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The University of Southampton
Graduation Home

Frequently asked questions

We have compiled and answered some of our most frequently asked questions below. This covers preparing to attend your Graduation ceremony, your eligibility to graduate, and the day of your ceremony.

If you are unable to find the answer to your question in the list below, or can no longer attend graduation, please contact .

Preparing to Attend Graduation


How can I register for my graduation?

We have compiled and answered some of our most frequently asked questions below. This covers preparing to attend your Graduation ceremony, your eligibility to graduate, and the day of your ceremony.

If you are unable to find the answer to your question in the list below, or can no longer attend graduation, please contact .

I didn’t receive my email to register, what should I do?

If you are a current student, and eligible for Graduation, you will receive an invitation to register via your " University " email address on your Student Record.

If you have already been awarded, or you have previously deferred your Graduation, you will receive an invitation to register via your " Personal " email address on your Student Record.

If you haven’t received an invitation to register and believe you are eligible, please contact .

How long do I have to register my place at Graduation?

You must register for graduation during the registration period. Registration for Graduation will run from Monday 15 April–Wednesday 8 May .

If you do not respond to the booking invitation, but your results are released by the published deadline, your award will automatically be conferred in absentia and your certificate will be made available for collection or postage.

I no longer have access to my student/alumni email account, how can I get access to register?

To access the registration form, please log in with your University of Southampton email and password. If you have trouble logging in, reset your password at . This is only possible if you have provided a secondary email address to authenticate a password reset.

If you have any issues accessing your account that cannot be resolved through the self-service password reset, please phone ServiceLine on 023 8059 5656. You will need your student ID number/university username.

I have deferred my attendance at a previous graduation, will I be invited to attend Graduation?

If you informed us of your intention to defer when you previously registered for Graduation, please get back in touch with us to confirm that you wish to attend an upcoming Graduation ceremony.

You will be placed on a wait list and invited to attend should there be space available. Please contact us on if you have any further questions about your deferral, or you have not received the email.

Please note
You can continue to defer your Graduation for as long as you wish. However, it’s important to note that if you advise us you wish to attend an upcoming Graduation ceremony, and we send you a registration link, and you then change your mind, you will need to re-mark yourself as “defer” (or graduate in absentia if you wish) on the registration form. If you fail to do this, your status will default to “Graduated in Absentia” post-Graduation, meaning you will not have the opportunity to attend a ceremony in the future.

I am eligible but I cannot attend, do I need to contact someone?

If you cannot attend graduation, please complete the registration form to confirm whether you wish to:

  • Defer your Graduation attendance to a future event, or
  • Graduate in absentia (i.e., not attend this or a future graduation)

Once you confirm your choice, we can update this on your record and remove you from the list for Graduation.


When and where will my in-person ceremony take place?

Summer Graduation will take place from Wednesday 17 July to Thursday 25 July 2024 at O2 Guildhall Southampton and Winchester Cathedral .

Can I graduate under a different name than the one on my degree certificate?

You can only graduate under your legal name, which appears on documents of official academic certification. If you wish to update the name on your certificate, which is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, please contact The Student Hub via email at

What if I cannot attend a ceremony on the date I have been offered?

You have the option to defer to a later graduation or graduate in absentia. These options will be provided in the registration steps. You must complete the registration form even if you do not plan to attend.

If you choose to defer, you can contact us in the future when you are ready to attend a graduation, and we will add you to the waiting list to attend.

If I am unable to participate at the scheduled date/time, can I change to another physical ceremony?

Unfortunately, no. Each programme in each School has an allocated ceremony, and therefore it is not possible to request a change to a different date or time.

Could my ceremony be relocated, postponed, or cancelled in exceptional circumstances beyond the University’s control?

If a graduation ceremony needs to be postponed, relocated or cannot take place as planned due to circumstances beyond the University's control, the Graduation Office will notify all graduands at the earliest possible time, and publish notice of the position online.


How many guests can I bring, and do I need to pay for tickets?

All registered Graduands will receive two free guest tickets. Additional tickets may be available to purchase on the day. Read the terms and conditions for Graduation tickets .

Graduation will be livestreamed via YouTube, so anyone who is unable to attend in person can watch from most devices.

Please note, we recommend that children under the age of 4 do not attend Graduation. When deciding whether to bring a child as your guest, we ask you to consider the formal nature of the event and that guests will be required to sit for a long period of time.

Any children must have their own ticket and are not permitted to sit on the lap of other guests.

My guests or I require a letter to support a visa application; what should I do?

During registration, you will have the option to request a letter from the University to support a visa application for you and your guests. The letter will be provided to graduands who request it and will be worded sufficiently for guests to use when applying for a visa.

We are unable to issue an edited letter. They are sent automatically as part of registration, following regulation.

For any enquiries regarding the visa application process, refer to UK Visas and Immigration on the GOV.UK website .

What to do if I, or one of my guests have accessibility requirements?

