Pro-Vice Chancellor for:

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Our Vision & Strategy

The Vision for Queen’s is to be a world class international university that supports outstanding students and staff, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge education and research, focused on the needs of society.

QUB - Shaping a better world

Our Vision is shaped by a number of principles:

  • Developing a culture of integrated, empowered and enabled leadership;
  • Growing in key priority areas, including research, postgraduate and international student numbers;
  • Developing empowered and accountable Faculties;
  • Facilitating and enabling interdisciplinarity and a collaborative approach to delivery;
  • Supporting the Graduate School to continue to grow a strong and vibrant postdoctoral community.
  • Enhancing our positive impact on society;
  • To develop global citizens and address international challenges.

This Vision has been captured within the Corporate Plan for the period 2016 to 2021. A new plan for the five year period following 2021 is currently under development.

The Corporate Plan provides a roadmap for Queen’s to deliver the ambition articulated in the Vision. The Plan is underpinned by the University’s Core Values (Integrity, Connected, Ambition, Respect, Excellence) and focuses on three strategic priority areas:

Education and Students

Queen’s will deliver high quality leading edge education, through world class staff, focused on the needs of society. We will provide an educational experience that is research-led and enriches our students intellectually, socially and culturally. We will develop our students to be confident, resilient, creative, critical thinkers and problem solvers, with strong employability skills, prepared for leadership and citizenship in a global society.


Queen’s will be distinguished by its academic strengths and recognised globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit it delivers through its research. To achieve this, we will work to create an inspiring research environment for our students and staff that nurtures talent and rewards outstanding leadership and excellence.

Innovation and Impact

Queen’s will enhance and expand its impact on wider society – regionally, nationally, and globally – through innovative education and research, and through collaboration with a diverse range of partners.

The Role & Requirements

The University is seeking to appoint a Pro-Vice Chancellor to lead the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. More detailed information on the Faculty is available here.

The role of Pro-Vice Chancellor

This is a senior strategic leadership role across the University. As a member of the University Executive Board, they will also play a major role in developing our new strategy, building on the success of our Corporate Plan which concludes in 2021. As well as providing leadership of the Faculty, they will play a central role in the co-creation of initiatives with other colleagues on the Executive Board, to provide a collaborative and integrated approach to University wide success.

The Pro-Vice Chancellor will be responsible for:
  • Acting as an advocate of the University locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Collaborating with national and international government departments and other external stakeholders to build research and innovation capacity.
  • Developing, managing and maintaining strategic partnerships.
  • Leading and developing international initiatives and reputation.
  • Leadership of their Faculty Executive Board, responsible for planning and prioritising the key activities of their Faculty, demonstrably shaping and supporting the University-wide strategic priorities.
  • Building on existing and seeking to develop new interdisciplinary activities across the Faculty and University.
  • Providing leadership to the senior management team within the Faculty.
  • Providing innovation, direction and effective management of resources to deliver its contribution to the University’s new strategy.
  • Embedding the drive, ambition and capabilities required to excel in teaching and research.
  • Operational and financial management of the Faculty with appropriate prioritisation.
  • Managing performance, recruitment and retention.

The Person

The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor must be a professor who is committed to supporting the development and delivery of the new University strategy. Candidates must be able to demonstrate the following skills, abilities, personal motivation and experience:

  • Experience of successfully leading change in a large, complex organisation.
  • A senior leader with credibility within the academic community and a proven track record of leading and delivering a strategic vision.
  • A strong advocate with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build productive relationships locally, nationally and internationally.
  • International academic standing in a discipline relevant to the Faculty as evidenced by levels of grant income, a sustained high quality publication record and PhD supervision.
  • Proven track record of the successful management of financial, human and physical resources.
  • Experience in, and a passion for, delivering high quality research and teaching by setting challenging academic standards.

Job Specification

Click here to download a detailed job specification for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

University Overview

The successful candidate will join a globally connected University that is committed to bringing together world-leading researchers and students to tackle some of the biggest global challenges of our generation.

The University was established in 1845 as part of the federal Queen’s University of Ireland with Colleges in Belfast, Galway and Cork, and was awarded independent degree awarding powers in 1908 when it became a university in its own right. It is one of the oldest universities in the UK: only nine can claim longer lineage. It has a rich and distinguished heritage and holds a special place in the history of education, research and innovation.

Our Economic Impact

Today, Queen’s is a dynamic and diverse institution with over 700 international staff and 3,000 international students from over 88 different countries. We have over 169,000 alumni in more than 130 countries. Our graduates are role models at home and ambassadors for Northern Ireland abroad. Among our alumni we number two Nobel laureates – the politician David Trimble and the late poet, Seamus Heaney, both of whom served as members of staff. We are also proud of our Queen’s graduate John Stewart Bell, widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century.

Global networks are critical to the future success of the University and Queen’s collaborates with many partners across international borders. Amongst its dynamic partnerships are academic links with leading institutions in China, India, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and the Americas.

Recent Achievements

Queen’s University Belfast is placed at 173 in the QS World University Rankings 2020
8th in the UK for Research Intensity
(Times Higher Education, based on REF 2014 results)
14 of the individual areas of research assessed were ranked in the Top 20 in the UK
(REF 2014)
Over 75% of Queen’s research activity was judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading
(REF 2014)
7 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, the latest in 2019 for Shared Education
One of only 18 universities in the UK to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Institutional Award
Awarded Northern Ireland’s first Regius Professorship in 2016
96% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation
(HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2016-17)
No. 1 in the UK for research commercialisation
(Octopus Ventures Entrepreneurial Impact Ranking 2019)
13 Queen’s subjects in the UK top 10
(Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
Ranked 22nd in the world for International Outlook
(Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020)
Contribute £1.9 billion to the UK economy
(London Economics Report)

Investing in Excellence

Financial sustainability underpins the work of the University as it moves forward with the implementation of its Corporate Plan. Queen’s had a successful year in 2018-19 with an operational surplus generated of £8.8m and total net assets at 31 July 2019 of £527.5m.

Financial Highlights 2018-19

Effective governance and strong financial performance is critical to the success of Queen’s and we are well positioned to meet the challenges facing the sector. Our primary financial objective is to generate surpluses sufficient to sustain our ongoing activities and to maintain the necessary investment in our estate and associated infrastructure. We have a successful track record in delivering against this objective, with a broad range of income streams from public and private sources. The University continues to invest in its staff, students and infrastructure through Vision 2020.

Faculties & Directorates

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

The Faculty is a dynamic community of internationally acclaimed researchers, scholars and committed students made up of some 10,500 students and over 700 staff, of which 430 are in established academic posts.

The Faculty’s five Schools – Arts, English and Languages; History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics; Law; Queen’s Management School and Social Sciences, Education and Social Work – are located in an attractive and well-connected estate. Some of the Faculty’s world class facilities include a new Law School; the world’s only Sonic Arts Research Laboratory; the Brian Friel Theatre, a purpose-built black-box theatre and the Seamus Heaney Centre, all of which support excellence in creative practice and learning. In addition, the Queen’s Management School and William J Clinton Leadership Institute, housed in the state-of-the-art Riddel Hall, has plans for a new purpose built postgraduate teaching facility due for completion in 2022 to accommodate the School’s growing success.

Faculty of AHSS

The Faculty’s commitment to excellent teaching is reflected in consistently strong NSS results – for example, in NSS 2019, 10 of 19 subjects reported met or exceed the institution’s overall satisfaction rate of 83%. Of course, a commitment to an outstanding student experience also demands continual improvements. Colleagues are developing a rich mix of single, joint and major/minor undergraduate programmes, new postgraduate programmes, such as the MRes, the LLM in Law and Technology and and the MSc in Business Analytics, as well as interdisciplinary programmes in Liberal Arts and PPE, all of which offer students greater flexibility, improved employability prospects and better access to research innovation. Also housed within the Faculty is the Institute of Professional Legal Studies which provides an internationally recognised and unique one-year postgraduate course for trainee barristers and trainee solicitors.

Research in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is integral to the University’s overall vision and mission to deliver work with reach and significance. Of the 12 Units of Assessment submitted to REF 2014 from AHSS, 10 were ranked in the top quartile for research intensity for their field, with 92% of the Faculty submission rated as world leading or internationally excellent: specifically, Modern Languages was third and Education was fourth in the UK for research intensity.

The Faculty’s research income compares favourably with its Russell Group comparators, and in 2016-17, Queen’s was the number one AHRC-funded university, receiving £4.11m across 12 awards with an overall success rate of 40%. Alongside a commitment to disciplinary excellence, the Global Research Institute – the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice – and the Pioneer Research Project - the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation – are central to plans for large-scale, interdisciplinary research that tackles global societal challenges. The impact of the work of the Faculty is far reaching, with the Centre for Shared Education receiving royal recognition this year with the award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its economic, social and educational benefits to children, schools and society by cross-denominational school collaboration. The Faculty is taking a leading role in the development of the Creative Industries in Northern Ireland, particularly in relation to Future Screens in collaboration with Ulster University and in the development of the Screen and Media Innovation Lab, as part of the Belfast Region City Deal.

Growing the new generation of arts, humanities and social sciences researchers, the University is partner in two UKRI funded training partnerships: the AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership and the ESRC NINE (Northern Ireland and Northern England) Doctoral Training Partnership, working with the Universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland, Teeside and Ulster.

The Faculty has a range of recruitment partnerships and articulation arrangements with leading universities and colleges in China, India and South-East Asia. It has an extensive network of student exchanges and study abroad schemes with particular strength in the US. It also has research collaborations with universities across the world including the University of Sao Paulo and the University of Notre Dame.

In order to establish our Vision 2020 aims, a £3.1m investment in staff has been focused on enhancing leadership and growing capacity in some of our key subjects to achieve our 2020 goals of: increasing research income from £5.4m to £8.8m; increasing postgraduate student numbers from 1,750 to 2,750; and, increasing international student numbers from 750 to 1,750.

Committed to being a great place to work and learn, the Faculty holds six Athena SWAN Bronze Awards, a standout achievement for these disciplines and one that contributes significantly to a wider institutional commitment to equality and diversity.

See below for list of our other faculties and directorates:

  1. Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  2. Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
  3. Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
  1. Academic & Student Affairs
  2. Development & Alumni Relations
  3. Estates
  4. Finance
  5. People and Culture
  6. Information Services
  7. Research and Enterprise
  8. Student Plus
  9. Marketing, Recruitment, Communications & Internationalisation (MRCI)

Belfast & N.Ireland

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable regional cities. Lonely Planet described Belfast and the Causeway Coast as the number one region in the world to visit in 2018.

Northern Ireland is renowned for its beautiful beaches and coastal scenery. It has a fascinating history and cultural heritage and is known as the country that built the Titanic, has the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and world class golf.

Belfast Skyline

People from all over the world are now making an important contribution to life here – in medicine, business, industry, science, education, sports, music and the arts. Queen’s University is proud to be a driving force in Northern Ireland’s cultural, artistic and economic renaissance, celebrating the innovation and creativity of its people and enhancing its reputation as an international centre of learning.

Belfast, Easy travel

Travelling to and from Northern Ireland is both easy and economical. Most major British cities are within an hour’s flying time from Belfast’s two regional airports, which are both easily accessible from the University. These airports provide flights from many locations in the UK and mainland Europe as well as North America. Belfast has regular ferry services from Scotland and England, and Dublin is just a two-hour train journey away. As a compact, easily accessible city which is rich in culture, it is easy to see why many visitors chose to make the region their home.

Terms & How to Apply

The role of Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor is available for 5 years in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal for one further five year term. At the conclusion of the term of office as a Pro-Vice Chancellor, the successful candidate will be based within the appropriate academic School.

It is hoped that the successful applicants will be able to take up the post of Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor as soon as possible, subject to existing contractual obligations. An attractive remuneration package, commensurate with the seniority and responsibilities of the role, will be provided. The successful candidate will also be eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The successful candidate will have a substantive and permanent professorial appointment in an academic School in order to maintain their academic profile and research interests.

The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor is based within the Faculty and will receive administrative and secretarial support in carrying out the requirements of the role. The Faculty Pro-Vice Chancellor will be required to travel on a national and international basis.

How to apply

Perrett Laver are managing the recruitment of the Pro-Vice Chancellor role. To apply for this role click here or call Perrett Laver on 0207 340 6200.

Key dates
Application closing date
Friday 21 February 2020
Interview date
Monday 23 March 2020

The University is committed to equality of opportunity and to selection on merit. We welcome applications from all sections of society and particularly from people with a disability.

Key Documentation

To help you learn more about Queen’s University, a range of publications is available. These publications include: