Graduation: frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive about Graduation at Birkbeck. If you can't find the answer to your question here, then   

Which ceremony will I attend?

  • Graduation ceremonies are held twice a year, in April and November. We will email you booking details around six weeks before your ceremony. 
  • November Graduation is for students who have completed the following: foundation degrees, BA/BSc/LLB degrees, graduate certificates, graduate diplomas, and MPhil/PhDs (Please note: PhD graduates are invited to attend either ceremony, depending on their completion date.) 
  • April Graduation is for students who have completed the following: MA/MSc/MFA/LLM/MRes degrees, postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates in education, and MPhil/PhDs. (Please note: PhD graduates are invited to attend either ceremony, depending on their date of completion.)
  • Students who are awarded a Certificate of Continuing Education (Cert CE) or a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) are invited to a celebratory event and reception in the early summer to mark their achievement. There is no dress code for this event.

Where is Graduation held?

  • Graduation ceremonies are held at Senate House, the historic home of the University of London, which is in Bloomsbury, central London (WC1), about five minutes' walk from Russell Square tube station. 
  • The free reception after your ceremony is also held at Senate House. 
  • Before your ceremony, you will need to collect your tickets and your gown from the Royal National Hotel

I haven't received an email invitation to Graduation 

  • Make sure you do not have a fee debt with the College. If you do, you will not be invited to Graduation until the debt has been cleared. 
  • Please make sure your email address is accurate and up to date on My Birkbeck. If you have a Hotmail account, we advise you to add another email account to My Birkbeck, as Hotmail often deletes Graduation emails as junk. 
  • Please check the junk mail folder in your email, as Graduation invitations can sometimes be marked as spam and automatically moved from your inbox. 
  • If you have tried the steps above but you still have not received an email, please

I can’t make the date of my ceremony: what can I do? 

  • You can come to whichever Graduation ceremony suits you, now or in the future. Please  to discuss the options. 

How long does the ceremony last? 

  • Each graduation ceremony lasts around 60 minutes. 

Can I bring guests?

Can I bring children to the ceremony?

when should I Book my travel and/or accommodation? 

  • We strongly advise that you do not make any travel (flights, trains, car hire, etc) or accommodation arrangements until you have received your invitation from us to book a place at Graduation. 
  • Birkbeck cannot take responsibility for transport or accommodation costs incurred and you make these arrangements at your own risk. 

When will I get my tickets?

What time should I arrive for the ceremony? 

Is there a reception afterwards? 

  • Yes, after your Graduation ceremony there is a free, optional reception, with drinks and nibbles, for you and your guests. This is held at Senate House and lasts for about an hour. 

Do I have to wear a gown? 

I'm an International student: do I need a visa to attend Graduation?