Appointment of the Head of Department of Psychology

Kingston University London


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Professor & Head of Department of Psychology at Kingston University, London.

When I joined the University as Head of the School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, 18 months or so ago, I was immediately struck by the vibrancy of our student body and the hard-working ethic of our staff.

Our organisational values of Inclusive; Innovative; Ambitious and Enterprising are evidenced daily, and I thoroughly enjoy seeing the collaboration that takes place between staff and students to further diversify the intellectual, creative and innovative portfolio of research and enterprise activity characterising the Psychology Department.

As Head of School,  I am looking for an inspirational individual who can embrace the role of Professor and Head of Department for Psychology, not only to support the University’s ambition for growth and diversification but to  ensure an effective balance between a teaching and research culture.

Kingston University is ambitious for its own future, evidenced in our Town House Strategy. We aim to develop potential, transform lives, and improve the world around it. As a Head of Department, you will play a crucial role in helping us to achieve this strategy, by driving student recruitment, attracting, and managing research funding, whilst providing strong leadership to our dedicated body of staff.

This is an exciting opportunity to bring your authentic self and really make your mark, in an environment that encourages the development of new and progressive models of education. We are proud of our heritage at Kingston and how far we have come but we know that we can achieve so much more to enhance our students’ life chances by helping them make the most of their learning opportunity, equipping them with the future skills and knowledge needed in the 21st Century’s demanding workplace.

I hope you will find all the information that you need to help support your application to our remarkable institution. You can also call on our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley, should you require anything more.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Professor Stephen Tong
Professor in Policing & Criminal Justice and Head of the School for Law, Social & Behavioural Sciences

About us

At Kingston University, we are passionate about enhancing our students’ life chances by helping them make the most of their learning opportunity and equipping them with the future skills and knowledge needed in the 21st Century’s demanding workplace.

  • Kingston University is ranked a top 5 university in London in 21 subjects in the 2023 Guardian University Guide*
  • Top in London for interior design
  • Top in London and second in the UK for fashion and textiles and mental health nursing
  • Top in London and fifth in the UK for children’s nursing
  • Top in London for graphic design and midwifery
  • Second in London for architecture, forensic science, general nursing, media and film studies
  • Kingston is ranked No.9 in the UK overall for Forensic Science, with the second-highest graduate outcomes nationally (Complete University Guide 2023)
  • Kingston School of Art’s fashion degree among best in the world in Business of Fashion listings
  • We have 18,590 home/European students, and 4,290 overseas students from more than 140 countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe
  • 95% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating***
  • 70% of the University’s research submission was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in REF 2021

Town House Strategy

Our world is becoming more interconnected through advances in technology. Society is changing at pace and employers need graduates who bring innovation, enterprise and digital and creative problem solving skills into the workplace.

Through our Town House Strategy, Kingston University will meet these challenges by delivering a progressive new model of education. We will partner with businesses and other external bodies to support innovation, and generate and disseminate knowledge. Collaboration and innovation will underpin everything we do.

We will enable our students to develop the future skills and personal attributes to prosper in their careers and focus our research, knowledge exchange, and professional practice where it can have impact and drive innovation.

Our Research
Seventy per cent of Kingston University’s research has been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Government’s latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The results represent a 10 per cent increase in the percentage of Kingston’s world-leading or internationally excellent research from the previous assessment, published in 2014, with the University’s overall grade point average rising to 2.89, up from 2.7 eight years ago.

The University rose 13 places to 71st in the research power tables published by Times Higher Education which considers quality of research as well as number of research-active staff submitting to the REF, placing 75th in the leading sector publication’s overall ranking of institutions.

Kingston submitted 414 staff across 11 Units of Assessment, with 37 impact case studies.

The results of the REF2021 revealed that:

  • Almost a quarter of Kingston’s research, 23 per cent, was rated world-leading (4*), compared to 16 per cent in REF 2014, with the University also ranking fifth out of 14 University Alliance institutions in the overall tables.
  • Five Units of Assessment saw more than 70 per cent of overall research rated as 4* or 3* – Art and Design, Allied Health, Performing Arts, Computer Science and English. More than half of the submission in Art and Design was rated world leading.
  • Four Units of Assessment secured 100 per cent rating of 4* or 3* for their impact – Art and Design, Performing Arts, Education, and Psychology. Art and Design also received 100 per cent 4* or 3* rating for environment.
  • Six Units of Assessment scored above the sector average for impact – Art and Design, Performing Arts, Politics, Education, Allied Health and Psychology.
  • All 11 of the Units of Assessment the University submitted had a majority of 4* or 3* research overall.

Student profile
As of 1 December 2022, we have 18,590 students.

Over half of Kingston students identify as BAME and around 28% are from overseas, joining us from over 140 different countries. They also differ by gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, faith and age – almost 50% are mature students.

We recognise the inherent value of this diversity and build it into our teaching environment and our courses.

A full report on our student data for 2022 can be found here.


