An image of a University building in the spring.Senate is responsible to the 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. Members include the Vice-Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Heads of School, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer, Librarian, Bristol Students' Union Sabbatical Officers, and a number of elected staff and student representatives.

Powers of Senate

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 other academic matters. Senate has its own Standing Orders of Senate (PDF, 434kB)

Senate may declare an opinion on any matter relating to the University and the Board of Trustees must take Senate’s views into consideration.

If you have any questions about the powers, responsibilites or operation of Senate, please contact the Governance team

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 2019/20 are:

  • 28 October 2019, 1400
  • 09 December 2019, 1400
  • 24 February 2020, 1400
  • 06 April 2020, 1400
  • 29 June 2020, 1400

Senate paper deadline dates for 2018/19 will be made available for download in due course.‌

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.