Frequently asked questions
Imperial usually holds two graduation ceremonies each year: Commemoration Day for undergraduates in October and Postgraduate Graduation in May.
Please see some of our most frequently asked questions below.
Eligibility / Certificates
Who is eligible to attend Postgraduate Graduation 2023?
Postgraduates are eligible to graduate at Postgraduate Graduation on 3 May 2023, provided that their degree has been awarded, and recorded on the College’s student system, between Tuesday 2 March 2022 and Wednesday 1 March 2023.
Postgraduates awarded after this date will be invited to attend the following Postgraduate Graduation.
*Eligibity is subject to graduands not holding a financial hold or college debt.
Who is eligible to attend future Imperial graduations?
Specific ceremony eligiblity will be subject to the terms and conditions of the event but generally, undergraduates will need to have been awarded by 1 September in order to graduate in October of the same year.
Postgraduates will normally be eligible to attend Postgraduate Graduation in May, provided that they have been awarded by 1 March.
Graduands awarded after the above dates are invited to graduate at the following ceremony for their cohort.
*Eligibity is subject to graduands not holding a financial hold or college debt.
Can I attend graduation if I have a financial hold or College debt?
Graduands who have a financial hold or a College debt (e.g. tuition fees) may see this impact their eligiblity to attend graduation. If you have a query regarding an outstanding debt on your account, please contact the Student Credit Control Team as soon as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When/how will I receive my certificate?
At Imperial, there is no connection with graduation and receiving your certificate.
Certificates are normally issued three months from when a student is conferred. If you have not received your certificate or have a question, please email email@example.com.
Do I have to attend a ceremony in order to graduate?
No, your degree will still have been 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, which is entirely optional.
Registration / Tickets
When and how can I register to attend my graduation?
Registration for Postgraduate Graduation on 3 May 2023 is open and invitations have been sent to eligible students. The deadline to register is Friday 3 March 2023
Registration dates for later ceremonies will be confirmed closer to the time.
What if I am unable to attend my graduation?
Graduands may choose to attend the ceremony in person, defer their attendance, or graduate in absentia.
Graduands unable to attend their ceremony but would like to do so in future, can choose to defer to a later ceremony. Graduands may only defer once and will be invited to graduate at a later ceremony. Graduands who wish to defer must let us know by completing the relevant section once in your registration form.
Graduating in absentia
Graduands who are unable/do not wish to attend their ceremony and would not like to attend a future ceremony may graduate in absentia, where they will not be invited to any further in-person ceremonies for the same degree.
Can family and friends attend in-person?
Yes. Guests can attend Imperial graduation ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall, and the departmental receptions which take place shortly afterwards, at venues across the South Kensington campus.
Graduands are initially able to purchase up to two guest tickets for the ceremony, in addition to two guest passes to the departmental receptions. Guest tickets/passes prices and instructions for purchase will be communicated in advance of your event.
Can I request additional guest tickets?
Unfortunately, we are unable to allocate more than two tickets per graduand.
We are inviting more graduands than ever before and we want to offer everyone an equal opportunity to purchase tickets for their guests. In the event additional tickets become available at a later stage, we will inform all graduands registered to attend, after registration has closed.
The Graduation Team will be unable to accommodate requests for additional tickets prior to this date.
Do I need to pre-order my gown and hood?
Yes, academic dress is compulsory for all graduands attending an Imperial College London Graduation. By confirming attendance at graduation, graduands agree to wear official academic robes provided by our official robing company Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd.
Please note that mortar boards are not a part of the College’s academic dress, so you will only be required to order a gown and hood.
You should arrange your academic dress in good time for your ceremony and instrcutions for pre-ordering your gown and hood will be communicated once registration for your ceremony is open.
Do I require a visa to attend?
Please check the UK Government guidance on whether you need a visa to travel to London. The International Student Support may also able to provide guidance on submitting your application.
If you or your guest(s) require a supporting visa invitation letter from Imperial College London, this can be requested in the event registration portal.
