Appointment of the Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts

St Mary's University


Thank you for your interest in joining St Mary’s University as our new Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts.

At St Mary’s University, we are dedicated to preparing our students for flourishing lives and successful careers within a community of mutual respect. We aspire to enable every student to achieve their full potential, through outstanding support for their learning and giving them a broad and rich experience. Inspired by our Catholic mission, we have prided ourselves, since our foundation in 1850, on being an academic community which values positive human relationships, promoting belonging and supporting individuals to be the best version of themselves.

In challenging times, we continue to thrive, achieving real progress and success in student satisfaction, research and community impact. We have recently climbed to our highest ever positions in all three of the major university guides and the Good University Guide 2023 ranked St Mary’s 5th for student satisfaction and 7th for student experience. The 2021 Research Excellence Framework results found that the majority of research submitted by St Mary’s was 4* world leading or 3* internationally excellent in its originality, significance and rigour, with a number of particular strengths in the new Faculty of Education, Theology and the Arts.

We will be implementing a new academic structure from August 2023 and we are now seeking to appoint the inaugural Dean of the new Faculty of Education, Theology and the Arts. The Dean will be responsible for shaping the new Faculty and developing its strategic plan, building on our existing strengths in these subjects. At both undergraduate and postgraduate level, we are committed to offering vocationally relevant programmes of study with the highest academic standards. We are seeking to grow our student population in across education, theology and the arts by developing innovative and contemporary programmes and new partnerships, as well as continuing to develop our research and knowledge exchange activities. In addition to leading the Faculty, the Dean will have corporate responsibilities focused on supporting international students.

Education provision at St Mary’s has consistently been rated Ofsted outstanding and we have superb relationships with academies and voluntary aided and local authority schools, especially in, though not limited to, the Catholic sector. Theology is an area of real academic strength in teaching and research and the University works closely with Mater Ecclesiae College, a pontifical institute based at St Mary’s, preparing and examining students for ecclesiastical degrees The University has demonstrated its commitment to excellent liberal arts provision in its desire to ensure that we have a broad-based academic offering.

If you are excited about the prospect of joining St Mary’s and developing the new Faculty, then we do hope you will express an interest in the Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts role.

You can find out more about the University and the role on this site and our advising consultants at Anderson Quigley would be pleased to discuss the role with you.

Professor Symeon Dagkas
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

About us

Established in 1850 and with a deep heritage in education, St Mary’s University, Twickenham has a strong reputation for teaching excellence and a student-centred approach. Our aim is to prepare students for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and values.

Developing and enhancing partnerships is important and we work with other universities at home and abroad, dioceses and institutions, local FE colleges and many schools across the UK. With nearly 6,000 students, 700 staff, and a turnover of over £52 million, the University makes significant contributions to our local community and wider society, empowering our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Key achievements and highlights

  • 5th for Teaching Quality 2023 Good University Guide.
  • 7th for Student Experience 2023 Good University Guide.
  • 5th for Student Satisfaction 2023 Complete University Guide.
  • Overall Satisfaction rate of 83.9% in the 2022 National Student Survey, leading to a rise of seven places to 11th overall in the sector ranking.
  • Highest ever position in the Good University Guide, Complete University Guide and Guardian University Guide.
  • 98% of graduates are in employment, vocation or further study within 15 months (HESA 2020).
  • Ofsted Outstanding assessment of our Primary and Secondary ITE provision for over ten years.

We are an inclusive Catholic university seeking to develop the whole person and empower our community to have a positive impact on the world.

Our students and staff are at the heart of everything we do. We are an inclusive university, open to those of all faiths and none, and a local institution in a global city, serving a growing and richly diverse student community in locations both real and virtual.

Rooted in our Catholic Foundation, with the value of the human person at its heart, our values set us apart, shape our behaviour and inform all our decisions in a university that responds to the demands of today.

