University Senate

Firth Court and trees

There shall be a Senate of the University which shall, subject to the Statutes and the control and approval of the Council, oversee the teaching and research of the University and the admission and regulation of students.

University Charter, Article 5

The Senate is the academic authority of the University, whose role is to oversee the teaching and research of the University, be responsible for academic quality and standards and for the admission and regulation of students, subject to the overall control of Council.

It meets four times during each academic year, in October, December, March and June, normally in Firth Hall and on Wednesday afternoons. 

Typically, its agendas include a presentation and report by the President & Vice-Chancellor, as well as discussion on key aspects of the reports of Senate committees, such as the Learning & Teaching Committee, Research & Innovation Committee and Research Ethics Committee. Senate also receives for information a report from Council and from the Council committees responsible for Finance, Estates, Human Resources and Health & Safety. 

Chaired by the President & Vice-Chancellor, Senate's membership is drawn from within the University, and staff members include the two Vice-Presidents, five Vice-Presidents & Heads of Faculty, the Faculty Directors of Learning & Teaching and of Research & Innovation, Heads of Academic Departments and elected staff representatives. Students are represented by five of the Students' Union Officers and elected Faculty representatives.


Terms of reference (pdf)

Regulations (pdf)

Membership (pdf)


Committees of Senate

The full membership lists for the 2018-19 (pdf) and 2017-18 (pdf) academic years are available to download.

Members of staff on grades 8 and above who are not already ex-officio members of Senate (for example, as a Head of Department) can seek membership through a nominations exercise conducted in February-March each year. There are normally in the region of 35 vacancies, and an election is held if the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies. Those appointed serve for three years. Details of the nominations process are circulated by email to all staff and published on this page.

The election of Faculty student representatives is the responsibility of the Students' Union. They are elected at the first meeting of the Students' Union Council each academic year, by and from the departmental councillors for each faculty. You can find more information about departmental councillors on the Students' Union website.

Senate also includes taught postgraduate, research postgraduate and mature student representatives. These positions are taken by the elected Students' Union Representative Councillor for each group.