Frequently asked questions
Imperial usually holds two graduation ceremonies each year: Commemoration Day for undergraduates in October and Postgraduate Graduation in May.
We are pleased to announce that the College has also provisionally agreed two further days of ceremonies at the Royal Albert Hall to begin providing in-person ceremonies to eligible graduates who were unable to attend one due to the pandemic. These ceremonies will take place on Thursday 10 March and Wednesday 30 March 2022.
Unfortunately, capacity limitations means that we will not be able to invite all graduates to the ceremonies in March. Section 1 of the FAQs below relates to these ceremonies and Section 2 relates to plans for ceremonies beyond this for graduates awaiting an in-person ceremony.
Section 1: Graduation Days, March 2022
Who is eligible to attend a Graduation Day in March 2022?
The College’s Graduation Advisory Committee has carefully considered which groups of graduates should be invited to register for these two events, given the capacity limitations. The decision was debated by the committee, discussed with the Provost’s Executive Team, and brought to the President's Board. In recognition of duration of study and of the time waited so far for an in-person ceremony, the decision has been made to open registration first to the following groups:
Thursday 10 March 2022
- Undergraduate qualifiers who were eligible to attend the October 2020 ceremony
- PhD qualifiers in the faculties of Medicine, Engineering, and Natural Sciences who were eligible to attend the May 2020 ceremony.
Wednesday 30 March 2022
- Postgraduate qualifiers who were eligible to attend the May 2020 ceremony, and who have not already been invited to an in-person event.
How will you ensure that everyone attending an in-person ceremony is kept safe from COVID-19?
We will be closely following government and College guidance to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Although many government restrictions will end in July, participation in Commemoration Day 2021 may be dependent on COVID-19 testing prior to arrival on campus, the use of face coverings, a reduction in guests and adjustments to the traditional format of the day. Further guidance on these requirements, will be emailed to invitees in the lead up to the event and listed on the graduation website
Although there will be some changes, we will ensure your graduation day is a fitting celebration of your time at Imperial.
Can I defer my attendance?
If a graduand wishes to defer their 10 March or 30 March Graduation Day 2022 attendance they can only do so on one occasion. Any graduand actively deferring will be added to the cohort of students who have been affected by the postponement of Graduation Ceremonies.
The College will endeavour to accommodate Graduands wishing to defer their Graduation Ceremony attendance, however the College cannot guarantee that attendance will be offered at a specific future Graduation Ceremony. Graduands deferring their attendance will be contacted in due course regarding attendance of a future Graduation Ceremony.
Will family and friends be able to attend the ceremony?
We are currently planning that the 10 March and 30 March Graduation Day 2022 events to be for graduates only, to minimise the number of people in the Royal Albert Hall and ensure the safety of everyone involved in the day.
As distancing measures will be in place, unfortunately we will be unable to accommodate additional guests on campus or in the Hall. We know that this will be disappointing after so many years of support from your friends and family. The ceremonies will be live streamed on the Graduation web pages so that they can support you from wherever they are in the world.
Will there be post ceremony departmental receptions?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer post ceremony departmental receptions. We have taken this decision following the government review of large-scale events which identified that large unstructured gatherings where there is significant close-mixing of people typically pose a higher risk of transmission, and we do not believe that we can safely offer the usual departmental receptions in the spaces available on campus.
How do I register my attendance?
We will be opening registration for graduates to confirm their attendance to both Graduation Day 2022 events in early December. Eligible graduates will be contacted with further information, including instructions for completing the registration form and deadlines.
Please ensure that you have added firstname.lastname@example.org to your email’s trusted sender list.
Will I be required to wear academic dress for the ceremony?
Yes. Academic dress is compulsory for all graduates registering to attend a March Graduation Day 2022 event. By confirming attendance at graduation, graduates agree to wear official academic robes provided by our robing company Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd.
Instructions for booking academic dress will be emailed to graduates in the coming weeks.
The College reserves the right to refuse admittance to a graduate on either Graduation Day, 2022 who is not wearing academic dress supplied by Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd or who are inappropriately dressed.
Please note that mortar boards are not a part of the College’s academic dress.
Will there be photography offered on the day?
Tempest Photography will be offering studio photography on the day for all eligible graduate. Further information will be made available in the lead up to the event.
Please note that photography will be open to graduates only.
What time will my ceremony be?
Ceremony timings will be confirmed in due course.
Section 2: Plans for replacement ceremonies
Which graduates were affected by ceremonies having to be postponed due to COVID-19?
The following students are affected:
- Postgraduate students (MA, MSc, MREs, PhD, MPhil) whose conferral dates are between 2 March 2019 and 1 March 2021
- Undergraduate students (BA, BEng BSc, BSC Intercalated, MBBS, MEng, MSCi) whose award dates are between 2 August 2019 – 31 July 2020.
Your conferral date is the date that your degree is confirmed by your department and Registry.
What is the College proposing for replacement ceremonies?
The College remains committed to delivering an in-person ceremony in due course but we are currently unable to confirm when this will take place. Please rest assured that we will update on developments in due course.
Will I be able to attend a graduation ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall at a later date?
We have continued to explore the possibility of offering replacement graduation ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall, however for the time being we have been unable to secure any additional dates. It may be that replacement ceremonies cannot run in the Royal Albert Hall for several reasons:
- The Royal Albert Hall is in high demand and there is very limited availability for non-commercial events. The College is allocated two of those dates annually. The Graduation Team has requested additional dates in the past but have been unable to secure any.
- The ceremonies already run very close to capacity, with three ceremonies on any given day. We have previously explored adding a further ceremony and the timings mean this has been ruled out.
Will I be able to attend a ceremony in a different location in London at a later date?
The College is continuing to investigate alternative suitable venues in London to deliver an in-person event for all graduates at a later date. Current availability of numerous appropriate venues is limited but we will continue to explore suitable spaces over the coming months. We sought the views of graduates through a consultation in summer 2020, and the responses to that are helping to shape our approach.
When might the College be able to run a replacement graduation ceremony?
At present we cannot give any certainty about when we will be able to run replacement ceremonies. As stated above, we continue to investigate appropriate venues and will make an announcement in due course. The ability to deliver the event safely is paramount, as well as several factors outside of our control including government and College requirements and supplier availability. We will update these web pages as and when circumstances change as well as sending email updates to graduates.
Please ensure your contact details are up to date by completing the ongoing contact and registration form
Can I defer to a graduation ceremony next year?
Due to the numbers of students affected by the postponement of the ceremonies, it has not been possible to allow graduates whose ceremonies were affected by COVID-19 to defer their attendance to the next Royal Albert Hall ceremony. In order that we can offer the same opportunity to each student we will plan a series of events for those graduates whose ceremonies were postponed due to the pandemic.
Did I still graduate despite a ceremony not yet having been held?
Yes, your degree was still conferred by the College following your marks being passed by your department to Registry. This is not impacted in any way by your attendance or non-attendance at a graduation ceremony.
When/how will I receive my certificate?
Unlike some universities, there is no connection with graduation and receiving your certificate. Certificates are normally issued three months from when a student is conferred, however there are currently some delays due to the certificates team working remotely. If you have a question regarding your certificate, please email email@example.com.
How do I keep in touch about future in-person ceremonies?
The College is committed to providing an in-person ceremony in the future so please complete the ongoing contact and registration form to ensure you receive your invitation when the time comes.to ensure you receive your invitation when the time comes.
You can contact the Graduation team by email. Our office is open from 09.00 until 17.00 Monday to Friday.
We aim to respond to emails within three working days.