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When graduating from a university in the UK you are often conferred with an award before the graduation ceremony. I am therefore seeking clarification as to what date should be written on documents such as job application forms.

  • For an bachelor's degree, do I use the ceremony date or the award date?
  • For a PhD, do I use the date of the viva voce or the ceremony date?
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You should use the date conferred. Universities will have an official date where all degrees for the term are conferred on everyone. This is usually not the same date as the graduation ceremony as there can be multiple graduation ceremonies across multiple days, but trying to keep track of all of them would be confusing. It's much simpler to just pick one day after all the ceremonies and say all degrees are official as of that date.

That being said, I've never heard of an employer (or anyone) who really cares about the particular date as long as it's clear that you've already met all of the requirements of graduation.

  • I was erring towards the conferral date and agree with your reasoning. Thank you. – user1423893 Dec 3 '13 at 15:10
  • Incidentally, one case where it might matter is fellowships or prizes limited to people within a certain time period after receiving their Ph.D. If you're on the borderline of what's allowable, then a difference of a few months might be crucial. – Anonymous Mathematician Dec 3 '13 at 15:36
  • That is true, though I'd hope that those sort of committees might look more for the "spirit of the law" rather than the letter. – Wesley Bland Dec 3 '13 at 18:59

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