Your graduation is approaching, so it’s time to start booking tickets, gowns and getting ready for your special day. Everything you need to know about your graduation is below.
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?
For a full schedule of what to expect on the day, please visit the What Happens on The Day web 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.
Limited accessible parking spaces are available at Symphony Hall for graduates or guests who are Blue Badge holders. Spaces must be booked in advance, ideally at the time of confirming your access ticket booking, and are subject to availability. These spaces are available from 90 minutes before the ceremony start time and will need to be vacated within 30 minutes after the ceremony ends.
Alternatively, there is a 'drop off' point for wheelchair users at the traffic island on Cambridge Street, access to the ICC/Symphony Hall is via the pedestrianised King Alfred's Place.
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 by the required deadline.
If the finance department cannot confirm payment has been received by the deadline date, they will be notified by email that their ceremony invitation is revoked and they will not be able to attend the forthcoming graduation. If their ceremony invitation is withdrawn, the University will contact them to reserve a place at a future award ceremony, provided they have not been invited to any previous ceremonies on more than two occasions.
If you wish to contact the University regarding your outstanding debt please email the Credit Collections Team: email@example.com
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.
Can children attend the ceremony?
Children are welcome to attend, but the university would advise that ceremonies traditionally last approximately 1hr 30 - 2 hours and in our experience, this may not always be a suitable event for small children who can become restless during proceedings. A small viewing room is available should you need to tend to your child whilst also watching the ceremony.
As per BMusic policy, all children who are 18 months and over will require their own seat and as such this will count towards the two-guest ticket limit per student.
All children need to be seated with an accompanying adult and there may be a reallocation fee if child tickets are selected away from the rest of the group.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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, you can either email us at email@example.com or phone us on 0121 331 6898 and we will be happy to assist you or point you to the correct contact.
If I booked gowning for a ceremony in July 2023, do I need to book again?
Yes, all gown bookings for the July 2023 would have refunded by our suppliers, provided student had requested it as per instructions and new orders must be placed for the re-scheduled events. If you have not received your refund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Hall 4 where you can collect your gown. Please keep checking the Gowning and photography page 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.
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).
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. Such requests need to be made by Monday 4th December 2023 to include/remove your details from our seating arrangements and, or any printed materials.
I’ve already virtually graduated, am I invited to the in-person ceremony?
Yes, invitations will be sent to all those who were awarded between December 2019 and November 2021 (all students invited to the January 2022 ceremonies). Those who attended their virtual graduation ceremonies and those who didn’t will all be invited to celebrate in-person.
My name wasn’t read out during my virtual graduation ceremony, will it be read out at the in-person ceremony?
Yes, everyone who has registered to attend the in-person ceremony will have their name read out on stage. Find out more about permissions on our Ceremony Permissions page using the menu at the top of this page.
Where can I watch my virtual graduation ceremony back?
Virtual Graduation ceremonies from July 2021 can be watched on the BCU YouTube channel here.