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Job Description 

The role of Dean is an administrative and managerial one. No teaching is involved. Deans are responsible for overseeing the running of a number of departments within their faculty. They will manage recruitment and also implement policies that ensure parity across the faculty. They will also be concerned with furthering the university’s strategic vision. The job might involve research activities including presenting research findings at conferences worldwide. They may also be involved in initiatives working with other public sector bodies and the private sector. Deans will be expected to take part in the strategic planning and decision making for their faculty.


  • Liaising with heads of department and administration teams to ensure smooth running of the teaching programmes
  • Attending planning meetings to ensure cross departmental parity
  • Directing the faculty’s research programmes
  • Reporting to senior management
  • Hiring within the faculty

Salary and Conditions

Starting salary is achieved by negotiation with the employer. In some institutions (especially in the US) the figure can rise to over £100,000. 

Most Deanships are permanent, full-time positions, although part time posts and job shares are occasionally available. Permanent staff can opt into a final salary pension scheme (Teachers Pension Scheme). Sick pay allowance varies from institution to institution but is often more generous than the private sector. Maternity and paternity leave also vary from institution to institution. Staff can join the University and College Union.

Entry Criteria

A PhD is usually required, as is a very good bachelor’s degree: a first or upper second class. Some Deans have a separate masters degree, especially in the humanities fields. Very rarely, a Dean with personal vocational experience will be taken on without a PhD.

Career Path

There are steady annual salary increments in most jobs. Some scholars return to Professorship level for the rest of their career, but most go into senior university management and may take on the role of pro-vice chancellor or even vice chancellor.

Major employers

HE Deans are mostly employed in publicly funded universities or HE colleges. There are many different sorts of these in the UK. Oxford and Cambridge are the most prestigious, followed by research-based institutions such as the Russell Group. The post-1992 group of universities, which used to be Polytechnics, are also large employers of lecturers. There is one private university in the UK, based in Buckingham. Every large town or city in the UK now has its own university.

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