We celebrate differences and welcome diversity, recognising that everyone is born with a unique identity. St Mary’s is a place where all students and staff can reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society.

Generosity of Spirit
Across the University there’s a strong sense of encouragement, collegiality, empathy, helpfulness, and service to others.

We respect all and treat everyone as we ourselves would want to be treated.

We strive to be the best at everything we do. We set high standards and seek continuous improvement in all our practices and work.

Vision 2030: The Future of St Mary’s

St Mary’s is committed to providing our students with a transformational experience. Offering strong support and challenging goals whilst they study with us and opportunities to be part of the wider St Mary’s community beyond their time here, we want our students to be highly skilled, informed and civically engaged. Vision 2030 sets out how we will do this, building on the successes of the past and setting our direction for the coming years.

To achieve our Vision, we have identified five Pillars that will support our strategy.

  1. Achieving Student Success: With a rich history in education, St Mary’s is committed to high quality delivery in education, research and the wider student experience. We will continue to provide an outstanding academic, sporting and social experience, to ensure our students flourish while they are with us, and beyond.
  2. Developing our People: We seek to empower our staff to reach their full potential by developing a supportive, inclusive, collaborative and inspiring working environment. We want our staff and leadership to reflect and encompass the diversity of our student body and the wider community.
  3. Driving Growth: Through growth we can reach more students, employers and communities, and ensure the University’s sustainable future. We will expand our applied and professional programmes and offer more flexible ways to learn.
  4. Developing Partnerships: We will identify organisations with whom we can work with to deliver shared goals. We will share our knowledge and expertise with other universities, further education colleges, and civic and sporting organisations at home and abroad.
  5. Enhancing our sense of Place: We treasure our historic campus and will continue to develop it as a safe space and to guard it for future generations. We will open up our work to the public and strive to have a positive impact in our local community. We will play a dynamic role in the educational, cultural, sporting, and economic life of south-west London.

You can read more about our Vision 2030 here.


St Mary’s University is located in Twickenham, which is just half an hour by train from the heart of London. This gives both staff and students access to the best of both worlds: a dynamic, bustling city and a tranquil, riverside suburb, with excellent schools and facilities. Many staff and students choose to work and study at St Mary’s because of its prime location.

 A snapshot of the local area

A leafy, suburban neighbourhood, Twickenham is a mixture of period houses, formal gardens and parks surrounding King Street, the town’s centre. Twickenham offers many traditional pubs and restaurants, with many diverse cuisines. Church Street runs adjacent to the river and comprises cafés, boutiques, small bookshops, and a church.

The lively riverside towns of Kingston and Richmond are a short bus ride away from the University. Throughout the day, the towns attract visitors who come to enjoy the shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, live music venues, bars, and theatres. Teddington, just along the road from the University, was recently named “the best place to live in London” by the Sunday Times.

Outdoor spaces

Marble Hill Park in East Twickenham is a charming local park and the setting of Marble Hill House, a Venetian villa built for a mistress of George II and now a local landmark. Just a short stroll along a peaceful riverside road into secluded woodland gardens is Orleans House Gallery, a stunning 18th century house and gardens which now serves as an art gallery, hosting regular exhibitions and workshops.

St Mary’s is close to two of London’s eight royal parks. Both Richmond Park and Bushy Park, where Parkrun started, offer staff and students hundreds of acres of beautiful, secluded woodland for get-away-from-it-all walks, as well as space for cycling and running.

Twickenham and the adjacent River Thames also provide lots of opportunities for outdoor activities.

Culture, history and heritage

Flood Lane and Church Lane lead down to the river where you can enjoy a drink in one of the riverside pubs or cross the bridge on to Eel Pie Island. Many musicians began their careers or played sets at the Eel Pie Island Hotel and recorded material at Eel Pie Studios.

In 2017, St Mary’s became the proud operator of The Exchange in Twickenham – a newly built community venue that boasts a 300-seat theatre, six studio rooms, a café and a bar. St Mary’s students benefit from teaching and training at the site, with drama students staging performances in the theatre.

