Job description

Post title
Executive Dean
The Dickson Poon School of Law
A competitive salary commensurate with the academic profile and experience of the successful applicant will be offered.
Hours of work
Full time
Reports to:
Senior Vice President (Academic)
Law staircase
The Dickson Poon School of Law has cemented its position as one of the largest, most international and highly regarded UK university communities for legal research and education. It has moved steadily upward in global and national league tables and is now ranked 16th in the world and 5th in the UK in the QS World Rankings 2021. The School’s research is increasingly marked by the winning of highly prestigious Fellowships, prizes and grants, with particular success in British Academy competitions. Its teaching has seen significant improvements in the NSS, while PTES and PRES scores have been consistently outstanding.
In addition the School has built on its excellent links with Legal London to establish a highly successful Legal Clinic, while its Professional Law Institute has forged strong links with the Inns of Court College of Advocacy and will soon launch its Master’s in Professional Legal Practice.
​​​​​​King’s is now searching for an outstanding individual to the role of Executive Dean in the Dickson Poon School of Law at an exciting time in the School’s history.

​​​​​​​The appointee will be a leading academic with a substantial track record in research, education and professional achievement within a relevant field to the School, bringing significant management and leadership expertise.
Bush House, Aldwych Quarter
Executive Deans at King’s are members of the Academic Board, and the University Executive (a fortnightly meeting of Executive Deans of Faculty, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Principals, and select Professional Services leaders,  chaired by the Principal) and play a pivotal role in the management and governance of the university. The University Executive sets the strategic direction and objectives in response to the overall mission and vision set by the Council, oversees resource allocation and the management of corporate risk in support of the strategic plan and ensures that in its decisions and actions it reflects, and sets the tone, for the culture and values of the King’s community. 

They therefore play a key role within the network of the university’s senior management.

Main duties and responsibilities

Strategy and planning

  • Work closely with the Senior Vice President (Academic), Vice-Deans, and Director of Administration to develop and deliver an ambitious vision and strategy for the School that is in line with the King’s over-arching strategic and financial plans.

  • Ensure the School strategy is distinctive and relevant to external stakeholders, including government, funders, the legal professions and our wider community.

  • Work with the President and Principal, Senior Vice President (Academic) and Vice Principals to deliver King’s strategic priorities.

  • Represent the School and King’s externally, networking and attending key national and international events.

  • Drive the School’s financial strategy and partnerships agenda, working in close collaboration with senior leaders across King’s.

  • Carry corporate responsibility as appropriate. The appointee will serve on King’s committees and participate in corporate activities and decision-making.

Education and research

  • The appointee will carry overall accountability for the development, delivery and quality assurance of research, and teaching and learning.

  • Work closely with the Vice-Deans to ensure delivery of a high-quality student experience and to develop a strategic vision for undergraduate and postgraduate education.

  • Create a supportive environment for research, identifying academic opportunities and mapping the School’s funding priorities to generate research income, high-quality outputs, and continuing to develop innovation in education. 

  • Identify and exploit strategic opportunities and build greater interdisciplinary links and partnerships internally and across other King’s Faculties.

People and culture

  • Provide academic and administrative leadership across the School; to manage staff in a manner consistent with King’s guiding principles; to oversee staff recruitment, probation and promotion.

  • Have direct line responsibility for the School’s senior staff, and overall responsibility for the management of all staff. This includes the induction, appraisal, training and development of all senior members of the School.

  • Promote and foster a supportive working and educational environment that delivers diversity, equality and inclusiveness in all aspects of the School’s operations.

  • Support staff development, appraisal and mentorship in line with King’s policy.


  • Accountable for the School financial performance.

  • Accountable for intra-School resource allocation and workload management.

  • Maintain and where possible improve the School teaching income, in alignment with the overall University strategy.

  • Maintain and improve the depth of the School’s research and grant income, building upon existing strengths and developing new activities.

  • Lead the planning processes in support of strategic aims, ensuring that all resources are deployed to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Play an active role in fundraising for the School. Foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the School and King’s more broadly and encourage cross-school innovation.

Please note this job description reflects the core activities of the post of Executive Dean. There may be changes in the emphasis of duties and it is expected that the post holder recognises this, adopting a flexible approach to work and willingness to participate in training. If changes to the post become significant, the job description will be reviewed by the post holder and line manager(s), providing Human Resources with the revised job description.