Organisation chart

Values and mission

Our vision

Our vision is for Kingston University to be sought after by students and staff as a place to further their ambitions and to have impact on our communities. Our students and staff will be sought after for their skills, knowledge and ability to innovate.

Our mission

Our mission is to enhance students’ life chances, support staff ambitions and strengthen Kingston University’s impact on industry, policy and the professions to enable a sustainable future socially, economically and environmentally.

Our values

We strive to be:

  • Inclusive – to value the diversity of students and staff, treating all our community with respect.
  • Innovative – to apply new methods or ideas to drive progress.
  • Ambitious – to pursue excellent for individuals, the University and our communities.
  • Enterprising – to recognise and act on opportunities.

The role

Head of Department of Psychology (AQ2131)

Apply now

Job Title Professor & Head of Department of Psychology

Grade Senior Staff

Faculty/Dept. Faculty of Business & Social Sciences

School/Section Department of Psychology

Reports to Head of School Direct reports None


The purpose of the role as Professor and Head of Department of Psychology is to drive academic excellence and student recruitment in the Department of Psychology to ensure we achieve the ambitions of our Town House Strategy. Key characteristics of this role are: a track record of senior leadership, strategic management and student recruitment, a comprehensive understanding of the higher education sector and demonstration of achieving significant student growth, a sustained record of publications in top ranked peer-reviewed academic journals; the ability to attract and manage research funding; the capacity to inspire the performance of colleagues; and to provide academic leadership from research in core areas of psychology or from research in the frontier between psychology and another social science or other relevant discipline.

As Professor you will make a significant contribution to course development and teaching; take a leading role in developing current and new psychology courses, encourage and inspire high quality research output; support and guide research activities of existing staff; undertake knowledge transfer activities; develop and manage collaborative activities with international partners; and further develop an effective teaching and research culture and profile of the Department and the School. A key role will be the delivery of strong growth and increasing market share within student recruitment.
Working alongside, and in collaboration with, existing staff and students, your contribution will enrich and (potentially) further diversify the intellectual, creative, and innovative portfolio of research and enterprise activity characterising the Psychology Department.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • To enhance the national and international reputation and standing of the Department of Psychology, through leadership, research, teaching, and other scholarly activities.
  • To undertake research and scholarship of the highest quality in core psychology or in areas relating to psychology and other relevant disciplines, and to produce world-leading research outputs in line with national frameworks for research evaluation.
  • To provide department leadership in accordance with school, faculty, and university strategy; to foster a collaborative and lively teaching and research environment and to play a strategic role in further developing and augmenting excellence across all activities within the department in line with the university’s values: inclusive, innovative, ambitious and enterprising. To deliver strong student growth within the department.
  • To develop and foster collaborations with national and international bodies and organisations, and to take up roles and develop activities which embed these collaborations.
  • To contribute to the recruitment and supervision of research students.
  • To contribute to teaching in the department, as appropriate.
  • To contribute to income-generating research activities, enterprise and grants that will raise the profile of the work of the department, faculty and university.
  • To manage all work effectively and within the guidelines established by the contract, the staff handbook and line manager.
  • To take on tasks designated from time to time by the Dean or other members of the Faculty Leadership or university teams.

Please note on occasions other duties may be undertaken as part of this role and in line with the grade.


All of the following criteria are essential unless otherwise noted.

Knowledge and qualifications 

  • PhD in relevant subject.
  • Excellent subject knowledge in breadth and depth.
  • Achievement of the relevant level of UKPSF recognition by the end of the probation period (if this has not already been obtained). For those experienced in teaching, this can be achieved through our Kingston Academic Practice Standards Framework.

Skills and competencies 

  • Strong record of leadership in achieving significant student growth in psychology.
  • Track record of successful applications for significant external research funding. (Desirable)
  • Pedagogic expertise.
  • Current research record of high quality, international publications at the level of international excellence.
  • Ability to establish principles and set academic direction for a group, and to provide subject leadership and to stimulate and inspire others to do develop outstanding academic/professional practice.
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills, with the ability to engage large and small groups.
  • Ability to engage a diverse range of students to motivate and inspire them to perform at their best.
  • Tact and diplomacy, together with the ability to influence others internally and externally.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues and students and build effective relationships.
  • Delivery of a high level of quality enhancement in all areas of academic practice.
  • Sound IT skills.

Important working relationships

Dean, Associate Deans, Head of Department, Course Leaders and Module Leaders, Director of Studies, Director of Doctoral Programmes, Research Administrator.

Terms of appointment

A competitive salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

We offer a range of workplace benefits, including:

  • Teachers’ Pension Scheme
  • 35 days holiday plus bank holidays
  • personal development plan
  • training, development funds and access to University study
  • season ticket loan
  • cycle-to-work scheme
  • employee assistance programme
  • discounted gym membership, use of our sports ground, fitness centre and complementary therapy clinic

To find out more about our benefits, please click here.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to Kingston University London. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

The closing date for applications is noon Friday 22nd September 2023.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining your relevant experience and how you meet the criteria of the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees on your CV, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.

For a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534, or Alicja Janowska on +44(0)7743 927 783,