Archive of the University of Manchester, Faculty of Law

Scope and Content

The records comprise minutes of the Board from 1903-1997 and minutes of the Board of Studies for the Joint Degree in Accountancy and Law, 1979-1997.

Administrative / Biographical History

Faculty organization was introduced in 1903 with the creation of the independent University of Manchester. Initially, there were five faculties: arts, science, law, music and medicine. These were joined by theology and commerce in late 1903. In 1905 the Faculty of Technology was established, based at the Manchester College of Technology, and in 1914, a Faculty of Education was set up, the first such in Britain.

The responsibilities of faculties for certain aspects of academic governance were recognized by the University charter of 1903, while their specific powers and responsibilities were defined by ordinances of the University. Faculties had responsibilities in the areas of admissions, curricula, examinations and the award of degrees. Each faculty was headed by a dean. The governing body of the faculty was a board, chaired by the dean, which included all academic members of faculty (originally, all academic members above the level of assistant lecturer). Boards were authorised to supervise teaching of subjects within their purview, and to oversee the welfare of students. They could recommend to Senate regulations for courses of study and the appointment of examiners. Faculty bureaucracy became more complex over time, with a number of standing sub-committees being set up. By the 1990s these might include: a library committee, a computing committee, a staff-student consultative committee, committees for postgraduate and undergraduate degrees, a research committee, and a dean's advisory committee.

The Faculty of Law was one of the original faculties established in 1903. It was a small faculty, responsible for only one department, law. The faculty oversaw teaching and examination for the degrees of Bachelor Laws (LL.B), master of laws (LL.M) and Doctor of laws (LL.D), as well as a range of diplomas. in 1979, the Faculty devised an integrated degree in law and accountancy with the Department of Accounting (part of the Faculty of Economic and Social Studies). In 2000 The Faculty merged with the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences to form the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. In 2004, the Faculty was dissolved on the creation of the new university. Since 2004, the School of Law has formed part of the Faculty of Humanities.


Arranged chronologically by series.

Access Information

Access conditions may apply to some records containing personal data; please consult the University Archivist for further information.

The archive contains personal data about living individuals, and readers are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 in their use of the material. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The John Rylands University Library (JRUL) holds the right to process such personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the JRUL to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, the JRUL has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately, according to the Data Protection Principles.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

The archive is owned by the University of Manchester.

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal undertaken by the University Archives.

Custodial History

The archive was previously maintained by the Faculty of Law, and latterly, the School of Law, and was transferred to the University Archives on 3 July 2006.


Post-1997 minutes of Board and minutes of some Faculty subcommittees have been retained by the School of Law.

Related Material

The University of Manchester Archives is responsible for the official archival records of the University.

Minutes of the Joint Advisory Committee on Legal Education ((USC/32) form part of the Senate and Council sub-committees collection . The Vice-Chancellor's archive (VCA) has general files on the Faculty : VCA/7/61 (1932-1950), VCA/7/403 (1951-1976), VCA/7/621 (1975-1980). Annual reports by the Dean of Faculty of Law can be found in the Reports of Council to Court (UOP/2)

Records of the Department/School of Law will be maintained separately; to date no such records have been deposited at the University Archives.


For a history of the Faculty see Maureen Mulholland, The faculty of law of Manchester University: a brief history, 1855-2000 [University of Manchester 2007].