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, museums, galleries and other historic houses open to the public are also among unique features of the local area. On St Mary’s campus itself is Strawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Gothic Revival villa.


The rugby capital of the world, Twickenham Stadium is the home of the Rugby Football Union. Seating 82,000, it is the 5th largest stadium in Europe and hosts the Six Nations matches and the Rugby World Cup, as well as the annual varsity match between rival universities Oxford and Cambridge. The prestigious matches attract fans from around the globe who celebrate in Twickenham’s pubs and bars, creating an unrivalled atmosphere. The area is also home to Harlequins and London Irish rugby clubs.

The stadium has a state-of-the-art fitness centre attached, as well as a world-renowned rugby museum. The stadium is also regularly used as a venue for concerts.

Find out more at

The role

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Theology and the Arts (AQ1843)

Apply now

Job title: Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts
Faculty: Education, Theology and the Arts
Reports to: Provost
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Hours: Full-time
(At this level of post it is expected that the post holder will work additional hours if required as part of the contractual hours)
Term: Permanent


St Mary’s University has been serving the common good and the Church since 1850 when we were founded to train teachers for the children of poor Catholic families. We have a strongly student-focused mission aimed at preparing them for flourishing lives, successful careers and social commitment through excellent, research-enriched teaching in a strong community of mutual respect based on our Catholic ethos and identity. St Mary’s has excellent relationships with the Catholic dioceses of the UK and expanding links with Catholic institutions around the world. We are committed to providing increasingly high levels of teaching, learning, student experience and employability.

Our strong community is characterised by trust and respect among staff and students, inclusive values that are built on our Catholic ethos. The University is an inclusive community, where everybody is welcomed. We are developing a strong focus on research and knowledge transfer/exchange as well as, enhancing partnerships with other University’s at home and abroad. With over 6000 students and 700 staff, the University makes significant contributions to our local community and wider society, empowering our community to have a positive global impact.

Student satisfaction remains high with St Mary’s ranking 5th in Teaching Quality and 7th in Student Experience. The University climbed to our highest-ever positions in all the major University rankings this year, all of which rate St Mary’s in the top group in the country for course or overall satisfaction. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 showed that overall, St Mary’s University ranks 51 out of 132 institutions, a rise of 16 places on the 2022 edition and 35 places on the 2021 edition. The University featured in 13 of the 70 subject tables in The Good University Guide 2023, with Theology and Religious Studies, the highest ranking of St Mary’s subjects. Our value-added score in the Guardian League Table was one of the highest in the sector and higher than the average amongst the Top 10 universities, showing how successful St Mary’s is in supporting our students’ learning journey.

The role of the Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts is essential in helping us achieve our goals and enabling every student to achieve their full potential, through outstanding support for their learning and giving them a broad and rich experience. We look forward to welcoming applications for this exciting Senior Leadership role from candidates who shares our values, and supports the ambition for what St Mary’s University can be and is committed to achieving those benefits for our students, our staff, our partners and our community.

Service Information

Since 1850, St Mary’s mission has been to provide a high quality academic and professional environment, inspired by its distinctive ethos and values. The University provides an inspiring and welcoming environment and has a strong, supportive community. Our students and staff are at the heart of everything we do. The University is proud of the support given to students, and is underpinned by the provision of teaching that is student-focused with a strong emphasis on skills and character development.

At St Mary’s, you will be encouraged to nurture and educate our students, preparing them to be ready for graduate employment to meet the challenges of today and anticipate those of tomorrow. The Faculty consists of three Schools; the School of Education, the School of Theology and the School of Liberal and Creative Arts with established expertise and resources in these fields. We are committed to offering a vocationally relevant portfolio of programmes to the highest academic standards.

The School of Education welcomes everyone with a passion for education and offers a wide range of programmes including primary and secondary teacher training routes. Additionally, the Institute offers professional development opportunities for teachers and we are in partnership with 500+ schools and other organisations. Particular interests include Catholic education, teachers wellbeing, social justice and pedagogy.

The School of Theology study Theology and Religion in service of the common good of society and the Church. We entered into a collaborative partnership with the Mater Ecclesiae College in 2019 and, in addition to preparing for the ordained ministry, the College creates a career pathway for anyone, not only Catholics, who might be interested in teaching in Catholic universities and colleges around the world.

The School of Liberal and Creative Arts includes our existing suite of Drama, Film and Liberal Arts programmes. Our undergraduate Drama degrees combine the best of Drama School (conservatoire) training with the best of university education and our postgraduate courses are vocational programmes that aim to equip our students with advanced industry skills, as well as provide the opportunity for artistic experiment and research. Liberal Arts aims to explore the Arts and Humanities with an interdisciplinary approach, studying a broad range of subjects. This includes aspects of History, English, Film and Creative Writing and enables students to discover creative methods of engagement and leadership that will help shape the future of our cultural, heritage and creative arts industries.

Job Purpose

Reporting to the Provost and Chief Academic Officer, the Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts will have strong leadership and management credentials, with demonstrable experience in academic leadership. You will be responsible for effective Faculty Leadership, efficient Faculty operations and enhanced and inclusive educational experience through co-ordinated Faculty activities aligned to University Strategy.

The Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts will take the lead, working collegially with colleagues across the University to actively contribute to wider University Management and Initiatives. You will provide vision and leadership for the Faculty to ensure efficient and effective operation of its work, as well as play a crucial role in delivery of the five pillars of our refreshed Vision 2030 to include achieving student success, developing our people, extending our impact through growth, expanding our reach through partnership and enhancing our sense of place.

The Dean of Education, Theology and the Arts will be responsible for providing strong academic leadership and innovation for the School, driven by a commitment to teaching and learning, the student experience, partnerships, research and knowledge exchange.

Main duties and responsibilities

Represent and contributing to the University’s mission and ethos in the Faculty, the main responsibilities of the role are as follows. Please note that this is, however, not a complete list.

Achieving student success

  • Lead, develop and co-ordinate teaching and learning in the Faculty across all the disciplines covered.
  • Working with Heads of School, take overall responsibility for student lifecycle processes from student recruitment through retention, progression and graduate outcomes. This includes associated activities in relation to enrolment, assessments and examinations, module selections, timetabling and technology enhanced learning.

Developing our people

  • Lead, manage, develop and motivate staff in the Faculty to create a culture of academic excellence, collegial working, inclusiveness and respect.
  • Managing and developing the staff in the Faculty, including recruiting and selecting staff within policy guidelines, and career development in accordance with institutional and Faculty policies and procedures.
  • Supporting Heads of Schools in the Faculty, increasing accountability for discharge of their relevant areas of responsibility.
  • Manage the Faculty’s core budget and further non-core income-generating activities.
  • Working with colleagues across the University to develop and manage the efficient allocation of resource for the Faculty in line with the University wide framework, leading to policies which will include recruitment, training and development and career development of staff.

Extending our impact through growth

  • Providing strategic leadership in the development and operation of the Faculty, working with other members of the Senior Leadership Team to promote the University’s Strategic Vision.
  • Promoting the Faculty externally.
  • Acting as an advocate for the Faculty and ensuring its views are represented at relevant Committees in the University.
  • Ensure systems and processes are in place to successfully meet the Ofsted Inspection and ongoing delivery framework, to ensure ongoing accreditation
  • Actively foster and develop new international relationships.
  • Develop initiatives and new agendas to recruit students to agreed target numbers to current and new programmes.
  • Actively promote by personal example a research culture in the Faculty, including in relation to interdisciplinary research, among the disciplines within the Faculty and others outside it.
  • Ensure compliance with quality assurance and enhancement procedures for all taught and research student programmes within the Faculty.

