PhD graduands

PhD graduands have extra steps for graduation. Find out how to submit your abstract, invite guests, attend the PhD celebration and what to expect on the day.

Submitting your abstract

An abstract of your PhD research is included in the University’s official graduation programme and is an important means of communicating your research to the rest of the University and to the wider public.

A one-sentence summary of your research is also read out at the graduation ceremony by the Vice-Chancellor as you stand on stage at graduation.

Writing your abstract and summary

  • The abstract must be no more than 100 words and the one-sentence summary must be no more than 40 words.
  • Write in the present tense.
  • Ensure your research can be easily understood by the general public—use simple terms and concepts, and avoid complex language. It is important that your abstract can be understood by someone who has little previous knowledge of your research subject.
  • Show how your research has added to existing knowledge or provide examples of how your findings may be used.
  • Use your preferred full name on the first mention, then only your first name throughout the rest of the abstract.

You can look at previous examples for guidance. You may choose to discuss your abstract with your supervisor(s) before submitting it.

Abstracts should be submitted to the Graduation Office via the PhD response form.

Inviting guests

PhD graduands can request guest tickets when submitting the online PhD response form. The number of friends and family you can invite to your graduation ceremony is limited due to space restrictions at the Michael Fowler Centre and guest tickets requests may not be met in full. Graduation Office staff will contact PhD graduands to confirm guest ticket allocations.

PhD celebration

The Vice-Provost (Research) will host a celebration for all PhD graduands prior to the ceremonies. A formal invitation with full details is sent to PhD graduands in the month before graduation.

On the day

The graduation ceremony is an opportunity to formally welcome PhD graduands into the University’s community of academics. At the ceremony, you will receive your degree certificate and then join the staff on stage.

  • Assemble in the Renouf Foyer at the Michael Fowler Centre.
  • Once in the auditorium, a marshal will direct you to the stage.
  • When your name is called, walk onto the stage and stand alongside the Chancellor.
  • Your thesis one-sentence summary will be read by the Vice-Chancellor to the audience.
  • Move to the Vice-Chancellor and then proceed to the back row of seating on stage, making sure you don’t leave any empty seats in the row.
  • At the end of the ceremony, you will process off the stage with the staff.