There are two types of licensing that affect societies - government licensing, and commercial copyright licensing. 

Government licensing is concerned with the safety of premises and events - crowd control, fire safety, alcohol supply, first aid etc

Commercial copyright licensing ensures that the commercial rights holders - usually the company that paid for a film, TV show or piece of music to be made, or an appointed representative of that company - are paid their fee.

Licensing Act 2003

There are two types of licence - premises and personal. To hold a licensable event your venue needs a licence, and a supervising personal licence holder.

The Act defines "licensable activities" as:

  • The retail sale of alcohol,
  • The supply of alcohol in clubs,
  • The provision of late night refreshment,
  • and The provision of regulated entertainment

In turn, "regulated entertainment" is defined as:

  • a performance of a play,
  • an exhibition of a film,
  • an indoor sporting event,
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors),
  • a performance of live music,
  • any playing of recorded music,
  • or a performance of dance in the presence of an audience of one or more people

Brookes Gipsy Lane campus is licensed from 11am-11pm Sunday - Thursday, and 11am - Midnight Friday & Saturday.



The university does not allow anyone else to use its alcohol sales licenses. This means that you can only have alcohol on campus if it is supplied by the university, either through Union Bar or the Collonade shop. Societies are not allowed to sell alcohol that they have bought on to campus themselves. The only circumstances under which a society can distribute alcohol to members attending an event on campus is if the event is free to attend, the alcohol is being given out for free an in controlled amounts, and the alcohol as been bought using money that the society already had in its account.  


Visiting Speakers

The "Prevent Duty" under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2014 requires universities and students unions to ensure that their students are not exposed to materials or persons who may try to incite extremist acts and violent terrorism. In practical terms, this means that we have to do a background check on every person being invited in to the university to give a presentation or lead a discussion. 

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