Academic staff: generic job description and role descriptions

Following a 2013 review of the Programme Lead job description, a single generic job description has been agreed that represents the duties and responsibilities for each role holder across all four Faculties. For most role holders the revisions will be minor but where a current Programme Lead has a greater degree of change (e.g. line management) then full training and support will be provided to help the role holder in those duties.

The responsibilities of Subject Coordinators were also slightly revised as was the workload planning tariff, as a result of the review. More details on the latter can be found via the following link: www.brookes.ac.uk/services/hr/handbook/workinghours/workload_planning_2013_14.pdf

Further role descriptions are also available on this page for information although these may vary slightly in content depending on the Faculty.

Research Lead

This role description is broadly generic across the University but there are some small variations depending upon Faculty. These differences are relatively few and will be Faculty specific.

Subject Coordinator

  • as delegated by the Programme Lead or Head of Department to take responsibility for the day to day operation of a particular programme or subject area;
  • to ensure with the appropriate Programme Leader and/or Head of Department that the delivery of Subject modules is consistent with the content of the programme as validated;
  • if delegated by the Programme Leader and/or Head of Department, to arrange and chair regular minuted meetings of the Subject Committee which are responsible for single programmes;
  • to ensure with the appropriate Programme Leader and/or Head of Department, the preparation and distribution to students of up-to-date Programme and Module Handbooks and to update the relevant sections of the Undergraduate Modular Handbook each year;
  • to take primary responsibility for producing marks information for Exam Committees, including mark up and checking mark sheets;
  • to arrange for students on their programmes to receive careers advice;
  • to take primary responsibility for the subject timetable and room bookings (working with Programme Leaders);
  • to seek advice from the Academic Management Office about any proposed changes in assessment patterns, modules or Subject rules;
  • to be responsible for a range of delegated QA activities, including the supporting the Programme Leader with validations and periodic reviews;
  • to assist the Programme Leader with relevant professional body accreditations and preparations for external quality inspections/ reviews;
  • to counsel Subject students on their choice of modules, including exchange programmes, and to liaise with the Programme Leader and/or Head of Department on subject changes;
  • to approve AMO and PIP related requests;
  • to manage student international exchanges academic programmes as agreed by the Programme Lead;
  • to receive and, where appropriate, action student reports and letters from Disability Services;
  • to assist in the marketing and recruitment to the particular programme or subject area and
  • to advise and liaise with Admissions on student applications including the consideration of applications with transfer of credit.

Academic Adviser 

  • reflect on a student's academic progress;
  • discuss their development in critical self-awareness and personal literacy;
  • discuss the development of their Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) (from September 2015 tbc)
  • encourage the student, from an early stage in their studies, to consider what their options might be on completion of their programme and the steps they might need to take to achieve them;
  • review module level results including feedback on assessments;
  • discuss their overall academic performance, including them developing Grade Point Average and Honours Degree Classification;
  • help the student to understand graduate/postgraduate attributes and how they are developed through their programme;
  • discuss any worries that the student might have about their studies;
  • discuss module choices, or possible programme changes and
  • provide for a reference.

Research Ethics Officer

Each Faculty in the University is responsible for the ethics review of research conducted in their Faculty and is required to appoint a Faculty Research Ethics Officer (or up three Departmental Research Ethics Officers in research intensive areas), to represent their Faculty on the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC).

The role of the research ethics officer is broadly to:

  • provide advice to department / faculty staff and students on ethical issues and procedures;
  • keeping departmental / faculty research ethics procedures under review and reporting where required to the University Research Ethics Committee;
  • act as a liaison point between the department / faculty and the University Research Ethics Committee;
  • attend UREC meetings and contribute to the review process of each application discussed to ensure that ethical standards are met and
  • consider research proposals from the participants’ perspective in particular.

Academic Conduct Officer (ACO)

An ACO is an academic member of staff who ensures any referred academic misconduct case is investigated, confirms whether a breach has occurred, allocates an appropriate penalty and keeps a full record of each case. In order to do this they must:

  • liaise with module leaders about cases;
  • interview students;
  • carry out misconduct paperwork;
  • liaise with the Student Disputes Officer and ACO Forum Chair;
  • be an active member of the ACO Forum*;
  • report on each academic year cases and 
  • help to promote a culture of academic integrity.

*The Academic Conduct Officer Forum was set up to support ACOs in the work. The current chair of the Forum is Dr George Blumberg - Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment