Guide to the University’s Constitutional and Legal Status

This guide summarises the main aspects of The Manchester Metropolitan University’s corporate status.

University's legal name and correspondence address

The University’s legal name is “The Manchester Metropolitan University” and this title should be used on any legal documentation. Its principal place of business and address for correspondence is All Saints, Manchester, M15 6BH.

Corporate Status

The Board of Governors of the Manchester Metropolitan University constitutes a higher education corporation; established under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988.

The Education (Higher Education Corporations) Order 1988 specified Manchester Polytechnic as one of the higher education institutions covered by Section 121 of the Act and had the effect of confirming the establishment from 21 November 1988 of a higher education corporation with the name Manchester Polytechnic to conduct the institution as from the "transfer date", specified in the Order as 1 April 1989.

On 15 September 1992, the Privy Council, in exercise of powers conferred by Section 77 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, approved the change of name of the Corporation to The Manchester Metropolitan University.

As a higher education corporation, the University is not registered with Companies House and does not have a company registration number.

Charitable Status

The University enjoys charitable status as an exempt charity under Schedule 2 to the Charities Act 1993 (amended by the Charities Act 2011).

It is therefore subject to charity legislation but is not required to register with the Charity Commission and is not regulated by it. As an exempt charity, the University does not have a registered charity number.

In 2018, the Office for Students was designated the ‘Principal Regulator‘ for the institutions it funds, and now has a general duty to promote compliance with charity legislation. This does not affect the University’s status as an exempt charity.

Governing Documents

The University's governing documents are the Instrument of Government and Articles of Government which are approved by the Privy Council pursuant to Section 124A and 125 of the Education Reform Act 1988. (These governing documents are largely equivalent to the Charter and Statutes of a chartered University or the Memorandum and Articles of Association of a limited company).

Constitutional Provisions

The University's Constitutional Provisions, which incorporate the Instrument and Articles of Government, are available here.

Governing Body

The Board of Governors is the University’s governing body and is responsible for exercising the powers of the University as defined in:

Members of the Board of Governors are also the Trustees of the University.

Financial Statements

The Manchester Metropolitan University's Financial Reports from financial year 1991/92 to the present are available.

Legal Matters

Advice is available on a range of legal issues affecting the University generally, including contracts and agreements.

For further information please contact the Legal Department.

University Licences

The University has Licences covering a range of aspects of its work:


The University has a number of licences relating to copyright, which allow the University to copy or record material in a variety of formats.

Television Licences

The University has a Multiple Form Licence which covers all academic usage throughout its buildings. The Licence also covers television sets in use in common rooms in halls of residence and in University bars.

University Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms was granted to the institution whilst it was still a polytechnic, in 1991. It is used on degree certificates and on other formal institutional documents, whilst the University logo is used as an emblem of the University on its buildings, vehicles, stationery, publicity material and advertising. Any queries relating to the use of the coat of arms for any purpose can be sent to the Corporate Marketing and Communications Team.

There is a link between the coat of arms and the logo in that the upper part of the shield in the coat of arms contains a representation of the logo symbol. In heraldic terms, it is seen as being made up of six spade-irons, suggesting hard toil and entrenchment. The lower part of the shield is made up of a "chequerboard of opportunity", representing the diversity of disciplines offered by the University. The flame across it symbolises a burning enthusiasm for learning.

The crest shows a lion holding a globe with bees. This is a reminder of the institution's links with the City of Manchester, the lion being one of the supporters in the City's arms and the globe with bees being taken from the City's crest. For the University, the bees symbolise the activity and the hard work of education, whilst the globe suggests the migration of students to the University from all over the world.

The two antelopes supporting the shield are a further reminder of the City of Manchester, which has an antelope as its other supporter. They are also symbolic of the imagination in all spheres of activity, since in heraldry the antelope is considered to be an extremely fanciful beast. The antelopes are looking outwards to denote the pursuit of many aspects of knowledge at the University, while the flames issuing from their mouths are a reference to the flame of knowledge on the shield.

The motto "Many Arts, Many Skills" derives from the meaning of the word "polytechnic".