Expanding our reach through partnership

  • Fostering and facilitating the development of an innovative portfolio of programmes ensuring that the Faculty explore new markets and responds to them. This includes working with other faculties at St Mary’s to promote an ethos of cross-disciplinary developments.
  • Develop a range of strategic partnerships and relationships with schools and consortia of schools, professional organisations and the range of stakeholders involved in teacher education, including policy makers, regulators and relevant funding bodies.
  • Build effective working relationships with leading academics, practitioners, employers and industries relevant to the Faculty’s activities in order to promote and enhance the work of the Faculty in teaching, research and knowledge exchange.
  • Facilitating Faculty-level enterprise activities, including the development of commercial opportunities to develop both research programmes and exploitation of intellectual property, as well as externally funded projects in conjunction with the Director of Research.
  • Work with alumni to further the interests of the Faculty.
  • Facilitating Faculty-level alumni and development activities in conjunction with the Director of the Alumni and Development Office

Enhancing our sense of place

  • Take responsibility for the Health and Safety aspects of all Staff and Students in the Faculty.

Other responsibilities

  • Charing Faculty and University level Committees as required.
  • To deputise for the Provost as required.
  • Other ad-hoc duties as required.
    Deans will be expected to pursue actively their own personal and professional development, in consultation with the Provost and Chief Academic Officer.


All of the following criteria are essential unless otherwise stated.

Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Graduate with Doctoral level academic qualifications in an area covered by the Faculty. (Desirable)
  • Specialist subject expertise and working knowledge in a relevant discipline.
  • A proven competency in teaching in a relevant discipline and strong teaching record in Higher Education.
  • Knowledge and experience of learning and teaching initiatives nationally. (Desirable)
  • Leadership and management skills.
  • Personal research record.
  • Record of involvement in partnership working with non-academic organisations to produce demonstrable economic, public policy or quality of life benefits. (Desirable)
  • Experience in policy writing and strategic thinking.

Skills and Abilities

  • Leadership: ability to establish principles and set direction and motivate colleagues.
  • Interpersonal skills: ability to relate to others with tact and diplomacy.
  • Analytical and creative thinking: ability to conceptualise and analyse problems and to synthesise complex sets of information and ideas.
  • Collaboration: ability to work with senior colleagues within agreed framework.
  • Communication: ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Planning and organisation: workload and financial planning and monitoring, and ability to assess and implement priorities.
  • Highly developed negotiating and influencing skills.
  • Facilitate change and achieve conflict resolution (in collaboration with relevant Senior Staff as appropriate).

University Policies and Procedures

All staff are expected to undertake their work in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful manner, particular consideration should be given to the University values.

St Mary’s University reserves the right to change and amend this Job description/Person Specification in accordance with the changing requirements of the organisation.

Terms of appointment

The salary is dependent on experience and will be negotiated with the preferred candidate.

Holiday entitlement is 35 days annual leave, plus public holidays and University closure days between Christmas and New Year.

The successful candidate will be eligible to join the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

St Mary’s offer a range of additional benefits including the Cycle2Work scheme, season ticket loan and on-site gym and sports facilities at a discounted rate.

More information on employee benefits can be found at

We promote applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of background, belief or identity, recognising the benefits that a diverse organisation can bring and particularly encourage applications from groups which are underrepresented in the University workforce.

We recognise the benefits and importance of an environment that supports flexible working and are open to conversations about this throughout the application process.

How to apply

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

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 28th April 2023.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) outlining how you meet the essential experience criteria of the person specification.
  • 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.

Should you wish to discuss the role(s) in strict confidence, please contact Elliott Rae on +44 (0)7584 078 534 or or Gemma Heron on +44 (0)7769 174 197 or


Closing date 28th April
Preliminary interviews early-mid May
Final interviews 30th and 31st May