Name changes
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Name changes

Your name as recorded in your student record will be used throughout your studies at the University of Oxford. It will be used on all documentation including visa documentation, your University card, transcripts and Degree Certificate.

Your official name

The name must be your official name as provided on your University application and must match formal documentation such as your birth certificate or your passport. Data held by the University in connection with the change of a student’s name will be processed in accordance with the data protection policy.

Name error corrections

If your name has been recorded incorrectly on your student record, such as a typographical error, you should provide evidence of your exact name details by way of your birth certificate or passport (original or certified copy). If you are an undergraduate student, the error should be reported to your college. If you are a graduate student, the error should be reported to either your college or your department if you are not a member of a college. 

Official name changes

If you change your name while you are a student at Oxford and wish your new name to be recorded in your student record, you must submit a formal request in writing, accompanied by documentary evidence of the change of name (original or certified copy). If you are an undergraduate student, the request must be made to your college. If you are a graduate student, the request must be made to either your college or your department if you are not a member of a college. 

If you are a British Citizen, appropriate documentary evidence to support a request to change your name on your student record could include:

  1. your passport
  2. deed poll / change of name deed
  3. marriage certificate / civil partnership certificate and decree absolute / final order (for name changes following marriage / civil partnership or divorce / ending a civil partnership)
  4. statutory declaration of change of name
  5. public announcement: a copy of an advertisement in a local or national newspaper stating that you have stopped using your previous name and have assumed a new one
  6. police report or solicitor’s letter: if you have to adopt a pseudonym for personal reasons (including personal safety) while you are a student at Oxford you should provide a police report or solicitor’s letter as evidence of the change.

If you are not a British citizen, the University requires a copy of your passport as evidence of your name change. For students who require a visa to study in the UK, it is particularly important that the University’s record of your name matches the name in your passport.

Names changes that are not possible

It is not usually possible to:

  1. include special characters on names (for example, accents) at the current time, however, you may request to have special characters included on your certificates by contacting the Degree Conferrals Office.
  2. change the display order of your forename, middle name and surname. Names will always be displayed in transcripts and certificates as forename, middle name and SURNAME (with the surname in block capitals). There are some limited circumstances in which you will be permitted to swap the order of your name on your Degree Certificate. Please contact the Degree Conferrals Office.
  3. revert back to your birth name after this has been changed on the student record further to a deed poll or statutory declaration; unless you have made a subsequent change by further deed poll or statutory declaration.
  4. change your name on the student record after you have completed your degree (are granted 'leave to supplicate'). Your name as recorded in the University’s record at the time of supplication is the name that will generally be presented on all official documentation such as the Degree Certificate and Degree Confirmation Letter. It is therefore essential that you ensure the University has your correct name at the time of supplication.

The only retrospective changes that can be made are where an administrative error has occurred or in accordance with the University’s Transgender Policy and Guidance.

Preferred forename

If you wish to be known by a preferred first name, which is different from your official first name, you will have the opportunity to enter this using Student Self Service. Your preferred first name can then be used in your University email address and informal correspondence or course and college documentation. All formal University documentation such as your University card, transcript and Degree Certificate will retain your official first name.

Choice of gender title

The titles Mr, Miss, Ms, Mrs are social titles and have no legal status. You may choose the gender-neutral title Mx, or opt for no title. Any options may be chosen, regardless of legal sex or gender identity, and no documentary evidence is required for the above titles. You can update your student record directly in Student Self Service

If you wish to change your existing title to an academic or formal honorific title, such as Dr, Prof, Lord, Lady etc. you will need to provide documentary evidence of the title to the Academic Records Office in order for the amendment to be made. Acceptable forms of documentation are listed above, under ‘Official name changes.’ You may contact the Academic Records Office directly ([email protected]) or via your college, or via your department if you are not a member of a college. 

Your University card

Your name will appear on your University card as first name, middle initial and surname. For security purposes it is not possible to use a preferred name on your University card. It is not possible to display special characters on your University card.

Your University email address

You may use a preferred name on your email address. For example, if your official name is Thomas Smith, but you are known as Tom Smith, then you may request that your email address is [email protected]. Contact IT Services to request the amendment to your email account. Initials or unrelated nicknames are not acceptable.

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