The University Court is the governing body of the University. The Court also has a duty to ensure that the University remains financially sustainable and meets all its legal and regulatory obligations. It has ultimate decision-making authority for any matters that have a significant impact on the University. It is responsible for the monitoring and oversight of its activities, its strategy and future direction and its progress against its strategic objectives.

Court is supported in its work by its five standing Committees: Audit & Risk, Finance & Resourcing, Commercialisation, Governance & Nominations and Remuneration. In accordance with its regulatory duties, it also receives direct reporting from the Health & Safety and Partnership, Negotiating & Consultative Committees.

The operational running of the University is delegated by Court to the Principal & Vice Chancellor, who undertakes his responsibilities with the support of the University’s Senior Management Team (SMT). The Principal and SMT are responsible for the development of the detailed strategies and plans in each area of the University’s operation that will deliver its strategic goals, and for the day to day management of these areas.

In turn, the Senior Management Team is supported by the University’s Executive Committees, which report directly to SMT.

The regulation, quality assurance and direction of the academic work of the University is delegated by University Court to the Senate. University Senate is supported in its work by its standing Committees.

The General Council was established by the Universities (Scotland) Act 1858 and comprises graduates and most academic staff. If you are a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, you automatically become a member of the General Council, whose key activity is represented to University Court and Senate via the General Council Business Committee.

The three pillars of the University’s governance structure - governing body (Court), academic (Senate) and executive (SMT) – are embodied within its committee framework, an outline of which follows below.

Committee Structure

University Court and Governing Body Standing Committees
University Senate and Academic Standing Committees
Senior Management Team and Executive Standing Committees
Other Institutional Level Committees and Groups
Schedule of Meetings

The Schedule provides the dates for Court and its standing committees, Senate and its standing committees, and the Senior Management Team. For dates and further details of the meetings of Executive committees and next tier sub-committees of Senate and Executive committees, please contact committee clerks directly.

Templates and Guidance for Committees, Papers and Meetings

The following documents are available to download:

The committee structure is illustrated in the chart below: