The governance structure of the University is overseen by Council and Senate.


The Council is the governing body of the University. It is responsible for approving the mission and strategy of the University. It also monitors institutional performance and oversees the University’s finances, estates and buildings.

Council is subject to the statutory powers of Senate on academic matters, and has a general responsibility for the conduct of all the University’s affairs.

The majority of Council members are not staff or students of the University. The membership and functions of the University Council are laid down in Sections 16 and 17 of the Statutes.

Thomas Sheppard, Executive Chairman of leading commercial law firm Thrings, is Chair of Council. He has served on the University’s Council since 2008 and been Chair since 2014.


The Senate is responsible for regulating and directing the academic work of the University and is regarded as the supreme academic authority of the University.

The membership and functions of Senate are laid down in Sections 18 and 19 of the Statutes.


The Court is the statutory body representing the interests of the University’s internal and external constituencies. It does not take part in the day-to-day oversight of the University’s affairs or the process of taking decisions. It provides a public forum where members of Court can raise any matters about the University.

The Court is required to meet at least once a year.

Associated statutory boards and committees

The Council and the Senate are supported by a number of associated boards and committees.

  • Academic Assembly is the statutory body representing academic staff in the governance structure of the University.

  • The Convocation is the statutory body representing the interests of the University's graduates.

  • The Boards of Studies are responsible to Senate for all matters relating to the organisation of education, teaching and research in the Faculty/School, including all examination matters.

Each committee is responsible for a specific function on behalf of Council/Senate (for example, the Programmes and Partnerships Approval Committee is responsible to Senate for detailed scrutiny of full proposals for new programmes).