Appointment of the Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Welcome from Professor Graham Lord, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Thank you for your interest in joining the University of Manchester as Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH).

With 11,000 students, 3,200 staff, over 30 undergraduate courses and around 90 postgraduate taught courses, the Faculty integrates discovery biology, clinical application and patient care and is the largest supplier of healthcare graduates to the NHS in the north-west of England. The Faculty is organised into three Schools – Biological Sciences, Medical Sciences and Health Sciences – and many of our programmes cross school and division boundaries to ensure they cover the breadth of knowledge and skills required for a career in biology, medicine and health.

The Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students will be a member of the FBMH leadership team, responsible for the development of teaching, learning and the student experience for all taught programmes, both undergraduate and postgraduate. The Vice-Dean will also work closely and in partnership with learning and teaching colleagues across the University, led by Professor April McMahon, Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students.

The Vice-Dean will provide leadership to all staff across the Faculty engaged in the learning and teaching agenda, ensuring an ongoing process of quality enhancement, improving the student learning experience, promoting inter-professional learning and supporting academics to deliver excellence in teaching.

We expect candidates to bring a personal academic standing that commands the respect of colleagues and a track record of leadership and commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. The ability to create a sense of unity and common purpose across a large, complex and diverse Faculty will be essential, as will experience of implementing and managing change.

The University has a deep commitment to delivering a best-in-sector student experience along with a longstanding commitment to widening access. This role presents an opportunity to drive real change across the Faculty by engaging colleagues in professional development, sharing and role-modelling best practice and thinking innovatively about how we deliver education.

You can find out more about the University, the Faculty and the role of Vice-Dean on this website. Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you, in strict confidence – their details can also be found on this site.

I do hope you will make an application to join us and lead the further development of our approach to delivering outstanding teaching and learning.

Yours faithfully

Professor Graham Lord
Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About us

The University of Manchester is the UK’s largest single-site university. It was the first and most eminent of England’s civic universities. Today, we’re part of the prestigious Russell Group, with an international reputation for the highest level of research and teaching, as demonstrated by our position in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 2018 we were placed 34th in the world, 8th in Europe and 6th in the UK. The University is a partner of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

We attract world-renowned academics. During our history 25 Nobel laureates have studied or worked here. There are two on our current staff: Professors Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov (joint winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics).

Our facilities are outstanding and in the current phase of our Campus Masterplan we are investing £1 billion in our estates by 2022. Highlights include the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre opened in 2018; the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials; the redeveloped Alliance Manchester Business School buildings; and a new home for engineering in the Manchester Engineering Campus Development which will provide a range of modern facilities for researchers pushing boundaries across interdisciplinary themes.

At the University of Manchester we conduct a wide range of high-quality research that is rivalled by few other universities, as demonstrated by our submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Much of this research combines expertise from across disciplines, making the most of the opportunities that our size and breadth of expertise afford. Today, some of the most exciting work at Manchester is in advanced materials, cancer, energy, global inequalities and industrial biotechnology – five areas that we describe as our research beacons. These beacons are examples of how our interdisciplinary research is helping to find unique solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, from tackling poverty to ensuring energy supply for future generations.

It’s our vision to be recognised for our global impact, our innovation and our role in one of the UK’s most progressive cities.

Our Digital Futures programme is the University’s strategic response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital revolution. It brings together a multidisciplinary community of over 850 researchers from across the University’s three faculties to tackle important research problems, build critical mass in new and emerging research areas and to work with external stakeholders to support Greater Manchester’s ambitions as a leading digital city.

The sheer scale of the University’s interdisciplinary research activity sets us apart. We are able to combine disciplines and capabilities to meet both the challenges of leading-edge research and the external demands of government, industry and communities.

Our Future

Our new vision and strategic plan for The University of Manchester will take us into our third century. It builds on a rich heritage of discovery, social change and pioneering spirit that is at the heart of our University and our city region:

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has an integrated structure that enables us to deliver a truly translational approach to the life sciences. This helps ensure smooth research pathways – from pure discovery science through to clinical application and patient care.

We develop and deliver the highest quality education and training for health professionals and life scientists in partnership with the NHS and industry. We contribute to the University’s tradition of innovation and improvements in the health of people around the world.

