Policy on student names

Under the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, if you want to be known by a different name you can change your name at any time, provided you do not intend to deceive or defraud another person.

There is no legal procedure to follow in order to change a name. You simply start using the new name. You can change your forename or surname, add names or rearrange your existing names. However like other public organisations and financial institutions in the UK, universities have a duty to prevent fraud and so can exercise the right to make certain requirements mandatory.

In an attempt to eliminate fraudulent applications and enrolments, we require every applicant, whether applying via a clearing house or direct, online or on paper, to apply using the name shown on your passport or birth certificate. This name will be logged onto the university's database and must be used throughout your academic career, unless a formal change of name is requested later. The name will be used on any acceptance and visa letter that the university issues before enrolment. You must notify us of any minor misspelling we may have made for correction immediately before any further issue of correspondence.

Naming conventions

If the British style of forename and surname is not used in your culture, you should insert the complete name on the surname line of any form.

The correct name will also be registered on the enrolment form and will eventually appear on the final award certificate, if you are successful. If this name is different to that shown on your entry qualifications, you will need to provide suitable evidence, as shown in the list below.

Also any subsequent request to change name on the database during your academic career must be submitted in writing and accompanied by written evidence, either in original form or as a certified true copy of the original. Please note that changes cannot routinely be made retrospectively e.g. you cannot have your award certificate re-issued in your maiden name following a divorce after you have finished your course at DMU.  However a trans student may ask for a degree/diploma certificate to be reissued in his/her new name (see below for more information).

Examples of appropriate forms of evidence are listed below:

  • A marriage certificate
  • A divorce decree absolute

If you are a woman wishing to revert to your maiden name we will also need to see your birth certificate, and a statement from you confirming the reversion to your maiden name for all purposes.

A certified copy of a birth entry - A certified copy of a birth entry 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 generally accepted as evidence of your change of name.

A statutory declaration is a statement, recording 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.

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.

As a child or young person under 18 you can only have your change of name recorded by a change of name deed by a person who has parental responsibility for you. 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. However solicitors’ fees for preparing change of name deeds can vary and can be expensive. It is advisable to find out the cost before proceeding. Alternatively you can prepare your own change of name deed on a prescribed form, available from law stationers.

Changing your name by change of name 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 sometimes lead 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.

Transsexual/transgender students

If you intend to change your name, please see below:

Current students - You should write to the university stating your intention to make the transition at which point a meeting will be arranged to discuss the expected point or phase of change of name with relevant staff only. Records will be changed to reflect your chosen name at the agreed time. You will need to provide a statutory declaration of name change, only if you wish to obtain a degree/diploma certificate in your new name if you originally registered under another name.

Graduates - You will need to provide a statutory declaration of name change if you originally registered under another name and wish to obtain a degree/diploma certificate in your new name. This information will only be viewed by the registry officer who will make the necessary changes to the system.

Applicants - If you took your entry qualifications in another name, you will need to provide a statutory declaration of name change. 

Please note that all data held by the university in connection with any name change will be treated in confidence and will never be disclosed to a third party without your permission.

News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.