Home / Roles / Head of School of Humanities and Journalism | University of Derby

Head of School of Humanities and Journalism University of Derby

The University of Derby is seeking an exceptional Head of School of Humanities and Journalism to lead a culture of teaching and research excellence to grow the School and ensure an exceptional student experience.

  • Location: Derby, East Midlands
  • Salary: £67,298 - £84,122 (with scope for further progression)

Who we are

The University of Derby is located in the heart of England and offers industry-relevant expert teaching from foundation and undergraduate degrees to postgraduate study and research. Our combined higher and further education offering is spread over campuses in Derby, Buxton, Leek and Chesterfield, and we have invested more than £200 million in some of the best university facilities in the UK over the last ten years.

We achieve outstanding results for our teaching and research and with more than 34,000 people choosing to study with us every year, we depend on the dedication of a team of 2,200 academics and professional services staff.

The University boasts world-leading research that demonstrates real-world impact and has recently received the prestigious TEF Gold for learning and teaching and student experience, which places the University of Derby in the top 20% of universities in England.

Pictures by Beth Walsh Photography- Commissioned by University of Derby APRIL 2022

The College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University of Derby consists of the School of Arts (Arts & Design, Film & Performance, Therapeutic Arts), the School of Humanities & Journalism, and the Institute of Education (Primary, Secondary, SEND and post-14 education).

The College has over 2,500 students and some 200 academic staff. Inspiration, stimulation, and real-world insight sum up our approach to learning and research across the College. Students learn in impressive facilities, workshops and labs allowing industry-standard student training.

Our research is world-leading and internationally excellent with significant impact. For example, our Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre includes seven research groups, such as A/r/tography or Research Arts and Wellbeing, counting numerous national and international exhibitions and strong industry involvement.

In Education, a diverse range of research activities is done through one of the six research clusters, such as the Inclusion and Special Educational Needs research cluster or the Race and Education research cluster, with a significant national policy impact.

We are preparing the future critical thinkers and socially responsible individuals who gain knowledge and transferable skills that will be useful in a diverse range of employments and life pathways; all these within a framework of strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Humanities and Journalism research is focused on themes of identity, culture and representation (read more about our research group here), and brings together experts across the School and the wider College working with partners beyond the University.

According to The Guardian University Guide 2024, we are proud to be:

  • Top 15 – Fine Art, (11), History (14), Education (15).
  • Top 25 – Drama and Dance (23), Journalism (23), Media and Film (19)
  • Top 30 – Fashion and Textiles (29)

In several of our Humanities and Education programmes NSS satisfaction scores are consistently >90% and even 100% for some programmes.

About the role

University of Derby Graduation 2014

The School of Humanities and Journalism has around 650 students across undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students and achieves outstanding NSS scores across several disciplines. We are incredibly keen to celebrate, maintain and replicate this success, underpinned by the development of the School’s teaching offer, by creating a strong research presence that will inform curriculum developments, and by actively engaging with employers and partners across the region.

As such, our new Head of School of Humanities and Journalism will provide visible leadership by actively contributing to all areas of academic practice, foster a culture of collaboration in pursuit of achieving high standards of research outputs that will create measurable impact, and thus contribute to an inspiring and relevant academic proposition across the School.

The Head of School will provide outstanding academic leadership across the School’s two disciplines, with the development of a media offer soon to be introduced alongside humanities and journalism.

They will be responsible for leading, enhancing and growing the academic, research and academic enterprise of the School, and ensuring that its programmes and academic delivery inspire, have an impact on and support both the College plans and the University’s Corporate aims.

Working closely with the PVC Dean and the senior leadership team to develop business plans, the Head of School will ensure that innovative programmes and courses are demand-led and deliver to the needs of students and the market, that the research environment is vibrant, and new income streams arise from our academic endeavours.

Some of the key responsibilities of the Head of School include:

  • Membership of the College’s senior management team.
  • Translating strategy into operational delivery.
  • Providing effective management and deployment of resources.
  • Ensuring high-quality academic provision aligned to key metrics.
  • Leading curriculum development.
  • Fostering a strong research culture.
  • Achieving student recruitment targets.
  • Growing student numbers.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for an outstanding individual who has the vision to lead and enhance our humanities and journalism provision. Thinking creatively and innovatively about the future of the School you will proactively contribute to the College and wider University.

As the Head of School of Humanities and Journalism, you will be a visible and engaging leader, strategically astute, with a track record of strong industry engagement, effective management, and driving quality across education and research. Candidates should hold or be close to completing a PhD or Professional Doctorate or demonstrate equivalent professional standing in professional practice in a field related to Humanities, Journalism or Media.

We are seeking candidates who can demonstrate their experience of teaching and management in a higher education setting, and bring experience of securing new income through research grants or other external partnerships.

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their deep understanding of how the disciplinary bases of the School intersect with social and industrial requirements and market dynamics and can contextualise strategic aims to academic delivery, driving a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Candidates should also demonstrate their ability to recognise the particular opportunities for the School concerning external partnerships and knowledge exchange and have the ability to work with others to foster an environment geared towards delivering real-world impact.

The conferment of a Professorial title will be considered along with this role. Please contact our consultant directly if you are interested to find out more.

[Pictures copyrighted to Beth Walsh 07888753521] University of Derby- The day before open Day 2021


As the Head of School for Humanities and Journalism you will receive 30 days annual leave. On top of this, all staff also receive bank holidays and 4 University days around Christmas and Easter. As a member of the senior management team, you can access additional flexible benefits such as holiday trading, dental plans and private medical insurance.

You can learn more about the benefits of working at the University of Derby by clicking here.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

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Welcome from the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Dear candidate,

We are delighted that you are considering joining us at the University of Derby as the Head of School of Humanities and Journalism.

This is a crucial role, and we are seeking an experienced educator and leader who has a clear vision for world-leading capability in the related fields. While Humanities and Journalism are the current disciplines within the School, we are also developing a new suite of programmes related to media, that will soon lead to a third discipline in the School. We are seeking someone who can use innovation to support new ways of working that allow our graduates to be sought after because they are equipped to work at the top of their chosen fields. You will be joining us at an exciting time of transformational change for our programmes aligned with the new academic framework, University strategy and College strategy, which supports sustainable futures, staff and student well-being, student employability, a strong civic agenda and new skills including digital. We are also looking for a candidate who can articulate the student journey, including widening participation access and what that career passport might look like, including understanding portfolio careers.

In the University of Derby, we have one simple promise – to make a positive impact. Through our ground-breaking research, teaching excellence and commitment to sustainable living, we are changing lives for the better. The University of Derby has a number of accolades, including having obtained a TEF Gold award in 2023, being Top 20 in the UK for teaching quality (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024), 1st University of the Year (UK Social Mobility Awards 2020), Top 20 in the UK for overall student satisfaction (Complete University Guide 2024),  Top 20% for a range of subjects (The Guardian University Guide 2023), and Top 20 for assessment and feedback (National Student Survey 2023).

In this ambitious and upwards university trajectory, this appointment is key to our success moving forward, and we are seeking a creative and ambitious individual with the necessary skills, commitment, and ability to contribute at a strategic level. In return, we can offer a supportive working environment within a professional and ambitious senior management team and the opportunity to make a significant contribution to our learning and teaching and student experience agenda.

As the Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College, I look forward to the future of Humanities and Journalism. I would also like to personally thank you for taking an interest in this role and in the University of Derby.

Professor Alex Molasiotis
Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education

About the University of Derby

The University of Derby is a modern, innovative education provider that achieved its university status in 1992. Teaching at the Derby site actually dates back to 1851, when it was a Diocesan Institution for training teachers, so we have over 160 years of expertise in education. We have since become a university of first choice for students who want a supportive, aspirational environment where they can equip themselves for the career they choose. Our significant investment in world-class facilities is building on our reputation for student-focused real-world learning in an increasingly competitive sector. Located in the heart of England, we build on our region’s heritage of innovation to provide industry-relevant, expert teaching at all levels.

Our combined higher and further education offering is spread over campuses in Derby, Buxton, Leek and Chesterfield, and we have some of the best university facilities in the UK.

During the last ten years, we have invested over £200 million in facilities designed to give students the very best possible learning environment. We have more investment planned and continue to develop teaching to be innovative, stimulating, and engaging.

Buxton and Leek College course imagery, photography by Richard Richards Photography.

Recent investments include:

  • £12 million STEM Centre including facilities for mechanical testing, robotics, and an anechoic chamber.
  • State-of-the-art £10.8 million Sports Centre.
  • Immersive Interactive Simulation Suite, the only one of its kind in a University outside London.
  • Forensic Training Facility with a dedicated crime scene house.
  • Fashion industry facility at Chandos Pole Street.
  • Industry-standard Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab.

We achieve outstanding results for our teaching and research and with around 34,000 people choosing to study with us every year, we depend on the dedication of a team of 2,200 academic, professional, and support services staff.

We want everyone to receive the high-quality education they deserve, regardless of age, background or location. We were named University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2020 and Higher Education Institution of the Year at the 2020 NEON (National Education Opportunities Network) Awards. And we have won the Guardian University Award 2020 for Social and Community Impact.

Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an exceptional place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.

You can learn more about the institution below by clicking here.


University of Derby graduation held at the Buxton Dome 04-11-2022. Photography by Richard Richards Photography.

Learn more about the University of Derby

Accessibility information

[Pictures copyrighted to Beth Walsh 07888753521] University of Derby- The day before open Day 2021

Every aspect of our University is committed to promoting equality and diversity through inclusion. We understand that to thrive at work, inclusion engenders a sense of belonging and we recognise that wholeness at work is key to engagement and high performance. We encourage and enable our staff to celebrate the richness of their diversity, participating in staff networks, contributing to awareness raising and role modelling practices and behaviours consistent with our values.

Throughout the year, we hold multiple events that champion equality, diversity and inclusion; such as International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Disability History Month and LGBT History Month. We provide staff with a blended approach to staff development, offering a wealth of online and face-to-face resources, which are thought-provoking and challenging to ensure that staff understand their responsibilities towards equality, diversity and inclusion. Working at the University is exciting and together, we will continually strive to make the University the most inclusive place it can be.

Some examples of our accessibility provisions include:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

The University of Derby is a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the AccessAble Scheme, holds a bronze Athena SWAN Charter award, is a Stonewall Diversity Champion, and won University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2020.

Click to read further information about the University of Derby’s commitment to encouraging diversity and championing inclusion.

    To access a full job description and application details,
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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “University of Derby – Head of School of Humanities and Journalism” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Wednesday 6th March 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Wednesday 13th March 2024
    First Stage Interviews: Tuesday 19th March 2024 (remote)
    Second Stage Interviews: Tuesday 26th March 2024 (in person)

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and University of Derby 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 will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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