Job details

Responsible to

Provost (Teaching & Learning)


All Derby Sites


£48,123 to £63,176 per annum

Closing date

Friday 26 November 2021

Contract type


Post type




About the role

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

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, investing more than £200 million in facilities in the last 10 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 academic and professional services staff.

Financially strong and seriously ambitious we offer our employees a family-friendly, rewarding career with lots of opportunities to progress.

Learning and Teaching

We are an inclusive University that is passionate about social mobility and giving all of our students every opportunity to excel; we constantly strive for excellence and success for our students, and seek to reach all communities and attract students from around the world.

This is a transformational time for Learning and Teaching at the University, with innovative approaches being developed to enhance student experience and to make a significant contribution to a developing and ambitious University.

About the Role

As a member of the University Delivery and Operations Group, the role holder will support the delivery of the University’s wider strategic framework and objectives.  They will lead development of the Academic Partnerships Portfolio through the creation of an Academic Partnerships Office, informing the partnerships portfolio through leadership and management, identifying business opportunities to ensure sustainability and deliver a high quality-customer service for external academic partnerships both in the UK and abroad.  Ultimately the Head of Academic Partnerships will ensure that all arrangements for the development, support and oversight of all related programmes delivered by partners are fit for purpose and leverage advantage for both the University and partner, whilst simultaneously delivering an excellent student experience. 

In addition, we are seeking someone with:

In return, you can expect a competitive salary and an excellent package of benefits including generous holiday entitlement and a contributory pension scheme. Prove you can make things happen and your career with us could take you almost anywhere.

Interviews for this position will take place on Thursday, 9 December.

This position is subject to a Fit and Proper persons check as part of our new starter compliance - further details will be provided if you are shortlisted for interview.

Principal accountabilities


  1. Provide inspirational leadership and management of the Academic Partnerships Office, ensuring strategic responsibility for:
    • the delivery of academic partnerships’ targets and plans;
    • the day-to-day management of the University’s global network of partner provision, including activities to engage and bring partners together (such as conferences);
    • effective communication between the University and its network of UK and overseas partners, including consultative engagement regarding relevant changes to University regulations and operational delivery systems and processes;
    • ensuring that all partnership agreements with academic institutions are maintained, reviewed and updated in a timely fashion, whilst remaining compliant with both the University and external regulatory requirements;
    • identifying risks to academic partnerships portfolio, provide expertise and recommend solutions to internal/external issues to ensure high quality account management and experience of existing academic partners, including development and maintaining of risk registers, development and delivery of any follow-up action plans;
    • designing, implementing and monitoring robust feedback mechanisms so that student feedback and comments made in annual monitoring and evaluation are considered and appropriately acted upon to enhance all partnerships.
  2. Develop, implement and align the Academic Partnership Strategy and Framework for UK and overseas collaborative partnerships in line with the University’s Strategic Framework.
  3. Develop strategic goals into operational targets and be responsible for identifying and growing academic partners against this strategy.
  4. Work with colleagues within key support areas (the Registry, Admissions and International) to ensure appropriate and governed operational delivery support.
  5. Ensure the principles of the Academic Partnerships Framework are followed across the University while also providing for its timely revision and update alongside relevant colleagues across the
  6. To work with the Centre for Quality Assurance to ensure that all academic partners (prospective and current) adhere to the University’s Academic Quality standards and all relevant QAA and Office for Students regulations.
  7. Work in close liaison with the Head of Quality to ensure partner compliance with quality codes of practice, agreed targets and University ISMs;
  8. In collaboration with the Director of Marketing and Director of Global Engagement:-
    • to analyse market data and trends to identify target areas for new market opportunities and potential partnership development;
    • to lead searches for new high quality partners and to nurture potential new academic partners in the UK and overseas, working creatively with all stakeholders;
    • to advise such potential partners on the University’s processes and offer.
  9. To ensure effective external networks are in place with influential bodies, including government agencies, ministries and appropriate international organisations.
  10. Work closely with Colleges to develop commercial approaches to all forms academic partnership arrangements and ensure they are aligned and specifically delivering requirements set out in College plans.
  11. To work with colleagues in Marketing and Communications to understand and develop links with recruitment activities in the UK and internationally both to courses in the UK and with our overseas partner institutions.
  12. To lead on new developments with both new and existing partners, preparing and seeking support for business cases and progressing proposals through the University’s approval processes.
  13. For franchised students, establish baselines for assessing degree outcomes and work collaboratively with stakeholders to improve retention, outcomes and attainment gaps.
  14. To produce an annual report on the overall academic health of the University’s collaborative provision portfolio for consideration by University Executive Board.
  15. Generate recruitment and financial reports on partners at regular intervals to demonstrate that partnerships are working as planned and achieving set targets.
  16. Represent the University externally, identifying sector best practice and ensuring the collaborative provision is reviewed and strengthened by regular.
  17. Attend relevant University leadership and management meetings to represent the Academic Partnerships.
  18. Ensure all processes and procedures across the Academic Partnerships Office are appropriately reviewed to deliver efficient and cost-effective services, ensuring that the work of the unit complies with relevant quality standards.
  19. To travel overseas and within the UK, if and when required.


Person specification

Essential Criteria



Skills, knowledge & abilities

Business requirements


As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.

Find out more about pay and benefits

How to apply

You can apply by submitting an online application. Once you have signed in or registered with us you will be able to begin your application. If you are creating an account for the first time, please ensure you provide an email address that you access regularly as this will be our main means of contacting you regarding your application.

If you require any assistance, including the provision of any documentation in an alternative format, please contact the Recruitment team at

Please note all applications must be submitted online by Midnight GMT on the closing date of the vacancy.

Important information

Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications.

We recommend you take time to read the government guidance on individual eligibility requirements for sponsorship to check you will meet the criteria prior to applying. Skilled Worker visa: Your job - GOV.UK (

If you have any questions regarding sponsorship please contact

DBS check

If you are successful, you will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The post for which you are applying is exempt from Section 4(2) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 requiring any spent convictions to be declared. Any information you provide will be treated in confidence and only used when considering your suitability for the post.

To enable us to process your DBS check please ensure you are able to supply the documentation listed on the DBS website at interview stage.


Our number one priority is to keep our staff, students and community safe as we continue to work through the pandemic. Upon appointment, full training will be given on the Health and Safety processes we follow.

Find out how we are ensuring the safety of our staff, students and community

Further details

Download Head of Academic Partnerships job descriptionDownload Head of Academic Partnerships job descriptionDownload candidate packDownload candidate pack

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Why join Derby?

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

Find out more about working at the UniversityFind out more about working at the University

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect everyone who works for us to also share this commitment and to treat people with courtesy and respect.