Accessibility statement

Policy and procedure for changes to student names

1. Preferred names

1.1 All students at the University of York have the right to be known as a different name than the one shown on their official documentation. This preferred name will then be used for e:Vision account and the Name by which University staff should refer to (for example, examination and attendance registers wherever possible).

You can update this throughout the academic year via the 'Your Personal Details' section of your e:Vision account. This will be shown as your “Chosen Name”, and can be edited. You can also update your known as name during enrolment or by emailing

1.2 The University understands that there may be scenarios where students could face discrimination or harm due to their official name being known (such as a trans* student who has not legally updated their name, or a student moving into witness protection). In situations such as these we are able to amend the ‘Forename’ on the student record but their ‘Official Name’ will remain the same. We can also amend their title to their preferred prefix, ie Miss, Ms, Mr, Mrs, Mx.

2. Context

2.1 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.

2.2 Like other public organisations and financial institutions in the UK, however, universities have a duty to prevent fraud and so can exercise the right to make certain requirements mandatory.

2.3 In order to reduce the risk of fraudulent applications and enrolments, the University of York requires every applicant, whether applying through a clearing house or directly to the University, online or on paper, to apply using the name shown on their passport, birth certificate, or marriage certificate. If the style of separate forename/given name(s) and surname/family name is not used in your culture, then you should insert your complete name on the surname line of any form.

3. Uses of a student’s formally recorded name

3.1 This is the name that will be logged into the University's student records database and must be used throughout your academic career at the University of York, unless a change of name is formally requested. The recorded name will be used on any acceptance letter and visa documentation that the University issues before the completion of the enrolment process. Any discrepancy between your official documents and our correspondence to you is likely to cause delays in subsequent processes, therefore any misspelling that may have occurred, however minor, must be notified to us immediately so it can be corrected before any further correspondence is issued. You can check what is held in your record by looking at your e:Vision account.

3.2 Your formally recorded name will be that which appears on your official University record and will appear on your academic transcript and your final award parchment if you are successful.

4. Changing your name with the University

4.1 If you need to have your name changed, the University will change all of your records to reflect that new name, so your new name will replace your old name on all the University's records and will be used from that time on.

4.2 You should also note that the University accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from the change of name which occur outside the University; if you change your name within the University you should also notify all other relevant external bodies of the change.

4.3 A request to change your name as recorded on the University’s student records system during your academic career must be submitted in writing by completing a “request to change name” form and should be accompanied by written evidence of the relevant change (see below). The official documentation issued and validated by the University during your study and after you have left shows the name under which you enrolled, studied and graduated so it is important to make sure that any corrections or changes to your name as it is held in the University's official student record are altered before an award is made.

Change of Name Notification (PDF , 66kb)

4.4 Examples of appropriate forms of evidence to support a change of name are listed below:

A marriage certificate or divorce decree absolute

If you are wishing to revert from your married name to your previous name we will need to see the above documents, together with your birth certificate and a statement from you confirming the reversion to your previous 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 decide 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

A statutory declaration is a statement recording your intention to abandon your old name and adopt a new one. For most purposes, a statutory declaration is generally accepted as evidence of your change of name. 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, one of the University’s Student Advisers, or an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

Change of name deed (either enrolled or un-enrolled)

A change of name deed (previously known as a Deed Poll) is a formal statement to prove that your name has been changed.

4.5 If you are 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, although if you are over 16, this can only be done with your consent.

4.6 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 one of the University’s Student Advisers, or an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau.

5. Titles

5.1 The titles of Mr, Miss, Ms and Mrs are social titles and have no legal status. If you do not wish to use the title assigned to your record please contact to have your title amended from this list. You may also remove the title altogether or choose Mx (a gender neutral title). You do not need to provide any documentary evidence to support your request. You may choose any of these options, regardless of your legal sex or gender identity.

6. Alumni

6.1 Once you have graduated it is not usually possible to retrospectively change the name held on your student record or produce documentation such as academic transcripts or award certificates in your new name. You cannot, for example, have your award certificate reissued in your new name if you change your name due to marriage or divorce after you have finished your studies.

6.2 Your student record can however be changed, and your documentation reissued, if your name change is due to a gender reassignment. If this applies to you, or you believe that you have other circumstances that warrant exceptional consideration, you will need to submit this request by email to along with evidence of your change of name.

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