contact them promptly to arrange refunds.

Click on the appropriate ‘Register’ button on the Registration section of our web page. This will take you to a login page where you will be asked to give your student ID number (7 digits) and your password to access the online form.

There are various reasons why you may not have access to the online form.

It could simply be that we are not yet aware of your potential eligibility to graduate and will therefore not have contacted you yet or created your graduation record (which enables you to access the online form).

If you haven’t received details or cannot access the online form and you believe that you are/will be eligible to graduate, you should contact us so we can follow this up.

You will not be able to graduate and attend that ceremony if your award has not been approved by Senate/Steering or if you are in debt to the University.

The Awards and Ceremonies Team will not action your registration request and your name will not appear in the graduation proceedings.

If you have successfully completed your studies but are in debt to the University, you will be invited to the next available ceremonies after you have cleared your debt.

If you have not completed your studies or your award has not been approved by Senate/Steering in time, you will be invited to attend the next available ceremonies, after you have successfully completed at degree level.

If you have been awarded a lower qualification of Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate/Award then you will not be able to attend a ceremony and your certificate will be issued and posted to your address, approximately 6-10 weeks after the ceremonies

Hiring Your Robes

Yes, everybody graduating will need to wear full Academic Robes (read more). You will need to hire robes in advance of the date. Robes must be ordered from our provider, Ede and Ravenscroft.

You will not be able to graduate unless you are wearing the correct Warwick robes.

A gown, hood and hat will need to be worn during the ceremony.

You should order your robe at least two weeks prior to your ceremony.

You need to order your robes online, well in advance of the ceremony, from our robe providers.

Gowns can either be hired for the day or purchased if you prefer. You will need to know the date and time of your ceremony, your qualification (eg PhD, MEng, BA, FdA, etc) and your height, chest and hat size to order your robe - please have this information to hand when you order.

A brief description of the colours is available in our Robe and Hood Colours section.

You will need to collect your robes on the day of your graduation, prior to your ceremony, from the ticketing and robing area. There will be staff on hand to guide you if you are unsure where this is.

University regulations currently state that all graduands must be smartly dressed (e.g. collar and tie).

Members of the armed forces may wear the appropriate uniform and members of religious orders their normal mode of dress.

Graduands may also wear their national dress.

Stewards will be checking that graduands are smartly dressed. Any graduands whose clothes are considered unsuitable (e.g. jeans/trainers) will be excluded from the ceremony (read more).

TIP: Although the hood is secured with velcro to your gown, it may also be useful to bring pins or safety pins so you can secure your hood at the shoulders so it does not slip back or slide off your shoulders. You may also wish to bring hair grips to help secure your hat.

Information for Overseas Students

Since March 2018, we have been assured by the Home Office UKVI Policy Team that the Border Force officers have been briefed that attending your Graduation Ceremony is a permitted activity for students who have completed their course successfully, hold a valid Tier 4 visa and wish to return to the UK for the purpose of attending their Graduation Ceremony. If you fall into this category you no longer need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa (although you can if you wish to). However, please note that the Border Force officials retain the right to establish that you are genuinely coming back to the UK to do what you said you would, and so it is important that you have sufficient evidence in your hand luggage in case you are asked (for example, an email sent from Graduation Team confirming your registration; an email from professional services or your academic department confirming you have passed your degree; a return ticket to your home country after the Graduation Ceremony etc).

For your guests, they would normally require a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’. The University cannot provide invitation letters for your family or friends but you can write a letter inviting each of your guests to your ceremony - check the Standard Visitor webpage to download a 'sample invitation letter' for them to use in their visa application.

If you do not have a valid Tier 4 visa, you should apply for a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’. To do so you should obtain a Student Status letter, and include in your visa application a print-out of the email from the Graduation Team which confirms that you have been invited to attend the Graduation Ceremony, and a print-out of the email from professional services/your academic department confirming that you have passed your degree. Please refer to this webpage for more information as to what other documents you may need for this visa application.

If you require further visa related advice, please contact the Student Immigration & Compliance team directly using their online form.


We can only guarantee two guest tickets for entrance to the ceremony. Guest tickets are not posted - they are collected on the day of your graduation in the same venue as your robes.

We do not charge for graduand or guest tickets. Entrance is free.

No. Any available extra guest tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability. Graduands will be allocated a maximum of two. Spare tickets (if available) may be collected from 08.30 (for 11.00 ceremonies), and from 11.30 (for 15.00 ceremonies). These may only be requested by the graduand, at the same time as collecting pre-allocated tickets.

We do not post tickets. Tickets may only be collected on the day of your ceremony. Please refer to the timetable for the day for collection details.

You will collect your ticket and guest tickets before you collect your robe. Please ensure that you give the tickets to your guests before you separate from them to join the graduand entrance queue on the day, as your guests will need to enter through a separate door and will not be allowed to enter the ceremony without the tickets. You must keep your own ticket with you at all times because you will need your ticket in order to enter the hall and it has your seat number on it (read more).


Due to seating capacity and the number of attending graduands there is always a limit on the number of guests tickets we can allocate but we do hope that they will be able to enjoy and celebrate the rest of the day with you. You can request additional guest tickets when you arrive to collect your tickets, but where additional tickets are available, these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests will be able to watch the ceremonies from the Piazza, on the big screen which is situated outdoors, next to Rootes building. Alternatively, the ceremonies are streamed live, allowing family and friends to watch from the comfort of home.

A DVD will be available to purchase should you or your guests which to order a copy either before the event or on the day from their stand. Further details are available on our Souvenirs web page.

Guest tickets for entrance to the ceremony are not numbered and stewards will direct your guests to seats inside the Butterworth Hall. Guests who wish to sit together should enter the hall together. Wherever possible we will make every effort to seat all members of the same party together, however, guests are equally welcome to sit separately from other members of your party if they wish. Please read our guest section for further details.

Please inform us if any of your guests are wheelchair users or if you require other accessible seating arrangements in the Hall, otherwise we cannot guarantee we will be able to support their needs on the day as space is limited. If circumstances change and you no longer, or now do, require alternative seating requirements for your guests, please let us know as soon as possible.

Guests are not required to be smartly dressed. However, as it is a formal event most guests do prefer to be appropriately dressed for the occasion (e.g. collar and tie).


Subject to availability, Warwick Conferences offer Bed and Breakfast options which you may be interested in.