Every student’s name on record must match the official documentation; this means your name on your record should be the same as your passport, national ID card or BRP.
In the first instance, we always advise ensuring that we have your name correctly and in full when you first enrol to save any confusion later on. However, there may be a number of reasons that you need to change your name part-way through your course, and there are lots of students each year who find they need to do this.
How do names appear on record?
At King’s, we use the British naming convention to record our students’ names, and on your record, you should see space for:
- First name = the name you are most commonly called by your family, friends and peers. It is also sometimes referred to as your ‘given name’.
- Middle name = this is the name or names (often 1 or multiple) included in your full name on any official documentation. Depending on your personal preferences or cultural background, your family, friends or peers may or may not call you by this name. Likewise, some people have no middle name, so this field on your record could remain empty.
- Surname = this is your ‘family’ name, since in many cultures, it is the name shared by several family members. It is also sometimes referred to as your ‘last’ name or ‘second’ name.
- ‘Known as’ = in your record you will have the option to include how you would prefer to be called. For some people, this is simply their first name, or some may have a preference to use a middle name, or you may wish to have a version of your first name; common examples of this in British naming conventions are “Rosie” if your first name is “Rosanna”, or “Jim” if your first name is “James”.
In the UK, we tend to present names in this order – First name, Middle name, Surname; e.g. as ‘John Paul Smith’.
Some nations and cultures present names in a different order, for example, as – Surname, First name, Middle name(s). As an example, the name ‘John Paul Smith’ would appear as:
- Smith John Paul
In some formal situations or documentation in the UK, you may see names displayed in this order, however if they do, the way we show this in the UK would be:
- Smith, John Paul – with a comma, indicating the surname is first.
At King’s we use the British name order as described above – First name, Middle name(s), Surname.
This means that on documentation you receive, such as a letter or your student ID card, this is the order your name will appear. Your middle name may not always appear – this will depend on the type of document you’re receiving.
Should my record include all my names?
Many people have middle names – this could be 1, 2 or more, and hyphenated or 2-part surnames. We recommend making sure your full name is held on your record. This is a good idea for the future, so that all your academic achievements at King’s are recorded against your full name that matches any official identity documentation you have.
Your name on record will be the name that will appear on your degree certificate, transcript, HEAR and any other documents we issue. When you apply for jobs in the future or study later in life beyond King’s, or when applying for a visa to live, work or study outside the UK and need your degree and any other academic achievements recognised, you will find it much easier to have your name shown accurately, in full and consistently, on any documentation.
Important to know: If there are changes you need to make, we advise doing this while you are still a student with us, because making name changes to your record retrospectively may not be possible. For more detail please refer to the box entitled 'I need to change my name on record but I’ve completed my studies'.
If you need to make an adjustment to your name on your student record, please read the relevant guidance below: