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University Senate

The University Senate presides over official business which the University enacts and is a forum for senior members of the Trinity community. One of their notable responsibilities is approving the formal conferral of all degrees awarded to graduates of the University.

It is distinct from Seanad Éireann which is the upper house of Irish government to which the University also elects three representatives



The Senate was constituted by the Letters Patent of 1857 as a Body Corporate under the name, style, and title of "The Chancellor, Doctors, and Masters of the University of Dublin". It shall be and shall continue to be a body corporate with a common seal, and shall have power under the said seal to do all such acts as may be lawful for it to do in conformity with the laws and statutes of the State and with the Charters and Statutes of the College.

It consists of the Chancellor and the Pro-Chancellors of the University; Doctors and Masters of the University are members of the Senate in accordance with the regulations and conditions as the Board enacts. The Chancellor, as the head of the Body Corporate, is the official custodian of the Common Seal of the Senate.

[The 1966 Consolidated Statutes of Trinity College, Dublin and of the University of Dublin (As amended up to and including the Ordinance of 17 January 2006): Chapter X, Para.1]

Who is eligible to be part of the Senate?

The University Senate consists of the Chancellor, the Provost and the Senior Master Non-Regent together with Doctors and Masters of the University in several categories as follows.

Provided that they are Doctors or Masters of the University, the following shall be members of Senate:

  • Members of Staff
  • Current or former representatives of the University in Seanad Éireann;
  • Fellows Emeriti and Honorary Fellows;
  • Those others who have applied to the Registrar for membership under conditions set by Board.

How to Apply for Membership

Click on the Register link above.

Business Meetings of the Senate

In consultation with the Chancellor and Registrar, the Academic Registry is responsible for organising and supporting Stated Meetings of the University Senate which conduct statutory business other than the conferring of degrees.
Stated meetings of the Senate are held in Michaelmas and Hilary term, and at such other times as convened by the Chancellor. Statutory business items include inter alia:

  • Election to the Office of Chancellor or Pro-Chancellor
  • Proposals for honorary degrees
  • Proposals for degrees jure officii
  • Institution of new degrees

Dates of stated meetings are normally listed in the College Almanack annually. In addition, members are notified by email in advance of scheduled meetings.