An image of a University building in the spring.Board of Trustees for teaching and learning, examinations and research and enterprise. It has more than 100 members, including deans, heads of department and student representatives, and is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. Senate normally meets five times a year.

Members of Senate

There are just over 100 members of Senate - Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, deans, heads of department, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Librarian, Bristol Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers, and a number of the following: professors, members of the non-professorial academic staff, holders of posts of academic responsibility, holders of research posts and elected student representatives.

Powers of Senate

Senate is responsible to the Board of Trustees for teaching, examinations and research. No new academic award may be adopted by the University without Senate’s agreement. Senate advises the Board of Trustees on changes to ordinances and regulations, and academic ordinances may be made only with Senate’s consent.

Senate supervises faculties and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees about academic posts and the structure of faculties, schools and departments. It advises the Board of Trustees as to the appointment or removal from office of the Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors and academic staff. It recommends to the Board of Trustees the appointment of honorary and emeritus professors and the award of honorary fellowships and degrees. Senate has its own Standing Orders of Senate (Office document, 69kB).

It awards fellowships, scholarships and prizes. Senate regulates the admission of students to the University and makes regulations concerning student discipline. Senate may declare an opinion on any matter relating to the University and the Board of Trustees must take Senate’s views into consideration.

Vacation Powers

Chair's Vacation Powers (PDF, 17kB)refers to acts or decisions that would normally require the authority of the Board of Trustees or Senate but are made between meetings of either body, and particularly over the summer vacation. For Senate, these require the authority of the Vice-Chancellor (under powers authorised annually by Senate), or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, acting in the absence of the Vice-Chancellor (under Statute 6).

Committees of Senate

Meetings of Senate

Senate normally meets 5 times a year. Its Chair is the Vice-Chancellor. After each meeting, Senate reports to the Board of Trustees.

The meeting dates and times for 2015/16 are:

  • 19 October 2015, 1400
  • 14 December 2015, 1400
  • 22 February 2016, 1400
  • 18 April 2016, 1400
  • 13 June 2016, 1400

The Senate schedule of business for 2015/16 is also available for download: Council, Senate and UPARC Paper Deadlines 2015/16 (PDF, 11kB)

The minutes and papers of Senate meetings are available for download via the University of Bristol login (staff only).

Useful information

For access to some useful information for committee members, please visit our Committee Member Information pages.


Senate is serviced by the Governance team.