Graduation Terms & Conditions

Please read the terms and conditions carefully.  The terms and conditions apply to all students who graduate from Heriot-Watt University and by applying to graduate in person or in absentia, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and agree to these terms.  If you have any questions regarding the terms and conditions, please log an enquiry via AskHWU or email student-records-awards@hw.ac.uk.  

Terms & Conditions

1. Applying to graduate, eligibility and debt 

1.1.  It is essential in many cases to apply to graduate* before you receive formal notification of your results online.   

1.2.  If an application is completed but you do not subsequently receive an award decision you will not be eligible to graduate/attend a ceremony. 

1.3.  It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that your name is correct for the purposes of graduation, and you should contact the Student Records and Awards Team (student-records-awards@hw.ac.uk) prior to the published application deadline date with any changes and provide evidence such as passport, marriage certificate etc.  Any changes after this time may incur a fee if a certificate has already been printed and your name may be incorrect in any published information. 

1.4.  It is the responsibility of the student to apply to graduate before the published application deadline date set.  Late applications will not be accepted. 

1.5.  Students must complete the graduation application before the published deadline for the application to be valid.  If your application requires payment, all payments should be completed by the published application deadline date. 

1.6.  Heriot-Watt University reserves the right to close the graduation application process once a ceremony capacity becomes full. 

1.7.  Heriot-Watt University reserves the right to prevent you from attending a graduation ceremony where it considers this necessary, even where a student has completed the application process.  

1.8.  It is the responsibility of the student to settle all outstanding tuition fee debt by the published deadline date.  Please note this is usually around 1 week prior to the application deadline date.  Failure to do so may result in you not being able to apply to graduate, view your final award, attend a ceremony or receive your award certificate. 

1.9.  If a student submits an appeal following confirmation of an award, the student will no longer be eligible to receive that award on the original award date you were notified of, even if you have applied to graduate.  This also applies if the appeal is concluded before the original award date.  Once the appeal has been concluded, you will be put forward to the next available award date. 

1.10.  Heriot-Watt University will accept no liability for any financial or other loss incurred by any individual through the making of arrangements to attend a graduation ceremony by either being unable to due to eligibility or any other reason such as, but not exclusive to, visa issues and illness. 

2. Attending a ceremony 

2.1.  Heriot-Watt University will use its best endeavours to keep to the scheduled dates, times and venues for graduation ceremonies.  However, due to circumstances outside the control of the University, ceremonies may be delayed, relocated to another venue or postponed. Please note, the schedule of ceremonies is based upon expected student attendance.  In the event that a ceremony is over or under subscribed, arrangements may be made to change the date/time of your ceremony. 

2.2.  Heriot-Watt University also reserves the right to cancel any graduation ceremony and reception for reasons beyond its control.  Circumstances may include, but are not limited to fire, flood, or any other incident that renders the venue unsafe to use; terrorist act (or threat of terrorist act); natural disaster; pandemic or a period of national mourning.  Where any of these circumstances occur, Heriot-Watt University is not responsible for any inconvenience, losses or costs that may be occasioned by such event.    

2.3.  Each student attending a ceremony is entitled to guest tickets (capped depending on location).  Information on maximum ticket allocation per location and the guest ticket fee is available on the graduation website.  It is unlikely there will be any guest ticket availability above the published capped number.  If in the unlikely event there are any additional guest tickets, the University will contact those attending the ceremony to inform them.  Please do not make arrangements for additional guests to attend unless you receive explicit confirmation from the University via email. 

2.4.  Heriot-Watt University will accept no liability for any financial or other loss incurred by any individual through the making of arrangements to attend a graduation ceremony where they do not hold a valid ticket. 

2.5.  Tickets are non-refundable if a request is made to cancel or change an order after the deadline date for applications.  Refunds will not be issued for non-attendance.  This includes, but is not limited to, non-attendance due to illness and visa related issues. 

2.6.  Tickets are non-transferable to other students. 

2.7.  Academic dress is compulsory for all students attending a graduation ceremony.  

2.8.  All students must wear official Heriot-Watt University academic dress.  The University academic dress consists of a robe and a hood in a particular design as relevant to the degree award.  Mortarboards do not form part of the University’s academic dress and are therefore not worn at our graduation ceremonies.  

2.9.  Students are not permitted to wear any other item of non-institutional academic dress at the ceremony, this includes but is not limited to, flags and stoles. 

2.10.  Heriot-Watt University reserves the right to refuse admittance/participation to students who are not wearing the correct academic dress. 

2.11.  Children and babies are welcome to attend.  However, please be aware that graduation ceremonies can be lengthy, so please take this into account.  If children become restless, an usher may ask you to leave the venue temporarily until they are more settled.  Children aged under 16 must be accompanied by an adult guest at all times (note that students are seated separately from guests and therefore children must be seated with another adult in the guest seating area). Children are not permitted to cross the stage. 

2.12.  A ticket must be purchased for any children aged 5 and over requiring their own seat.  Children under 5 who are able to sit on another guests knee do not need to purchase a ticket. 

2.13.  Heriot-Watt University will allocate all students a seat within the venue and it is not possible to change seats unless advised to by a member of staff. 

2.14.  Graduation is a formal event and students and guests are expected to behave in a manner fitting for the occasion.  Any person who becomes disruptive during a graduation ceremony may be asked to leave the ceremony.  

2.15.  Students must arrive and register at the venue at the time specified on the website.  Any student who arrives late (less than 30 minutes before the ceremony start time) may not be able to join the proceedings. 

2.16.  Students must inform Heriot-Watt University at the time of applying to graduate of any additional requirements for themselves or guests such as wheelchair access, accessible seating and sight or sound facilities.   

2.17.  Heriot-Watt University graduation ceremonies may be filmed (not available at all locations) for streaming purposes and the footage may also be used by the University in future promotional material.  

3. Absentia  

3.1.  Students can apply to graduate in absentia.  This means that your certificate is sent to your nominated delivery address following your graduation date.  Postage fees are applicable.  For a breakdown of these fees please see the graduation website. 

3.2.  Students should allow 4 weeks after the award date for delivery. 

3.3.  Students applying to graduate in absentia after the award date should allow 4 weeks from the deadline date (last day of the month the application was made) for delivery of the certificate. 

3.4.  If your certificate is returned to us by Royal Mail or DHL for any reason, we will issue it again upon request on one further occasion.  If it is returned again, you may be liable for an additional postage charge. 

3.5.  Where delivery has not taken place after 4 weeks, the tracking number can be requested in order to track the package.   

4. Publishing Names and Awards 

4.1.  The University publishes the name of each graduate along with their award title in the graduation programme.  The University also releases this information to local Scottish newspaper(s) for publication and to a company who produces clothing merchandise in the UK. 

4.2.  Published award titles do not include classifications or distinctions e.g. Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

4.3.  Your name and award title will be published unless you OPT OUT of this during the online application process. 

4.4.  If you submit an appeal against your award but have not selected to OPT OUT of your name and award title being published, we cannot guarantee that this will be removed from any published graduate lists. 

5. Other terms 

5.1.  We may update these terms and any guidance on graduation ceremonies at any time.  

 

*via MyHWU Student Self-Service or EBS Global Portal (for EBS online students)

Disclaimer

Postponement, Cancellation and Rescheduled Graduation Ceremonies

Heriot-Watt University will use its best endeavours to keep to the scheduled dates, times and venues for graduation ceremonies. However, due to circumstances outside the control of the University, ceremonies may be delayed, relocated to another venue or postponed. Please note, the schedule of ceremonies is based upon student attendance. In the event that a ceremony is over or under subscribed, arrangements may be made to change the time of your ceremony.

The University also reserves the right to cancel any graduation ceremony and reception for reasons beyond its control.  Circumstances may include, but are not limited to: fire, flood, or any other incident that renders the venue unsafe to use; terrorist act (or threat of terrorist act); natural disaster; pandemic or a period of national mourning.

Where any of these circumstances occur, Heriot-Watt University is not responsible for any inconvenience, losses or costs that may be occasioned by such event. 

Full disclaimer outlined in the Terms & Conditions available on this page.

Refunds

If you submit an application to attend a graduation ceremony and subsequently receive information which indicates you are not eligible, you will be entitled to a refund of any payments you made.

If you submit an application to attend a graduation and subsequently change your order, you will not receive a refund for any tickets purchased if this change is made after the application deadline. 

Tickets are non-refundable except in the circumstance outlined above.  Refunds will not be issued for non-attendance.  This includes, but is not exclusive to, Covid related non-attendance whether illness or isolation and visa related issues.

Requests for refunds on gown hire fees should be made directly with the gown suppliers. Please ensure you are aware of the refund policy.

Videos & Images

Please note that the University may film and photograph graduation events for promotional purposes.  Full Terms & Conditions available on this page.