Head of Marketing and Communications - External Relations

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
£42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587
Closing date
Jul 2, 2022

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Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Communication and Media Studies, Pharmaceutical, Sales
Full Time
Organization Type
University and College
Jobseeker Type
Academic (e.g. 'Lecturer')
Position Details

External Relations

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587

Grade 8

Full Time / Permanent

Closing date: 7th July, 2022

Interview dates are as followed:

Round 1 - 14th July, 2022

Round 2 - 20th July, 2022

Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university.  We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential.  With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate.  We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working.  In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site.  On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.

Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham.

Role Summary

We are now recruiting for a Head of Marketing and Communications based in one of our five Colleges.

This post provides a vital strategic link between the College and the External Relations division. The successful candidate will play an important role in developing and implementing the overarching marketing and communications strategy for the College, working in partnership with the Head of College and their senior team and the External Relations division. Reporting to the Director of Communications and Reputation in External Relations and leading a team , they will support the College in recruiting the highest calibre undergraduate and postgraduate students and raising the profile of the College and its world class research with a particular focus on sustainability and wellbeing. They will be an integral part of the College team, helping realise the ambition in both education and research. They will also be a key member of both the College and the External Relations Leadership Team.

The University comprises five Colleges (Life and Environmental Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Medicine and Dental Sciences, Arts and Humanities), each with a number of Schools and Departments as a well as a number of Research Centres and Institutes.

This post will initially be based within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, which is dedicated to exploring the diversity and evolutionary challenges of life in all its forms. Across the breadth of life and environmental sciences, we discover, apply and translate science, forging major advances in human and environmental health. The College is comprised of four Schools: Biosciences; Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences; and Psychology.

External Relations is the division responsible for delivering the University of Birmingham to the world and prides itself in seizing opportunities that will enhance the profile and reputation of the University. We communicate with many different audiences in order to build purposeful relationships internally, locally, nationally and internationally. We enable those who wish to apply to study on undergraduate and postgraduate courses to make informed choices. We support our academics to deliver impact and raise awareness of their research and promote their world-changing research to the world through PR, media, social media and marketing campaigns.

An experienced marketing and communications professional, you will have experience of managing teams and delivering successful activities to meet specified targets. This combined with your experience of engaging stakeholders at all levels will be the key to success for you and your team.

Main Duties

1. Strategy, planning and line management responsibilities

Strategic management of all College marketing, communications, student recruitment and conversion activities as appropriate. Leadership and line management of staff within the functional team, in partnership with the Director of Operations. The post holder will be responsible for leading, planning and developing marketing and communications strategies for the College, that is in line with the University's strategy and wider University Strategic Framework, but that also reflects the needs of the individual College.

This will include reviewing and improving existing College plans and activities on an ongoing basis, particularly in relation to fluctuations in the undergraduate and postgraduate markets during the recruitment cycle and in line with the development of the College research strategy. They will need to demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the full range of marketing and communications specialisms, including both above and below the line, digital channels, and research and evaluation.

The post holder will act as the main point of contact between the College and the wider External Relations Division. They will attend College Board and ensure that the College is kept aware of relevant activities and plans within External Relations, and simultaneously to keep appropriate teams within the section up-to-date on College developments, including research successes, opportunities for press coverage, etc.

2. Student Recruitment and marketing activity

The post holder will lead on student recruitment and marketing for the College, working in partnership with College Board and individual schools and departments. This will include undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, UK and international students, and programmes taught on campus in Birmingham, in Dubai, by distance learning and programmes taught overseas.

They will develop and deliver strategies to attract and convert students, working in partnership with the Director of Student Recruitment and Marketing and their wider team. This will incorporate a range of tactics, including advertising, events web and CRM.

They will play an active role in monitoring and responding to data throughout the recruitment cycle - working with colleagues in External Relations and the College to highlight risks and develop plans to mitigate those risks. In conjunction with colleagues in External Relations, the post holder will identify new market opportunities, or threats for the College, at all levels of study. The post may involve some travel both across the UK and overseas.

