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Director of Digital and Communications | Newcastle University Students’ Union

Newcastle University Students' Union

Do you have a track record of setting, developing and delivering highly successful digital marketing and communications strategies? We're looking for an inspirational leader to play a key role in Newcastle University Students' Union's success as they deliver new products and services to their students.

  • Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Salary: Up to £51,000 + benefits

About the role

Newcastle University Students’ Union is a progressive charity that exists to empower, energise, excite and proactively support the 25,000 students that study at Newcastle University. Whether our students are studying at our campus in the heart of Newcastle, or in London, Malaysia or Singapore, we want to have a positive impact on every student and help them get the most out of their time at university.

We are part way into our strategic plan which will take us to 2021. Our strategic plan saw us undertake a significant piece of research to help us to better understand our students’ needs and communicate in a way that is relevant to them, and based on that, we built a communications and engagement operations plan.

These plans have changed the way we communicate with students. We have more digital friendly services and have taken media and event sales back in-house. These changes have been highly effective and led to phenomenal results. We now have 96% of students satisfied with the way they are being communicated with and we almost doubled our election turn out. We also won the Educate North Students’ Union of the Year Award.

Our improvements are ongoing and part of a continuing response to the growing digital development of our society. We have moved some of our systems to digital friendly platforms, but there are still improvements that could enhance our services and systems.

Our goal is to continue improving the way we communicate with students, grow our commercial income and drive further improvements in our services. This will serve to increase the engagement we have with all students, and further improve our ability to support them.

Who we're looking for

As a member of the senior management team and our lead on key strategic projects, you will help the wider team articulate their impact and improve their communications.

To be successful, you will need to be an inspirational leader who can motivate a high-performing team to continue growing and improving. It is likely that you have a track record of setting, developing and delivering successful digital marketing and communications strategies and experience working with a wide range of stakeholders. Strong interpersonal communication skills are essential.

We offer a rewarding role in a welcoming, diverse and fun organisation where no two days are the same. We will give you the ability and support to try new ideas and be innovative. We will also be flexible and empower you to have a healthy work-life balance.

If you think you can inspire our team and enable us to achieve even more, please contact our recruitment consultant:

Bill Yuksel | 07801 897063 | bill@peridotpartners.co.uk

Closing date: 9am, Monday 13th January 2020

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Bill Yuksel

View profile

Dear Candidate,

I am delighted that you have taken an interest in the role of Director Digital & Communications at Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU).

This relatively new role was introduced in 2017 as part of the Senior Management Team to ensure we have the high level skills we need to lead NUSU through an increasingly digital age. Our new Strategic Plan, NUSU 2021, set out our strategic priorities as an organisation and this is supported by our evolving Digital Transformation and Communications Strategy.

NUSU is a unique place to work where professional staff deliver their work in a creative and innovative environment. No two days are ever the same in our iconic and recently refurbished building and our students bring vibrancy to our organisation. We value diversity and seek to create a truly inclusive culture in which we welcome students and staff from all over the world.

NUSU is a highly regarded and successful organisation in our sector and we are keen to build further on our success. We offer students a range of services and our members are at the heart of all that we do. Student members of staff are integral to the running of our shops and bars, over 6,000 volunteers organise a whole host of co-curricular activity from sports clubs and language societies to community projects. Our Advice Centre ensures there is support for students when things go wrong and we have a strong voice in the University and the wider community representing students and lobbying for change.

The successful candidate will be a highly capable and inspirational leader, with the ability to clearly align strategy with implementation plans and organisational outcomes, as well as the ability to drive commercial marketing revenues. Critically, the successful candidate will also combine a track record of setting, developing and delivering highly successful digital marketing and communication strategies and understand a wide range of communication platforms. Experience of leading on the use of data and strong knowledge of a wide range of marketing and/or communications techniques is essential.

The role of Director of Digital & Communications is vital to our success as we create new ways to deliver products and services to our students. There is a need to up-skill all of our people and get them on board as we create a smarter workplace and implement new digital and communications strategies. We will be looking to this post-holder to ensure success for our future digital and communications priorities which will allow us to communicate more effectively with our students and continuously improve our services.

Simon Gerry
Chief Executive

Shaping the lives of students during their time at university

Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) is a democratic, representative, membership organisation. It provides the voice of student opinion, as well as offering the services that shape the lives of the students during their time at university.

We judge ourselves primarily by what students think of us, and currently they feel very positive with 96% feeling satisfied or better with NUSU. Our success and impact is also highlighted by us winning the Educate North Students’ Union of the Year Award for a second year running. We were also rated very highly by our international students on the International Student Barometer where we received a 97% satisfaction rating which was the highest in the Russell Group, and the fifth highest in the UK.

The core aspects of the Students’ Union are demonstrated within the SU's vision, mission and values statements:

Our Vision:

We aim to ensure our students have the best experience whilst living in Newcastle.

Our Mission:

Our mission for 2018-21 is to represent, support, develop and enhance the lives of Newcastle University students. To deliver our mission we have embedded four strategic themes:

Empower students to enhance their academic experience.

Excite students with new experiences and meaningful social opportunities.

Energise students to embraces personal development and careers preparation.

Proactively Support students in their everyday lives.

You can read more about how we put those themes into action in our strategic plan and impact report.

NUSU aims to provide top class representation, advice, support, and recreation to all of its 28,000 members (upon joining the University every student is automatically a member).

Annually, NUSU members elect representatives from amongst themselves. They become the NUSU Officers who, along with other Trustees, are ultimately responsible for ensuring that NUSU is providing the services that the students want.

The conduct of business and the direction that NUSU takes is guided by the Constitution. The Constitution is ultimately the most important of all NUSU publications, and contains our company objects and articles of association, as well as the policies that have been evolved by our members over the years.

NUSU is one of only two Students’ Unions in the country where the building itself is owned by the students. This gives us a very secure and independent position when compared to other SUs. Newcastle University remain a key stakeholder and we work very closely with them and enjoy a very positive and successful relationship.

As a charitable organisation, we provide many student services such as an advice centre, volunteering opportunities and welfare services to all of our members. NUSU also takes on the responsibility of offering an environment in which students can relax and enjoy themselves. We are a non-profit organisation meaning that all income generated from our social enterprises goes back into funding our student services.

NUSU completed an £8m refurbishment programme in 2011. This transformed NUSU’s facilities and made them fit for purpose – focusing on what students really want. We then acquired a neighbouring building, NUSU Central, and significantly increased our social learning facilities.

In 2019, NUSU opened a 2,500-square-foot Co-op franchised store, the first one in the North East and one of just three in the UK.

In compliance with the 2006 Charities Act, NUSU became a fully registered charity with the Charity Commission in 2011; having registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in August 2010. This limits the liability of Trustees and provides a secure legal framework for the organisation.

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


If you would like an informal conversation around the role, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Bill Yuksel, Business Manager, on 07801 897063 or bill@peridotpartners.co.uk.

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. It would also be helpful to provide an explanation of your interest and motivation in applying for this position within your supporting statement.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Director of Digital and Communications, NUSU” into the subject field.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.


Closing date: 9am, Monday 13th January 2020
Preliminary interviews: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd January 2020
Final interviews: w/c Monday 3rd February 2020

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and NUSU are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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