Head of School, Creative Industries

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The Open University
Milton Keynes
Closing date:
Monday 9th October
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing Date
Monday 9th October
Long Listing
w/c 30th October
Preliminary Interviews
Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd November, Friday 3rd November
Short Listing
w/c 13th November
w/c 13th and w/c 20th November
Final Panel
w/c 4th December

Associated documents


Be surprising and inspiring. Be so much more.

The Open University was established by Royal Charter in 1969 with the mission to be ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’. It is a national university, working in all four nations of the UK as well as globally, teaching over 200,000 students, employing around 11,000 people across a range of academic, associate lecturer and professional services roles. Pioneering higher education by distance learning, over 2 million people have studied with The Open University, predominantly part-time and often while in paid work.

As part of a major strategic investment, we will be launching our new School of Creative Industries in 2024, completing the acquisition of The Open College of the Arts (OCA), expanding our curriculum offer, and growing student numbers initially in the area of Film & Media. There is therefore an incredibly exciting opportunity to join The Open University as the first Head of School of Creative Industries. 

As Head of School, you will lead a growing academic team and deliver inspirational leadership and clear strategic direction. In the first instance, you will focus on recruiting members of academic staff, establishing the school management team, embedding effective ways of working and school culture, and oversee the development and delivery of the new curriculum. You will also lead on the relationship between the School and the OCA, exploring opportunities for further collaboration, and developing external partnerships.

You will exercise significant responsibility on behalf of the Executive Dean of the Faculty to lead and advise on strategic development and enhancement of the School’s work across curriculum, research, teaching and learning, knowledge exchange and impact, and third-sector engagement, which aligns with the faculty and university strategy. As such, the role offers significant opportunities to lead the success and shape the direction of the School.

You must be enthusiastic about our unique mission, and about working in teams to produce a wide range of teaching suitable for distance learning. We are looking for a colleague who can write in a lively and engaging style, has the interest and potential to develop innovative distance learning materials, and is enthusiastic about offering a broad range of teaching. While it is expected that you will use your research expertise to develop and expand our current curriculum and explore opportunities for new areas of study in the Creative Industries e.g. Gaming, eSports, Graphic Design, etc., you must also have the potential and willingness to lead and contribute as appropriate to modules outside your specialism.

To be successful, you must be able to work in partnership with other senior colleagues and engage staff within the School; ensuring an effective dialogue between the School, Faculty and University. You will work collaboratively to deliver the Faculty’s strategic aims through the development and implementation of business plans which contribute to faculty and institutional success.

We welcome applications from those with teaching and research experience in the Creative Industries, particularly in Film & Media, who can demonstrate both an understanding of the vocational needs of students looking to enter the creative industries and an awareness of how university teaching can support their aspirations. Experience of working with industry and institutional partners and leading large-scale partnerships would be desirable.

We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. Therefore, we are particularly keen to receive applications from candidates with protected characteristics.

If you have vision, passion, creativity and determination to make a difference, we want to hear from you. This is a key appointment for us, and it will be for you – so we will invest time with candidates to get to know you and to give you the chance to get to know us.

If you need further clarifications, please contact our advisors: Jacqueline Lau, Maliha Ahmed, Hilda Gjika or Julia Roberts at HoSCI@gatenbysanderson.com

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How to Apply

To apply please submit:

  • A CV that has been drafted to outline the strategic leadership experience tailored for The OU
  • A three-page supporting statement that outlines:

1. Your motivation to apply for the Head of School – Creative Industries

2. Evidence of how you have provided strategic leadership for a large portfolio within an institution to drive excellence in teaching, learning, student experience and research & innovation in line with the institutional ambitions.

3. What do you perceive the opportunities to be within the School and how you will optimise these to drive the highest standards of excellence in all areas including teaching, learning, student experience, research and innovation.


  • A three-minute video recording where you address the following question: 'Why should I be the Head of School, Creative Industries in FASS?' - you will be sent a link via email to submit your video 24 hours after you have submitted your CV and supporting statement.
Continue to full details and application