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Graduation FAQ's

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.

Virtual Graduation FAQs

Who will be invited to virtual graduation celebrations in July?

Invitations for the virtual graduation celebrations taking place week commencing 26 July 2021 will be sent to those students whose final exam board meets and confirms that you have been awarded by Monday 5 July 2021.

Where can I watch my ceremony?

All ceremonies will be streamed live to YouTube and you will be able to access them on our website on this page. If you gave consent for our graduation partner, StageClip, to contact you, they will send you a link to your virtual graduation ceremony.

What happens if I have to resit an exam or my results are delayed?

If your results aren’t confirmed by Monday 5 July, we will not be able to share your name and award as part of your School’s ceremony, even if you have given consent during registration. However, you will still be able to watch your School’s ceremony on the day using the links on this page, and you’ll also be invited to our in-person ceremonies in January 2022 provided your results are confirmed on the student record system by Friday 26 November 2021.

I have not received an invitation to the virtual ceremony. Has my invitation been sent?

Invitations for the July 2021 virtual award ceremonies will be sent to those students whose final exam board meets and confirms that you have achieved a final result by Monday 5 July 2021. These invitations will be emailed to your University email accounts in June.

If your final exam board meets after Monday 5 July you will be invited to the January 2022 winter in-person award ceremonies.

If I do not wish to partake in the virtual graduations, do I still need to complete the registration task?

If you are a student who has been invited to the July 2021 virtual ceremonies it would be useful if you could still complete the registration task to confirm that you will not be partaking. The registration portal still provided you with an opportunity to confirm if you would like to have your name and award read aloud and submit a photograph, comment or short video should you wish.

Replays of the virtual events will be made available on this page shortly after the ceremonies which you will then be able to re-watch at your own convenience.

The decision not to partake in the virtual events does not preclude you from being invited to the January 2022 in-person ceremonies.

What will happen at my virtual graduation celebration?

Virtual events will bring staff and students from your School together to mark the occasion, and you’ll have the opportunity to share a personal message, photograph or short video when your name appears on screen. You can also share the event link with any of your friends and family to watch along and celebrate with you.

See what happened at our winter virtual celebrations

Will my name be read out?

Yes, although you will need to give consent for your name to be read out. More details will be sent to you in your invite.

Can I contribute to my virtual graduation ceremony?

Yes, you will be given the opportunity to contribute a short message, photo or video to share with your classmates during the event.

How do I submit something for my virtual graduation ceremony?

Graduating students who have given consent for StageClip to contact them will have received an email on Friday 9 July inviting them to upload a short message, photo or video to the StageClip platform.

Who is StageClip and why have they contacted me about virtual graduation?

StageClip is our graduation partner who provide personalised virtual ceremonies to recognise graduates. During registration you will have the option to consent for StageClip to contact you about your ceremony. If you do consent to StageClip contacting you, you will be contacted by them to share a message, photo or video to feature when your name is read out during the ceremony. If you do not consent to StageClip contacting you, you will not receive any communications from them and you will still have the opportunity to have your name and award read out during the ceremony.

Will I still be invited to an in-person ceremony if I joined the virtual celebration?

Yes, taking part in our virtual celebration will not prevent you from attending an in-person ceremony in January 2022.

In-person Graduation FAQs

When will in-person ceremonies be held?

In-person ceremonies will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 5 January 2022
  • Thursday 6 January 2022
  • Friday 7 January 2022
  • Monday 10 January 2022
  • Tuesday 11 January 2022
Who will be invited to in-person ceremonies in January 2022?

Invites will be sent to:

  • students due to graduate in July 2021
  • our Class of 2020 who were invited to virtual graduation celebrations in August 2020 and February 2021
  • students due to graduate in January 2022.
When will I receive my invite to an in-person ceremony in January 2022?

Invites will be sent out later this year. Please keep an eye on your BCU emails or agreed correspondence email. You can check your contact details at mySRS.

Will I be able to book guest tickets for my in-person ceremony?

Yes, we know how important bringing guests to your graduation is and we have kept this in mind when making arrangements for alternative dates. You will receive more information about booking guest tickets when you receive your invite.

What will happen if the pandemic worsens again?

As you will be aware, the Covid-19 pandemic is increasingly under control in the UK, and we all very much hope this continues. As your safety is our overriding priority, if new public health concerns emerge later in the year then we will of course review the plan for January events, but we very much hope this will not be the case.

When will I receive my certificate?

Students do not need to have received their certificate in order to partake in the virtual ceremonies.

Once awards are confirmed, graduating students will receive an email directing them to the mySRS portal when their award certificate and academic transcripts becomes available and will be asked to confirm the address that they wish to have their certificate posted to.

As well as receiving an email about how to request hard copies of award documentation, eligible students will also be notified about how to access their digital certificate if they completed their studies from September 2019 onwards, after the decision to partner with Gradintelligence. With Gradintelligence, students will be able to choose to share their digital certificate securely with prospective employers, universities and third parties. Eligible students will receive an automated email to activate their Gradintelligence account for their digital certificate when this is available.

For further information about award documentation please see the Certificates, transcript and verification page.

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.

By Car, Birmingham is easily accessible from the M5, M6, M40 and M42. Simply follow signs to Birmingham City Centre and then follow the tourist signs to the International Convention Centre (ICC). Please note, Symphony Hall is not featured on road signage. Local car parks include Q-Park Brindleyplace, Paradise Circus multi-storey car park, Cambridge Street car parks and additional spaces are available in the main pay and display car park underneath the Barclaycard Arena. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank across the road from Symphony Hall outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

By Rail, Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill are both around 15 minute walk from Symphony Hall. Moor Street, Jewellery Quarter and Five Ways stations are all around a 20 minute walk to the venue.

