The University of Bristol is a Chartered Corporation, operating under a Charter granted by Kind Edward VII in 1909, and since amended. It is also subject to three Acts of Parliament.
The Charter states:
"There shall be from henceforth for ever in Our said City of Bristol a University by the name and style of "The University of Bristol" by which name the Chancellor and other Members of the University for the time being are hereby constituted one body politic and corporate with perpetual succession and a Common Seal and with full power by and in such name to sue and be sued and without any further licence to take by gift or otherwise purchase and hold grant demise or otherwise dispose of real or personal estate and with other powers by this Our Charter prescribed."
The University's objects, powers and framework of governance are set out in the Charter and supporting statutes and ordinances, which are published annually in the Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and Official Record. Please visit A brief history for more information on the history of the University and for access to a historical timeline.
The University is regulated by the Charter, statutes, ordinances and regulations. The Charter and statutes may be amended following a proposal by Council, but only with the consent of the Privy Council. Ordinances and regulations may be made or amended by Council.
The Charter and Statutes require the University to have four separate bodies – Court, Council, Senate and Convocation, each with clearly defined functions and responsibilities – to oversee and manage its activities.
Note: some of the documents on this page are in PDF format. In order to view a PDF you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader