Appointment of the Head of Communications & External Relations


Dear candidate

Thank you for your interest in joining the Marketing & External Relations Department at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). At UCA, creativity and innovation are at the heart of what we do. Our legacy of educating eager and passionate artists, makers and thinkers runs back almost 160 years, and today we’re helping shape a global future that supports and nourishes talent worldwide. Our campuses across Surrey and Kent are vibrant communities, each specialising in different areas of the creative industries. We are also home to a thriving research hub, with academic experts and fellows leading the way in research on sustainability, design, textiles, animation, history and culture, and more.

Marketing & External Relations is a newly formed Department, created to develop a sharper and more strategic focus on our marketing and communications activity. We are now seeking to appoint the Head of Communications & External Relations to work with me and the rest of the team to drive forward our impact and success as a new Department.

The Head of Communications & External Relations will lead on the development and delivery of corporate communications, internal communications and PR, as well as overseeing our content development strategy. The postholder will work directly with the Vice-Chancellor and our Leadership Team on a range of communications issues and will lead on sensitive and crisis communications as needed. We are seeking to position UCA far more strongly in the media, so the postholder will also focus on developing PR strategies to raise brand awareness and secure local, national and international press coverage. This role is global in scope, and the postholder will be responsible for raising awareness of UCA in key international markets and collaborating with overseas partners.

This role offers the opportunity to join a newly formed team in an exciting, dynamic and globally focused creative institution. UCA is a truly exceptional and special place, and you can find out more about the University and the role on this website. I do hope that you will express an interest in joining us.

Our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be delighted to discuss this role with you. Their details can also be found on this site.

Yours faithfully

Angela Chadwick
Director of Marketing & External Relations

About us

At UCA, we believe that creativity makes global communities more vibrant, more innovative, more human. Which is why, for 160 years, our university has been a passionate advocate for creative education and research.

We offer courses in Architecture, Crafts, Fashion, Graphic Design, Illustration, Fine Art, Photography, Film, Media, the Performing Arts and Creative Business. Our programmes are acclaimed for their top teaching quality, and highly respected by creative sector employers.

Our campuses across Surrey and Kent, our Institute for Creative Innovation in Xiamen, China, and our homes within partner organisations such as the Royal School of Needlework and Maidstone Television Studios all have one thing in common: They are places to forge inspiring partnerships, make work with purpose and build real solutions to human problems across the globe.

UCA is organised into six Schools, each having courses on more than one campus and each with its own Head of School, reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

The campuses are home to centres of excellence spanning a range of creative disciplines.

Canterbury School of Architecture & Design

School of Fine Art, Crafts & Visual Communication (also at Farnham)

Business School for the Creative Industries

School of Fashion & Textiles

School of Games & Creative Technology

School of Film, Media & Performing Arts
(Television Production is taught at Maidstone Studios)

School of Fine Art, Crafts & Visual Communication (also at Canterbury)

Our strategy

In the ten-year period from 2018-28, we’re working to make UCA an even better place to work and study, guided by our strategy to enhance the creative experience at UCA, and focus on building employability, inclusivity and diversity. Our priorities are:

  • A focus on providing a world-leading creative experience;
  • A focus on employability;
  • A focus on inclusivity; and
  • A focus on internationalisation and cultural exchange.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for everyone in the UCA community. Embodied in the 2010 Equality Act, UCA recognises and strongly upholds that all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation are unacceptable. We aim to ensure that no applicant, employee or student receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, paternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation

We greatly value a diverse community that is inclusive to all and supports everyone to achieve their full potential and we are continually reviewing how we work to ensure this is at the heart of all of our practices.

Find out more

You can find out more about UCA here.

The Marketing & External Relations Department

Marketing & Communications is a new Department that brings together all marketing, communications, external relations and digital activity. The new Department has been created to develop a stronger and more strategic approach to marketing and communications that will enable us to have a broader global reach and present the University more effectively across a range of media and to our internal audiences. We will work closely as a team, engaging with our internal clients and working on a range of strategies to raise our institutional profile, increase student numbers and support the ongoing evolution of UCA.

To view the Marketing and External Relations organogram, please click MER organogram.

The role

Head of Communications & External Relations

Job reference:

Location: Farnham (although travel to other campuses will be required)
Hours of work: 36.25 per week
Grade and salary: 10; £50,295 to £54,943
Reports to: Director of Marketing & External Relations

Job purpose

Lead on the development and delivery of corporate communications strategies, internal communications and public relations, as well as overseeing UCA’s content development strategy.

You will advise UCA’s Leadership Team on a range of communications issues and will take the lead on sensitive and crisis communications as needed.

A strong media performer, you will be tasked with developing PR strategies to raise brand awareness and secure local, national and international press coverage.

This role is global in scope, and the postholder will be responsible for raising awareness of UCA in key international markets and collaborating with overseas partners.

Main duties

  • Develop and deliver strategic communications plans to support institutional objectives.
  • Provide strategic and tactical advice and counsel concerning all matters of communication to the Leadership Team and President & Vice-Chancellor as required.
  • Oversee the strategic communications input to change programmes, ensuring that communications plans are developed that will enable all staff, stakeholders and partners to be clear about UCA’s future vision and what it means for them.
  • Drive improvements in UCA’s internal communication policies, procedures and practices.
  • Be responsible for developing the University’s Media Relations plan to build the University’s reputation within media channels (at home and overseas) and promote activities that will help drive recruitment through profiling.
  • Manage the day-to-day running of UCA’s press office, acting as a spokesperson for the University as required.
  • Lead the development of UCA’s website in-line with strategic objectives, line managing the Digital Experience Team.
  • Lead the departmental response to a variety of planned and unplanned emergencies, providing a seamless service that protects UCA’s reputation, being contactable 24/7 in the event of an emergency.
  • Develop and deliver editorial content strategies in support of marketing and recruitment campaigns.
  • Responsible for editorial quality control, ensuring the accuracy and fluency of all written content.
  • Develop and deliver an institution-wide social media strategy that delivers engagement with prospective students and influencers across key global markets.
  • Agree and manage associated budgets to support related activities and provide accurate reporting on expenditure as required.
  • Develop and line-manage the Communications & External Relations Team.
  • Deputise for the Director of Marketing & External Relations as required.
  • Responsible for driving improvements in internal communications, working in collaboration with Departments and Schools to embed best practice.
  • Manage core internal communications channels, putting governance processes in place to ensure quality control.
  • Develop and deliver bespoke internal communications plans to support strategic initiatives.

Other duties

  • Undertake such other duties as are within the scope and spirit of the job purpose, the job title, and the grade.
  • Take responsibility for the health and safety of yourself and others in carrying out the duties of the role.
  • Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the performance of your duties, in line with the University’s published procedures.
  • Take responsibility for safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults as a member of UCA staff.
  • Actively participate in learning and development to meet the requirements of your role and the organisation.



  1. Educated to degree or equivalent qualification at Higher Education level in a related discipline consummate with the nature of the role.
  2. Significant experience in a marketing and communications environment with experience of managing content for both print and online campaigning.
  3. Experience of creating and delivering public relations strategies across global markets.
  4. Proven track-record of achieving national press coverage to enhance reputation.
  5. Experience in managing social, digital and online channels/tools to deliver communications campaign activity and to measure results.
  6. Experience of influencing stakeholders to achieve high level support for communications activities.
  7. Experience of leading content delivery for printed and online marketing solutions.
  8. Experience in managing complex projects and multi-functional teams.
  9. Exceptional written / journalistic skills, capable of writing complex and inspiring content for a diverse range of audiences.
  10. An understanding of brand development, corporate messaging and advertising campaign development.
  11. Demonstrable experience in leading internal communications initiatives.

Terms of appointment

The role is based at the Farnham campus and travel to other campuses will be required.

The role is grade 10 and the salary range is £50,295 to £54,943.

Annual leave is 25 days plus public holiday and Christmas closure.

You will be eligible to join the Local Government Surrey Pension scheme.

UCA supports flexible working and offer family-friendly policies.

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 Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or Elyse Turner-Pearce on +44(0)7808 648 559.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 10 December 2021.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the points under the person specification.
  • Please include details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.
  • Please complete an online Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the reference number AQ1267.


Closing date: noon on Friday 10 December 2021
Longlisting: Friday 17 December 2021
Preliminary interviews with AQ: w/c 20 December 2021
Shortlisting: Tuesday 18 January 2021
Final Panel Interviews: Late January/ early February TBC