Court serves as a bridge between the wider community and the University. It provides a source of ideas, influence and support from the wider community to assist the University in pursuit of its mission.

Responsibilities and terms of reference

Court is responsible for: 

  • appointing the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellors on the nomination of the Board of Trustees;
  • appointing 2 members to serve on the Nominations Committee of the Board.

Court may also:

  • pose questions to the Chair of the Board of Trustees on the activity of the Board in the preceding year and the plans for the year ahead;
  • pose questions to the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Group on the execution of the strategy of the University;
  • pose questions to the Board of Trustees on the financial statements;
  • ask questions and offer comment to the Board of Trustees and the Executive Group on any aspect of the University's business.

See full details of Court’s responsibilities in statutes 6-8 of the University's Statutes.


Court membership is set out in statute 6 of the University's Statutes and is made up of:

Core Members


  • 30 Alumni Association Representatives
  • 5 Emeriti


  • 20 Members from civic, cultural and community organisations or bodies
  • 20 Members from unions, professional organisations, business community and industry or other knowledge-intensive organisations
  • 5 representatives from elected representatives of the City of Bristol and its surrounding areas

Ex Officio

  • Chancellor
  • Pro-Chancellors
  • Honorary Fellows

Additional Members

The Chancellor may appoint up to 20 Additional Appointed Members as set out in Statute.

Current members of Court

To see a list of current members, download the Court membership 2021/22 (PDF, 132kB)

Diversity monitoring

View diversity monitoring information.


Statute 6 sets out that the following people can attend Court:

  • 20 university employees, who are elected by university employees
  • The elected Sabbatical Officers of the Students' Union
  • Board of Trustees
  • Vice-Chancellor and President
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience
  • Registrar and University Secretary
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Deans
  • University Librarian
  • Chief Property Officer (the Bursar)
  • Clerk to Court

They do not have the authority to make committee decisions and are not eligible to vote in meetings.

Court Secretary


We are now inviting Nominations for twenty members of University staff to serve on University Court, as ‘in attendance members’ from 1 September 2022. Staff attendees are invited to Court with the purpose of informing members of Court, as required, but are not formal members and do not have voting rights. As an equal opportunity employer, the University is keen to see the widest possible representation on Court. We are particularly keen to receive applications from women and from individuals from minoritised ethnic groups.

Find out about University Court including responsibilities and terms of reference. Court meets annually, and the next annual meeting is on Friday 2 December 2022. Members of the ‘staff in attendance’ who are elected will be expected to attend this meeting.

To apply and for more information, please read and complete the online form by 5pm on Wednesday 6 July 2022.

The form asks for information about you, including a 500-word supporting statement outlining why you think you would make a suitable in attendance member of Court, plus the details of two nominators (who are also University staff).

If you would like to discuss this opportunity or have questions, please contact:

Meeting dates and paper submission deadlines

View paper submission guidance

Court meets in accordance with its Standing orders (PDF, 145kB).

  • Friday 3 December 2021
    (Paper deadine 19 November 2021)


Download minutes from previous meetings of Court.





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