Dean of the School of Health Sciences

Could you be our next Dean of the School of Health Sciences? ...

We are seeking a visionary academic to provide academic and operational leadership for the School of Health Sciences, a Dean who shares our commitment to building on our current achievements, to developing the Schools’ contribution to the University’s strategic objectives for learning and teaching, research and innovation, and partnership and collaboration, and who shares the University’s vision, purpose and values.

QMU's Purpose and Values

We are modern university in our outlook and facilities but with a maturity built on a long history of serving the community, both locally and globally, and enhancing its wellbeing. We are inclusive, helping to create a better society through education, research and innovation, and by providing a supportive and creative learning environment in which students and staff thrive. More about QMU's purpose and values


QMU students and staff relaxing in the university grounds


About QMU

We aim to shape a better world through education, research and innovation. In doing so, we enable individuals and communities to flourish. 

Our person-centred approach to learning makes us stand out from other universities, along with our focus on making society better. Our academic offering also distinguishes us. We dedicate ourselves to subjects where we can provide a distinctive offering - in healthcare; social sciences; creative arts; business; management and enterprise; and primary and secondary teaching.

Outward looking, we have a strong ethos of partnership and collaboration. At our modern campus, we benefit from easy access to the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland's vibrant and historic capital city.

We are pioneers in inclusiveness and we embrace people from all backgrounds.

Find out more about the history of university, along with information about our governance, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, the senior leadership team and our collaborative partners.


The Academic Schools

The School of Health Sciences is one of the two academic schools within the University, the other being the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management. 

Within the School, there are five academic units: The Institute for Global Health & Development; and the Divisions of: Speech & Hearing Sciences; Dietetics, Nutrition, Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Radiography; Nursing & Paramedic Sciences; Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies. There are also four Research Centres: Global Health & Development (REF UoA2), Health, Activity & Rehabilitation, Person Centred Practice (REF UoA3); and Clinical Audiology, Speech & Language (REF UoA26).  The School also houses the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation, and a team of researchers from the cross sector cross sector National Autistic Implementation partnership (NAIT).

The School offers the broadest range of allied health profession pre-registration education in Scotland, at both undergraduate (BSc and Integrated Masters), and post graduate (MSc pre-registration) level, alongside undergraduate programmes in Nutrition, Food Science and Sports Therapy.  Post-graduate education is delivered through three education frameworks: Person Centred Practice, Global Health, and Advancing Practice. With post qualification teaching in specialist British Sign Language. Doctoral education is offered by either a PhD or a Prof Doctorate route, alongside Master level Research studies as an MRes and MPhil, these pathways are being reviewed in AY 22/23.  Four fully online postgraduate programmes in Nursing, Public Health, Global Health and Health Care Management, are due to be launched in spring 2023.

All pre-registration programmes are validated and approved by the relevant Professional Bodies and the HCPC or the NMC, or equivalent registration bodies.

The School offers programmes to around 6,500 students, almost 2/3rds of the University’s total student population, both at the campus in Edinburgh and through its collaborative partners across the NHS in Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, colleges in Edinburgh and Glasgow, ‘With Kids’, and internationally in Egypt and Greece.

QMU Health Science student using equipment

The Role

Dean of the School of Health Sciences

School: Health Sciences Schools and Divisions
Responsible to: Deputy Principal

Contract Basis: Permanent
Hours: Full Time
Location: Edinburgh (Musselburgh Campus)

Salary/Grade: Senior Management Scale £79,424 - £92,074
Closing Date: 27th January 2023
Interviews: 24th February 2023


About the Role

As the Dean of School you will shape the future of the Health Sciences School and provide guidance and support for the learning and teaching, research, knowledge exchange and innovation activities of its Divisions.  This will include positioning the School such that it can take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented by the development of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal funded Innovation Hub adjacent to the University, due to open in the summer of 2025.

You will be part of the University’s senior management team and play a pivotal role in the development and operation of the strategic direction and performance of the School and its contributions to the University. You will lead the development of the School’s educational and research portfolio, promote and develop our academic partnerships and collaborations, and support the maintenance and improvement of our academic standards.

A critical part of your role will be to ensure the highest quality student experience with successful student progression and retention whilst supporting, motivating and developing a large team of dedicated and talented staff members at varying stages of their careers.

The Dean of School has overall responsibility for the School’s successful direction, operation and management, is line manager of the Director of IGHD and the Heads of Division and reports directly to the Deputy Principal. The Dean convenes the School Executive Board and the School Academic Board.

The School Executive Board is the strategic decision making board for the School and the membership includes: the Director of IGHD, all Heads of Division, School lead for Research, the International Collaborations Adviser, the Lead for Practice Based Learning, and the School Manager.  The School Academic Board, which reports to the Senate, is the senior academic board for the School with an oversight of research, teaching and learning governance, quality assurance and enhancement, and the student experience.           

The Dean is a member of the University Senate, and an observer to the University Court as well as externally of the Council of Deans of Health Scotland and UK, and represents the University on a broad range of Government and NES lead health committees and initiatives.

There are over 200 academic staff within the School, and 14 academic support and technical staff. The Dean of School is supported by a dedicated Executive Assistant.


Key Responsibilities

To provide academic and operational leadership of the School, implementing University strategy and developing an operational plan for the range of activities within the School.

To be accountable for guiding and directing colleagues towards achieving improvement in the quality of learning and teaching in the School, the development of the academic portfolio, and for effective resource management.

To work constructively with the Research Centre Directors and the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit to achieve the enhancement of the research, knowledge exchange, innovation activity within the School.

To contribute, as part of the Senior Leadership Team, to the planning and development of the strategic direction of the University, and to undertake specific corporate responsibilities as allocated in addition to the management of the School.

To facilitate and oversee productive collaborations with academic and commercial partners of the School in the UK and abroad.

To represent the University at key external meetings and groups involving health education to seek an appropriate workforce for current and health and social care delivery. 

NB: Deans often take on a corporate role for the University and candidates with experience and/or potential to lead on themes of strategic importance for the University should outline in their application how they could contribute. 

Key Result Areas

Lead the development and implementation of all aspects of learning, teaching and research across the School, identifying and introducing appropriate innovations and improvements in practice to enhance programme relevance, quality and reputational gain.

Plan and organise for relevant, achievable growth of the School, involving staff in the preparation of the School’s operational plan and through shared understanding of objectives and measures of success.

Allocate and manage resources within the School in accordance with budgets and targets, reviewing and correcting variances wherever possible and engaging with colleagues in the School and support services to ensure delivery of the planned results and outcomes.

Line manage the School’s Heads of Division, liaise with the School Manager, and support Research Centre directors and senior staff undertaking any School wide lead roles.

Promote the development of academic partnerships and collaborations (both national and international) designed to deliver quality and relevance to students, external stakeholders and the community, and oversee the performance of those already established.

Ensure that the School works in collaboration with the other School as appropriate, particularly with regard to interdisciplinary postgraduate programmes, research and knowledge exchange.

Champion the maintenance and improvement of academic and professional standards in the academic programmes of the School, as well as the quality of the student experience, student progression and retention.

Undertake additional corporate responsibilities as allocated by the Principal and / or Deputy Principal, organising and delivering the necessary outcomes.

Develop staff capacity and capability within the School through identifying and supporting colleagues’ personal development requirements aligned with the operational objectives of the School and the strategic direction of the University.

Ensure operational compliance with and the implementation of University Policies and Procedures within the Dean’s specific areas of accountability, with due regard to the application of Equal Opportunities responsibilities.

Ensure that QMU is represented in Scottish Government discussions on future workforce, education delivery, and helps the University to maintain its good working relationship with all and many external stakeholders.

Collage of QMU staff member photographs

About You

You will be an accomplished academic with a successful track record in the organisation and management of teaching and learning in a higher education setting. You will have a solid reputation for research and/or knowledge exchange and innovation, and a proven ability to lead and manage change.

As a respected and trusted line manager you will use your expert communication skills, energy and inclusive approach to act as a dynamic advocate for the University in the pursuit and achievement of our organisational objectives.

Person Specification - Essential

  • Accomplished senior academic, educated to doctorate level in a relevant discipline
  • Recognised leader, securing trust and respect of colleagues, staff, students and stakeholders in the pursuit and achievement of organisational objectives.
  • Successful track record in leading and managing academic teams in the pursuit and achievement of organisational objectives in teaching and learning in higher education, and in leading the enhancement of the student experience at departmental level or above.
  • A national/ International reputation for research and/or knowledge exchange and innovation, including a significant publication profile in a relevant discipline.
  • Successful track record of positively influencing key
    performance indicators in relation to student recruitment, teaching and learning, and research.
  • Evidence of achievement in developing collaborative and/or commercial partnerships, and in managing and delivering benefits to an institution from those partnerships.
  • Well developed, practical competence in resource management.
  • Ability to act as a persuasive and dynamic advocate for the University.
  • Proactive problem solver, highly competent communicator and negotiator.

Person Specification - Desirable

  • Member of the HEA Academy, ideally at Senior or Principal Fellow level.
  • Professorial registration with the HCPC or NMC (current or previously held).
  • Resilient under pressure and able to identify and communicate priorities to others when required.
  • Prior participation in recognised management and leadership development programmes.
  • Research active. Successful track record in developing research and/or KE proposals and securing grant funding, and in managing and administering funded research and/or KE projects.
  • Evidence of leading significant change programmes in the pursuit of improved KPIs.
  • Willingness to travel nationally and internationally to represent the University in developing new and ongoing partnership and for Graduations.
  • Experience in management of financial budget
  • Intellectually energetic, enthusiastic supporter, innovative.
  • Consultative, engaging and inclusive approach.

QMU logo in blue against a white background

What we Offer

We pride ourselves on providing a working environment where staff can flourish and thrive as part of our QMU community. Alongside an attractive salary, there are a number of benefits that we provide to our people.

We know that work/life balance is important so we are open to considering Flexible Working options.

Where you’ll work:

Your contractual place of work will be our QMU Campus in Musselburgh.  The University is currently adopting hybrid working. We anticipate that a substantial element of the role will require a presence on campus. However, there will be scope for an element of remote working, finding a balance that works for the University and for you.

We invest in your professional development, including through access to AdvanceHE Strategic Leadership programmes and HE sector mentoring through access to TRAMS.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

One of the values at the heart of our strategic plan is our commitment to social justice and equality, diversity and inclusion.

We are committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated, we can all be ourselves and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of sex, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital or transgender status, pregnancy/maternity or age.

As set out in our Equality and Diversity statements, all staff and students have rights and responsibilities in relation to the promotion of equality, which is central to our staff development activities.

We are fully committed to both meeting and exceeding our obligations under current equalities legislation. Specialist staff networks, regular communications and events are just some of the ways in which we keep our community connected and engaged with diversity issues. We are proud of our Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing Calendar.

We have a genuine commitment to equality of opportunity for our staff and students, and we strive to employ a workforce that reflects the communities we serve.

We particularly encourage applications from people from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University.  Our staffing profile is 70% female and we strive to reflect this in our senior management roles. We would therefore also particularly encourage applications from female applicants.

"We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award which recognises the advancement of gender equality at QMU"

How to Apply

To apply please send your CV and covering letter detailing how you meet the criteria for the role to

Following the shortlisting of applicants, the selection process will consist of a one stage interview comprising a presentation and Q&A to a small panel of senior staff. The panel will include one external panel member.

The closing date for applications is 27th January 2023 with interviews planned for 24th February 2023.

For any queries you may have about the post, please contact:  

Professor Richard Butt, Deputy Principal

Human Resources Enquiries

The recruitment process is managed by the QMU HR team.

For any recruitment and selection process enquiries, please contact us.

Show Contacts

Human Resources Enquiries

Human Resources Team 0131 474 0000