Professor and Head of Department of Learning and Leadership

University College London Institute of Education

United Kingdom

Job Description

Professor and Head of Department Grade 10

UCL Institute of Education Department of Learning and Leadership

Reports to : In undertaking these responsibilities you will be responsible to the Director of the Institute of Education

About UCL Institute of Education: The UCL Institute of Education is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in social science and education, ranked number one for education worldwide in the 2021 QS World University Rankings for the eighth year running. It was shortlisted for the 'University of the Year' title in the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) awards. In January 2014, the IOE secured ‘outstanding’ grades from Ofsted on every criterion for its initial teacher training across primary, secondary and further education programmes. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment of university research, 94% of the Institute’s research was judged to be world class. Founded in 1902, the IOE currently has more than 8,000 students and 800 staff, and attracts students from over 100 countries around the world. The IOE merged with UCL in December 2014, to become the UCL Institute of Education. The IOE is led by a Director, who holds the UCL responsibilities of a Dean. The Director is supported by three academic Pro-directors, Vice-Deans and a Director of Operations. The IOE comprises six academic departments:

• Social Research Institute (SRI)
• Learning and Leadership (DLL)
• Culture, Communication and Media (CCM)
• Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA)
• Psychology and Human Development (PHD)
• Education, Practice and Society (EPS)

London’s Global University In addition, the IOE hosts the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE).

About the Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL)

The Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL) is a large research and teaching department of approximately 140 academic staff. The department is a major world leader in the following subject areas: Early Years and Primary Education, Educational Leadership, Education Policy, and Initial Teacher Education (ITE). We value innovative research, teaching and enterprise and combine the very best of research innovation and evidence-based teaching, with a strong commitment to translating our work into policy and practice. We do this to address educational challenges and aspirations in local and global communities. The department is home to the Centre for Educational Leadership, the Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities, the International Literacy Centre, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy and the Centre for Teacher and Early Years Education. The department is a diverse research environment, united by a focus on applied research, teaching and teacher training that contributes new ideas and knowledge that can affect both policy and practice. We are committed to enhancing education as an academic discipline, and as a field of practice and policy through a focus on knowledge mobilisation and knowledge exchange. Further information about the Department can be found at

Main purpose of the job

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced academic with an excellent research profile to work with a talented set of colleagues in a vibrant and leading department that makes a distinctive contribution to the IOE and wider UCL. The appointee will be expected to provide academic leadership and strategic direction across the full range of research areas represented in the department while maintaining an excellent track record in a research specialism of their own relevant to the work of the Department. These include early years and/or primary education, childhood studies, educational leadership, global childhoods and education policy. We particularly welcome applicants with a successful track record of research in early years, global childhoods and or childhood studies, as these are priority areas for development in the current departmental plan; we also wish to further develop our applied and close-to-practice research profile. This permanent appointment consists of two parts. The first is a 0.6FTE responsibility to be Head of Department. This responsibility is for 5 years in the first instance. In addition, the post holder would be appointed as a professor, with the remaining 0.4FTE of their workload to be filled through a mixture of personal research, externally funded projects, teaching, doctoral supervision and/or other duties. They will provide inspirational and strategic leadership, working with colleagues to set out a longterm vision for the further development of the Department's research, education and knowledge exchange activities, in ways that strengthen their contribution to policy and practice. They will have an extensive knowledge of the policy landscape in the UK and/or globally, and the complex ways in which it shapes opportunities for stakeholder engagement. They will be interested in capacity building for a diverse body of staff who are pursuing a range of career pathways. They will be a good communicator with an ability to solve problems at an operational and strategic level.

Academic departments are the focus for strategic and operational decision making within the IOE; they are also where the majority of academic and revenue making activities take place and are managed. Because of this, Heads of Department play a critical role within the management structure of the IOE. They serve on the IOE’s Senior Management Team, supporting the IOE’s role as a worldleading Faculty for education and social science. Heads of Departments are supported in their departmental work by a dedicated Departmental Administrator; they meet regularly with the departmental senior leadership team, composed of the heads of the re department’s research centres; and the departmental leads for teaching, research, enterprise and inclusion. Further support is provided through the IOE centralised professional services teams. These cover Teaching, Research, Enterprise, Communications, Marketing and Operations. The Head of Department reports directly to the Director of the institute of Education, who acts as Dean of Faculty. They work with the Pro-Directors/Vice-Deans in the Institute of Education to help shape the Institute’s strategic and operational planning. In accordance with UCL Regulation for Management 11, the Head of Department is responsible to the Council of UCL, via the President and Provost, for the organisation and general conduct of the Department. It is expected that the Head of Department role will comprise 60% of the appointee’s workload. This responsibility will be for an initial term of five years, following which time the appointee will revert to their full-time academic role as a professor in the department. Support will be given in moving into the role and managing existing duties. The HOD has full time departmental administrative support.

Key Working Relationships: Staff and students within the Department; Director of the IOE; Director of Operations; Faculty Operations Manager; School Finance Director; the Pro Directors and Vice-Deans of Faculty; School-facing Business Partners within Professional Services (Finance, Human Resources, Research, Enterprise, Registry); peers across the Departments of the Faculty and UCL, external funding agencies and industrial and institutional partners.

Duties and responsibilities

The Head of Department reports directly to the Dean of Faculty. In accordance with UCL Regulation for Management 11, the Head of Department is responsible to the Council of UCL, via the President and Provost, for the organisation and general conduct of the Department. The main purpose of the role of Head of Department is: 1. To provide strategic leadership and management of the Department and contribute to the delivery of strategic objectives of the Department, Faculty and UCL. 2. To determine and implement the Department’s strategic operating plan. 3. As a member of the Faculty Leadership Team, proactively contribute and lead on Faculty and UCL initiatives. 4. To be responsible for the implementation and general overview of processes within the Department to ensure the educational progress and welfare of students registered within the Department.

As a professor, the appointee would be required to:

1. Secure large-scale funded research in relevant fields. 

2. Pursue your own research agenda, publishing in high quality national and international peer-reviewed journals.

3. Contribute to teaching and training within the Department, including supervising graduate research students. 

4. Line manage and/or offer mentorship and development to less experienced colleagues.

5. Contribute as appropriate to activity in the department and faculty.

Strategic Development and Planning

• To advise and lead on academic matters (strategic developments, research initiatives and research funding bids, Research Excellence Framework (REF) submissions etc.

• To lead on the annual budgeting cycle and prepare budgetary submissions in consultation with senior colleagues and key faculty and School personnel.

• To proactively develop strategic alliances with other relevant organisations.

• To develop and maintain effective working relationships with key senior internal and external partners

• Working in partnership with the Dean and other senior colleagues with the highest level of knowledge and understanding of the department’s business.

Leadership and Staff Management:

• To participate in the strategic management of the Faculty as a member of the Dean’s Faculty Leadership Team.

• To be responsible for the effective management and performance of staff within the Department, in accordance with UCL’s behaviours framework – described at - and the IOE’s mission and values.

• To ensure the completion of appraisals (undertaken within the IOE as staff review and development meetings) for all staff within the Department and undertake the annual appraisals of direct line reports, in accordance with UCL’s performance management framework.

• To review and report annually on probationers’ progress and performance in respect of academic staff, and review the probationary service of non-academic staff, in accordance with UCL induction and probation procedures.

• Pro-actively identify academic talent, both internally and externally, in pursuit of the academic vision of both the Department and Faculty and ensure the retention of high performing staff.

• Advise the Dean of Faculty on Senior Academic Promotions.

• Participate in appointments to all academic positions within the Department.

• To participate in the strategic management of UCL as a member of the Provost’s Leadership Forum, attending termly meetings.

• To ensure that the committee structure and governance of the Department is aligned with that of the Faculty and UCL.

• To work closely with the Departmental Administrator and Faculty Manager to develop, agree and maintain an appropriate professional and technical staffing structure within the Department.

• To work with academic and non-academic managers to ensure that all staff within the department are well managed and motivated and have opportunities for development.

• To ensure that staff and students are appropriately advised in order to ensure compliance with UCL policies and procedures affecting them.

Equality and Diversity

• Accountable for meeting departmental equality and diversity objectives and providing visible leadership on the delivery of an effective annual diversity action plan in accordance with the Faculty Action Plan. Finance / Resource Management

• Working with the Dean of Faculty, the Head of Department is responsible for the overall planning and implementation of the Department’s budget and the achievement of agreed budgetary targets.

• Working with the Faculty Operations Manager and School Finance Team, to set budgets, monitor in-year expenditure and communicate positions within the Department to ensure that annual financial performance targets are met.

• In consultation with the Dean of Faculty and in accordance with the Faculty’s Estates Plan, to lead on the development of business cases, for example the acquisition of new space, in conjunction with the Faculty Manager and UCL Business Partners.

• To manage the Department’s estate footprint in conjunction with the Faculty Operations Manager. Communications

• To establish appropriate channels of communication within the Department, promoting a common sense of purpose and collegiality. Education

• To ensure that the Department continues to deliver a suite of academically excellent, viable and competitive programmes, which may include degrees at all levels, teacher education and other forms of professional education.

• To ensure that the Department provides an appropriate learning environment to fully optimise the student experience.

• To ensure appropriate levels of support in accordance with UCL and Faculty policies for the academic progression and welfare of students registered within the Department. Research

• To champion research in the Department, fostering cross disciplinary research across the Department, Faculty and UCL

• In liaison with the Pro-Director for Research, to ensure that the Department’s academic vision is in line with the Faculty’s research strategy. To take the lead for research governance and the associated procedures. Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer

• In liaison with the Vice-Dean Enterprise, to ensure provision of and support of CPD and Enterprise activities Safety and Environmental Sustainability

• To demonstrate commitment to UCL’s published Health and Safety and Environmental Sustainability Policies by making, recording and ensuring the implementation of arrangements to meet the policies and UCL requirements. • To ensure that the Departmental arrangements will be implemented to meet UCL requirements for Safety and Environmental Sustainability.

• Maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health and Safety Regulations. Other Duties

• Promote good working practice throughout the Department and champion UCL management competences, including consistent use of the IOE’s workload management system.

• Committee serving as required. Contribute to Faculty meetings, committees and working parties.

• Engage with the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) to identify and pursue fundraising opportunities.

• Act as an ambassador for the Department and Faculty, both within the institution and with funders and other external stakeholders, seeking opportunities to enhance the business of the Department and the Faculty.

• Responsible for the maintenance of the business continuity of the Department and for working with UCL’s major incident team in the event of a major incident or emergency at UCL. This will require being contactable, if necessary, outside working hours.

• Any other duties commensurate with the grade, spirit and purpose of the post as requested the Dean of Faculty. This job description reflects the present requirements of the post, and as duties and responsibilities change/develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post holder. The post holder will actively promote UCL equalities, diversity and inclusion policies and be expected to give consideration within their role as to how they can actively advance equality of opportunity and good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it. September 2021

Person Specification

Criteria - Essential (E) or Desirable (D) - Assessment method (Application/Interview) 

Qualifications, experience and knowledge:

A doctorate or equivalent qualification in an area relevant to the academic work of the department - E - Application/Interview

An outstanding research record, including a proven ability to secure competitive funding and to design, lead and co-ordinate major research projects effectively - E - Application/Interview

An extensive track record of world-leading research publications in early years, primary education and/or global childhoods that develops the existing profile of the department  - E - Application/Interview

A track record of supervising postgraduate research students to successful completion. - D - Application/Interview

Success in obtaining funding for consultancy and other thirdstream activities. - D - Application/Interview

Demonstrable commitment to teaching excellence and an outstanding student experience, including evidence of impact across an institutional or across the discipline nationally or internationally - E - Application/Interview

Skills and abilities:

The proven ability to build and sustain effective working relationships with key stakeholders, such as policy makers, funding councils and professional bodies - E - Application/Interview

Evidence of effective written and oral communication, showing the ability to adapt communication styles to meet the needs of the audience and message - E - Application/Interview

A track record of collegial and inclusive approaches to management, evidencing a commitment to good internal and external communication, including relationship building, good listening skills and advocacy - E - Application/Interview

Evidence of academic leadership and a proven ability to lead, develop and motivate colleagues to achieve departmental and faculty goals, including effective management of organizational change - E - Application/Interview

Evidence of responding strategically to national and international developments relevant to University teaching, research, administration and funding - E - Application/Interview

Experience of planning and managing resources and risk effectively and at a departmental scale, including budgets, staff and estates, within the statutory and regulatory policies of the organisation - E -  Application/Interview

A clear vision for accelerating progress on equality and diversity, together with the ability to work harmoniously with colleagues and students of all cultures and background - E - Application/Interview


To apply for this position visit:

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

hamburg uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni