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Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Guidance on student names

Your legal name will be registered on your student record and will eventually appear on the final award certificate upon successful completion of your programme. 

Name Order

If your identity documentation does not specify which of your names are family names (sometimes known as primary identifiers) and first names (sometimes known as secondary identifiers), we will use all your names in the order they appear on your identity documentation. 

Otherwise, your name will be recorded on your degree certificate and other documents as First Names, then Family Names. 

Official / Legal names

Applicants

Whether you are applying directly or via UCAS.com, you must supply evidence of your legal name, usually by providing formal picture identification During the application process you will have the opportunity to update your ‘preferred’ name on your Applicant Portal. However the name on your formal ID will be used on any email, communication or documentation the university issues before enrolment. (see enrolment) The admissions team will need to verify your qualifications against your formal ID. If your name on some or all your entry qualifications is different to your current legal name, you will also need to provide formal evidence showing that you changed your legal name since your qualifications were awarded.

If you are an applicant or offer holder with any questions, please contact the Admissions Team dealing with your application via your Applicant Portal or Contact Us for more information.

At enrolment

During Queen Mary enrolment you will be asked to provide identity documentation showing your legal name. A list of approved identification for enrolment can be found on the new student webpages.

Current students

To change your name, after you have enrolled, you will need to provide one of the documents listed in ‘Changing your official/legal name’ to the appropriate office listed in ‘Where to request a change of name’ (below). 

Graduates

Following graduation, you cannot ask for your name or Queen Mary issued documentation to be changed retrospectively unless one of the following exceptions apply: 

  • Transgender graduates  
  • An error was made by the University in the spelling or order of names on the record 
  • Exceptional circumstances, for example, public safety grounds 

You cannot have your award certificate re-issued in your previous name following a divorce. 

Changing your official / legal name (current students)

British citizens

If you are a British Citizen living in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you can change your name at any time, if you do not intend to deceive or defraud another person. This includes trans, non-binary and genderqueer students who wish to be known by their new name. If you are not a British Citizen, see the section: If you are not a British Citizen, below. 

Evidence of official/legal names for British Citizens living in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland 

If you are a British Citizen living in England Wales or Northern Ireland, you will need to provide one of the following to the appropriate office: 

Evidence/Document

Remarks

A marriage/civil partnership certificate If, for example, you adopt your partner’s name.
Passport/Driving licence Passport/Driving licence in your new name
A divorce decree absolute/civil partnership final order If you wish to revert to your previous name, we will also need to see your birth certificate and a statement from you confirming the reversion to your previous name for all purposes. 
A certified copy of a birth certificate This will be evidence of a change of name if the new name has been recorded in the birth entry. 
Public announcement You may want to record your name change by placing an advertisement in a local or national newspaper. This should state that you have stopped using your previous name and have assumed a new one. A copy of the advertisement can then be used as evidence that you have changed your name. 
Statutory declaration For most purposes, a statutory declaration is accepted as evidence of your change of name. A statutory declaration is a statement that records your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one. Preparing a statutory declaration can be complicated. If you want to prove your change of name by making a statutory declaration you should consult an experienced adviser, for example at a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can find information on statutory declarations on the government webpages 
Change of name deed (previously known as a ‘deed poll’)

A change of name deed is a formal statement to prove that your name has been changed. Only a person with parental consent can use a deed to record a change of name for children or young persons under the age of 18; however, if you are over 16, this can only be done with your consent. 

You can have a change of name deed prepared by a solicitor. Solicitors’ fees for preparing deeds can vary and can be expensive so it is advisable to find out the cost before proceeding. Alternatively, you can prepare your own deed on a prescribed form that is available from legal stationers, or you can do this yourself. Please see the government webpages on change of name deeds for further information. We can accept both an enrolled and unenrolled change of name deed as evidence. Please note that unenrolled change of name deeds requires two witness signatures. 

Changing your name by deed can be complicated. If you want to use this as evidence of change of name, you should consult an experienced adviser such as an officer of your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau. 

Police report

The university is aware that family problems can lead sometimes to the adoption of a pseudonym for personal safety by students during their academic careers. If you are in this situation, the university will require a police report as verification of the change. 

If you are not a British citizen

If you are not a British Citizen, we will use the name as detailed on your passport, travel document, UK Biometric Residence Permit, UK Application Registration Card, or EEA/Swiss national identity card. The names used in these documents take precedence over names used in other documents, such as marriage certificates and deed polls. 

