Executive Recruitment

Head of Programme, Design Products

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Royal College of Art
Closing date:
7th May
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing date
7th May 2021


The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only entirely postgraduate institution of art and design, dedicated to teaching, research and knowledge exchange with industry. In 2020, the RCA has been named the world’s leading art and design institute for the sixth consecutive year by the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Located across three sites in central London (Kensington, White City and an expanding flagship innovation campus at Battersea, due for completion in 2021), the RCA has around 2,400 students from more than 75 countries, with ambitious plans both to increase student places to 3,000 by 2021/2 and to launch new programmes, underpinned by its world-class research. The College’s global dimension is enhanced through extensive links with business and industry and its partnerships with leading art and design, cultural, and educational institutions, and has more than 500 permanent academic, technical and administrative staff, with more than 1,000 visiting lecturers and professors, including internationally renowned artists, designers, theorists and practitioners. These staff, together with innovative forms of teaching and learning, and dedicated technical facilities and research centres, all contribute to create an exceptional creative and intellectual environment and a remarkable record of graduate employment.

One of four Schools at the RCA, the School of Design engages with design on multiple levels, and currently offers nine programmes from the highly conceptual to the deeply practical, with a strong culture of innovation, experimentation and debate. The School is currently undergoing a period of strategic expansion that will result in enhancing and growing our research expertise, our postgraduate research community and will establish new technology footprints that address multi-disciplinary opportunities across many business sectors investigating societal, cultural, economic and global challenges.

Within the School of Design, the Design Products (DP) programme is about creativity for purpose - educating students to be design leaders, who address real-world challenges through balancing high levels of creativity and technical capability with contextual insight and empathy for people. The programme takes a pluralistic approach to product design by exploring it through a number of design cultures - 'design through making', 'design for manufacture', 'object-mediated interactions', 'design as catalyst' and 'exploring emergent futures' - underpinned by a set of contextual themes. Students conceptualise and validate ideas by canvassing, provoking, challenging and questioning people, places and things through crafted artefacts.

The RCA is now seeking to appoint a Head of its DP programme, to provide hands-on academic leadership and take overall responsibility for academic quality and direction, research, teaching and learning, and management of all the resources of the Programme and its staff team. Candidates will be proven leaders with an internationally-recognised track record of research in a related field. They will be inspirational teachers, dedicated to enhancing the student experience through high calibre content and innovative teaching methods. They will also have the appetite to seek out interdisciplinary opportunities both within the RCA and externally, and to steward, cultivate and engage with established and new donor communities for fundraising purposes.

For an informal and confidential conversation, please contact our advising consultants at GatenbySanderson: Stephanie Crossland - 07760 190 290 / stephanie.crossland@gatenbysanderson.com, Hilda Gjika – hilda.gjika@gatenbysanderson.com, Julia Roberts – Julia.roberts@gatenbysanderson.com  


Closing date 7 May 2021

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