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Directorate of Governance and Legal Services

Charter and Ordinances

The Charter and Ordinances are the primary governing instruments of QMUL, and are the framework within which the governance structure operates and the high-level principles of its academic and executive structure.

The Charter enshrines the principles on which QMUL was founded, and the organisational mergers and affiliations culminating in the Queen Mary of today. In addition, the Charter identifies the purpose and 'objects' of QMUL in its broadest sense and the powers and composition of Council as the governing body.

As an organisation incorporated by Royal Charter, a request to revise the Charter requires the approval of The Privy Council. The Council of QMUL is empowered to make amendments to the Ordinances. The Privy Council approved the amendment of the Charter in early 2008 when QMUL was granted degree-awarding powers.

As part of a governance review exercise in 2009-10, the governance instruments have been subject to substantial revision to modernise and rationalise the documents:

  • modernisation and streamlining of the Charter [notwithstanding the retention of the preamble which traces the historical roots and evolution of QMUL]
  • removal of the Statutes [through migration of relevant provisions to the Charter or the Ordinances as appropriate]
  • restructuring of the Ordinances into three parts: Organisation of QMUL [Part A]; Staff of QMUL [Part B] and Students and Alumni of QMUL[Part C].

Following full consideration by, and a Special Resolution of, Council in March 2010, permission was sought from the Privy Council to amend the Charter and revoke the Statutes. The Privy Council approved the amendments to the Charter and  revocation of the Statutes at a meeting on 21 July 2010. The amended Charter and Ordinances took effect from 01 September 2010.

In 2013, the Charter was amended to legally change the name of Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London to Queen Mary University of London.

For further information on the changes, please visit The history and governance of Queen Mary.

Royal Charter [PDF 49KB]

For information about the Charter and Ordinances please contact Nadine Lewycky.

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