When you complete the registration form, there will be a tick box to confirm whether you or your guests have any accessibility / additional requirements. If you tick this box, we will reach out with a short form for you to discuss your requirements in further detail. We will endeavour to accommodate the needs of all graduands and guests. If you experience any difficulties on the day, please alert a member of staff.

Will there be reserved parking spaces in or around the Guildhall Square?

Unfortunately, there is no dedicated car parking available to attendees at Guildhall Square. However, there are plenty of public car parks available around the venue.


How much will Graduation cost?

Tickets to Graduation are complimentary for the Graduand and their two guests. Some ceremonies have availability to purchase additional guest tickets for £15. There are charges for booking a gown and a photography slot with our official, external suppliers. Read the terms and conditions for Graduation tickets .

Graduate Assistance Fund

The University is committed to ensuring that financial barriers preventing attendance at graduation are removed. The Graduate Assistance Fund is in place for eligible students to cover the cost of your formal gowning and a professional digital on-stage photograph.

Students eligible for the Graduate Assistance Fund do not need to take any action. Unless informed otherwise, costs will be removed during the process of ordering your academic dress.

If I have been unawarded and I’m no longer eligible to attend, will the University refund the costs I have incurred?

If you have already placed an order for your gown or photography session, you will receive a refund from our suppliers in due course. The money will be automatically refunded to the bank account used to place the order.

Unfortunately, the University is unable to issue refunds for any other costs incurred in relation to attending Graduation, such as travel or accommodation. Students are advised when registering for Graduation that their attendance will only be confirmed once they have been awarded.

Where can I find information about gown hire?

All registered Graduands will be contacted about hiring their gowns, caps, and hoods directly from the official gowning supplier during registration. Gown bookings are only available once you have completed registration.

Where can I find information about photography?

Visit the Photography and Gowning webpage to learn how to book your photography session.


How do I sign up to the Alumni Community and what does that involve?

Your alumni email account is created automatically by iSolutions when your student account expires – usually three months after you graduate. You will be able to access your student emails through this account. For more details on the Alumni Community and the alumni email service, visit the Alumni webpage .

Graduation Eligibility

Why have I received an email stating that I am no longer eligible to attend Graduation?

To be eligible to graduate, you must have successfully completed your programme of study and have no outstanding tuition debt. Your change in eligibility may also be due to withdrawing from your studies or receiving an exit award which is not eligible for Graduation. Please contact The Student Hub for advice on your situation.

Exit Award or Withdrawn from Study

If you have not attained enough credits to complete your full programme of study, or have withdrawn from your studies, you may be due to receive an exit award which is not eligible for Graduation.

What happens if I have submitted an appeal regarding my degree classification?

You should still complete and return your registration form, so we know if you are planning to attend.

The timescales involved are very tight, and it is rare for appeals to be fully resolved ahead of the degree ceremonies. Therefore, if your appeal is regarding your degree classification, we recommend you attend your ceremony.

You should note that this will not affect the consideration of your appeal.

If your appeal is subsequently upheld and results in a change to your degree classification, you will be issued with an updated transcript and certificate. Should you wish to attend another degree ceremony, you will be permitted to do so. Please contact the Exams and Awards office to make the necessary arrangements.

How can I check for any outstanding fees that might prevent me from graduating?

You can check your most recent statement or contact The Student Hub .

For information about paying your outstanding fees, please refer to the Tuition Fees webpage .

On the Day


What is the format of the ceremonies?

Graduation ceremonies will last for approximately 2 hours and include the presentation of each graduand on the stage, where names will be called, and handshakes (or equivalent formal gesture) given by a member of the academic platform party. Please note, due to time constraints during the ceremonies, names will not be read out for those graduating in absentia.

Will the University be offering handshakes and reading out names at Graduation?

The ceremony shall include presentation of each Graduand on the stage, where names will be called, and handshakes (or equivalent formal gesture) given by a member of the academic platform party.

What COVID restrictions will be in place at the physical ceremonies?

The University takes the safety and wellbeing of its students, staff, and guests very seriously. We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable at the event and will be following all government COVID restrictions in place at the time of the events.

How can I watch the live stream of the ceremony?

All ceremonies will be livestreamed on YouTube and the recordings will be made available online afterwards.


Is there a dress code for Graduands and Guests?

Graduands should dress smartly for the event and must wear Academic Dress (gown, hood, and cap) which should be hired from Graduation Attire in advance of the ceremony. There is no dress code for guests, although graduation is a formal event.

Please note

  • You may wish to bring safety pins to secure your robes to your outfit, or hair pins to secure your graduation cap.
  • We also recommend wearing shoes that you are confident that you will be able to climb steps and walk in comfortably.

Where can I pick up my gown?

You can collect your academic robes on the day of your ceremony.

Gown pickup locations

For more information about picking up your robes, please visit the Graduation Attire FAQs page .

Where do I need to return my gown?

If you have hired your academic robes, you must return them after your ceremony, or at the end of your graduation day if you have booked a photography session after your ceremony.

Gown drop off locations

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