By Air, Birmingham International Airport is around a 30 minute drive away from the venue, depending on traffic. Alternatively, the airport’s adjacent rail station Birmingham International has frequent trains to the city centre.

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 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 do I book tickets?

Graduates do not need to buy a ticket as yours is provided free of charge. Simply head to the graduate registration desk to collect your ticket as soon as you arrive on the ceremony day.

Although the University subsidises the cost of the ceremonies, we do have to charge for guest tickets.Each graduate is limited to two tickets. This is to ensure equal opportunity is given for all graduates and their families to attend the ceremonies where there is a finite resource of seating.

For larger ceremonies, we cannot always guarantee that each graduate will be able to purchase two guest tickets; therefore you are advised to purchase any guest tickets as early as possible. The tickets cost £20.00 for adults and £10.00 for children (aged 18 months to 14 years). Children above the age of 18 months must have their own seat to comply with fire and Health and Safety regulations. A ticket must be purchased for every guest who attends the ceremony. Each ticket holder can visit the refreshment area for tea/coffee and a cake either before or after the ceremony.

Guest tickets are released for sale on a first-come first-served basis and we strongly recommend that you purchase these as soon as you have confirmed your attendance, even though results are not yet known. Any additional unsold tickets may be available for purchase closer to the ceremonies, the date of which will be included in each graduates invitation email.

Please note the availability of such tickets cannot be guaranteed but where they do become available, these tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis and will be in a different area of the hall from the initial two guest tickets.

Can children attend?

We understand that your graduation can be a celebration for your family. Due to the acoustics of the Symphony Hall, disruptions by small children can be disturbing for members of the audience. All children must be accompanied by an adult guest and children over 18 months old will require their own ticket; this is to comply with Health and Safety regulations within the Symphony Hall.

Please note that there are no crèche facilities at these events and therefore children should not be left unattended within the ICC and/or Symphony Hall complex at any time.

What time do I need to get there?

Graduates should allow at least 90 minutes before the ceremony starts, in order to register, robe and have any photographs taken. If your ceremony starts at 10.30am, the registration desk will be open from 8.30am. If your ceremony starts at 2.30pm, the registration desk will be open from 11.30am.

Where will I be sat?

Graduating students are seated in the stalls of the hall. Those receiving the same award title will sit together, within classification and alphabetical order. We ask graduates to ensure coat/bags are stored in the cloakroom (£1 charge) or left with guests before entering the hall.

Where will my guests be sat?

Guests are seated in the upper levels of the hall.

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.

Where do I book my gown?

To hire an academic gown for the ceremony day, please visit our supplier's website: Ede and Ravenscroft. Alternatively, call them on: +44 (0)1223 861 854. Bring your gown hire reference number and a form of identification in order to collect your gown on the day of your graduation.

When should I book my graduation outfit?

Upon receiving your invitation email you will be advised of when order lines are open and will close to hire your graduation outfit. We would advise for you to wait until you receive this notification to ensure that the correct award and collection details are set up for you in advance.

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.

Where do I collect it from?

Outfits are to be collected from the International Convention Centre (ICC) and closer to the time you will receive details of which Hall this will be.

How will I know how to wear the outfit?

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

What time will the gown need to be given back?

Outfits are to be returned on the day after your ceremony, no later than 6pm providing you will plenty of time to take pictures with your family and friends- unless you have arranged a longer hire period with the gowning supplier.

Where do I drop it off after the ceremony?

There will be dedicated drop-off points within the ICC to return your outfit on the day after your ceremony has finished.

What do I need to wear?

You will need to wear smart business attire. Those who attend in 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.

Where can we have our photo taken professionally?

The University’s official graduation photographer is Ede and Ravenscroft. The team welcome graduates, family and friends into their studios located in the International Convention Centre (ICC) and offer a pre-booking service with a wide range of photograph packages to suit everyone, including the option to book a time slot.

Will I receive my degree certificate at the ceremony?

Yes, you will receive your degree certificate as well as your results transcript at your graduation ceremony.

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?

Where graduates have not received their final transcript, please contact the relevant School office.

How long is the graduation ceremony?

The ceremonies are scheduled to be approximately two hours duration.

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 to shake the hand of the 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.

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 date included in their invitation. This is usually about 10 working days before the week of the ceremonies. 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.

Provision for guests during ceremony

Wheelchair positions are situated on the ground level and Upper Circle and can be booked in advance through the Symphony Hall box office on +44 (0)121 780 3333. The auditorium is equipped with an infra-red system to assist guests with hearing loss - receivers are available from the Duty Manager on request.

Graduates with disabilities

Graduates who have additional support requirements should notify us of these while registering for the ceremony. Wheelchair positions, BSL interpreters and other services will be arranged as required. We will contact you regarding the arrangements near to the ceremony date. If additional support requirements are only known after registration, please telephone +44 (0)121 331 7777 as soon as possible.

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.

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

If you have any queries or need advice about the ceremonies, contact us using iAsk online or telephone +44 (0)121 331 6898. Details about the venue can be found at the Symphony Hall website or by calling +44 (0)121 780 3333.

I graduated online in August 2020/February 2021. Will I still be invited to an in-person ceremony?

Yes, all graduating students who were invited to a virtual graduation will be invited to an in-person ceremony. This includes students who would normally attend the summer and winter graduations during the period of government restrictions on mass gatherings. Eligible students will receive an invitation to register their attendance when it is possible to organise large-scale events, so please keep an eye on your BCU email account.