Frequently asked questions about graduation ceremonies at Kingston University

On this page you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about graduation ceremonies at Kingston University. Please read the FAQs before contacting the graduation team. If you need further support, please get in touch.

Am I eligible to graduate?

All of the following needs to apply in order for you to be eligible to attend your January 2022 ceremony.

You must have 

  • an award agreed by Thursday 18 November 2021
  • received an email invitation from the graduations team to attend the January 2022 ceremony
  • booked your tickets by Thursday 9 December 2021, 11.59pm (GMT). You cannot purchase tickets to your ceremony while you have any fees or charges owing to the University in relation to your studies. This does not include any non-academic debts.
  • paid all fees or charges owing to the University.

Outstanding debts

Please make sure that you clear any outstanding academic debts at least a week before the ticket booking deadline.

You can settle your debt by contacting the Debt Recovery team on +44(0)20 8328 7005 or by paying online.

Please note: most library debts are not payable online so please contact the learning resources centres on +44(0)20 8417 3355 or in person before making any payment.

Your award 

For all those who are due to graduate in January 2022, your award must be agreed by Thursday 18 November 2021 in order for you to attend your ceremony.

If you do not have your award agreed by this date, you'll be sent information from your faculty about the next steps you should take, and you will not be able to attend your ceremony.

If you have a query about your results, you need to contact your faculty directly. The graduations team will not be able to help you.

When is my ceremony?

If you are eligible to attend a ceremony, you will receive an email from the graduations team advising you of your ceremony date and time and when you can book your place and guest tickets.

For ceremonies in:

  • January 2022 – emails will be sent out in November 2021.
  • Spring 2022 – emails will be sent out in the new year 2022.

January 2022 ceremonies will take place in Kingston. We will update our Plan Your Day page with more information shortly.

Can I get a visa support letter? I am in the UK on a valid student visa and I would like to invite guests from my home country.

Yes, if you are in the UK on a valid student visa, please download our letter template (Word) and complete it if you are inviting your guests to attend your ceremony.

Please note: it may be useful to provide your booking confirmation email as further evidence of your graduation date and time for your guests to obtain a visitor visa. Relatives and friends coming to the UK for up to six months will need to apply for a standard visitor visa.

  • Visitors from countries which are not classed as visa national countries can apply for a visa either before travelling or on arrival in the UK.
  • For updates to the status of Visa Application Centres (VACs) in your country check with:
    - TLS contact if you're in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
    - VFS global for all other countries

For full information on eligibility and how to apply, please see the Home Office website – the how to apply section also explains the process in your country, including visa fees and waiting times.

Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

Important: anyone coming or returning on a standard visitor visa please take out health insurance as you will not be covered by the NHS in the UK.

Documents to help your visitor to obtain their visa

If your friends or relatives are planning to come to the UK to attend your ceremony, you can assist them with their visa application by sending them the following documents:

  • A letter of invitation from you stating your address in the UK, your relationship with your visitor, the purpose of the visit, the dates of the visit and the details of where they will be staying. As you are the person that your friend or relative is coming to visit, this letter must come from you and not from Kingston University. Please see the invitation letter (Word) as an example of what to include.
  • A photocopy of the information page of your passport.
  • A photocopy of your valid student visa (if applicable).
  • A copy of your ticket booking confirmation email. This will confirm the date and time of your graduation ceremony.
  • If you will be supporting your visitor financially during their visit, or paying for the cost of their visit, your original pay slips, bank statements, or some other evidence to show that you have enough money to support them. We suggest that these documents should cover several months before the date of application.
  • If your visitor will be staying with you for the duration of their stay in the UK, you should also provide proof of your address (eg a copy of your tenancy agreement).

Please note: the information provided here is only general guidance. Requirements may vary from country to country and you must check with the Home Office, your local British Embassy or High Commission for exact details of the required documentation. Please also review the Guide to Supporting Documents.

Immigration regulations are subject to change at short notice and therefore we cannot guarantee that a visa application will be successful if all the above documents are provided.

You can also find important information about visitor visas on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

Can I get a visa support letter? I have returned to my home country, and would like to attend the ceremony with/without guests.

Yes, if you have returned to your home country and would like to attend the ceremony with or without guests, Kingston University can provide a Visa support letter.

If you are travelling from outside the EU to attend a graduation ceremony you will need a visa to enter the UK:

  • If you are travelling from a visa national country to attend a graduation ceremony you will need a visa to enter the UK. If your student visa has expired and you have left the UK, you will need to apply for a standard visitor visa.
  • If your student visa is still valid but you have left the UK, we recommend that you apply for a standard visitor visa, too.
  • If you are travelling from a non-visa national country, and do not have a valid visa, or EU Settlement, you should carry details of your graduation with you when you are entering the UK. If you enter via an eGate you will not receive a stamp in your passport, but you will have entered as a standard visitor. You should retain your boarding pass as proof of the date you entered the UK to ensure you do not overstay the maximum time of 6 months that is permitted on a standard visitor visa.

Request a visa support letter from Kingston University to support you and your guests when you apply for your visitor visa.

Visitors from countries which are classed as visa national countries will need to apply for a visa in their home country before travelling.

Full information about applying for standard visitor visas is provided by the Home Office.

Documents required when applying for a standard visitor visa

The documents you require to support your application for a standard visitor visa will depend on the purpose of your visit and may vary from person to person. You should provide as many relevant documents as you can to show that you qualify for entry to the UK. You must decide which documents will best support your application. In general, the documents will need to include the following:

  • information about you – ie your passport, any existing or past UK visas;
  • information about your finances and employment – ie bank statements, pay slips;
  • your accommodation and travel details – ie your flight/travel details, confirmation of accommodation booking or proof of address from the person you will be staying with
  • information about your visit to the UK – ie details about the purpose of your stay, which can be supported by the visa support letter issued to you at your request. Please request your visa letter from our website, the visa letter will be sent to you electronically within five working days of submission.

For full details of UK visa requirements please refer to the Home Office website.

Visas for your friends and relatives

Relatives and friends coming to the UK for up to six months will need to apply for a standard visitor visa.

Please note: the visa support letter states that you are permitted to bring guests with you to your graduation ceremony. Please give a copy of the letter we issue to any of your guests that are applying for a visa to the UK.

  • Visitors from countries which are not classed as visa national countries can apply for a visa either before travelling or on arrival in the UK.
  • For updates to the status of Visa Application Centres (VACs) in your country check with:
    - TLS contact if you're in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
    - VFS global for all other countries

For full information on eligibility and how to apply, please see the Home Office website – the how to apply section also explains the process in your country, including visa fees and waiting times.

You can also find important information about visitor visas on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

What will happen if government guidelines change and the graduation event has to be cancelled?

If the graduation ceremonies cannot take place due to circumstances beyond the University's control, including Covid-19, and increased government restrictions on events and public health advice, ceremonies will be rescheduled to take place at a later date.

The University will not be held responsible for any losses, direct or otherwise, incurred by graduates or their guests by these cancellations, rescheduling or postponement.

Graduands and their guests should ensure that they have sufficient insurance protection to cover any losses they might incur as a result of ceremonies being cancelled or delayed. Full information can be found in our graduation terms and conditions.

How are you ensuring the safety of graduates and guests during the ceremonies?

To help protect you, your guests and our staff the following measures will be put in place for the in-person ceremonies but we reserve the right to review these in accordance with government and University guidelines:

  • We encourage all students and guests to wear face coverings (unless you are exempt) whilst inside buildings, with the exception of crossing the stage and during your photography session.
  • All attendees should take a lateral flow test less than 24 hours before travelling to the ceremonies. You must not travel to the event if you test positive, if you have any COVID symptoms or if you are self-isolating.

Any changes to the requirements of our students and guests will be communicated to you via email and be updated on these pages.

What if I was awarded an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in the last two years?

You will receive invites to both graduation ceremonies, and are able to attend either or both.

I am appealing my mark/award, how does this affect my graduation?

The period between the publication of results and the ceremonies for some graduates is very short, and it is not possible for an appeal to be resolved in time for a change to an award to be made for the ceremony, in the case of a successful appeal.

You may therefore opt either to:

  1. Attend the graduation ceremony immediately following the publication of your results with the award achieved at the time of results. If the award is subsequently changed on appeal, University records will be amended, and your original certificate will need to be returned before a revised certificate can be issued.
    or
  2. Defer graduation to the following set of ceremonies appropriate for your course by which time the appeal will normally be resolved. If the appeal is successful and a change to the award is made, then you can attend graduation with the revised award and the University's records will be amended.

