Appointment of the Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Education; and Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Dean, College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


Dear applicant

I am delighted that you are considering applying for a role at the University of Derby.

At Derby we have worked to build a powerful regional university that addresses the needs of our students, the region and beyond, embarking on an ambitious period of growth to take the University forward to its future.

Our 2018-2030 Strategic Framework, launched in June 2018, signalled a new chapter for our University, providing staff and stakeholders with clarity over our direction of travel and raising the bar in terms of our institutional ambitions. Embedding high performance in everything we do has seen a step change in the way we operate, one that is generating strong results and outcomes despite the challenges we have faced during the pandemic.

2025 is a key milestone in the lifecycle of the Strategic Framework, so to assure delivery of our strategic plans and ambitions, we have recently made some changes to the University’s Senior Leadership Groups. These now comprise a new University Executive Board (UEB), Vice-Chancellor’s Executive (VCE) and Delivery and Operations Leadership Group (DOL).

In addition, these changes are designed in response to the external environment, the need to continuously reflect and improve on performance, and our commitment to ensuring high standards of integrity, transparency and governance.

As a result, our two new Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Deans will be joining us at a time of real momentum and positive change, where we look to build on our teaching excellence, enhance the student experience, continue to grow our innovation and research profile, and ensure Derby has impact and influence regionally, nationally and internationally.

Furthermore, the civic role we play, and the importance of the University as an anchor institution, remains stronger than ever, with our commitment to working in partnership to improve the health, education and wellbeing of our city and county being reaffirmed through the development of a Civic University Agreement.

The University is comprised of four Colleges – Art, Humanities and Education; Business, Law and Social Science; Health, Psychology and Social Care; and Science and Engineering. Our four Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Deans lead these colleges and are members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive. They provide strategic leadership for their college as well as taking responsibility for specific aspects of the University’s corporate strategy.

We are an ambitious university, on an upwards trajectory, and therefore need two Pro Vice-Chancellors, with the knowledge, experience and leadership qualities to drive forward a high performing team leading the Colleges, one that puts our students, and the experience they have at Derby, at the heart of everything it does.

Thank you for your interest and time.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive

About us

Located in the heart of England, we build on our region’s heritage of innovation to provide industry-relevant, expert teaching at all levels.

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.

Rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), 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.

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.

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

Why the University of Derby?

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

A major employer in the region, passionate people join the University because:

Seriously ambitious

Recognised in the top twenty nationally for teaching quality and the number one university in the East Midlands for graduate employment, demand for places at the University of Derby has risen by nearly 20% in the last two years. It is a university of choice for learners, employers and partners.

You’ll have lots of opportunities to progress

If you work hard and perform well, the University of Derby offers a wealth of career progression opportunities and all the training and support you need to succeed.

You’ll get job satisfaction

Staff love the work they do and the impact they have on the lives of learners and the wider community.

Our recent staff survey reported that 93% of staff have good work relationships, 80% are proud to work at the University and 73% get a sense of personal accomplishment from their role.

You can make a difference

The University welcomes new ideas that improve what we do and the way we do it. Financially strong, the University is seriously ambitious so there are lots of opportunities for you to make an impact and be recognised for it.

Excellent facilities

You’ll benefit from discounted access to some of the best university facilities in the UK including a working theatre, multi-million pound sports centre and commercial day spa.

You can read more about the University at

You can read our most recent Annual Review here

Our future

Our Strategic Framework provides the foundations and direction on which to plan, perform and succeed in a changing and globally dynamic environment between now and 2030. Developed in consultation with staff,
students and stakeholders, the Framework has a simple promise at its heart: everything the University does is driven by delivering excellence and opportunities for our students, staff and region.

The Framework is designed to allow us to be flexible and adaptable to the changing environment in which we operate. Producing a long-term strategy during a period of unprecedented change, not only in the sector but politically, socially and economically, creates a challenge but many opportunities. The University is ambitious for our students, staff and region knowing what is right for students today may not be for tomorrow and getting this right is most important for our future success.

The Framework is supported by three ‘pillars’:

Game Changers

  • Students will set their aspirations high, think beyond the obvious and have the ingenuity, curiosity and enterprise to succeed
  • Industry-relevant and research-informed curriculum
  • High-quality learning environment
  • Modern learning methods
  • Range of opportunities

Positive Impact

  • Research, knowledge creation and innovation are focused on making a practical, positive difference to people’s lives close to home and around the world
  • Raising aspirations / developing skills across the region
  • Positioning Derby on the global stage
  • Driving the economic, social, cultural, educational and environmental prosperity of their home

Opening Doors

  • A champion of social mobility, firmly believing in the transformational nature of education
  • Creating opportunities for all across the region
  • Something on offer for whatever stage of life or career
  • Pioneer for online, blended and virtual learning
  • Global outlook

We have a long-standing reputation for teaching excellence of which we are extremely proud and now is the time to build further on this, through more focused and integrated applied research.

Opportunities are a core element of our academic approach – not only in terms of delivering these, but through a culture of curiosity and drive instilled in students and staff to seek and create their own. We are proud to be the only University in the city and county as this enriches connectivity within the region, but as importantly, we relish the civic responsibilities this brings.

This is an ambitious University with purpose, positivity and confidence in what we are going to accomplish over the next ten years.

Our Purpose

From the heart of England, we empower people across the globe to achieve their potential and make a positive contribution to society.

Our Promise

Everything we do is driven by delivering excellence and opportunities for our students, staff and region.

Our Principles

The University of Derby’s approach is underpinned by the following core principles:

Creating the right experience

  1. We believe that higher education should be equitable, inclusive and open to all who have the ambition and desire to learn and progress.
  2. We ensure, through our teaching and research, that our students learn the theory, have the opportunity to put this into practice and develop the right level of curiosity and behaviours employers are looking for.
  3. We inspire self-confidence and personal awareness in our students of what they are capable of, while supporting them to achieve their best.
  4. We believe that, while university is a place to achieve qualifications, true transformation comes from the experiences gained and the opportunities explored while doing so.

Working effectively

  1. We have talented and motivated staff, who work in a high-performance culture that promotes well-being, diversity and opportunity for all, and are essential in providing the best possible student experience.
  2. We develop systems, processes and ways of working which enable our staff to work efficiently and effectively, and ensure we are best placed to build partnerships, seize opportunities and deliver value for money.
  3. We operate openly and with transparency in terms of our policies and investments, with decisions on these informed by timely data, insights and intelligence.
  4. We empower our staff and students through the use of cutting-edge technology, and safe and secure facilities expertly designed to inspire them to achieve excellence.

Broader impact and profile

  1. We understand and embrace our role in raising aspirations, improving skills and adding value to the lives of everyone in our region.
  2. We take pride in the achievements of our staff and students, and unashamedly celebrate their successes across the University, the region and beyond.

Our Place

Derbyshire provides the perfect base for our thriving university. Situated in the heart of England and regarded as the home of the Industrial Revolution, it is a place where innovators and industrialists have made their mark on the world for over 300 years.

During this time, the region has built up a strong reputation for its ingenuity, practical application, industry, inventiveness and creativity – all traits well and truly embedded into the philosophy and approach of our university.

Derby today has flourished into a vibrant, modern city. Its industrial heart still beats strong, with thriving global businesses and successful SMEs operating side-by-side, creating fantastic opportunities for our students, our graduates and our local communities. Beyond that, its retail, cultural and sporting offer continues to grow, making it a hugely attractive place to live and study.

On our doorstep is the Peak District, which attracts 10 million visitors from across the globe each year. This is flanked by the towns of Buxton and Chesterfield, home to our university’s other two main sites.

With East Midlands Airport providing a global gateway and London only 90 minutes away by train, Derby’s national and international reach is befitting of a city with such a fine heritage.

Our People 

At Derby, our People Vision is based on the simple belief that if we attract the right people, motivate them and provide development in a supportive, friendly performance-focused environment, then together we will enjoy continuing success. We believe that this is the ultimate people business and we place great emphasis upon engaging with colleagues and stakeholders.

