Committee Membership and Remit 2021


The Senate and the standing committees of Senate shall be established as set out below.

The following shall be committees of the Senate:

• Student Experience Committee
• Research Strategy Committee
• School Academic Boards x 2
• Honorary Degrees Committee
• Boards of Examiners

Terms of reference common to all Senate standing committees shall be:

• To act on behalf of Senate in accordance with such powers as may be delegated to the Committee by the Senate.
• To consider and report on such matters as may be referred to the Committee by Senate.
• To establish such sub-Committees and Working Parties as are required to enable the Committee to discharge its responsibilities.
• To account formally to Senate for the discharge of the Committee’s responsibility.
• To submit minutes of meetings to Senate;
• To identify issues and advise Senate on the implications for resource allocation of matters within the Committee’s remit.

Constitution Common to all Senate Committees shall be:

• Members are appointed by the Senate unless specified otherwise.
• The term of office shall be three years;
• On the expiry of a period of office, members shall be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of office;
• The Principal is an ex-officio member of all Senate Committees.
• The University Secretary shall appoint the Secretary to all Senate committees.

Procedure common to all Senate committees shall be:

• The procedure followed by the Committee will be that of the standing orders of Senate unless specified otherwise.

1. Senate


1.1 Purpose

The Court shall establish a Senate, which shall be constituted and regulated in a manner specified by the Court from time to time on the recommendation of the Principal.

The Senate shall be responsible for maintaining the academic standards of the University.

In discharging any functions delegated to the Senate by the Court, the Senate shall have all the powers and duties of the Court in relation to those functions and may make recommendations to the Court on such matters, as it shall think fit.

1.2 Function

The Court shall delegate to the Senate:

a) its functions relating to the academic work of the University and any functions incidental or ancillary thereto;
b) its function of conferring on any person higher and other education awards including degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic awards or distinctions and honorary degrees; and
c) its function of depriving the recipient of an award of that award:

1.3 Constitution

Membership of the Senate is determined in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Act 2016, and codified within the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007 and the Queen Margaret University Amendment Order of Council 2019.

Membership categories are:

(a) The Principal of the University.

(b) The Deputy Principal of the University.

(c) Heads of Division.

(d) Persons appointed by being elected by the academic staff of the institution from among their own number as follows:

Three members of academic staff elected by each of the academic divisions of the University.

(e) Persons appointed by being elected by the students of the institution from among the students of the institution as follows:

The President of the Students’ Association
An office bearer of the Students’ Association
One Student from each of the two Schools

Reference to students of the University includes all persons holding sabbatical office in the Students’ Association, whether or not they remain as students of the University during their period of office.

(f) Such other persons appointed in accordance with a decision of the University Court, namely:

University Secretary [Secretary]
Deans of School
Director of IGHD
Head of the Graduate School
Director of Campus and Commercial Services
Conveners of standing committees of the Senate, not already in membership.

The Senate is constituted in such a way that (i) more than 50% of its members fall within subsections 1.3 (d) and 1.3 (e), and at least 10% of its members fall under subsection 1.3 (e).

In attendance

Director of Operations and Finance
Assistant Secretary, Governance and Quality Enhancement [Minute Secretary]

The University Secretary shall appoint a Minute Secretary

1.4 Period of Office of members

A member (other than a member appointed ex officio) shall hold office for a three year term. On the expiry of that term such member shall be eligible to be re-elected for one further term of a maximum of three years. Such member shall not serve as a member for more than six years. For the purpose of calculating six years, any period of office as a member shall be counted towards the six year term.

1.5 Meetings

A minimum of five ordinary meetings of the Senate shall be held between the months of October and June each year, on such days and at such times as the Senate shall from time to time determine, such determination to be made no later than six months in advance of the first such ordinary meeting.

2. Student Experience Committee



2.1 Remit

To establish and review strategies, policies and procedures that support and enhance the student experience, that assure and enhance academic standards and the quality of the student learning experience, and promote best practice in curricula, learning and teaching and in the support of students.