We are the largest supplier of healthcare graduates to the NHS in the north-west of England. We produce highly-trained and skilled professionals who are increasingly sought-after by employers across the health industry.

The Academy for Education and Professional Development provides training for clinicians and healthcare professionals teaching in the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Please click here for further information.

We also conduct outstanding, world-leading research in the biological, medical and health sciences across eight research themes. We take our social responsibility to make a contribution to the ‘greater good’ seriously.

We were ranked 4th out of 44 in the UK for research power in the biological sciences in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research in the areas of the allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy was also judged to be excellent.

The integration of discovery biology, clinical application and patient care within a single Faculty, particularly in a region with notable health inequality, provides us with a real opportunity to have a very significant and positive impact on people’s lives.

The Faculty in numbers

  • 11,000 students
  • 3,200 staff
  • £122 million in annual research income
  • over 30 undergraduate courses
  • approximately 90 postgraduate taught courses.

The Academy for Education and Professional Development provides training for clinicians and healthcare professionals teaching in the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Please click here for further information.

The role

Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Job reference:

Reports to: The Vice President and Dean
Organisational Unit: Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Overall Purpose

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has as its goal for teaching, learning and students ‘To inspire, prepare and transform future generations of leaders, healthcare professionals, innovators, educators and researchers to meet global challenges through our high quality research-based education’.

The Vice-Dean leads the development and delivery of our strategy to achieve this goal, as part of our Faculty Leadership Team. They also lead our team of Associate Deans, School Leads for Teaching, Learning and Students and the Professional Services TLSE leads to ensure that there is a connected and focussed approach to achieving our goal across Faculty and Schools.

Key Duties/Responsibilities

The key duties and responsibilities of the Vice-Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students include the following:

  • To provide strategic vision to lead the Faculty’s requirements to deliver excellence in teaching, learning and student experience, working as a member of the Faculty Leadership team.
  • To devise, embed, and ensure delivery of an innovative strategy that will lead directly to an enhancement in the quality of learning and teaching across the Faculty and encourage and promote the adoption of new practices in teaching and learning.
  • To ensure that we deliver an excellent student experience across our programmes, as evidenced through TEF, student satisfaction, continuation and positive degree outcomes for all.
  • To work in partnership with the Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students to ensure that the Faculty aligns with, and contributes to, the University’s teaching and learning strategy and its implementation.
  • To work in partnership with the Vice-Deans and Heads of School and other members of the Faculty Leadership team to pursue the ambitions of the Faculty in relation to teaching, learning and students.
  • To work collaboratively with the Associate Deans, School leads, including Heads of Divisions and Professional Services team to ensure that the Faculty’s ambitions with regard to teaching, learning and students are achieved.
  • To ensure that all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are devised and delivered locally in a timely manner that accords with the University’s academic regulatory framework and, where appropriate, the requirements of professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.
  • Working closely with the Vice-Deans and Heads of School and the Heads of Divisions, lead the development and implementation of a process for ensuring that all members of academic staff across the Faculty make an appropriate contribution to teaching and learning.
  • To direct the Faculty digital learning strategy, including online and blended provision.
  • To take the lead role in delivery of the University’s Access and Progression Plan as it relates to the Faculty, in the context of our broader Widening Participation strategy.
  • To liaise with key individuals in the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) Education theme to ensure alignment between the Faculty and MAHSC.
  • To liaise closely with Schools to develop and implement student number plans that ensure that the Faculty meets its targets.
  • To work with Schools and the Faculty Communications and Marketing Team to identify opportunities for new programmes that can be delivered in line with the University’s and the Faculty’s strategic objectives.
  • To work collaboratively with Schools, the Faculty Communications and Marketing Department and the University International Recruitment Office, to ensure that the Faculty continues to attract and recruit the most able students locally, nationally and internationally to its programmes irrespective of their background.
  • To take a lead role in the management of taught student appeals, complaints, discipline, and fitness to practise.
  • To represent the Faculty at appropriate University level committees and groups, delegating responsibility where appropriate and disseminating information and managing actions from these groups within the Faculty.
  • To chair relevant Faculty Teaching and Learning committees/groups, with a view to reviewing and streamlining current processes, disseminating information, promoting discussion and identifying innovative practices.
  • To take an active role in the wider leadership and management of the Faculty, as a member of the Faculty Leadership Team.


Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of this person specification in order to be considered for the role.

Leadership and management

  • A strong commitment to the goals and vision of the University and Faculty and in particular in relation to Teaching, Learning and Student Experience;
  • Ability to create a sense of unity and common purpose;
  • Evidence of successfully managing and implementing complex change and engaging staff, students and stakeholders through this process;
  • Evidence of effective staff development, e.g. implementing technology enhanced teaching;
  • Evidence of working well in teams and having built effective relationships at all levels;
  • Evidence of having taken ownership and responsibility;
  • Experience of effective financial and strategic planning; and
  • Ability to represent the Faculty nationally and internationally and protect and promote its interests.

Academic background and experience

  • A personal academic standing that commands the respect of colleagues;
  • A record of leadership and commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and student experience;
  • Evidence of expertise and standing in medical, health and biomedical education;
  • An understanding of the strategic issues affecting teaching, learning and student experience in relation to the subjects and programmes within the Faculty, nationally and internationally;
  • Knowledge and awareness of the broad context of Higher Education and government policy in the UK and the current and forthcoming challenges and opportunities it presents;
  • A National Teaching Fellowship or Senior / Principal HEA Fellowship and/or other evidence of CPD in relation to teaching and learning;
  • A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of current issues and developments in learning and teaching in University settings, including of technology enhanced learning (TEL) and pedagogic theory;
  • Proven track record of recognised achievement in innovation and evaluation, curriculum design and development to deliver outstanding educational experiences for students;
  • Evidence of engaging in research and/or advanced scholarship and using enquiry-based and evaluation techniques to enhance practice;
  • Experience of involvement with quality assurance within Higher Education;
  • Experience of effective working with students to enhance their experience;
  • Knowledge and awareness of the importance of employability and experience of working with key stakeholders in this respect, such as employers;
  • Clear commitment to eliminating attainment gaps between student groups;
  • A sustained record of successful teaching, including class-room or online delivery and related support in respect of allocated teaching duties;
  • A sustained record of effective setting and marking of assessment, including provision of feedback to students; and
  • A sustained record of effective contribution to programme management or development, including systems of student support.

Personal qualities

  • A strategic thinker, who values consultation and collegiality;
  • An honest and open individual with a high level of personal integrity;
  • An effective communicator, both spoken and written, a listener, negotiator and influencer;
  • Someone who takes pleasure in the achievements of others;
  • An open, consultative management style;
  • Someone with the confidence and courage to take on challenges and to be accountable for any decisions/risks taken; and
  • A personal commitment to promoting and improving equality, diversity and inclusion.

If appointment is to a Teaching and Research contract the following criteria are also applicable:-

Research & Pedagogy

  • A sustained record and continuing trajectory of output of high-quality, peer-reviewed publications or other equivalent recognised forms of research output appropriate to the discipline;
  • A sustained record of success in obtaining external funding;
  • A sustained record of making a positive contribution to the development of others;
  • Evidence of leadership of, and/or a record of service to, the research community external to the University;
  • Evidence of initiating and participating in effective research collaboration, including beyond discipline where appropriate; and
  • Evidence of activity that supports social responsibility and integrates social responsibility into the curriculum.

Terms of appointment

The post of Vice-Dean will be awarded for an initial period of five years with the option of extension by mutual agreement, with an underpinning substantive, permanent academic appointment. The post holder will carry out the Vice-Dean responsibilities in three days per week. Following completion of the term as Vice-Dean, the post holder will revert to the substantive academic appointment on a full-time basis

Salary: The appointment will be made on the Professorial scale according to relevant experience. The term as Vice-Dean also carries an honorarium.

Benefits: For information on the benefits of working at the University of Manchester please click here.

How to apply

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

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley: Elliott Rae on +44(0)7584 078 534 or Carolyn Coates on +44(0)7825 871 944.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 9th March 2020.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of 3 pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include details of two referees in either your CV or covering letter, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete an Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form here.

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference AQ901.


Closing date: Noon on Monday 9th March
Longlisting: Monday 23rd March
Preliminary Interviews with AQ: w/c 23rd March
Shortlisting: Wednesday 1st April
Final Panel Interviews: Monday 20th April