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Academic Head of Sunderland Online

Teaching & Learning - Educational Partnerships

Location:  Sunderland Campus
Salary:  £55,141 to £63,057 per annum
By annual incremental progression
Hours per Week:  37
Closing Date:  Friday 16 June 2023
Interview Date:  Tuesday 04 July 2023
Reference:  0220-23
Further details:    Job Description     Recruitment Brochure    

About us  

Right from our inception, the University of Sunderland has been committed to producing graduates who positively shape society, while reducing the persistent economic and social inequalities facing communities, not only at our University campuses (in Sunderland, London and Hong Kong), but for our Sunderland Online students (in partnership with Higher Ed Partners), our Independent Distance Learning (IDL) students, and our many students at multiple Transnational Educational (TNE) partners around the world. 

It is this twin purpose that has earned Sunderland its reputation as a “life- changing” university and a truly global institution. 

We're proud to be a top 50 UK university (Guardian University Guide 2023), with top-quality facilities, inclusive culture and our vibrant, ever-changing city. 

About the role 

The role of Academic Head of Sunderland Online is new to the University. It has been created to oversee the delivery of the University’s strategic ambitions for learning and teaching through excellent student experience in online education. Specifically providing strategic leadership in the development of learning, teaching and assessment for students studying our Sunderland Online and IDL programmes, leading on relevant strategic and operational initiatives designed to improve student outcomes, including retention, attainment and progression to employment. 

Our Sunderland Online and IDL provision is extensive and growing. It is an exciting point in our journey, and we are seeking an Academic Head who will enhance our provision and provide strategic leadership to ensure an excellent student experience and student outcomes. 

Working as part of the wider Learning and Teaching service area led by the Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), and reporting to the Academic Director for Educational Partnerships, you will have the opportunity to lead in a university-wide role, making a major contribution to ensuring an excellent student experience and student outcomes.

What you can bring

You can demonstrate a record of successful academic leadership in a large/complex organisation, as well as a background in the design and delivery of effective online programmes of study. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, presentation, oral) will be required, including the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.

What we can offer you

  • Generous annual leave entitlement (31 annual leave days + 5 local closure days over Christmas break + 8 Bank Holidays)
  • An attractive Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Our Benefits Platform – with online discounts at hundreds of retailers every day. Sign up to schemes that allow you to buy a new car, bike or technology at a discount. 
  • You can also access Private medical insurance, health cash plans and advice and guidance on financial wellbeing. 
  • An on-site nursery catering for children from birth to school age, which is open throughout the year.
  • Discounted membership for CitySpace Fitness – the University’s iconic facility for sports and social activity.
  • Access to support staff networks, events and much more.

Equality, diversity & inclusion 

The University of Sunderland prides itself on its inclusive and supportive culture. We were recently named University of the Year for Social Inclusion (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).

 Our work on equality, diversity, inclusivity and social responsibility has never been more important. We believe inclusivity is an essential value at the heart of what we do, and we want all our staff to be part of that journey with us.

The recruitment process 

The closing date for applications is 16 June 2023.

We do encourage and support informal discussions regarding the role. Please contact Dr Helen Driscoll, Academic Director for Educational Partnerships at:

You can read more about the role and the University of Sunderland in our dedicated recruitment brochure attached.

Email details to a friend

The University of Sunderland has been awarded the Time/ Sunday Times University of the Year for Social Inclusion for 2021, follow the link below to see why!

An Inclusive Place to Work - University of Sunderland - YouTube

The University of Sunderland is proud to be an equal opportunities employer, treating all applicants equally and ensuring recruitment is based on merit. However we particularly welcome applications from the following groups as they are underrepresented within the University of Sunderland at this level/in this area: Women, LGBT+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants, as well as candidates with disabilities, whether hidden or otherwise. In addition, we are ‘happy to talk flexible working’.

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