Ordinances and resolutions of University Court

The Universities (Scotland) Acts, 1858–1966, and ordinances and resolutions made thereunder, regulate the present constitution and government of the four ancient Scottish Universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The University of St Andrews has no charter in the sense of an instrument from the Privy Council laying down its constitution. Instead its governance and structure depend on these Acts of Parliament, supplemented by ordinances approved by the Privy Council and, since 1966, by a new form of subordinate legislation, namely resolutions of the University's governing body, the University Court.

During the period 1953 to 1966 the University of St Andrews was also subject to the University of St Andrews Act, 1953. That act has now been repealed, although certain ordinances made under it are still valid.

The Universities (Scotland) Act, 1966, enabled the University Court to exercise by resolution a wide range of powers, including the institution of new degrees and degree regulations and the foundation of chairs. The act itself set out the procedure for making resolutions.

In 1964 the University of St Andrews published a volume containing all those ordinances relating to the University which were at that date still in force. However, the passage of the Universities (Scotland) Act, 1966, and the separation of Queen's College, Dundee from the University of St Andrews in 1967, meant that this volume was soon obsolete. A new edition of the acts, ordinances and resolutions affecting the University of St Andrews was thus published in 1972, followed by a second edition in 1985. Although there has been no major legislation affecting the universities since this date, many new ordinances and resolutions have been promulgated and others lapsed or repealed.

The present volume contains all the Acts, Ordinances and Resolutions (PDF) which are presently in force.