We will read the name on your document in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s specification for Machine Readable Travel Documents. 

For our purposes, names defined as primary identifiers will be recorded as your family name(s) and secondary identifiers will be recorded as your first name(s) in the order they appear on your passport. 

If your document does not divide your name into family names and first names, we will record your full name in the order that it appears on your passport. 

If you have provided more than one document, these will be considered with the following precedence (highest to lowest): 

1. Most recently issued of:

a) UK Issued e-visa (e.g., EU Settled Status) 

b) UK Issued Biometric Residence Permit 

c) UK Issued Travel Document 

d) UK Issued Application Registration Card 

2. Most recently issued of: 

a) Passport 

b) Travel Document (not issued by the UK) 

c) Swiss or EEA Identity Card 

If you wish to change your name, you must amend your name on your passport, travel document, UK Biometric Residence Permit or Application Registration Card and/or EEA or Swiss national identity card first and submit this to the appropriate office listed in ‘Where to request a change of name’. 

There are several situations where the UK Government will issue you with an e-visa, Biometric Residence Permit, Travel Document or Application Registration Card in a different name to your passport or identity card. Examples include:  

  • Where there are public safety grounds – e.g., if you are a vulnerable victim or witness and seeking to change your name to prevent you from coming to harm 
  • If you are a transgendered person and you are from a country that does not recognise your acquired gender and you are unable to obtain a foreign passport with your new details 
  • You cannot obtain a new passport – e.g., if you are a recognised refugee or stateless person or have been granted Humanitarian Protection where it is has been accepted that you cannot approach your national authorities. 

What happens after I change my official/legal name?

Queen Mary systems 

Once a change of name has been processed  you should see the change reflected in all systems linked to your student record at Queen Mary.  

Student ID card 

If your name change means that your student ID card is no longer correct, you can request a new ID card from either the Student Enquiry Centre, Student Office, Institute of Health Sciences Education (Undergraduate Medical students) or the Research Degrees Office (Research students). You would not be required to pay for this. 

Email address 

While the display name on Outlook would automatically update, your email address will not. You can request that your email address reflect your updated name by raising a helpdesk ticket with IT Services. Please mention in the request that your official/legal name has been amended. 

Official documentation 

Your degree certificate and other graduate documentation (e.g., HEAR digital transcript) would reflect the change. 

Changing Display Name (current students)

If during your time at Queen Mary you would like to be known by a different name to your official/legal name, please contact the relevant office outlined on this page.  

You can update your own name on QMPlus by editing your profile settings. 

Your student record can be updated to use a preferred name as your display names. At present we are only able to change your display name on the systems outlined in the IT Services FAQ If I change my display name, where will it be updated? (the FAQ is below the heading ‘Students’). We hope to expand this in the next academic year. Please note this may not update all local systems used in Academic Schools/Institutes and other departments at Queen Mary. To request a change to the names displayed on the systems listed in the IT Services FAQ above, you do not need to provide any evidence or supporting documentation. 

Your official/legal name would remain on your Queen Mary student record, email address (the address itself, not the display name) student ID card and on all Queen Mary official documentation. 

We cannot amend a name to include additional information such as a professional qualification.

Where to request a change of name

If your name has changed since enrolling or you have found a spelling error on your student record please take the relevant original documentation to the designated office below:

Type of Student

Relevant Office to Contact Regarding Amendment

Undergraduate and postgraduate taught (not including Undergraduate Medicine) Student Enquiry Centre
Undergraduate Medicine  Student Office, Institute of Health Sciences Education 

Please note: Final year medical students seeking to apply for provisional registration with the GMC (General Medical Council) may be asked to provide photographic ID to the GMC confirming their name as part of the ID checks during the application process. Currently, the GMC expects the name on MySIS to match that on photographic ID. Please contact the Student Office within the Institute of Health Sciences Education (smd-student-enquiries@qmul.ac.uk) for the most up-to-date information. 

Undergraduate Dentistry

Student Enquiry Centre 

Please note: Final year dentistry students seeking to apply for provisional registration with the General Dental Council may be asked to provide photographic ID to the GDC confirming their name as part of the ID checks during the application process. Currently, the GDC expects the name on MySIS to match that on photographic ID. Please contact (dental.sso@qmul.ac.uk) for the most up-to-date information. 

Research  Research Degrees Office

Confidentiality 

All data held by the university in connection with any name change will be treated in confidence in accordance with the university’s information governance policies: Information Governance - Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

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