If deferral is not requested, option 1 will be actioned automatically.

The level of award only (e.g. BA(Hons), MA) not the classification (e.g. first or second class) is published in the printed graduation brochure available on the day. The award level and classification are not announced during the ceremony, only the graduate's name.

Deferral deadline for January 2022 ceremonies

You must inform the graduation team by Thursday 2 December 2021 if you wish to take option 2 (deferral). If deferral is not requested in this way or is requested after the deadline, option 1 will be actioned automatically.

You can read more about academic appeals.

How do I get my certificate if I'm not attending my ceremony?

Read information about how you can receive your certificate if you haven't already received it or if you need a replacement.

My name is spelt incorrectly on OSIS/I have changed my name, what do I do?

Read more about name changes for certificates.

What is my student ID number?

It's the seven digit number found on your Kingston University ID card.

Please contact the Service Desk team on tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3355 if you do not have your ID card and do not know your ID.

The Service Desk is open: Monday to Friday 8am–5pm.

I can't use the online booking system – is there another way I can buy tickets?

No. Please complete the online query form, we'll do our best to help.

Why do my guests have to pay?

The charge of £27 (including VAT) for each guest ticket helps to pay for the cost of the ceremony. However, we do our best to keep costs – and therefore ticket prices – as low as possible. The costs have been held at 2019 prices.

Who should I inform if my guests or I have special requirements?

When you're booking online please provide details of any special requirements – such as mobility difficulties.

If we don't know your requirements well in advance, we cannot guarantee that we'll be able to accommodate them on the day

I applied for my graduate ticket but can't attend. What should I do?

Please log into OSIS to let us know if you are unable to attend your ceremony.

All or some of my guests can't attend. Can I get a refund?

Read about tickets and refunds.

I didn't receive a confirmation email when I ordered tickets. What does this mean?

Please contact the graduations team if you are unsure if your order is confirmed. Read more about confirming your ticket order.

How and when can I collect my tickets?

You must collect your ticket and your guest tickets on the day of your ceremony.

Will I be sent any more information about my ceremony?

We will keep you updated with all the information you need to know via email in the lead up to your ceremony. Graduates will not receive anything in the post.

How is my data protected?

Graduates and guests should be aware that the graduation ceremonies are regarded as public events. Name and qualifications, but not degree classifications, will be published in the graduation programme. The names and awards printed in the programme are as accurate as possible at the time of going to print.

We are unable to discuss the details of an individual's graduation ceremony with anyone else (relative, friend etc) unless given written permission by the student concerned.

Your contact details will be used by the Kingston University Alumni Association to keep you informed about events, further study and other university-related activities. They will not be passed on to a third party. If you do not wish your data to be used for this purpose please email alumni@kingston.ac.uk including your student ID and 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

See the Alumni privacy notice for further details.

What is photography and filming consent?

Graduates and guests who attend Kingston University graduation ceremonies give their consent to the recording and transmission of their images (still and moving) for Kingston University publicity purposes.

Are you making any arrangements for attendees with accessibility needs?

When you book your graduation tickets you will be asked for access information for both yourself and your guests, to make your day as enjoyable and as smooth as possible. If you would like to discuss access needs for any of your party please email us.

Access

All our graduation venues have lifts and can accommodate wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties. Please make yourself known to a member of staff when you arrive if you require assistance.

Guide dogs

Guide dogs are welcome. Please let us know in advance if one of your party is bringing a guide dog, so we can make suitable arrangements such as a water bowl, an appropriate seat or a dog-sitter.

Hearing aids

The theatre has a wireless (infra-red) audio system. This works in two ways:

  • If you wear a hearing aid you can collect a neck-loop from the theatre cloakroom. Simply put on the neck-loop and switch your hearing aid to the 'T' position.
  • If you don't wear a hearing aid you can pick up a discreet wireless headset from the cloakroom.

A returnable deposit of £5 is required for either a neck-loop or a headset.

Can I defer my graduation ceremony?

It is usually not possible to attend a different graduation ceremony other than the one you have been allocated.

If you would like to provide us with some more details as to why you are unable to attend, then please contact the graduation team and we will take your request under consideration.

Need further support?

Please read our frequently asked questions before contacting the graduation team. If you have queries that have not been answered in the FAQs, please get in touch.