3. Market analysis and portfolio development

The post holder will take a lead role in undertaking market research to make recommendations on new market opportunities and declining markets to inform portfolio development in all areas of activity. They will work in close collaboration with the Head of Market Insight and Director of Student Recruitment and Marketing in new areas of portfolio development.

This will include continuous market scanning to identify possible new markets and opportunities and undertaking market research for the development of new programmes and streams of activity, or the discontinuation of old ones. Working with the Director of Education in the College and a range of colleagues across Professional Services, they will explore current patterns of provision, including methods and patterns of delivery, curriculum content, fees, take up trends, and direction of markets and innovation for each areaThis may also involve commissioning market research with external providers and project managing these relationships.

4. Reputation, profile and brand

Working closely with the Head of College and Director of Research, the postholder will be responsible for managing the development of the profile and reputation of the College, its research and individual schools in the UK and internationally. In particular, they will focus on the areas of key strategic importance and will work with the Director of Communications and Reputation and other colleagues to develop a College communications strategy, and support relationships with policy makers and other key stakeholders, via mechanisms such a policy commissions, events, etc.

The post holder will ensure that all College marketing and communications are consistent with the University's brand guidelines and standards. They will act as a brand champion for the University, maintaining quality standards across all content, social/web, print and promotional activity.

The Head of Marketing and Communications will have overall responsibility for high profile events, ensuring that they are run to a high standard and that they are in line with the strategic priorities of the College.

The post holder will develop advertising plans and campaigns (paid and organic) for the College and advise staff on the merits of advertising opportunities as they arise.

5. Responsibilities within the External Relations division

The post holder will be responsible for managing and implementing University-wide projects, as identified with the Director of Communications and Reputation. They could include projects such as integrated marketing and communications reputational campaigns, projects to enhance marketing, recruitment and admissions activities, and organising key cross-University events.

They will be a key member of a wider External Relations Leadership Team, working on broader initiatives focused on people and culture, wellbeing, learning and development and sustainability. They will work closely with the Heads of Marketing and Communications for the other four University Colleges to identify and share best practice, and look for opportunities for synergies across College activities.

The postholder will be expected to share responsibility with the Director of Communications and other senior managers for promoting the activity of the External Relations division to the internal market - to ensure lines of communication both in and out of the division are clear.

To further deputise for the Director of Communications and Reputation as required.

6. Leadership and line management

The postholder will manage a team of diverse professionals within the College, including recruiting and developing staff. They will encourage and co-ordinate best practice across the College by providing support to staff through training, presentations, workshops and personal advice. Working with colleagues in other central services to identify models of best practice for use in staff training exercises to raise general marketing and communications expertise within the College and University, as required.

They will be responsible for ensuring that strategies and plans are in place and that outcomes are measured and evaluated.

The post holder will co-ordinate the budgets associated with College marketing and communications activities, including all advertising, marketing, events and publications spend. They will be responsible for ensuring that spend is tracked and deployed to ensure the most effective return on investment.

Represent the University to outside bodies as appropriate, initiate and maintain good strategic relationships with outside organisations and initiate appropriate collaborative projects with these partners.

Person Specification
  • Educated to degree level
  • Substantial previous experience in a related role
  • High standards of written and oral communication
  • Experience of developing and delivering integrated marketing and communications campaigns
  • Experience of overseeing digital channels and delivering communications via CRM
  • Previous experience of delivering personalisation and segmentation through communications strategies would be advantageous
  • Experience of managing the delivery of large-scale events
  • Ability to work with and interpret data in order to inform decision making and future campaign activity
  • Copywriting/content development skills
  • Experience of managing teams
  • Ability to build effective working relationships with a variety of stakeholders including members of the College and University Board.
  • Ability to work under their own initiative, to take decisions and think strategically and creatively
  • Abilities to lead, motivate and negotiate as well as work as an effective team member
  • Creative and innovative approach to problem solving
  • Experience of and/or commitment to the Higher Education sector

Informal enquires to Jo Kite - j.r.kite@bham.ac.uk

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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