Graduation: Frequently Asked Questions

Find out the latest information and advice for students graduating this summer. We will keep these FAQs updated with any new information as it becomes available.

Last updated: 30 March 2021

Will graduation ceremonies take place in summer 2021?

We have made the very difficult decision not to hold in-person graduation ceremonies this summer. While the government’s roadmap out of lockdown brings us all some optimism for the coming months, it is not currently clear whether social distancing or any other COVID safety measures (including travel restrictions) will still be in operation in the UK later this year, or how we may be impacted by a predicted ‘third wave’ of the pandemic.

The 21 June date outlined in the government’s roadmap is the earliest that restrictions may be lifted, and this is just a few weeks before our graduation ceremonies would usually take place. Due to the many uncertainties we’ve made this decision now, to give you as much notice as possible so your plans aren’t disrupted at a later date.


Will I still graduate?

Yes, students who fulfil their degree requirements will still graduate and receive all the documents they need to prove this for employment or further study.

If you are concerned about meeting the academic requirements to graduate, you should first speak to your academic advisor or your programme support team. We’re also supporting students through our Assessment Pledge.


Will there be an online ceremony instead?

We are organising virtual celebrations to mark your achievement alongside your classmates, family and friends. We’ll be in touch as soon as possible to give you the details of these plans, along with anything you need to do before graduating.


Will there be a future in-person event for graduates whose original in-person ceremonies couldn’t go ahead?

We firmly believe that every graduand should have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements fully, and we are working closely with your Students’ Union Executive Team to look at our options for in-person events, including any outdoor celebrations that may be able to take place, hopefully before next summer:

  • April-May: We will continue to monitor the updates from government, whilst working through a series of options for in-person events, based on the emerging picture of any on-going restrictions and what may be possible for us to logistically facilitate and when, in terms of large group gatherings.
  • 21 June: We will have a clearer picture of where we stand in terms of the government’s roadmap, to determine what we may be able to confidently deliver and when.
  • End of June: We will write to you again to detail our plans for future events, and will be sure to give you at least two months’ notice of any confirmed events, so that you can plan. We very much hope to be able to facilitate an event before the summer of 2022, at the earliest opportunity that it is safe and practical to do so.


How will you let me know about future graduation plans?

We will keep these graduation web pages updated with any new information as it becomes available. We will also email relevant students via their University of Manchester and personal email addresses listed in their student records. Please ensure this is up to date.  Note that your University of Manchester account will expire after you have completed your studies, so please do ensure we have a personal email on file for you.


Can I defer my graduation?

All deferrals from graduation sessions are currently suspended.


What if I’ve already made transport or accommodation arrangements for graduation?

We have made this decision a few months in advance, in the hope that the majority of students have not yet booked transport or accommodation for graduation. Where possible we wanted to avoid disrupting your plans at a later date. If you do need to cancel a booking, we suggest you contact your travel, accommodation or insurance provider.