July 2020 Degree Congregations

We are delighted to confirm that, in addition to the replacement on-campus events due to be held in March 2021, we will also be running Virtual Graduation Celebrations in the week commencing Monday 27 July 2020 to mark the achievements of all of our Class of 2020 graduating cohort.    

We appreciate that a virtual celebration cannot replace the on-campus ceremony that you and your families were looking forward to, but we hope that the online celebrations that we have planned for you will provide a memorable opportunity to reflect on your life at university. We also remain committed to delivering a graduation ceremony on campus for the Class of 2020. These are currently scheduled to take place between Monday 15 and Friday 26 March 2021, government guidelines allowing. Further details of the on-campus events will follow later in the year but please read on to learn more about the virtual celebrations you can look forward to in July.

Graduation celebrations

Graduation celebrations launched on Monday 27 July with a virtual opening ceremony. 

Launch of Virtual Graduation Celebrations 2020

The celebrations also include access to a digital yearbook and a chance to hear from members of academic staff at a Zoom webinar hosted by your school. The dates and times of these school events are provided below. The Guild of Students will also be delivering an after party to remember from 19:30 on Friday 31 July through their Facebook.

Please follow us on Instagram and on Twitter to see how you, and your friends and family can celebrate your success with us. 


Entries to the Yearbook are now closed. All graduates will receive a link to download a copy after the virtual graduation celebrations. 

School events

Please find below the date and time of your Virtual Graduation Celebration. Click on the name of your college to get started. The events are for all graduating students in the school or subject area, no matter what level of study. Graduands should have received the invitation to their Virtual Graduation Celebration by email - if you haven't but are expecting to graduate please contact: fga@contacts.bham.ac.uk. Further information about the format for these events can be found in the FAQ section, below.  

College and Arts and Law

Wednesday 29 July 11:00
School of English, Drama and Creative Studies

Wednesday 29 July 13:00
School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

Wednesday 29 July 14:00
Birmingham Law School

Thursday 30 July 12:00
School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

Thursday 30 July 16:00
School of History and Cultures

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Monday 27 July 17:00
School of Mathematics

Tuesday 28 July 15:00
School of Chemical Engineering

Tuesday 28 July 16:00
School of Computer Science

Tuesday 28 July 17:00
School of Physics and Astronomy

Thursday 30 July 14:00
School of Metallurgy and Materials

Friday 31 July 10:00
School of Chemistry

Friday 31 July 11:00
School of Engineering

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

Tuesday 28 July 12:00
Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Monday 27 July 15:00
School of Psychology

Monday 27 July 16:00
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Tuesday 28 July 13:00
School of Biosciences

Tuesday 28 July 14:00
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Monday 27 July 13:00
School of Dentistry

Monday 27 July 18:00
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) only

Wednesday 29 July 12:00
School of Pharmacy

Thursday 30 July 11:00
School of Biomedical Sciences

Monday 27 July 12:00
All other programmes in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences not covered by the events listed above

College of Social Sciences

Tuesday 28 July 11:00
School of Government and Society

Wednesday 29 July 15:00
School of Social Policy

Thursday 30 July 13:00
School of Education

Friday 31 July 12:00
Department of Management and Department of Marketing

Friday 31 July 13:00
Department of Accounting and Department of Finance

Friday 31 July 14:00
Department of Economics

Academic dress

Ede & Ravenscroft are offering a direct to home delivery service for UK-based students wanting academic dress for our virtual graduation celebrations for the normal hire fee (including free postage and return) and comes with a 50% discount voucher for a future hire for the March 2021 on-campus ceremony.

Order academic dress from Ede & Ravenscroft

Please note hiring robes for the virtual celebrations in July 2020 is entirely optional and is not a requirement to take part but you will need to hire robes in order to take part in the on-campus ceremonies scheduled to take place in March 2021.

We would love to see your homemade caps and gowns, you can share them with us using #uobgraduations. Follow @unibirmingham Instagram to see our instructions for making your very own graduation cap and more top tips.

Frequently asked questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions. These will be updated and added to periodically so please check back for regular updates.

Will I still graduate this summer?

As confirmed by the Vice-Chancellor, colleagues across the University are working hard to ensure that all final-year students, at all levels who can complete this year, will do so. Students completing their studies this summer will have their degree conferred in absentia by Special Warrant on Monday 20 July – ensuring that they graduate as planned in 2020 despite not being able to attend an on-campus Degree Congregation.

What will happen at my school's virtual event?

Your school event will consist of two parts.  The first will be a short Zoom Webinar, at which members of staff from your School will talk live and you will be able to post comments in the Q&A. At the end of the live webinar you will be given access to an exclusive YouTube playlist to finish your school’s Virtual Graduation Celebration. We will be encouraging everyone to move over to YouTube together at the end of the live webinar so that you can continue the conversation there, using the comments to post further messages to your classmates. The playlist can be re-watched in the future and shared with friends and family. You will receive the link at the webinar and it will also be emailed to you afterwards.   

Will I appear on camera at my school's virtual event?

Due to the large number of graduates taking part in each event, you will not appear on camera during the webinar or be able to share your microphone but you will be able to post messages in the Q&A if you would like to chat with your classmates and lecturers during the event. These do not have to be questions – you can just use the Q&A to post comments. You will also be able to post comments on your YouTube playlist if you would like to add your memories from your time at Birmingham or pass on any messages of congratulations. You can also share photos and memories through our social media channels, using #uobgraduations. 

What will be on my school's YouTube playlist?

The playlist will include messages of congratulations from members of University staff, alumni and student representatives. The playlist will also include a video listing all of the graduating students in your ceremony so be sure not to miss out on that. We know it is not the same as going up on stage during a graduation ceremony in the Great Hall but we are very much looking forward to having you back on campus to do just that when it is safe to return. The opening ceremony can also be watched through the playlist and we will add further content at the end of the week of celebrations. 

When will I receive my certificate and transcript?

We will begin posting degree certificates in mid-August. If you have not received your documents by Tuesday 15 September 2020 please email fga@contacts.bham.ac.uk. In the meantime you will be able to download and print a secure, verified copy of your degree certificate and transcript via: verify.bham.ac.uk.

Will I get to attend a graduation celebration on campus?

All students should have received an email from the Vice-Chancellor confirming the postponement of our on-campus July 2020 Degree Congregations until March 2021 in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. This was a very difficult decision to make but one that has been made with the best interests of our students and staff in mind. We are absolutely committed to providing all graduating students, including those who were on a waiting list and those who had previously chosen to graduate in absentia, with an opportunity to come together, celebrate and reunite with the Class of 2020 in person and on campus. The rescheduled ceremonies will provide an opportunity to wear your graduation gown and have photographs taken with your friends and family.

Having carefully considered a number of alternative dates, we believe that the best option for our global student body is to hold the rescheduled ceremonies at the end of March 2021 – a point at which we hope travel restrictions will have been lifted in all parts of the globe ensuring that as many of our class of 2020 are able to attend in person as possible. We will get back in touch with you to provide further information about this in due course but the date range to hold in your diaries is Monday 15 to Friday 26 March 2021.

I was on a waiting list – how does this affect me?

All students who complete their studies this summer will have their degree conferred by Special Warrant, including those who were on the waiting list for a place at a July 2020 Degree Congregation. We will contact you in the summer to confirm the delivery address for your certificate and transcript. You will also receive all of the updates about the virtual graduation celebration planned to take place this summer and an invitation to attend the on-campus graduation ceremony experience scheduled to take place in March 2021.

I had already chosen to graduate in absentia – how does this affect me?

If you have already chosen to graduate in absentia at the July 2020 Degree Congregations then you will be largely unaffected by the postponement of the on-campus ceremonies. You will still graduate in absentia when your degree is conferred by Special Warrant and you will receive your certificate and transcript in the same way as everyone else.

The main difference is that now you will also be invited to take part in the virtual celebrations due to take place in July and the on-campus event we plan to run in March 2021, should you wish to do so. You do not need to contact us to register your interest in these events or to change your status. We will be back in touch with further information as soon as it becomes available.   

Can I defer to the December 2020 Degree Congregations?

Unless you had already opted to defer your graduation to December 2020 it is not now possible to choose this graduation preference. We really appreciate how much graduation means to you, your friends and your family. The Degree Congregations mean a great deal to our staff too, so please rest assured that we are doing everything that we can to ensure that we will still be able to come together to celebrate your achievements at the special on-campus graduation celebrations due to be held in March 2021.  

I am due to graduate in December 2020 - will these ceremonies still go ahead?

We continue to monitor the advice from the government and health officials closely. We are continuing to work towards delivering the December Degree Congregations as planned. Should we need to postpone the December on-campus ceremonies we will let you know as soon as we can. If the ceremonies cannot go ahead then the alternative procedures put in place for our July 2020 graduands will also be provided to our December graduands.