Governance at QMU

The Court is the governing body of Queen Margaret University, established by the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Scotland) Order of Council 2007 which came into force on 1 April 2007.

The University is a company limited by guarantee (Company Number SC007335) and a charity (Scottish Charity No. SC002750) registered with the Office for Scottish Charities (OSCR). Court members are consequently Directors and also Charitable Trustees.

The Court is responsible for carrying out the objectives of the University, ensuring the financial sustainability of the University and approving the strategic plan.

The Court is supported by a number of committees including the Finance & Estates Committee, Audit and Risk Committee, Nominations Committee and Senior Management Remuneration Committee. The Health and Safety Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee also report to Court.

The Court delegates responsibility to the Senate for the academic work of the University and the conferring of degrees and other awards. Operational management is delegated to the University’s senior management team under the leadership of the Principal and Vice Chancellor.

An important aspect of the Court’s work is establishing and monitoring systems of control and accountability, including financial control, and reviewing the performance of the University. The Court approves the mission and strategic vision of the University, its long-term business plans, key performance indicators (KPIs) and annual budgets, and ensures that these meet the needs of stakeholders.

The Court also appoints the Principal of the University and has in place arrangements for monitoring her performance.

Court Members

For information on our Court members, see our Court web page

The Court is comprised of:

  • between 11 and 15 lay members who bring with them skills and experience of value to the University;
  • the Principal and Deputy Principal;
  • three staff members, two of whom are elected by staff, one who is appointed by Senate; and
  • the Student President and one other Students’ Union office-bearer.

Members hold office for a fixed term, normally 3 years (but members may serve a second 3 year term), and they exercise their responsibilities in the interests of the University as a whole rather than as a representative of any constituency. They agree to abide by the University Court’s Code of Conduct and must complete a Register of Interests form annually.

Court members commit to conducting themselves in accordance with the Nine Principles of Public Life in Scotland: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership, Public Service, and Respect.

Court Meetings

The Court meets at least five times a year and the business of each meeting is recorded in the Court Minutes.


2018-19 Academic Year

26 June 2019 - Agenda / Minutes

3 April 2019 - Agenda / Minutes

6 February 2019 - Agenda / Minutes

5 December 2018 - Agenda / Minutes

3 October 2018 - Agenda / Minutes


2017-18 Academic Year

27 June 2018 - Agenda / Minutes

4 April 2018 - AgendaMinutes

7 February 2018 - AgendaMinutes

6 December 2017 - Agenda Minutes

4 October 2017 - AgendaMinutes


2016-17 Academic Year

28 June 2017 - AgendaMinutes

5 April 2017 - Agenda / Minutes

8 February 2017 - Agenda Minutes

7 December 2016 - Agenda Minutes

5 October 2016 - Agenda / Minutes


2015-16 Academic Year

22 June 2016 - Agenda / Minutes

6 April 2016 - AgendaMinutes

4 February 2016 - AgendaMinutes

2 December 2015 - Agenda Minutes

7 October 2015 - Agenda Minutes


2014-15 Academic Year

24 June 2015 - Agenda / Minutes

1 April 2015 - AgendaMinutes

4 February 2015 - Agenda / Minutes

3 December 2014 - AgendaMinutes

8 October 2014 - AgendaMinutes


2013-14 Academic Year

25 June 2014 - Agenda Minutes

2 April 2014 - AgendaMinutes

5 February 2014 - AgendaMinutes

4 December 2013 - AgendaMinutes

9 October 2013 - Agenda / Minute


Court Members Handbook

This Handbook is a guide for members of the Queen Margaret University Court which provides members with an overview of the key aspects of the University and the University Court relevant to their role as a member of the University Court.

Court Members Handbook

Appendix 1 - QMU Strategic Plan QM150

Appendix 2i - QMU Order of Council and 2ii 2015 Amendment

Appendix 3 - Current Executive Board

Appendix 4 - Terms of Reference and Composition of Court Standing Committees

Appendix 5 - Terms of Reference and Composition of Senate and Senate Standing Committees

Appendix 6 - Financial Memorandum between QMU and SFC

Appendix 7i - Ministerial Letter of Guidance 2018-19

Appendix 7ii - Ministerial Letter of Guidance on Outcome Agreement 2018-19

Appendix 8 - The Nine Principles of Conduct in Public Life in Scotland

Appendix 9 - The Code of Conduct for Court of QMU

Appendix 10 - Guidance for Charity Trustees - OSCR

Appendix 11 - Court Standing Orders - October 2015

Appendix 12 - QMU Court Delegated Authorisation Schedule

Appendix 13 - Scottish Code of Good Higher Education Governance

Appendix 14 - Memorandum of Association - Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh - Feb 2008

Appendix 15 - QMU Articles of Association

Appendix 16 - UK Corporate Governance Code - 2018

Appendix 17 - QMU Risk Management Policy

Appendix 18 - Role Descriptions of Members of Queen Margaret University Court

Appendix 19 - Standard Appointment Letter for Lay Members of Court

Appendix 20 - QMU Court Statement of Primary Responsibilities

Appendix 21 - Final Report Externally Facilitated Court Effectiveness Review: Part 1 and Part 2

Appendix 22 - Higher Education Governance Scotland Act 2016

Appendix 23 - CUC HE Code of Governance 2018