Please note that we will be unable to provide letters to support applications prior to registration being open, for graduands who are yet to be awarded or for graduands who have not registered their attendance.
Obtaining a visa might take several weeks and it is your responsibility to ensure you have completed all legal requirements before you travel.
On the day
What time is my ceremony?
Ceremony timings for the Postgraduate Graduation 2023 are:
10.00 Imperial College Business School (approx. duration: 2.5h)
14.00 Faculty of Engineering (approx. duration: 2h15m)
17.45 Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Centre for Languages, Culture & Communication and Centre for Higher Education, Research and Scholarship (approx. duration: 3h)
N.B. These ceremony length timings are subject to change
Can my friends and family watch my ceremony online?
Yes, we stream all of our Graduation ceremonies live here on our website and on the Imperial College London YouTube channel.
Can I bring my children?
A Guest Ceremony Ticket and Guest Reception passes (if applicable) must be purchased for any child of 2 years of age or older. Tickets are not required for children under two years of age if they do not require their own seat.
Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times whilst at the College’s South Kensington Campus, and by an adult guest of the relevant Graduand whilst at the Royal Albert Hall. Please note that it is not possible for a child to sit with a Graduand at any time at the Royal Albert Hall.
What is the dress code?
Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and therefore smart dress is required. We also welcome traditional or national dress under your academic attire.
The College reserves the right to refuse admittance to a graduate on Graduation Day should they not be wearing academic dress supplied by Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd (or) are inappropriately dressed.
Will there be post-ceremony department receptions?
Departmental Receptions are held after the ceremonies at the Royal Albert Hall, at venues across the South Kensington Campus. They are an opportunity for graduands, family and academic staff to come together after the graduation ceremony to further celebrate with drinks and light refreshments.
Departmental receptions normally begin shortly after the ceremony ends and last approximately 90 minutes.
Graduand passes to the receptions are complimentary but you must select this option during registration in order to secure your place. Graduands may also purchase up to two guest passes to the department receptions, once registration is open.
Please note guest tickets to the ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall are sold separately.
Will there be professional photography on the day?
Yes, professional photography will be supplied on the day by Tempest Photography, where graduands can take photos in their academic dress with family and friends.
There is no need to book an appointment and you can find information on the available photography packages ahead of the day by visiting the Tempest Photography website and selecting 'Not Graduated Yet?'
Will there be any COVID-19 prevention measures in place?
Imperial College currently adopts COVID-19 health and safety guidance as set out by the UK Government. Please visit College Guidance.
All ceremonies organised by Imperial College will see a return to original capacity at the Royal Albert Hall as well as on campus for activities such as registration, photography, and receptions.
When is my graduation?
Imperial's next Graduation Day will be Postgraduate Graduation on Wednesday 3 May 2023.
We were able to agree additional dates with the Royal Albert Hall in 2022, to hold rescheduled ceremonies for graduands who were unable to attend theirs due to the pandemic. Graduands who were unable to attend one of these dates and received an approved request to defer, will be notified of the date of their graduation in due course.
Future dates are also still to be confirmed but you can find out more about graduation here,
How do I keep in touch about future in-person ceremonies?
To keep in touch about future in-person ceremonies please make sure your contact details are up to date by filling in our ongoing contact and registration form.
Can I view past graduation ceremonies?
You can view past graduation ceremonies on the Imperial College London YouTube Channel.
Can I hire/rent academic dress outside of graduation?
Our official robing company, Ede & Ravenscroft provide a private service for the hire or purchase of academic dress outside of graduation ceremonies.
Feel free to contact the Ede & Ravenscroft customer service team for further information.
You can contact the Graduation team by email. Our office is open from 09.00 until 17.00 Monday to Friday.
- Email the Graduation team
- For ugrent issues that require a response within three working days, you can contact the Graduation team on +44 (0)20 7594 6131.
We aim to respond to emails within three working days.