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Head of Curriculum and Progression

Closing date for applications: 5th May 2017

Job Description

The Head of Curriculum and Progression (HoCP) will provide the leadership and vision to deliver excellent student outcomes, quality assurance and enhancement, and curriculum innovation that embeds outstanding collaborative working with both the University and the network.

You will be responsible for leading and supporting a large team of academic staff. Reporting to the Head of Centre, you will work closely with senior colleagues within and outside the Centre and be accountable for the delivery of contractually required progression rates to the University. Critically the successful candidate will need to carefully balance the requirements of the Centre alongside the need for compliance, consistency and collaboration with the University and Study Group as a whole.

This person will have leadership of, accountability for and direct line management responsibility for a team of Heads of Subject. Consequently the successful candidate will demonstrate recent successful line management experience in an academic/educational context in a relevant subject discipline and have a proven ability to engage with an HEI in collaborative developments.

Key Responsibilities 

Strategic leadership

  • Articulate and implement a clear vision to drive forward continuous improvement and enable the Centre to achieve aspirational targets for student outcomes
  • Communicate and implement a clear vision for the development of the academic partnership with the host university, including appropriate articulation routes that maximise opportunities for recruitment to the Centre
  • Articulate and implement a clear vision for the development of programme pathways to meet the overall strategic aims of the Centre as an effective, attractive and high quality pathway to UK HE
  • Contribute to strategic planning and policy development in areas including human resources; academic development; learning, teaching and assessment; and academic quality assurance and enhancement, as part of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
  • Contribute to SLT and Operations meetings as appropriate, to inform strategic planning and resource allocation
  • Attend and actively contribute to relevant University partnership Boards and Committees, work with University colleagues through approved liaison points and report regularly on these through the Centre’s deliberative and management structures
  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and identify appropriate actions to solve problems and enhance delivery
  • Provide powerful and inspirational leadership across the Centre. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team there is an expectation that the post holder will perform the role of ‘critical friend’ to other members of the senior team

Academic management

  • Provide effective and efficient academic management and co-ordination of staff resources across the all-academic and progression support teams in the Centre, working closely with SLT, Operations meetings and Heads of Subject
  • Ensure the recruitment of academic staff is planned, timely and compliant
  • Participate in regular meetings with teaching and support staff and represent the Centre at appropriate events and meetings within the Centre, the partner university and externally.

Quality assurance and enhancement

  • Provide academic leadership to programme teams, taking overall responsibility for academic standards, the quality of learning opportunities, and the accuracy and completeness of published information, ensuring that they are managed appropriately and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Centre
  • Oversee the effective operation of the Academic committee meetings and implementation of Programme action plans
  • Lead on ensuring that the Centre is fully compliant with Study Group, Durham University and relevant external agencies’ quality frameworks, policies, procedures and codes of practice
  • Monitor progress against actions in the Centre Action Plan (CAP); within the CAP there will be cognate actions which will form the Programme Area Enhancement Plans (PREPs), this will be reviewed half-termly and reported on to the Head of Centre and various governance committees
  • Ensure that the Centre’s Quality Assurance framework is implemented across all academic teams and lead on programme review and the development of the Centre’s Annual Monitoring Report
  • Analyse data and feedback from a wide variety of sources to monitor progress towards progression targets, planning and implementing remedial actions where necessary
  • Oversee the effective operation of the Academic committee meetings and implementation of Programme action plans
  • Produce reports, analysis and evaluation for all internal and external scrutiny processes of annual and periodic review as directed by the Head of Centre
  • Any other duties as required from time to time by the Head of Centre


  • Commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship
  • High standards of integrity and honesty to facilitate leadership by example
  • Strong strategic planning skills
  • Willingness to take balanced risks and be accountable for the outcomes
  • Preferably the successful candidate will be able to play an instrumental part in any change management and will strive to ensure successful continuous improvement
  • Action-orientated with close attention to detail and follow through
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively

Selection Criteria

Qualifications and Training

  • A Bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate qualification
  • Further management or leadership qualifications would be advantageous (or a willingness to undertake such)

Experience Required

  • Experience of providing leadership in a complex multi-disciplinary environment, with evidence of significant success
  • Experience of providing feedback to another person about their performance, which achieved a positive improvement
  • Experience of HR duties, such as delivering training and taking part in the recruitment process
  • Ability to delegate activities, set deadlines and take responsibility for overseeing their successful completion to meet challenging deadlines
  • Experience of planning and delivering change or continuous improvement, which achieved a positive impact on student outcomes
  • Experience of successfully motivating and leading teachers to embed successful practice through a process of change
  • Experience of successfully leading on internal communication, which includes disseminating complex messages or changes to operations
  • Experience of working with international students and an understanding of welfare, well-being and cultural issues which may arise
  • Experience of data management and interpretation, and quality assurance
  • Experience of working across, up and down an organisation as well as with external partners and both national and international stakeholders

Knowledge and Skills

  • A sound understanding of UK Higher Education and experience of managing support activity and staff in an international and/or UK further and/or Higher Education context
  • Knowledge of the needs of international students and experience of working with international students
  • Strong leadership, project management and organisational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to communicate issues to a wide audience
  • A proven track record in leading, developing or delivering initiatives with a strong customer services and results focus
  • Flexibility and willingness to work under pressure to deadlines
  • Enthusiasm and be a performance-driven team player and leader
  • Sound IT skills including MS Office and MS Excel and experience of working with databases
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and outstanding relationship management skills
  • A working knowledge of international admissions activity in UK Higher Education
  • A high level of emotional intelligence including: patience and perseverance, good listening skills and empathy, and an ability to stay calm and manage challenging situations firmly and fairly
  • Exemplary written and verbal communication skills, including a pleasant and professional manner
  • Strong team-working skills and experience of team development

Organisational Compliance

The position holder must comply with Study Group policies and applicable laws including those in relation, but not limited to: Occupational Health and Safety; Anti-Discrimination and Harassment, Anti-Bribery and Corruption and those specifically relevant to the position and authority of the job holder.


Please apply with a CV, covering letter and completed application form to Justine Evento, HR Business Partner.

Application deadline 5th May 2017