This will be achieved by putting the University’s values at the heart of everything we do and by being a ‘values-led’ organisation. This means that, in striving to realise our strategic ambitions, we place as much value on how we do things as on what we do.

You can read our full Strategic Framework brochure here.

Our Values

A robust set of values has been a key factor in achieving the success we have enjoyed to date. How we approach our work and how we approach each other is as important as what we do to ensure we continue to build on our success.

Values people

  • We enable people to achieve beyond their expectations, which attracts high-performing staff, students with a drive to succeed, and partners who are keen to benefit from our expertise.
  • We share a collective endeavour to open minds, and encourage and inspire those who come into contact with us.
  • We trust and support each other to deliver on our promises. We listen and act with integrity to build positive long-lasting partnerships.
  • We are true ambassadors of our purpose and promises.


  • We think big and make an impact.
  • We have passion and ambition, and look for opportunities to stretch and challenge ourselves and others. We evolve through new learning and experiences, and are beacons of good practice.
  • We are proud of what we do, make ourselves visible, and tell our story in a way that strengthens our global presence.
  • We create a reputation where our innovation, skills and knowledge are relied upon by industry to fulfil their potential and ensure their future success.

Future Focused

  • We are modern, seek out and embrace current thinking, and employ innovative practices.
  • We have a confident and adaptable approach to change, working together to challenge, take the lead and set the pace.
  • We have determination, knowledge and a positive attitude, keeping engaged in the world around us and staying ahead of the game.


  • We’re curious, optimistic and strive for excellence.
  • We create thriving communities where those around us are confident to share their views, celebrate success and are proud of the achievements we make.
  • We create stimulating environments that transform the prospects of all who engage with us. We believe we all make a difference.

The University wants all students, staff and stakeholders to be delighted by their experience, proud of their achievements and become active promoters of the University.

Continuing to do this has given us a clear and positive signature and a definite edge in the new HE marketplace. Moreover, we are committed to providing all staff with excellent career and personal development opportunities, together with a total rewards philosophy based on providing competitive, affordable, flexible packages that recognise performance.

Everything we do is driven by delivering excellence and opportunities for our students, our staff and our region.

We have a long-standing reputation for teaching excellence of which we are extremely proud – now is the time to build further on this, through more focused and integrated applied research. Opportunities are a core element of our academic approach – not only in terms of delivering these, but through a culture of curiosity and drive instilled in our students and staff to seek and create their own. We are proud to be the only university in our city and county as this enriches our connectivity within the region but, as importantly, we relish the civic responsibilities this brings.

Equality, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

Our University celebrates diversity and recognises the challenges of being human and the significance and impact of inclusion within an organisation. We are all different, with individual talents and needs. Our inclusive community of academics and professional service staff work hard to support and enable everyone to thrive and be the best version of themselves.

Across our academic and professional services, we promote an environment that challenges unconscious bias and discrimination at every level of the organisation.

We do this through:

  • Student societies that represent different identities, through our Union of Students;
  • Staff-led diversity and inclusion groups that encourage input and involvement from students;
  • Events to mark regional, national and international days that celebrate and raise awareness of diversity;
  • Challenging barriers to inclusion and influencing change throughout all university environments and life; and
  • Developing an Allies and Role Models programme to demonstrate supportive visibility to all students and staff however they identify.

College of Arts, Humanities and Education

In the College of Arts, Humanities and Education, we offer a great student experience, always focusing on our students as individuals and working hard to prepare them for the challenges of graduate employment in the 21st century. Our courses are current, topical, relevant and designed to help students progress in their career.

Our strong creative community of staff and students, combined with a dynamic, energetic flourishing creative economy, allows talent to thrive and for everyone to realise their ambitions. We encourage collaboration, reflecting a professional real-world experience where these subjects feed off each other, share facilities and combine resources.

The College has three component parts: the Institute of Education, the School of Arts and the School of Humanities and Journalism. The Institute leads innovative professional practice in Education within the city and county; the School of Arts is a beacon of excellence in creative, performing and therapeutic arts; and the School of Humanities and Journalism profiles as the leader in applied humanities and vocational journalism. As a sum of its parts, the College of Arts, Humanities and Education nurtures intellectual creativity and professionalism and applies it for life and work.

