Executive Recruitment

Head of Programmes, Innovation Design Engineering and Global Innovation Design

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Royal College of Art
Closing date:
25th April
Job Ref:

Recruitment timetable

Closing date
25th April 2021
Long listing
26th April 2021
Short listing
10th May 2021
Final panel
Tuesday 25th 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 Global Innovation Design (GID) programme is run jointly with Imperial College London. Students are able to benefit from experiencing time learning in London and in global design cities at partners institutions (currently including The Pratt Institute in New York, Keio University in Tokyo, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore). In addition to the taught Masters programme, the programme offers research degrees to PhD level that range across the theoretical and practice-led, and which explore the boundaries of knowledge in the discipline and beyond.  GID will seek to expand the intellectual and interdisciplinary bases of the subject in the 21st Century, and it is the School’s ambition to position Global Innovation Design as the world’s leading transnational design educational experience.

Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) programme has been run jointly with Imperial College London for over 35 years, and is a leading-edge, creative product development programme that involves experimentation, design, engineering and enterprise activities. In multidisciplinary teams or as individuals, participants work at the centre of complex, demanding projects with an emphasis on prototyping and proving propositions. The programme is externally facing and encourages all students to tackle important real-world issues involving advanced technical, design and social parameters.

The RCA is now seeking to appoint a Head of our IDE and GID Programmes, 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 Programmes and their staff teams.   Candidates will be proven leaders with an internationally-recognised track record of research in a related field, to the role and inspirational teachers, dedicated to enhancing the student experience through currency of 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 a confidential discussion about the role, please contact stephanie.crossland@gatenbysanderson.com 

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