Change your legal or preferred name
Ulster University's change of name policy is designed to guide students who wish to change their name once they are a registered student.
You must read the guidance on this page before you submit a Change of Name request.
Registering as a student with Ulster University
Students must register with their full legal name and an identification check is required by the University before registration.
Students must provide one of these documents as evidence:
- birth certificate
- marriage certificate
- decree absolute
Change of Name once you are a registered student
Registered students can submit an online request for a change of:
- legal change of name
- preferred change of name
You should note that:
- requesting a Change of Name will update your student record and will be used in all official University communications.
- change of name requests are confidential and adhere to our General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policy.
Number of changes allowed
A student can request a maximum of:
- three surname changes
- one first name change
There must be a gap of five years between each change of surname. Find out more about changing your name on the nidirect government services webpage.
What we mean by legal and preferred Change of Name
Legal Change of Name
A legal Change of Name means changing our records to reflect a change to the name on your initial application. This may be because:
- there is a spelling error or a student's first name is not displayed
- it does not match the name on your birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate, driving licence or decree absolute
- a student wants to use the Irish language version of their name
- a student has undergone gender reassignment or has a GP letter (more information is available in our Policy on Equality for Transgender Staff and Students [PDF format])
- a student wants to remove a forename which was included in their application, for example Emma Jayne White can be changed to Jayne White.
This name will then be used for all our communications, official documents and correspondence.
We will ask you to provide supporting documents and photographic ID such as your:
- original birth certificate or birth certificate on which a Change of Name has been recorded by a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages
- marriage certificate
- change of name deed (previously known as ‘Deed Poll’)
- decree absolute
- GP letter as outlined in the University’s Transgender Policy
Preferred Change of Name
A preferred Change of Name means updating our records with your preferred, or ‘known as’ name, so that your record and our correspondence can be updated. This is typically because a student:
- is known by another name such as their middle name. For example, instead of Emma-Jayne they are known as Jayne.
- is transgender or transitioning
Once we receive your request we will update our student records so that we communicate with you using your preferred name.
Changing your preferred name is not a full legal change. This means your degree certificate, transcript and any other official University certificates you receive when you graduate will be issued in your full legal name.
However, all other graduation listings, in both electronic and hard copy formats, will use your preferred name, such as webpages, graduation booklet and newspaper and ceremony announcements and the University Student Database.
You must provide photographic identification in your legal name. Your current Student ID card can be used as identification.
What to do next
Once you have changed your name, there are some steps you may need to take:
Notify other official bodies
Once you decide to change your name you should notify other relevant bodies.
More information about the legal recording of a change of name is available on the nidirect government website.
The University does not accept responsibility for any consequences of a change of name that takes place with another body outside the University.
Update your email address
Once you've received confirmation of your Change of Name, you can request that your email is updated.
- Check that your name has been updated as requested using Self Service Banner (SBB)
- Log a request to amend your email using the UniDesk self service portal. There is a self-help guide in UniDesk explaining how to do this.
You can also contact the Digital Services IT Service Desk directly or ask your campus Registry Office to co-ordinate this request on your behalf.
The name must be the same as what is listed on your Banner student record.
Update your student card
Please contact your campus Registry Office if you need a new card with your updated details.
Check your name is correct before you graduate
Your award certificate will display your full legal name and this cannot be changed once it has been presented to you. You must check your name is correct before graduation by using Self Service Banner (SBB)
We cannot make retrospective changes unless it was due to an administrative error, or the change is in line with our Policy on Equality for Transgender Staff and Students.
Students with a preferred name should note that:
- official university certificates (Degree certificate and Transcript) will display their full legal name because these are legal documents.
- graduation listings both electronic and hard copy. For example, the name published in the webpages, Graduation booklet and newspaper, and the name called out during the graduation ceremony, will be your preferred name that is recorded on the University Student Database.