Terms of reference

The Student Experience Committee will have delegated authority to:

• Develop, periodically review and evaluate the Student Experience Strategy, and agree an annual action plan for the delivery and enhancement of the student experience in line with the objectives of the University’s strategic plan;
• Maintain a strategic focus on academic standards, quality assurance and quality enhancement within the University, advising Senate on the development of best practice within higher education nationally and internationally;
• Develop and evaluate effective mechanisms to report on student satisfaction, and feedback from other stakeholders, including applicants and alumni;
• Oversee the development and implementation of the University’s Student Recruitment strategy, monitoring and evaluating trends in student admission;
• Review and evaluate student progression and completion, with a particular focus on mechanisms to support student transition, induction and persistence established through the Widening Participation and Student Retention Strategy and overseen by the Widening Participation and Student Retention Board (WISER Board);
• Develop and evaluate mechanisms to promote high levels of student engagement in their learning, including participation in University representation systems;
• Establish effective mechanisms to assure and enhance service delivery across identified services that support or influence the student learning experience;
• Remit particular issues for discussion and/or review by standing Committees of Senate or of Court as appropriate;
• Act and advise on issues remitted to it by other Committees of Senate and Court; and
• Submit minutes of its meetings to Senate.

2.2 Membership

Convener Dean of Health Sciences

Vice Convener Deputy Principal

Ex-Officio Deans of School
University Secretary
Student President
Head of Learning Services
Head of Information Services
Assistant Secretary, External Liaison and Student Services
Assistant Secretary, Registry and Academic Administration
Director of Campus and Commercial Services
Convener of the Learning and Teaching Panel

Nominated Two academic representatives nominated from the academic staff of each of the Divisions and one from IGHD
One undergraduate student
One taught postgraduate student
One doctoral postgraduate student

Co-opted Up to four additional members with specific expertise as identified by the Committee

Secretary Secretary to be appointed by the University Secretary

Frequency Minimum four times per academic year

3. Research Strategy Committee


3.1 Remit

To provide strategic leadership on all matters associated with the University’s research endeavour and associated knowledge exchange activities, to establish and review policies, strategies, and procedures that promote best practice in research and doctorate registration, education, supervision and examination, and that ensure that research conducted in the University complies with appropriate ethical standards.

Terms of Reference

The Committee has delegated authority to:

• Develop and evaluate the Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy, and agree an annual action plan for its delivery in line with the objectives of the University’s strategic plan to build capacity and capability in areas of niche distinctiveness;
• Develop mechanisms that foster a multidisciplinary research environment and promote the generation of research income and knowledge transfer;
• Review and evaluate School, Institute and Centre research and knowledge exchange performance against strategic objectives and targets;
• Establish and implement effective mechanisms for the allocation of funds in support of University’s research and knowledge exchange activities;
• Develop, implement and evaluate Codes of Practice for research and knowledge exchange, to include the Research Code of Practice, Research Degrees Code of Practice, the Framework for Research Governance, the University’s Guidelines on Ethics related to research, and the Concordat for Contract Research Staff;
• Develop and oversee the University’s submission to frameworks for research assessment;
• Develop and evaluate policies, regulations and procedures that assure and enhance the quality and standard of research degrees and professional doctorates, to include the nomination of examiners and the ratification of examiners’ recommendations for award;
• Determine the ethical propriety of such research projects referred to it and provide advice to researchers and supervisors on the ethical propriety of their research; and
• Submit minutes of its meetings and annual performance indicators to Senate.

a. Membership

Convener Deputy Principal

Vice-Convener Dean, Arts Social Sciences and Management

Ex-Officio Dean, Health Sciences
University Secretary
Head of the Graduate School
Research Centre Directors
Convener of the Research Ethics Panel
Head of Research and KE Development Unit
Head of Research Grants and Contracts Unit

Nominated Two members of academic staff who are actively involved in research from each Division and one from IGHD - this total is inclusive of Research Centre Directors
Two doctoral candidates elected by the Doctoral Candidates’ Association
Two Contract Researcher representatives

Co-opted Up to four co-opted members

Secretary Secretary to be appointed by the University Secretary

Frequency Minimum four times per academic year

4. School Academic Boards


4.1 Remit

The purpose of the Academic Board shall be to provide a forum at School level for the discussion, review and promotion of School specific objectives and strategies; the receipt, discussion and implementation of University wide strategies, policies, and procedures and discussion and approval of agreed School specific business.