Institute of Education
The Institute of Education has a long and successful history of educating and training educational professionals. It is an innovative and supportive community of learners with a strong research culture and reputation for providing innovative solutions in the field of education. Working with a range of external partners, the Institute plays a central role in the provision of educational services throughout the Midlands and beyond. The Institute’s vibrant teaching portfolio offers diverse perspectives, blends digital technologies and facilitates work-based opportunities to support graduate employability. Institute colleagues are experts in the field of Early Childhood, SEND, Careers Guidance, Professional and Vocational Education and Teacher Training.

School of Arts
The School of Arts is a place where talent thrives and ambitions are realised, a place that values risk taking as a key part of our educational practice, and a place that values disruption in the creative sense of the word. The School embraces a broad spectrum of creative practice from Fine Art to Design, Film Making to Therapeutic Arts, Fashion to Theatre, Music to Photography. With a long history of UG and PGT delivery, the School engages external partners and industry, recognising the value external practice brings to the students and their future careers. The School seeks to combine the best of traditional and contemporary practice and works seamlessly between these modes, encouraging positivity, ambition and possibility. Our students are a creative community of aspiring individuals who seek to make their mark within the creative industries, individuals unhindered by convention and creatives open to new ideas and opportunity.

School of Humanities and Journalism
The School of Humanities and Journalism is an inspiring, collegial community of research, critical discourse and dialogue: dialogue with each other and also, of course, with all of our students. Delivering degree programmes in Humanities and Journalism from Foundation Year to postgraduate, colleagues’ research interests are as varied as our courses. You will join a community comprising esteemed academics as well as industry professionals who provide academic teaching as well as sector-leading work-based experience, knowledge and skills. Colleagues can enjoy a varied range of work activities comprising teaching, research, and academic citizenship within and beyond the School.

College of Health, Psychology and Social Care

The College of Health, Psychology and Social Care offers a great student experience, alongside research excellence, flexible study, and experienced staff.

We boast some of the best facilities in the country and the strong links we enjoy with the NHS and a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies mean we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of what is currently relevant within the healthcare professions.

The College has three component parts: the School of Allied Health and Social Care, the School of Nursing and Professional Practice and the School of Psychology.

The Health and Social Care Research Centre, conducts multi-disciplinary, high-impact applied research that supports the transformation of services within the field. The Centre research falls into 3 broad areas:

  • Optimising individual health and wellbeing – enhancing the management, care and treatment of people;
  • Promoting healthy communities – improving the health and wellbeing of local populations and communities; and
  • Building and developing an effective health and social care workforce – including building the professional evidence base and transforming the roles of health and social care professionals

The Centre was established as a joint collaboration between the University of Derby, NHS England and the four Clinical Commissioning Committees across Derbyshire.

The role

Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Dean

Role summary

The Pro Vice-Chancellor/ Dean (PVC/ Dean) role is one of strategic academic leadership, with responsibility for their College.

As a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive the role holder will support the delivery of the University’s wider strategic framework and objectives, including driving the College’s strategic profile and influence around our six core areas of academic excellence: Public Service, Business, Economic & Social Policy, Zero Carbon, Data Science, Biomedical Science and Creative Industries.

As an applied University that is passionate about the transformational nature of education and a champion of social mobility, the PVC/ Dean will strive to inspire and create opportunities for all, ensure that we aim to achieve this in everything we do and be constantly striving for excellence. We must reach all communities and attract students from around the world.

