Appointment of the Chief Marketing Officer

Solent University Southampton


Thank you for your interest in the role of Chief Marketing Officer at Solent University, Southampton. As a recent arrival myself to this wonderful institution I am aware how exciting embarking on a senior job application can be.

We are seeking a creative, imaginative, and dynamic marketing leader to capitalise on our recently refreshed brand and our excellent educational track-record. Solent is one of the leading modern universities in the UK, at the heart of Southampton city and region, and making a significant contribution to the communities we serve, while putting our students at the heart of our education and experience. We work closely with external partners, including our alumnae, to provide a flexible, innovative ‘real world’ curriculum that prepares our students both for professional employment and also for civic and social engagement.

With 7,600+ students, Solent has a strong TEF rating (Silver), good NSS scores and improving national rankings. Warsash Maritime School is an internationally recognised leader in its field. We have consistently scored well in areas such as engineering and architectural technology, and we are immensely proud of our award-winning cadets and creative students, including top-15 rankings for graduate start-ups. We have completed a £100M estate development, which includes hosting the new Institute of Technology, and we boast some the best educational facilities, including the maritime simulation suite, the new virtual production stage, and the iconic ‘Spark’ building.

Reporting to me and a mainstay of the University’s senior community, our Chief Marketing Officer will be excellent at strategic planning, target oriented, data informed, and be able to operate across academic and professional services teams to forge a collaborative alliance to achieve ambitious UK and international recruitment plans. Civic engagement and outstanding internal and external communication of our mission and values will be a key aspect of this role, with a strong emphasis on our city and regional partners, especially local businesses, including local schools, colleges, and NHS trusts. The incumbent will have a role on the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and also be expected to represent the university at a number of city-wide business boards.

Working hand in hand with me, this role requires an individual with vision, who can lead and inspire our community.

We look forward to meeting you.

Best wishes,

Professor James Knowles

About us

To view our 2020-2025 Solent Future Ready Strategy please click here:

To deliver our strategy, achieve our vision and ensure our students and the University are ready for the future, we are shaping our work around three key priorities:

1. Student success

2. Research and knowledge exchange

3. Engaging with our communities

For us, student success means ensuring our students are ready for the future world of work, enterprise, and volunteering. We offer a portfolio of exciting, modern and academically rigorous degree courses with employment-focused, real-world learning that prepares students to succeed in their chosen profession, vocation or enterprise.

Through our research and knowledge exchange, we strive for real-world learning, real-world research and real-world impact. This means that the successes of our students and our engagements with our communities are shaped and inspired by our applied research and knowledge exchange.

We are committed to having a positive role in shaping the future of Southampton and beyond, and to delivering opportunities for our students, staff and alumni to be part of that regional success. Public engagement is in our DNA, and at the start of 2021 we signed the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s (NCCPE) Manifesto for Public Engagement and have committed to working with NCCPE to review our current public engagement strategies, activities and staff support.

As we build on our students’ and the University’s successes, we will seek further opportunities to grow and improve whilst remaining focused on creating a university that is sustainable and which fosters equal opportunities. To do this, we must maintain our financial resilience and ensure we are underpinned by a culture that will allow us to change, adapt and focus on the future.

We are dedicated to the pursuit of university education that enables learners from all backgrounds to become enterprising citizens and responsible leaders. We are committed to promoting economic and social prosperity for the communities we serve.

Put simply – we want Solent graduates to be the passionate, creative professionals of the future, bringing expertise and energy into their communities and workplaces.


Respect: Respecting each other, recognising others’ strengths and celebrating our diversity so that everyone can give their best.

Ownership: Owning and being accountable for delivering a welcoming and professional service and working with pace and commitment to deliver objectives and support strategic priorities.

Inclusivity: Ensuring through our teaching, support and work that we are inclusive, underpinning all the work we do at the University.

Engagement: Engage with focus, drive and enthusiasm to deliver excellent teaching, new initiatives and objectives, setting an example and motivating others to engage as appropriate.

Integrity: Act with professionalism and honesty in all our dealings with each other, our students, suppliers and partners of the University.

Teamwork: Working effectively and collaboratively and being united in delivering the priorities of the University in everything we do.

Click here for more information on the University.

Life in Southampton

Southampton is a city with something for everyone. From the hustle and bustle of the city centre to the laid back atmosphere of Ocean Village, Southampton’s variety makes it a thriving University environment.

The city is home to many great entertainment venues, and is a regular stop on nationwide concert and theatre tours. The city centre features several museums, ranging from the city’s involvement in pivotal sea and air conflicts to its rich medieval history.

Southampton’s residents also enjoy access to a range of sporting venues, art galleries and spas and the city itself is only a short distance from some of the best countryside the South has to offer.

The city is also conveniently located only 75 miles away from London and has excellent transport links, with Southampton Airport and Southampton Central Station only a few minutes away

The role

Chief Marketing Officer (AQ2123)

Apply now

Job title: Chief Marketing Officer
Reports to: Vice-Chancellor
Grade: VCG
Department/Service: External Relations
Responsible for: 4 Direct Reports
Working hours: 37


The Chief Marketing Officer has full responsibility for developing, championing and implementing the University strategies for Recruitment, Reputation, Internationalisation and Communication. This involves leadership of all External Relations, comprised of five areas including: strategic planning and business insight, student recruitment (UK and international), admissions and enrolments, widening participation and marketing and communications. The postholder will have shared responsibility for institutional and commercial partnerships.

Key Responsibilities:

As a member of the Vice-Chancellors Group and senior management team demonstrate collective responsibility for the overall management of the University, the delivery of the strategic plan, demonstrating the University Values and Leadership Behaviours at all times.

You will have oversight of the following key strands of work:

  • Student Recruitment and International Relations: Championing, developing and overseeing the implementation of the University’s strategies relating to student recruitment (UK, EU and Non-EU), global engagement, admissions marketing, alumni and communications.
  • External Relations: Leading and developing outstanding internal and external communication of our mission and values, with a strong emphasis on our city and regional partners as part of our civic engagement.
  • University Executive: Contributing as a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group to strategic matters including communications, income generation and sustainability.
  • Brand champion: Championing and developing the Solent brand internally and externally.

As a member of the Vice-Chancellors Group, you will work collaboratively with other members of the VCG and VC Office on all areas of University activity. You will be specifically required to be responsible for and take the lead on:

  • Delivering an integrated, efficient and effective approach to the University’s External Relations activity ensuring that the University’s targets for student recruitment and international relations are achieved.
  • Shared responsibility for identifying and cultivating strategically important partnerships, including UK and International alliances.
  • Collaborating with the Provost to promote student exchanges, a study abroad offer and internationalisation of the curriculum.
  • Taking a major role in strategic leadership and planning, including shaping institutional strategies and priorities and communicating strategies and priorities to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensuring that the teams within your responsibility exercise appropriate budgetary control and actively pursue opportunities to drive efficiencies and increase income.
  • Ensuring that professional services are properly aligned to support the University’s strategic plan working closely with Provost and Academic Heads of Department to understand their needs and expectations in relation to professional services.
  • Promoting cross-functional collaboration and integration.
  • Support the Vice-Chancellor in setting and communicating the University’s overall mission, vision and ambitions.
  • Promoting a culture of excellence, innovation, collegiality and continuous improvement, whilst living the Solent Values.
  • Working collaboratively with other members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group and Office on all areas of University activity, ensuring that the interests of the University as a whole take precedence over the interests of any particular part of it.



  • Qualified to degree level with professional memberships in FCIM, Chartered Marketer.

Knowledge, experience and skills

  • Substantial experience in strategic planning and delivering challenging targets in areas relevant to the External Relations portfolio.
  • A thorough knowledge, gained through senior leadership experience, of the operating environment of a recruiting university committed to widening participation.
  • Strong ability to use data analysis to inform strategic decisions, track trends and make accurate predictions for recruitment and income streams, and leading others in developing a data-literate approach to all aspects of recruitment and income generation.
  • Senior leadership experience including experience of leading and managing people through a period of significant transformation.
  • Experience of representing the University with external stakeholders.
  • Experience of delivering strategies to grow and diversify income.
  • Experience of leading professional service departments relevant to the External Relations portfolio.
  • Evidence of a significant record of success in developing and leading important strategic initiatives with University-wide impact leading to increasing student numbers.
  • Evidence of excellent and effective communication skills.
  • Evidence of the necessary interpersonal skills required to galvanise and lead the staff in the External Relations portfolio along with the skills to cultivate appropriate strategic internal and external networks.
  • Proven influencing skills and the ability to represent the University’s interests in policy debates, in dealings with government departments and other stakeholders at local, regional and national level.
  • Experience of working and leading in several national cultures and across borders.


  • Will be required to travel extensively regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Attendance at some university general open days and other campus recruitment events is required and will normally involve weekend work.
  • Regular working of unsocial hours required.

Terms of appointment

A competitive salary will be negotiated with the successful candidate. In addition, the package will include:

  • 25 days holiday (rising to 30 after five years service), plus eight bank holidays, one wellbeing day, one development day and Christmas closure.
  • Solent pension scheme (DC scheme), though transfer of existing sector pension may be possible.
  • Five times life assurance.
  • 5% management bonus.
  • Relocation assistance scheme (subject to eligibility).

We offer a range of workplace benefits, including:

  • Interest free travel loans
  • Access to our Cycle to Work scheme on an approved salary sacrifice basis which means you can make savings whilst keeping fit and helping the environment.
  • On-site gym, sporting facilities and a range of wellbeing initiatives.
  • Amazing discounts on a range of services including healthcare, insurance and independent financial and legal advice.

Equality & Diversity

At Solent, we don’t just accept difference, we celebrate it and support it, for the benefit of our people, our students, staff and our community.

The University’s equality objectives are integral in promoting and achieving fair treatment and equality for all and as part of this, we aim to foster a community with a culture of transparency, mutual trust and respect devoid of hatred and intolerance.

University staff can join our LGBT+ staff network – a supportive social group for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, or are questioning their sexuality or gender identity. This group also supports many events both on-campus and in the local community, including the Human Library and Southampton Pride.

Solent also has a well-established Equality and Wellbeing committee, made up of students and staff, to proactively assist us in providing an excellent people experience underpinned by our values, and our genuine commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity, irrespective of personal or protected characteristics.

This committee plays a key role in ensuring equality and diversity across the University, and leads on wellbeing initiatives, such as the introduction of our Mental Health and Wellbeing vision for both staff and students, launched earlier this year.

We believe that all our people should be treated fairly, regardless of their age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender. As part of this, Solent University is committed to continuing to work on closing the gender pay gap and is in the process of creating an updated action plan to determine the necessary steps to make this happen.

How to apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an employment advisor to Solent University, Southampton. 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: Ed Pritchard on +44 (0)7980 817 927, or Samantha Bryan-Ross on +44(0)7510 384 713 or

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 25 September 2023.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the criteria outlined in the person criteria.
  • Details of two referees, though please note that we will not approach your referees without your prior consent and only should you be shortlisted.

The full timetable is to be confirmed.


Closing date Monday 25 September
Preliminary interviews with AQ 28 September - 4 October
Shortlist meeting Thursday 5 October
Key Stakeholder Conversation Friday 20 October
Final Panel Interviews Monday 23 October