Terms of Reference

The School Academic Board shall:

• Promote, monitor and evaluate the strategic development of all areas of the School’s academic operation, to include learning and teaching, research and commercialisation, collaborative partnerships and internationalisation;
• Promote best practice across the full range of its academic activities, to include quality enhancement of teaching, learning and research, the student learning experience, the promotion of interdisciplinary programmes and the development and promotion of a supportive research culture for staff and students;
• Receive, discuss and make recommendations to the Dean of School concerning the School Strategic Operational Plan;
• Receive annual programme monitoring reports and report on action taken and issues arising to the relevant committees of Senate;
• Consider and make recommendation to the Student Experience Committee on the implementation at School level of the University Student Experience Strategy;
• Review performance indicators and management information on research and knowledge exchange activity and income against established targets and provide information to the Research Strategy Committee;
• Receive and make recommendation to the Senate, through the committee structure, concerning programme development and review, to include proposed new programmes and collaborations, applications for extension of review period and withdrawal of programmes;
• Consider and make recommendation concerning the recruitment, admission and progress of students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught and research programmes within the School;
• Consider and approve proposals for major module changes and withdrawals, considering the implications for other programmes;
• Receive and consider reports from the Graduate School Academic Board relating to PhD/Professional Doctorate progress, including number of registered students;
• Make recommendations and refer items to the Graduate School Academic Board as appropriate;
• Receive and make recommendation to Senate, through the appropriate sub-committee of Senate, on the appointment, extension of appointment and reallocation of duties of external examiners;
• Consider issues remitted to it by the Senate or by the Standing Committees of Senate and remit/report items to these committees as appropriate; and
• Submit minutes of its proceedings to the Senate.

4.2 Membership

Convener Dean of School

Secretary School Manager

Ex-Officio Heads of Division or equivalent

Nominated Programme Leaders [to be determined by the School in proportion (up to 10) to portfolio of programmes];
Members of academic staff to represent each subject area within the School [to be determined by the School in proportion to the number of subject areas and the maximum number of nominated members];
Student Representatives x 3

Co-opted Up to four members [to be determined by the School and may include representatives from the other Schools as agreed with the Dean concerned]

In attendance Head of Information Services or nominee
Head of Learning Services or nominee
Head of Governance and Quality Enhancement or nominee
Nominee from Finance
Nominee from Admissions and Recruitment

Frequency Minimum four times per academic year.

5. Honorary Degrees Committee

The University confers Honorary Degrees and other Honorary Awards on persons of distinction, who either have made major contributions to the work of the University, or who have earned distinction for activities associated more widely with education, industry, business, culture, creative work or public service.

5.1 Authority for Regulation

The Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007.

5.2 Membership

The Honorary Degrees Committee shall be a committee of the Senate, having the following membership:

The Principal, Convener
Deputy Principal
University Secretary

The University Secretary shall act as Secretary to the Committee.

The Committee shall have fully delegated authority from the Senate to receive and consider nominations for the award of Honorary Degrees and Fellowships.

The business of the Committee shall be confidential to its members.

6. Board of Examiners

A Board of Examiners shall be appointed by Senate for each programme leading to an award of the University or for each level of a programme. In large complex programmes, arrangements may be approved by the relevant Dean of School whereby subsidiary Boards of Examiners take responsibility for certain aspects of a programme, and make reports and recommendations to the main Board of Examiners.

6.1 Remit
The Board of Examiners for a particular programme is responsible to the Senate for making:
a) an assessment of each student on each module assessed
b) an overall assessment of each student's performance and a decision on progression at each intermediate stage of the programme
c) a decision on the award to be granted to each student on completion of, or decision to exit from, the programme

These decisions are made by the full Board of Examiners in the light of the standards of student achievement appropriate to the particular level of the programme and to the award to which the programme is designed to lead, the aims of the programme, the performance on the programme in previous years, the University's general assessment regulations, the specific programme regulations, and good practice established in the University and elsewhere.

