Frequently asked questions
Imperial usually holds two graduation days each year: Commemoration Day in Autumn and Graduation Day in Summer.
Our next ceremonies on Graduation Day, Wednesday 8 May 2024, are for our recent Postgraduate students. Undergraduates typically graduate in Autumn at Commemoration Day.
Eligibility / Certificates
Who is eligible to attend graduation?
To be eligible for graduation day on Wednesday 8 May 2024, graduands must meet one of the following criteria:
Their postgraduate degree has been awarded and recorded on the College’s student system by no later than Friday 1 March 2024, and they have not been invited to graduation before;
They have received an approved deferral from Commemoration Day 2023 for their postgraduate degree, with Graduation Day 2024 being their final opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony.
Please note CertHE, DipHE, PGDip and PGCert awards are not currently eligible to attend an in person graduation.
Can I attend graduation if I have a financial hold or College debt?
All tuition fees must be paid before the repayment deadline to be eligible for graduation day. This deadline will be communicated to all graduands who have outstanding debt in advance.
For Graduation Day 2024 the repayment deadline is 15 February 2024. All debts cleared after this date will not be eligible to graduate at the next ceremony, or any future ceremonies.
When/how will I receive my certificate?
There is no connection between the graduation ceremony and receiving your certificate. Certificates are not given out at graduation or collected on the day of graduation. The College sends certificates to graduands directly.
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, you do not have to attend a ceremony to graduate. Your degree will still have been conferred by the College, following your marks being passed by your department to Registry.
Attendance or non-attendance at a graduation ceremony is entirely optional.
Cost of Graduation
How much does graduation cost?
There is no charge for graduands to attend their graduation ceremony at their graduation ceremony or the Departmental Receptions taking place at various locations across the South Kensington campus. However, there are additional costs associated with graduation which are listed below:
- You must wear academic dress to process and graduate in the Royal Albert Hall. Hiring academic dress from our official gowning partner Ede & Ravenscroft costs £50
- Guest ceremony tickets to the Royal Albert Hall cost £24.99 per guest
- Guest Departmental Reception passes cost £15 per guest
- Purchasing photography. Packages from our official photography partner Tempest photography start from £25
Is financial support available?
We aim to make graduation accessible to all. As such there is financial support available to those who need it and Imperial College can provide assistance for guest ceremony ticket(s), gown hire, guest reception passes, photography and UK travel to and from the ceremony.
Applications must be received by 10 April 2024.
For details on how to apply, and more information please visit:
Registration / Tickets
When and how can I register to attend my graduation?
All eligible graduands will be invited directly via email. Please ensure your details are up to date by completing the Alumni contact and communications preferences form with any changes
If you believe you were eligible for a past ceremony, and have missed an invitation, please contact the Graduation Team using: firstname.lastname@example.org, although please note if you did not respond to a previous invitation you will not be eligible to attend a future ceremony except in serious extenuating circumstance.
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.
Please note you still need to complete registration if you decide to defer your attendance or graduate in absentia. If you do not complete registration within the allocated registration time, you will not be invited to future graduation ceremonies.
Deferring your attendance
Graduands who are 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 in your registration form.
Please note that we cannot guarantee which ceremony you will be deferred to and you could be invited to any future ceremony, which has capacity.
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).
If you graduate in absentia your name will still appear in the programme, but will not be read out on stage.
What is the difference between Departmental Reception passes and guest tickets to the Royal Albert Hall?
Departmental Receptions are held at venues across the South Kensington campus. They are an opportunity for graduands, family and academic staff to come together to further celebrate with drinks and light refreshments. The receptions typically run for 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 Departmental Receptions once registration is open.
Guest tickets to the ceremony enable guests to watch the graduation ceremony inside the Royal Albert Hall. Graduands will also be able to purchase two guest tickets to the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall whilst tickets are available.
Please note guest tickets to the ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall are sold separately via the Royal Albert Hall.
Can family and friends attend?
Guests can attend graduation ceremonies in the Royal Albert Hall and the departmental receptions which take place at various venues across the South Kensington campus.
Graduands are initially able to purchase up to two guest tickets for the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall and two guest passes to the Departmental Receptions. Tickets are subject to availability.
Can I buy extra tickets to graduation day?
Graduands are initially able to purchase up to two guest tickets for the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, and up to two guest passes to the Departmental Receptions taking place across the South Kensington campus.
If further guest tickets become available once registration is closed we will email all registered graduands to let them know with details of how to purchase. These tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Anyone found to have purchased more than two tickets will be considered to be intentionally breaking the terms and conditions of the event and all of their guest tickets will be cancelled.
Can I bring children to graduation day?
Graduation is a formal occasion and as a result may not be suitable for young children. Guest ceremony tickets for the Royal Albert Hall or guest Departmental Reception tickets must be purchased for any child of two 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 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.
On the day
How do I get to Graduation?
For information about planning your journey to South Kensington from within London and major London airports visit our Plan your journey page.
Where is my Graduation?
Our Graduation ceremonies are held at the Royal Albert Hall.
Registration, gown collection, photography and departmental receptions all take place on our South Kensington Campus.
What time is my ceremony?
We hold four ceremonies a day, ranging from 9.30 – 22.00.
You will be required to be on campus approximately two to three hours before your ceremony.
We cannot confirm the exact time of your ceremony at this stage. Further information will be sent closer to the time.
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.
Is academic dress compulsory?
Academic dress is compulsory to attend Graduation Day.
The College's official robemaker and supplier of academic dress is Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd, which will be the only provider of academic dress present on campus for all Graduation Ceremonies. You can see more details about academic dress here.
Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and therefore smart dress is required under your academic attire. We encourage guests to wear smart attire and also welcome traditional or national dress.
The College reserves the right to refuse admittance to a graduate on graduation day should they not be wearing academic dress or are inappropriately dressed.
The College's official robemaker and supplier of academic dress is Ede & Ravenscroft Ltd, which will be the only provider of academic dress present on campus for all graduation ceremonies. You can see more details about academic dress here.
How do I get an official photograph on the day?
Professional photography will be supplied on the day by Tempest Photography. Graduands can take photos in their academic dress with family and friends and stage photography will also be available to purchase after each ceremony.
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?'
There is also the option to attend the pre-graduation photography day on Tuesday 7 May 2024.
Where applicable, all guests at Graduation Day and/or Commemoration Day must comply with all safety guidance as may be imposed by the College and/or Royal Albert Hall and/or UK government with regard to preventing the spread of transmissible diseases.
For current college guidance please see this link: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/about/covid-19/
Do I require a visa to attend?
If you or your guest(s) require a supporting visa invitation letter from Imperial College London, this can be requested in the Visa Letter Support form.
Obtaining a visa may take several weeks and it is your responsibility to ensure you have completed all legal requirements before you travel.
What if I have accessibility needs?
We want to ensure all of our graduands and guests have the best experience possible as they celebrate completing their studies.
The Royal Albert Hall is wheelchair accessible with hearing loop capabilities. Please indicate your requirements when registering for the ceremony. If your guests have any additional accessibility requirements, please also call the Royal Albert Hall box office when booking tickets to ensure seats are appropriate and they can plan for any assistance required.
You can contact the Graduation Team via email at: email@example.com for any queries. Please ensure you contact the team at least two weeks prior to the graduation ceremony.
Is blue badge parking available?
There are a limited number of car parking spaces available on campus which are reserved for Blue Badge holders. Graduands must request car parking spaces through the registration portal or by contacting the Graduation Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that car parking spaces cannot be guaranteed but we will do our best to accommodate.
Are BSL interpreters available?
We want to ensure our graduands and guests can enjoy all aspects of the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. We can make arrangements for BSL interpreters to be available, but we ask that your notify: email@example.com as soon as possible.
Where can I find accessibility support on the day?
There will be information desks located at registration and College Main Entrance on graduation day. Please visit us here if you have any questions or concerns on the day, and a member of staff will be able to assist you.
How to contact us
If you were unable to find the answer to your question above, then please contact the Graduation Team directly. Our office is open from 09.00 until 17.00, Monday to Friday.
- Email the Graduation Team. We aim to respond to emails within three working days.
- For urgent issues that require a response within three working days, you can call the Graduation team on +44 (0)20 7594 6131.