Academic Services

Role of the Senate and its Committees

Information on the role and powers of Senate and resources for Senate members

The Senatus Academicus (Senate) is the University's supreme academic body.

The core function of the Senate is to regulate and superintend the teaching and discipline of the University and to promote research. 

Senate members' handbook

The Senatus Academicus Handbook sets out the role and functions of the Senate in detail. 

Senate members' induction

An annual induction is held for Senate members. The 2024 Induction will be held on Monday 4 September. A link to the recording and slides will be provided following Induction. 


Senate's role includes

  • Formally approving the award of University degrees, including honorary degrees

  • Approving the conferment of Emeritus status on retiring professors of the University (Information on the process for the conferral of Emeritus status)

  • Commenting on draft Resolutions and Ordinances from Court, for example relating to the creation of new degree types or new Chairs (Professorships), or approval of the Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study
  • Setting the academic regulatory framework (delegated to the Academic Policy and Regulations Committee)
  • Maintaining the quality and standards of the University’s awards (delegated to the Quality Assurance Committee)
  • Setting the high level policy and strategy on learning, teaching and curriculum development working within the strategic direction contained within the University's Strategic Plan approved by Court and its underlying strategies (largely delegated to the Senate Education Committee)
  • Reporting to the Court on any matter referred to the Senate by the Court
  • Making a request to Court for a Resolution
  • Commenting on draft Resolutions
  • Regulating the conduct of students of the University (via the Code of Student Conduct)
  • Communicating policies approved by Senate or Senate committees

Delegated authority

Senate has its delegated authority in specific areas to three standing committees. Detailed committee remits and membership lists can be found on the individual committee pages. These standing committees report annually to Senate in June. 

Senate also delegates specific tasks to the Honorary Degrees Committee

Senate Exception Committee

Senate Exception Committee has delegated authority to make urgent business decisions which would otherwise require Senate approval between the meetings of Senate, on the understanding that any matter so referred can be referred by the Exception Committee to the full Senate should this be the wish of the Exception Committee. Decisions of the Senate Exception Committee are reported to the next meeting of Senate.

Joint Senate and Court committees

Joint Senate and Court committees include the Knowledge Strategy Committee which reports regularly to Senate

Senate and University governance

Further information on University governance can be found on the University website.