The decision by the Board of Examiners is a corporate decision made by the full Board.
The Internal Examiner(s) for a particular module is only one member of a full Board making a decision on student performance on that module.

Such decisions are ratified by the Senate, or they may be referred back to the Board of Examiners for further consideration and explanation.

Decisions by the Board of Examiners that fall outside programme regulations but which are within the University general assessment regulations shall be fully documented in the minutes of the Board of Examiners.

Any proposals regarding changes to regulations arising from these decisions shall be referred to the Student Experience Committee.

Students shall be formally notified of decisions affecting them after the Senate has ratified these decisions. In any prior communication of results to students it shall be clearly indicated that they are subject to formal ratification.
Any significant disagreement within the Boards of Examiners, or cases where the External Examiners are not in agreement with the Board's overall decision shall be referred explicitly and timeously to the Senate.

6.2 Membership
The composition of a Board of Examiners shall be as follows:
Convener: Head of Division/Dean of School in which the programme is based (unless the Head of Division is also programme leader). Alternative arrangements need the approval of the Dean of School.

Internal Examiners: All members of staff with assigned responsibility for the assessment of those components of the programme on which the Board of Examiners is taking decisions. However this may not include all staff teaching on the programme.
External Examiner(s) External Examiners appointed by Senate.
Programme/Subject Leader, Year/Level Tutors, Co-optee(s): At the discretion of the Convener of the Board of Examiners (These may include other members of staff such as examination officers).

Secretary: Appointed by the University Secretary
Full information on the operation of Boards of Examiners is available in the Board of Examiners regulations (Regulations tab).

Appendix One - Standing Committees of the Student Experience Committee




1.1 Remit

The Learning and Teaching Panel will report and make recommendations to the Student Experience Committee on the following:

• Appointment of External Examiners, extension to tenure and reallocation of duties (referred from SAB)
• The conduct of the validation and review process – consideration of reports and monitoring of status of conditions
• Proposals for extension to periods of approval (referred from SAB)

1.2 Membership

Convener Member of SEC, appointed by SEC Convener
Academic staff Four from each School, and one from IGHD
Secretary Member of staff from GQE

1.3 Conduct of business

Business will be conducted virtually, but there will be a face-to-face meeting at least once a year to consider the outcomes of validation and review (typically, this meeting will take place towards the end of semester two). Additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled as determined necessary by the Panel Convener. All Panel decisions will be recorded by the Secretary, and summary papers presented to the Student Experience Committee.


The purpose of the Collaborations Operations Group is to promote best practice in relation to both UK and overseas collaborative provision and to facilitate co-ordination of support across the University.

2.1 Remit

• To maintain an overview of procedures for the management of collaborative provision, highlighting areas for further development as required.
• To share and promote best practice in support for collaborative provision.
• To share and promote best practice in the management of risks related to collaborative provision.
• To discuss operational issues in relation to collaborative provision, suggest solutions and facilitate cross-departmental working.
• To oversee staff development for partners and University staff involved in support for collaborations.
• To make recommendations regarding University policy and procedures.

2.2 Membership

Convener Head of Division or Collaborative Academic Lead

Secretary Partnership Development Manager

Minutes Partnership Development Officer

Additional members All Collaborative Academic Leads and International Academic Co ordinators. All academic staff appointed as moderators

Nominated Information Services Representative
Technology Enhanced Learning Representative
Library Services Representative
School Managers
Student Records Representative
Divisional Project Manager (Academic Administration)
Collaborations Administration Team Representative

Additional members with relevant expertise may be co-opted by the agreement of the membership. Other staff with particular responsibilities may be asked to attend individual meetings if relevant issues arise.

Frequency: Two full meetings per year; up to three sub-meetings to discuss particular topics or themes

Appendix Two - Standing Committees of the Research Strategy Committee




1.1 Remit

The purpose of the Graduate School Academic Board is to provide an institution level forum for consistent decision making on matters relating to the Doctoral student journey. The Board may make recommendations for enhancement of the quality framework governing the Doctoral student journey, based on evaluation of reports and individual student cases.

Terms of reference

The Graduate School Academic Board has delegated authority from the Research Strategy Committee as set out below:

PhD and Professional Doctorate candidates

Delegated powers to approve:

• The appointment of supervisory teams for new candidates and any subsequent changes to the composition of the supervisory team;
• Applications for prior credit;
• Requests to suspend studies;
• Examination arrangements, including any exceptional arrangements, for example permission to hold the viva at a location other than QMU and permission to exceed the word limit;
• Requests to submit early and requests to extend the submission deadline, either for the viva or amendments thereafter;
• Requests to restrict publications on theses;
• Requests for change from part-time to full-time study, or vice versa; and
• Requests for change from campus based to non-resident status, or vice versa.

The Board will also make recommendation to the RSC on:

• Doctoral Awards on the basis of External Examiners’ reports;
• Candidate de-registration on grounds set out in the regulations; and
• The provision of appropriate resources and facilities arising from its review of operational matters.

Professional Doctorate Candidates

Delegated powers to:

• Agree the assessment schedule;
• Approve changes to modules;
• Monitor quality and approve the annual programme report, including module evaluations; and
• Approve extensions to the maximum period of registration.

PhD Candidates

Delegated powers to:

• Approve outline proposals including confirmation that adequate resources are in place;
• Approve assessment panel recommendations on probationary viva outcomes;
• Approve assessment panel recommendations on assessed seminar outcomes; and
• Approve requests for extension to the submission deadline for outline proposals, probationary viva and assessed seminars.

Reports and reporting lines

The Board will:

• Consider an annual summary of all doctoral candidate activity, monitoring provision against internal and external indicators in line the QAA Quality Code and other reference points;
• Consider periodic reports on the status of all doctoral candidates to maintain oversight of progress and identify any trends;
• Review a summary of candidate and supervisor progress reports and make recommendations to the RSC for addressing issues of concern, factors to aid candidate progress or issues pertaining to supervisor/student relationships;
• Remit particular issues for discussion and/or review by standing Committees of Senate or of Court as appropriate;
• Receive and homologate the mid-year Professional Doctorate exam board results;
• Submit relevant minutes to the Health Sciences and Arts, Social Sciences and Management School Academic Boards;
• Act and advise on issues remitted to it by other Committees of Senate and Court; and
• Submit minutes of its face-to-face meetings, and other key papers, including all award and de-registration recommendations to the Research Strategy Committee.

1.2 Membership

Convener Head of Graduate School

Vice-Convener To be appointed from the membership of the Board

Ex-Officio Doctoral Research Co-ordinators
Doctoral Candidates’ Association Co-Chairs

Nominated Six nominated research active staff with experience of Doctoral supervision and/or examination from each School

Secretary Graduate Academic Administrator

Frequency Minimum four times per academic year

2.1 Remit
The Research Ethics Panel (REP) will be responsible for reviewing and approving research ethics applications remitted from Heads of Division. In addition to this, the Panel will debate and make recommendations to the Research Strategy Committee on proposed changes to Research Ethics guidelines, as and when they are needed.

Conduct of Business

The majority of Panel business is managed virtually, but the Panel also meets face-to-face at least once a year. There is an option to call meetings at any time where it is considered that applications merit face to face discussion, or where changes to the Research Ethics guidelines are proposed. Meetings may be called in exceptional circumstances, such as to discuss particularly difficult ethical applications, or in cases where changes to regulations are proposed. Meetings must be proposed to the Convener and the calling of a meeting will be at the Convener’s discretion. In order to pass judgement on issues, meetings must be quorate, which would require four members to be present.

2.2 Membership

Convener Member of RSC, appointed by RSC Convener

Vice-Convener Appointed by RSC Convener from the academic staff membership

Academic staff Six from each School – members must be research active and aware of the ethical considerations necessary in order to conduct research.

Secretary Member of staff from GQE