Graduation ceremonies

General Information

Where is my graduation and how do I get there?

Graduation ceremonies are held at the prestigious Symphony Hall, which is part of the International Convention Centre in Birmingham city centre. For information on how to get there please go to the Graduation Venue page on the menu at the top of this page.

What time do I need to get there?

We advise that you arrive as early as possible to ensure you allow yourself sufficient time for registration, collecting guest tickets, gowning and photography as the ceremonies will start promptly at the specified time. Please note you may not be able to enter the main auditorium after the ceremony has started, so please make every effort to be seated on time. For full itinerary on the day, please visit the Graduation Ceremony Itinerary page using the menu at the top of this page.

Is there disabled access at the venue?

Symphony Hall has excellent access for those with mobility difficulties. Staff at Symphony Hall will try to meet individual requirements where possible. University and Symphony Hall staff will be available to help you on the day.

Graduates or guests with disabilities can park for free at the North Car Park in the nearby Barclaycard Arena - see the map in the travel guidance section.

There is a 'dropping off point' for wheelchair users immediately outside the International Convention Centre (ICC) in King Alfred Place. Limited parking for blue badge holders driving their own vehicles is also available on King Alfred Place.

Please note you must pre-book these services and it is recommended you do this when you are purchasing your tickets (+44 (0)121 780 3333). Blue badge parking is subject to availability.

How long is the graduation ceremony?

The ceremonies are scheduled to be approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Who makes speeches during the ceremony?

A variety of speeches are made during the ceremony including a welcome address and opening of the ceremony by the Chancellor, awarded Honorary Doctorate recipient and a concluding address delivered by a graduating student.

What will I need to do on stage?

Students are to stand on the ‘X’ marked on the stage ahead of their name being called. Once you have been announced, you will walk across the stage and shake hands with our Chancellor or nominee.

You will then continue crossing the stage and exit to the far side where you will collect your award brochure.

You will then return to your seat to watch the remainder of the ceremony until the Chancellor or nominee closes proceedings. Please note, you may not return to the seat you were sitting in before crossing the stage, it will be the next available seat. Dedicated staff will be guiding you to a seat.

Can graduates attend the ceremony if they have outstanding academic-related debt to the University?

All students can register for their ceremony on the understanding that should they have any outstanding University debts, these will be cleared and their award will be confirmed by their School by the date included in their invitation. If the finance department cannot confirm their payment has been received by the deadline date set, their ceremony invitation will be revoked and they will not be able to attend the forthcoming graduation.

How do I obtain a visa support letter?

The University can write letters for the graduate confirming their invitation and registration for the ceremony. These can be used to support visa applications for the graduate and their two guests. You can request this when completing the online registration process.

Can I watch the ceremonies online if I cannot attend the event?

All our ceremonies are filmed and live web-streamed to our website. Links will be made available on the ceremony day itself to enable you and your guests to watch online.

Will the venue follow Covid secure measures?

You are no longer required to show your Covid-19 Passport or prove your negative Covid status to access our award ceremonies venues (the International Convention Centre (ICC) and Symphony Hall). You are encouraged to keep wearing face coverings and to continue to be vigilant about hand hygiene. The venues reserve the right to change conditions of entry at any time in line with national policy. Please check your emails before the ceremonies in case of any changes.

Will I receive my degree certificate at the ceremony?

Award documents are not presented during the ceremony and you do not need to have received these in order to attend your graduation.

Once your award has been confirmed and your certificate becomes available, you will receive an email directing you to the mySRS Portal to confirm the address of where you wish to have your documents posted.

I need a digital certificate too, where can I get one?

BCU has partnered with Gradinteligence which provides award holders with access to a digital version of their award certificate. this service will be automatically available to students who graduate from September 2019.

If you achieved your award between 2010 and September 2019, please submit an individual request to certificates@bcu.ac.uk including your full name (as you were enrolled), student ID (if known), course title and award year.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for a digital certificate to be made available to graduates who were awarded prior to 2010 due to the University having changed record systems after this time. Those who are eligible to receive their certificate digitally will be automatically registered with Gradintelligence and receive an email inviting them to activate their account in order to access their document.

We recommend therefore that you do not register your own account but rather wait for the university to do this on your behalf. You can easily access or activate your Gradintelligence account via the Gradintelligence website.

How do graduates receive their results transcript?

For your final transcript please contact certificates@bcu.ac.uk. For replacement transcripts, please contact your School Office.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered above?

If you have any queries or need advice about the ceremonies from a member of BCU staff, please email us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk and we will be happy to assist you or point you to the correct contact.

Reserving Your Place

What if I cannot access my account on the MySRS portal?

Your MySRS portal access has been extended, so you will be able to log-in. If you do not remember your password, please email us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk and we will be happy to assist you.

I am not able to attend my ceremony, can I attend a future ceremony?

If you are unable to attend and would like to defer your place at a future ceremony, please email us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk and we would be happy to advise you on your options. Please note, graduates are only able to defer their place up to two occasions.

Why has my ceremony sold out?

If your ceremony reaches its capacity before the registration deadline, it will be closed for new registrations. You will be contacted via email to advise what your options are. Whilst every effort is made to reserve and maintain your place in the ceremony to which you were invited, we may sometimes have to re-allocate you to another ceremony on a different date or time.

I have registered but need to change my attendance status and/or update my publicity preferences

If you wish to change your registration status or update/change your publicity preference after you have completed the task you can do this by emailing us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk. Such requests need to be made before the registration portal closes on Monday 21 November 2022, 10am for us to release or secure pre-booked seats in the Hall and remove or incorporate details into any printed material. 

Guest tickets

If I booked guest tickets for a ceremony in July 2022, do I need to book again?

Yes, all gown and guest ticket booking for the July 2022 were refunded by our suppliers and new orders must be placed for the re-scheduled events. If you have not received your refund, please email award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk.

How many guest tickets can I book?

You can book up to two guest tickets initially (excluding carer tickets). If any more tickets become available, these will be released on general sales and you will be notified when they are available.

Can the B:Music, Symphony Hall amend my booking so all my guests sit together?

Where additional tickets are released on general sale (subject to availability), these will be in a different area of the Hall than the initial two guest tickets. Provided tickets are still available in the Hall on your ceremony date/time, it may be possible to amend existing bookings and reallocate your booking in order for all your guests to sit together, however you will be charged a relocation fee.

Please email us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk with your student ID, full name, email address used for the booking and your booking reference, and we will be able to advise you accordingly.

I have achieved two awards and they are both in the same ceremony, am I eligible for four guest tickets?

No, there is a maximum of two guest tickets per graduate, per ceremony initially. If more tickets become available, you will be able to purchase them when they are released on general sales.

have booked tickets for the wrong ceremony; can I change the date/time for my guest tickets?

Provided tickets are still available in the Hall on your ceremony date/time a refund will be processed for the incorrect tickets, but please note handling fees will be retained. We advise that you book new tickets for the correct events as soon as possible to avoid disappointment whilst the incorrect tickets are being refunded. To request a refund please email award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk with your student ID, full name, email address used for the booking and your booking reference.

Please email us at award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk with your student ID, full name, email address used for the booking and your booking reference. Please ensure you have also provided the correct details so they can be updated. We will provide this information to the Box Office colleagues who will amend your booking.

Can I change the contact details for my guest ticket booking?

Please send the correct contact details via email to award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk along with your student ID, full name, email address used for the booking and your booking reference. We will  then provide this information to the Box Office who will amend your booking.

Can I bring a pram into the auditorium?

No, prams and push-chairs are not allowed in the main auditorium. If your guests do opt to bring a baby or a small child with them, prams and push-chairs must be left in the cloak room.

Gowning

If I booked gowning for a ceremony in July 2022, do I need to book again?

Yes, all gown and guest ticket booking for the July 2022 were refunded by our suppliers and new orders must be placed for the re-scheduled events. If you have not received your refund, please email award.ceremonies@bcu.ac.uk.

Is it essential to wear a gown at the ceremony?

Yes, it is required that every graduate wears a gown in order to cross the ceremony stage. If graduates enter the ceremony hall without a gown, they will not be presented on stage.

When can I collect my outfit?

Outfits are to be collected on the day of your ceremony or alternatively posted out to you if you have arranged a longer hire period. The award ceremonies are busy events, so we advise that you arrive with plenty of time to collect your gown.

Where do I collect my gown?

Once you have completed your registration at the ICC on the day of your ceremony, you will be directed to the Hall where you can collect your gown. Please keep checking the  Gowning and Photography page on the above menu for the most up-to-date details.

How will I know how to wear the outfit?

Dedicated staff will be on hand to show you how to put on your gown, cap and hood.

What do I need to wear?

You will need to wear smart business attire. Those who attend in casual clothing (e.g. jeans, t-shirt etc) will not be presented on stage. Wear a shirt, blouse or dress with buttons so that your gown can be easily secured to your clothing. Also make sure you wear shoes in which you will feel comfortable climbing up/down steps and walking across a large stage.

I have achieved or am due to be awarded multiple awards at BCU and my awards are both in the same ceremony. Which gown should I book?

At registration we have asked you to register for the award you wish to cross the stage for and decline the invitation for the award you do not wish to cross the stage/to be seated with your cohort.

We will register only your chosen award with our gowning supplier, so you only need to order one gown.

I have achieved or am due to be awarded multiple awards at BCU and my awards are in different ceremonies. How many gowns should I order?

You will require a specific gown for the award you are graduating form. For example, an undergraduate gown is different to a Master’s or PhD gown. You will be required to book a gown for each ceremony you registered for.

Photography

Do I need to pre-book my photography timeslot?

Graduates don’t need to book a specific timeslot to have any personal portraits taken as there should be plenty of time to do this before your ceremony. We do recommend that you pre-book the photography package you would like by taking a look at all the options via the Ede & Ravenscroft website

Payments can also be made on the day but by card only (AMEX is not accepted).