Princial accountabilities

  1. As part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive, the PVC/ Dean is responsible for the achievement of the Strategic Framework, its objectives and corresponding Institutional Success Measures.
  2. Deliver academic and strategic leadership to drive forward a sustainable, aspirational and transformational curricula across the College which provides for excellence of opportunity in graduate outcomes and to ensure the College is positioned for maximum achievement of key performance indicators, including, league tables, REF, TEF, NSS, graduate employability, student retention and achievement and learning gain.
  3. Be highly engaged with key external stakeholders and businesses to deliver strategic opportunities for research, innovation and enterprise.
  4. Provide motivational leadership, line management and development for staff in areas of responsibility, ensuring that local strategic and operational plans are aligned to the University’s strategic framework and corporate objectives.
  5. Lead and support institutional change through cross-university working with the Provost Learning & Teaching and the Provost Research & Innovation, ensuring resources are aligned to the corporate strategy and the university themes with clear oversight and demonstrable return on investment.
  6. Be accountable for the financial management of the College, ensuring financial sustainability through increased income streams and balanced costs while also reporting on performance against targets.
  7. Responsible for the growth of high-quality research and innovation activity in the college to deliver the institutional strategy, priorities and success measures.
  8. Work collaboratively and in partnership with professional services across the institution to ensure governance, compliance and risk management.
  9. Undertake personal research of at least international quality in a relevant field of endeavor.
  10. Contribute to the delivery of learning and teaching within a College subject discipline.
  11. Be a key source of up-to-date sector knowledge and insight for the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive for activities relating to the College.
  12. Ensure efficient and effective systems and processes which support a high-performance culture operate throughout areas of responsibility.
  13. Ensure that diversity and inclusion are integral to the culture and activities in areas of responsibility and across the University.
  14. Contribute flexibly in undertaking any other responsibilities or projects commensurate with the role and as assigned by the Vice-Chancellor from time to time.
  15. Deputise or cover for the Vice-Chancellor if and when needed.


PERSON SPECIFICATION – Essential criteria


  • Professorial or equivalent standing, with an academic profile and teaching/research/pedagogic track record commensurate with a senior academic leadership post
  • PhD/Professional Doctorate or equivalent expertise/standing in professional practice
  • Evidence of relevant continuous professional development and active memberships or affiliations with relevant external associations or networks


  • Demonstrable success in delivering measurable advancement of excellence in learning, teaching and student experience
  • Demonstrable success in delivering measurable advancement of excellence in research, innovation and enterprise
  • Demonstrable experience of successfully operating in a senior academic leadership role and delivering through others
  • Experience of leading policy developments and operationalising them into tangible actions
  • Experience of developing and sustaining successful relationships/partnerships internally and externally, nationally and internationally
  • Experience of initiating and successfully managing cross-institutional change
  • Excellent track record in strategic business planning and of positioning a division or institution for future success
  • Track record of facilitating the highest quality learning and teaching, research, administrative and service outcomes through the active recruitment, development and management of people and financial resources
  • Proven track record of grant capture/delivery along with REF activity through published output

Skills, knowledge and abilities

  • Relevant depth and breadth of knowledge in a discipline relevant to the college
  • External evidence of research and innovation as demonstrated by a track record of outputs, knowledge exchange and enterprise
  • Comprehensive understanding of the current issues and future developments facing the sector
  • Good understanding of how this role can help to enhance the University’s Social Mobility, equal opportunities and social inclusion agendas
  • Proven people leadership and management skills with the ability to build, inspire, motivate and develop diverse teams to achieve high performance
  • Strong collaboration and team working skills that support the successful delivery of a cross-University role, with the ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of the University as a whole in a complex environment, often with competing objectives and priorities
  • Proven ability of developing data driven, evidence-based recommendations
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the proven ability to develop high quality, audience appropriate written papers and strategies
  • Excellent networking and influencing skills, with the credibility to engage with and influence senior academic staff and other diverse range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Agility and resilience necessary to deal with demanding workloads and deadlines

Business requirements

  • Highly flexible and able to travel on a national and international basis when required

Terms of appointment

The salary grade for both roles is Senior Management Family – Level A (competitive salary).

Additional benefits include:

  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Death in Service benefit (3 x salary)
  • 30 days holiday with the option to purchase up to 5 additional days
  • Eligibility for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme

For more information on the benefits of working at the University of Derby go to the Benefit pages of our website.

The University of Derby is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. However you identify, we actively celebrate the knowledge, experience and talents each person brings.

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 either of these roles in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley:

  • Phil Entwistle on +44(0)7596 954 387 or
  • Ed Pritchard on +44(0)7980 817 920 or

Applications should consist of:

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the corresponding AQ reference number above. The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 7 March 2022.